Discussing Questions And Answers About Allergen Free Dog Food Recipes

Nancy asks…

do some food allergies go away?

A couple years ago my mom had a really bad allergic reaction to a bunch of things at once. She had never really had allergy before problems but somehow they all exploded at once (menopause probably). Suddenly she was allergic to cats, dogs, cottonseed oil, wheat, cucumbers, greenbeans, grapefruit…the list went on. My mom stopped eating anything she was allergic to.

Two weeks ago she went to the allergist and I think the results just got back (im not sure of the details. I just came home from college) It said she was no longer allergic to wheat or cottonseed oil. For some reason she thinks she needs to confirm it with her allergist. Maybe the results arent official or something. that’s not my question tho.

How likely is it that she really is over her wheat allergy? I don’t know much about food allergies, but my mom’s missed having bread, cake, crackers, licorice, etc, and since mother’s day is coming up i’d LOVE to bake her a REAL cake!!! gluten-free cake just can’t compete!

Jimmy answers:

I posted this last night but it just dawned on me that I had bought an allergy free cake mix for my son’s birthday and I wanted to share with you. Cherrybrook Kitchen sells an entire line of products that are allergy free @ CherrybrookKitchen.com.. Or if you can find a cake mix that does not contain wheat, you can do this to replace the egg(if that is also an allergen that your mom has):
take the 18 oz cake mix and mix with 1 very ripe banana mashed, 1tsp baking powder, 1Tbsp vinegar, 1/3 cup veggie oil, 1-1/3 cup water and mix with a mixer like normal. Bake at 350 for the same times on the box, you may need a few extra minutes. I make cakes and cupcakes for my son all the time using this recipe- but I guess it depends on what your mom is allergic to whether or not it will work.

Sorry to tell you this, but sometimes they can reoccur. My son has food allergies and they didn’t show up until the 3rd time he was exposed. I asked his allergist if it is possible that he could test negative for the allergy and then have a reaction the 3rd time exposed again and he said absolutely. I have a friend whose son was allergic to nuts and then after 2 years was tested and food challenged and no allergic reaction. Then one day he had something with nuts in it and his throat started to close again and that was after being exposed a few times. I guess just keep some benedryl and an epipen handy just in case

Robert asks…

Is there a shampoo for dogs with allergies or a food that is hypoallergenic?

My dog duke is always scratching because he has Atopic dermatitis. Usually I just put hydro-cortisone cream on him and that helps but I am out of it right now and it only helps temporary.

What foods and shampoo would be good for him?


Would this be a good food for him? He is a Lab mix(mixed with rottie and German shepherd).
Would nature’s recipe good dog food for him?
It has rice in it no corn.
Rice is the carbohydrate source.


I would do raw but it takes too much time, learning and money.
Leigh he doesn’t have food allergies he has skin allergies. I am beginning to think Dakota does too because she scratches too but she don’t have a dark tummy like Duke, But i know we don’t have fleas in the house cause if we did I would be able to see them on Duke.

Jimmy answers:

Foods that would be good would be ones without chicken, beef, corn, wheat or soy and no chemical preservatives like BHT, BHA or ethoxyquin.

I would start with a Natural Balance Allergy Formula like Venison, Duck, Whitefish or Lamb. Once you have your dog stabilized introduce new novel proteins into his diet because many allergies are caused by over -exposure to certain ingredients. The more you rotate, the better off you’ll be. Try these:
Holistic Select
Nature’s Logic
Nature’s Variety
Go Natural
Ziwi Peak

Or you could do raw which will be easiest on your dog’s system. I like Primal, Bravo, Stella and Chewy’s, Nature’s Logic and Nature’s Variety. There are also dehydrated raw diets that are a bit more cost effective like Sojos or Honest Kitchen.

For shampoo try Solid Gold Supersen Gelle or an oatmeal shampoo with no parabens, EDTA, sodium laureth sulfate or fragrance.


Jackie and asker:

Do not use the Hill’s prescription for allergies. It is a giant waste of money and highly over-processed. It uses hydrolyzed chicken which just means that the chicken has been broken down into basic amino acids which is usually achieved by boiling the chicken in a strong acid or strong base (ick) (go to Wikipedia for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrolyzed_protein ). Since chicken is a common allergen, this process does make it easier for the dog to digest, but why even feed them chicken when you have other options? Hydrolyzed chicken has such low nutrient value that I find people feed three or four times as much prescription diet as they need to of Natural Balance.

As for Royal Canin prescription for allergies, at least they use venison and duck for their protein sources, but it is still much more money than you need to spend on a food, especially when Natural Balance has nearly identical ingredients and costs much less.

Bottom line: Prescription diets are expensive and unnecessary. They used to be the only option, but now there are healthier, more natural alternatives that you don’t need to win the lottery to afford and don’t need a prescription for.


I would not use a regular Royal Canin food either. Royal Canin is essentially a fancier version of Science Diet. They never switch up the protein and you pay more for the fancy “research” that has gone into their diets. You would be better off using a food that obtains much of it’s nutrients from fruits, vegetables and botanicals because the vitamins and minerals from natural food source are more bio-available. The more chemically synthesized vitamins and minerals a food has, the less your dog will be able to fully utilize. If you want to spring that much money on a bag of dog food try Orijen, Acana, Canine Caviar, Nature’s Logic, Now or Go Natural.

Nature’s Recipe doesn’t look too bad. I would try a food that is grain-free to stabilize your dog, then give grains and other proteins a try. Petsmart does sell the Natural Balance Allergy Formulas that use potato and sweet potato. The main sketchy thing about Nature’s Recipe is the animal digest which is essentially a broth made from boiling animal tissue (AAFCO does not specify what kind of animals can be included in this, therefore there are animal digests that contain road kill, euthanized animals, downer cows, etc) and the process is similar to rendering. Kind of unnecessary in a dog food if you ask me.

If you’re scared of raw, try a dehydrated raw food. You just add water, let it sit and put it in your dog’s food like you would with canned food. Introduce it slowly as you would any other new food. It was really simple switching my dog over. Go to the websites of some of the foods recommended by me and others, read the ingredients and the guaranteed analysis. You do want slightly higher protein (most prescription will be around 18% which means you have to feed more) and you want to be able to recognize the ingredients. If they are vitamins and minerals, fine. But if they are things like animal digest, meat by-product, or anything else you find questionable, at least type it into wikipedia or http://www.dogfoodproject.com/ and do some of your own research. You’d be surprised what is legal to put into pet foods.

Sandy asks…

Dog won’t stop scratching, looking for a homeopathic remedy.?

I have a bichon frise, which I have recently been told have a tendency to have allergies and skin problems. Well he scratches himself so much that he has basically caused horrible cuts, open wounds, and infections. I have had to go to the vet numerous times so they can shave the area and give him antibiotics to clear it up. Then he will be good for a time and it will start again.

I have tried teaching him that scratching is bad, and he is smart enough now to stop scratching when I come in the room.

I tried changing the food he eats and even bought allergy prone food, but that didn’t stop him.

Started using the oatmeal shampoo that is for dry itchy skin from Dr. Foster & Smith, still won’t stop scratching.

I bought the glue on plastic nail covers that slip over his nails, within 3 days he figured out he could chew them off or just lick them to death until the nail glue dissolved.

The vet gave me benadryl & gave it to him up to 3 times a day to stop itching like the doctor ordered. And he was totally lazy and drugged out, but would still manage to scratch himself like crazy.

I just ordered the PediPaws nail rounder, which is supposed to round the nails instead of cut them.

But even if that works I would like to try a homeopathic remedy to help him. This has been going on for almost 2 years with no help from anything and I can just see how miserable he is. The wounds are usually on his ears or right under him & he looks like an abused dog & I can just tell he is in so much pain.

Shortening his hair just makes it worse because then his nails can get through his hair and really scratch himself up.

He is up to date on all meds & takes flea/tick/heartworm meds regularly.

The vet just says this is not irregular in bichon frises.

Jimmy answers:

Your vet must’ve given you the option to do allergy tests on your dog, no?

Well, if this was offered and declined, I would suggest that you quit doing symptomatic treatments and become more aggressive in getting to the source… Oatmeal shampoos, nail trimmers, reprimanding for relieving an itch, etc are not relieving the cause of the allergic reaction at all.

How long did you try a hypo-allergenic diet for? You must realize that it can take up to 6 months for a dog to completely develop it’s own antihistamines and for the allergen to completely be eliminated from the dogs’ system. The usual recommendation of a hypo diet is a minimum of 12 weeks, but sometimes it can take longer, although unusual, but not unheard of.

The most common allergens to dogs are soy, beet, wheat, corn, potato and yeast. All foods AND treats must be completely free of all of these ingredients.
All treats are a no-no if they contain any of the above ingredients. If you cannot find treats that do not contain one or any of these, try fresh veggies, sweet potatoes, walnuts or berries as alternatives.

Supplement a hypo or raw diet with a natural antihistamine and/or anti-inflammatory such as Flax oil or ground Flax seed (both must be refrigerated), Omega 3 and 6 fish oils/fatty acids. You can continue to use Benadryl as prescribed by your vet for a week, then discontinue. If a reaction begins again, try again for another 3 days, discontinue and see what happens.

Remember, you can always make a home-made diet. It’s quite simple, really! Just remember to add the Flax and OFA’s!

This regimine has never failed for any of my dogs who have allergies.

If you’d like some recipes for home-made diets, email me and I’d be happy to share. You can also find many on the internet, or your vet may have some, as well.

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