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Chicken Allergy in Dogs — Symptoms and Food Alternatives

Chicken Allergies May Affect 15% of Dogs

If you find your dog has started itching and scratching themselves excessively, this is a sign he or she may be showing symptoms of a chicken allergy in dogs.

Similar to us, our canine friends can develop food allergies. One of the most common seen in dogs today is unfortunately to chicken. Many pet parents say "I have fed my dog chicken for years without any problem—so how could this be the issue now?" Ironically, it's this repetitive consumption of the same protein over and over again that can lead to a food allergy.

For this reason, we always recommend rotating your dog between different proteins. That's one reason why many pet parents who have dogs with food allergies choose Perfect Dog Food Mix so they can easily rotate the proteins in their dog's diet.

Does My Dog Have a Chicken Allergy?

If your dog has started eating a new food, there is a high probability that is causing your dog's allergic reaction. The first step would be to try a different brand of food.

Take note if your dog's current food has chicken in it. If so, we recommend trying to feed your dog a different protein such as beef, turkey, pork, lamb or fish.

You may be surprised to see turkey on that list. Interestingly, very few dogs are allergic to turkey, and it's rare for a dog to be allergic to all types of poultry.

Symptoms that your dog has developed a chicken allergy include:

 •   Itching around the face
 •   Appearance of a skin rash
 •   Excessive chewing of the paws
 •   Hair loss

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, we recommend scheduling a visit with your veterinarian.

Yumwoof recently established an Animal Microbiome Research Committee with six of the world's leading experts in microbiome research. Every member of the committee is leading university research in this area of food allergies, and we are currently studying its causes.

What we do know is that over time, your dog's body can begin to build sensitivity to the specific proteins contained in chicken meat. Their body starts seeing these proteins as foreign invaders that it needs to protect against, which revs up your dog's immune system to fight them.

What to Do If My Dog Has a Chicken Allergy

If your dog has symptoms associated with a chicken allergy, the first action to take is to discontinue feeding them food with chicken, and to switch to a new food with an alternative protein.

Once you're ready to test alternative meats, we recommend trying new proteins in the following order:
 1.   Beef
 2.   Turkey
 3.   Pork
 4.   Lamb
 5.   Fish

You can find our list of Perfect Dog Food Mix recipes for each of these proteins on our recipe website. One reason we recommend this mix is that it makes it easy to test multiple proteins and discover which meats your dog can safely eat.

If you are looking for a chicken-free dog food that's pre-made in our kitchen, we also recommend Perfect Kibble Beef.

Do Probiotics Help Food Allergies?

Several NIH studies have shown probiotics to be effective in naturally treating food allergies.

A 2012 study on dogs demonstrated that probiotics led to decreased IgE, an antibody which the body releases in response to allergens. Clinical signs of allergies did not reappear. A 2015 study showed a significant reduction in the severity of canine atopic dermatitis in dogs who were given Lactobacillus probiotics for 2 months. Another 2015 study also found reduced canine atopic dermatitis in dogs who were fed a different Lactobacillus probiotic.

When treating a chicken food allergy, you should always try switching to a new protein first. If a different protein such as beef or turkey cures your dog's food allergy, do not switch back to chicken.

However, if your dog still shows symptoms of allergies, it may be worth adding a probiotic to their diet such as this to relieve the symptoms.

FAQ — Chicken Allergy Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If my dog is allergic to chicken, can he or she eat eggs?

A: While it's possible your dog could have an allergy to both, a chicken allergy does not necessarily mean your dog is allergic to eggs. In fact, it's fairly uncommon for a dog to be allergic to both.

Q: How should I transition to a chicken-free food?

A: We recommend an expedited transition period of 7 days if you have reason to believe your dog has a chicken allergy. Start with a 50/50 split between the new and old dog food, and gradually transition over the course of a week until you are entirely feeding the new food.

Q: What diet do you recommend for a dog with chicken allergies?

A: We recommend a minimally-processed diet with natural, whole food ingredients. It should be gluten-free, soy-free and avoid preservatives. We have two products to choose from: Perfect Dog Food Mix is an easy way to make homemade dog food with a variety of proteins so you can test which meats your dog can eat without an allergic reaction. Perfect Kibble Beef is a ready-made 'soft and chewy' kibble that has 14 natural ingredients including fresh beef.

Conclusion: Try These Alternative Proteins

It is estimated up to 15% of dogs suffer from chicken allergies. If you believe your dog may be allergic to chicken, try feeding your dog an alternative protein to see if that resolves their symptoms. We recommend starting with beef, turkey, pork, lamb and fish in that order.

If you have any questions about how a chicken allergy may be affecting your dog, feel free to reach out to our team!

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