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How to Treat Your Dog’s Food Intolerance

Food intolerances have sadly become increasingly common among dogs, so understanding how to treat them has become essential for pet parents.

In this article, we explore several facets of food intolerance in dogs, from identifying symptoms to avoiding trigger foods, and how to consult with your vet.

Difference Between Allergy and Intolerance

It is crucial to differentiate between a food allergy and food intolerance, as these terms often get used interchangeably, yet they are distinct.

Dog Food Allergies

  • Immune response: Triggers an immune response to a specific protein found in food.
  • Symptoms: Can include skin irritations, ear infections, and digestive issues.

Table 1: Food Allergy Overview



Response Immune response to proteins in food
Symptoms Skin irritations, ear infections, and digestive disturbances


Food Intolerance

  • Digestive issue: Generally a digestive issue where a dog’s system can't properly digest a specific substance in food.
  • Symptoms: Mainly gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

Table 2: Food Intolerance Overview



Nature Digestive issue involving improper digestion of food
Symptoms Primarily gastrointestinal issues

Understanding the difference between an allergy and intolerance is the cornerstone to initiating the right treatment plan for your dog.

Symptoms of Food Intolerance

Recognising the symptoms of food intolerance can help in timely intervention, preventing the exacerbation of the issue. Below, we outline some of the prominent symptoms.

Digestive Symptoms

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Flatulence

Table 3: Digestive Symptoms of Food Intolerance



Diarrhoea Loose, watery stools
Vomiting Regurgitation of ingested food
Flatulence Excessive gas and bloating


Skin Issues

  • Itchy skin
  • Rashes

Spotting these symptoms early on can pave the way for swift and effective management of food intolerance.


Managing Intolerance

Once the symptoms are identified, the next step is to manage the intolerance effectively through various strategies.

Elimination Diet

  • Objective: To identify the food causing the intolerance.
  • Process: Involves removing all potential allergens from the diet and reintroducing them one by one to pinpoint the culprit.

Table 4: Elimination Diet



Objective Identifying the food causing intolerance
Process Remove and reintroduce potential allergens one by one



  • Importance: Maintaining hydration is crucial, especially if your dog has been vomiting or experiencing diarrhoea.

Managing intolerance is a step-by-step process that involves close monitoring and careful dietary modifications.

Consulting Your Vet

In the journey to manage food intolerance, consulting your vet is an indispensable step. Let’s explore why.

Professional Guidance

  • Expertise: Vets can offer expert advice on how to go about identifying and managing food intolerance.
  • Diet Plan: They can help formulate a diet plan that suits your dog's nutritional needs while avoiding trigger foods.

Table 5: Consulting Your Vet



Professional guidance Expert advice on managing food intolerance
Diet Plan Formulation of a diet plan avoiding trigger foods

Ensuring your dog’s wellbeing through expert consultation can be a significant milestone in managing food intolerance.

Avoiding Trigger Foods

Post-identification of the food causing intolerance, the focus shifts to avoiding these trigger foods to ensure your dog remains healthy and happy.

Label Reading

  • Importance: Understanding the ingredients in dog food is vital to avoid the reintroduction of trigger foods in your dog's diet.

Table 6: Avoiding Trigger Foods



Label reading Understanding ingredients to avoid reintroduction of trigger foods


Homemade Diets

  • Benefits: Allows for control over the ingredients used, ensuring no trigger foods are included.

A keen eye on what your dog consumes can be your best defense against food intolerance.


Q: Can food intolerance lead to serious health issues?

A: If left unmanaged, food intolerance can lead to nutritional deficiencies and chronic digestive issues.

Q: How long does it take to see improvements once trigger foods are eliminated?

A: Generally, improvements can be seen within a few weeks of eliminating the trigger foods from the diet.


Understanding and managing food intolerance in dogs is a comprehensive process. It requires distinguishing intolerances from food allergies, recognising symptoms, and instituting a well-planned management strategy through vet consultation and avoiding trigger foods.

Being well-informed and taking proactive steps can ensure your dog leads a healthy, joyful life free from the discomforts of food intolerance. The wellbeing of your beloved pet is a continuous journey of learning and attentive care.


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