How to Test for a Food Allergy & Finding High Quality Dog Food #WeBelieveinNB

Posted on Feb 14 2017 - 10:32pm by Susan Bewley

Are you worried your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity? Learn how we tested for a food allergy with our vet's recommendations & finding the right food here!

Have you ever wondered if your dog has a sensitive tummy or a food allergy? When we first got Ivi, we thought were feeding our girls a high quality food. While I won’t go into the brand, it was very highly recommended in the malamute community and so many people made a huge deal about how the food used a single source protein and was great for growing large puppies. It wasn’t until our little Ivi puppy started having serious tummy issues that we got worried. It wasn’t until we tried a Natural Balance® Limited Ingredients Diet food that our tummy trouble ended, starting the grand search of what was wrong with our sweet little puppy at the time.

Dog Allergies: Protein Test

So, how did we determine that our sweet Ivi had an allergy? One of the things that truly shocked us the most was that while our veterinarian is amazing (I can’t say enough good things about him), we found out from him that pet nutrition is not something most vets focus on in school. In fact, they only have one very short class or seminar!? Don’t get me wrong, his honesty meant the world for us, and his major advice was to start with a single source protein food or make our own food for a few days to see which food upset her stomach.

After doing some research on the topic, we bought ground beef, ground chicken, and ground turkey, deciding to go from there since these were the common proteins used in her puppy food. To our worry, nothing happened for the first two weeks and Ivi seemed like a happy, excited puppy who was just happy her butt wasn’t stopping her fun. It wasn’t until we tried the ground turkey that we knew we had a winner in the allergy/sensitivity lottery.

Dog Allergies: Allergy Test

To our surprise, our vet didn’t recommend doing an allergy test first. He said the best tests could take 4 – 6 weeks to get back (the ones that were the most cost effective for a non-dangerous allergy), so he recommended that we do the test after we had a suspected allergy. There was no reason to let the puppy suffer when there were faster answers. Since allergy tests are a big discussion on their own, check back with us for more discussion of dog allergy tests in the near future!

Are you worried your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity? Learn how we tested for a food allergy with our vet's recommendations & finding the right food here!

Dog Allergies: Finding the Right Foods

Once we knew Ivi had an allergy, the hard part was finding the right high quality food for our malamute puppy. What I will say was very enlightening was learning what were premium quality ingredients and what was just advertising trying to claim that their dog food was a high quality food. For example, so many foods say that they are made from a single source protein (let’s say bison), and once you flip over the bag, you see very quickly that it contains other proteins! I mean, who expects a Bison food (that is quite expensive at that) to contain ground turkey and poultry meal?

So what food do we feed our girls? I am happy to say that our preferred food in this household, since Ivi was a small puppy, is Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredients Diet! After researching quite a few high quality foods, we found that Natural Balance had the best premium quality ingredients with simple formulas that lead to healthy digestion in dogs like ours with allergies.

What I recently learned about Natural Balance that made me even happier is that they have nutrition experts available to answer any questions about their food. Unlike other brands, they understand that there isn’t a one size fits all food for all dogs. For example, I have never had a malamute that doesn’t get bored with her food. To help answer questions about their food and what is best for their unique nutritional needs and tastes, Natural Balance has nutritional experts available to answer questions using their Help Me Choose Tool, email, or our favorite, live chat. Each of these experts are Veterinary Technicians with a degree in Animal Health Science. In other words, they can answer just about any question when it comes to pet nutrition and your pets own unique needs.

Would you like to try Natural Balance for yourself? With their Natural Balance Buy With Confidence Promise® it really is risk-free for dog parents and we are certain your dogs will love it just as much as ours. Ivi, Rylie, and I believe in Natural Balance, do you?

Are you worried your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity? Learn how we tested for a food allergy with our vet's recommendations & finding the right food here!

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Disclosure: Budget Earth received monetary compensation for this post. All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

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About 

Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

63 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Dotty J Boucher February 15, 2017 at 8:54 am - Reply

    I didn’t even know that dogs could have such allergies but I am so glad you all figured it out and that she is happy now.
    @tisonlyme143

  2. Barbara February 15, 2017 at 10:19 am - Reply

    One of my dogs’ fur was falling out. I thought he had mange, but it ended up being a food allergy. The other one had repeated ear infections, which the vet also said could be food allergies. Both are on grain-free food now and all is well! Luckily it wasnt a protein for them.

  3. Darcy Koch February 17, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Sorry about your dog. I am very thankful my dog has never had an allergy.

    • Susan Bewley February 18, 2017 at 12:17 am - Reply

      Luckily it was a pretty minor allergy and Ivi is still pretty happy and healthy!

  4. Margaret Appel February 17, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    We had a poodle/maltese rescue that had a skin problem & couldn’t seem to stop itching. The vet suggested benadryl but it didn’t help. We tried different pet foods but nothing seemed to work. We ended up making food from scratch for him. Wish we had heard about this brand, it might have saved him a lot of itching! Thanks for the review 🙂

  5. rochelle haynes February 18, 2017 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Thanks for the info will pass it to my friend who has a dog

  6. Vicki Wurgler February 18, 2017 at 7:51 am - Reply

    that was interesting I did not know dogs had allergies

  7. Michelle Elizondo February 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Oh wow, what a great resource for us to know about.

  8. Geri Sandoval February 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    I’ve never tested my dogs for food allergies. This is a great post, thanks for the information.

  9. Brandi Cramer February 18, 2017 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Our dog has a food alergy. It was hard to determine what exactly he was reacting to. This has lots of great info!

  10. April Monty February 19, 2017 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Great advice here and it’s hard to figure out if they have allergies without knowing what to look for

  11. Susan Hartman February 19, 2017 at 9:36 am - Reply

    I had a poor fox terrier years ago with a lot of allergies. Its great if you can change diet and get results.

  12. roselle-mendoza February 19, 2017 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Even dogs have allergy… Its how amazing the creation of God.

  13. Tina F February 19, 2017 at 10:23 am - Reply

    My moms dog has allergies and thank goodness she figured it out quite quickly. Glad you guys did as well.

  14. Sara February 19, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Theses animals are beautiful

  15. Mia February 19, 2017 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Interesting choices for dogs with allergies. I am glad that there are food choices available.

  16. Kimberly Flickinger February 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    My doxies do not have food allergies, but this is good to know.

  17. monique s February 28, 2017 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Great info about dog allergies to food. Thanks

  18. Stephanie H. March 1, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    I knew that pets could have allergies like we do, but I didn’t know how to detect it until your review. I’ll have to look into this brand for our kitty who has a sensitive stomach also.

  19. Michelle S March 1, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I had no idea that dogs can have allergies. This was very enlightening. I also love your huskie – so cute!

  20. Kim Pincombe-Cole March 1, 2017 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    This is really interesting. Our dogs have seasonal allergies that our vet gives them steroid shots for. But now I wonder if they have food/protein sensitivities too…

  21. Lynne B March 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    It didn’t occur to me that dogs may have food allergies. I’m glad you’ve found a solution for your dogs.

  22. Natalie March 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    I can honestly say that I have no idea if my dog has a food allergy. I had no idea that pet nutrition is not something most vets focus on in school.

  23. Edye March 1, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    What a cute dog! I need to try out this brand for my pup 🙂

  24. Amy P March 2, 2017 at 1:32 am - Reply

    Our little Pogo had allergies to a lot of things, but we found that out from the previous owners. These are helpful tips.

  25. Maryann D. March 2, 2017 at 5:47 am - Reply

    My sister just got a new puppy and all of this info would really be helpful to her. It is always a worry thinking about allergies in my family since we all have them.

  26. Cynthia C March 2, 2017 at 8:28 am - Reply

    My friend’s dog had very bad allergies and had to get special food prescribed by her vet.

  27. Barbara Montag March 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I”m sorry that your dog has an allergy.
    I didn’t realize they could.
    And I believe it’s important to feed our loved pets a high quality food.

  28. Kristen March 4, 2017 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Yes, we once did an elimination diet with one of our dogs. They’re so much happier when they’re getting the right diet!

  29. Maryann D. March 5, 2017 at 8:58 am - Reply

    This is really good info about allergies and pets. My family has allergies and I realize how it can make you feel horrible. It is important to find the best food for pets too like Natural Balance.

  30. Terry Poage March 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Great information about allergies. It is so important to figure out if your dog is allergic to something.

  31. Susan Smith March 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    I did not know dogs had allergies. I have never had my dogs tested.

  32. Arlene Mcc March 6, 2017 at 12:43 am - Reply

    very enlightening

  33. Amber Ludwig March 6, 2017 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Ooh I would’ve never known this!! This is very interesting and something I will make sure to save for the future when we get a pet!!

  34. Kristi F March 7, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    It’s so true that most vets don’t get much nutrition training. I’ve been picky about what my dog eats and doing a lot of research. Your Ivi is also really cute!

  35. April Monty March 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    It’s funny how we don’t think of our animals having allergies,but just like humans they do..their symptoms can be a lot more severe.

  36. Sue E March 9, 2017 at 1:02 am - Reply

    I feel bad that I have never even considered that my furry friends could’ve had allergies! I know when my allergIes flare up, I feel miserable! I can only imagine how they must feel!! I would never intentionally do anything to hurt them!! They seem fine, but I will check my vet anyway- I will also check out this food. I have heard of it and love the fact that the ingredients are all natural!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  37. Michelle L March 9, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Those doggies are just adorable. Thank you for the advice in this article, coming from someone who has allergies of her own…

  38. Michele C March 9, 2017 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Wow! I knew that pets have allergies, but I did not know that you could test for pet allergies. I appreciate the information that you have provided for us.

  39. Sarah S March 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    We have a cat that came to us very ill and throwing up constantly. Turns out she had a food allergy and the ONLY food that would work for her was Natural Balance. That food literally saved her life!

  40. Deborah Caudill March 9, 2017 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your thorough review of dog allergies and Natural Balance Dog Food. It’s good to have someone that your readers can trust to review and research information and products so that in the event we have any of these problems with our pets, we know what to do or at least where to look for answers. I am glad you figured out what to do for your girls to fix the problem and find the most nutritious and non-allergenic food for them.

  41. amanda roach March 9, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    beautiful ddg and helpful tips

  42. Rania R March 10, 2017 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Interesting article. I never had a dog but this is good information to pass on to my friends.

  43. Mya Murphy March 10, 2017 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Lots of great info for those who truly cared about their dogs allergies.. I don’t own a dpg, but will pass along.

  44. Nena Sinclair March 10, 2017 at 7:09 am - Reply

    This is great to know. My friend has a little dog has has a very sensitive stomach and she’s having a difficult time finding a good quality dog food that doesn’t bother him. I’ll show her this article. Thank you!

  45. shanahb March 10, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

    poor baby my friends dog is allergic to everything

  46. Dotty J Boucher March 10, 2017 at 11:15 am - Reply

    I didn’t even know that dogs could have such allergies but I am so glad you all figured it out and that she is happy now.
    @tisonlyme143

  47. lisa March 10, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Never knew about food allergies for dogs but I have heard that Pumpkin is good for digestion.

  48. Jennifer Pellicone March 11, 2017 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Our poor dog had stomach problems for a year and a half before we figured out which food was best for her. Natural Balance sweet potato with venison was the ticket to a healthy puppy.

  49. Heather Abbe March 11, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting this, I have a dog with allergies. I think a lot of people don’t really think about it.

  50. Leah B March 12, 2017 at 12:41 am - Reply

    I don’t have a dog, but if I did I’d probably worry constantly at the first sign of an allergy, so thanks for posting!

  51. Laura March 12, 2017 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Luckily, neither of our pups have food allergies. I have seen so many dogs with allergies to food though. It’s a lot more common than a lot of people think.

  52. Lisa F. March 12, 2017 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Interesting that your pup was sensitive to turkey and not chicken. Glad you figured it out, though!

    • Susan Bewley March 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      They similar proteins but it is actually rare for animals to be allergic to both. Turkey has always been an issue for us because it is usually the ‘safe protein’ for most animals with allergies. 🙂

  53. Lisa M March 12, 2017 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    I’m very glad you were able to find a food Ivi could tolerate. We need to find out exactly what our dog is allergic to. Great tips! Thank you!

  54. Deborah D March 13, 2017 at 1:15 am - Reply

    My brother and sister both have dogs and this post will help them.

  55. Terri Quick March 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    I’m thinking that maybe I should test my dogs for food allergies. I have a senior dog & a puppy.

  56. Tracy Robertson March 14, 2017 at 4:12 am - Reply

    I’m glad your Ivi is well now! I never realized that dogs could have food allergies, but it completely makes sense.

  57. Cassandra D. March 15, 2017 at 1:43 am - Reply

    I have not heard about an allergy test. This information was very interesting to me. I appreciate this article.

  58. Trisha McKee March 15, 2017 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I have bulldogs and when my oldest was a pup, I had to be really careful about what we fed him. he had such a sensitive stomach. Some of the foods that were most expensive were the worst for him. It is important to know about allergies and get the right food for your pet.

  59. Vikki Billings March 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    I knew that dogs could have allergies to grains but did not know they could have allergies to protein.. I need to do these tests just to make sure that I am giving my dogs the right food. Thank you for the information.

  60. May Rodriguez March 23, 2017 at 12:02 am - Reply

    I know dogs are allergic to certain foods but my dog eats anything human food with his dry food I get him dog chow he eats rice , chicken,ham .

  61. Mary April 29, 2017 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    I love this picture. I would like to read an article on cat allergies to food.

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