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What does hypoallergenic dog food mean?

Reading What does hypoallergenic dog food mean? 5 minutes Next Sensitive products and diet feed

When it comes to allergies and hypersensitivities in dogs, food is one of the most common causes. Like humans, allergic reactions occur when the dog's immune system overreacts to a protein or complex carbohydrate from a particular food group and creates new antibodies to fight a substance it would normally tolerate.

Paradoxically, food allergies in dogs usually occur after they have consumed a certain type, form or brand of food for a long period of time that has not previously caused any problems for your furry friend. In this case, it can be difficult to find a new type of food that won't cause a reaction. Luckily, there are hypoallergenic dog foods that can help.

But what is hypoallergenic dog food? What types of food are hypoallergenic? Is this form of food always grain-free? And how expensive is it? In this handy guide, you'll learn everything you need to know about hypoallergenic dog food. We focus on insect-based dog food, which could be the perfect solution for your hypersensitive pup.

What does hypoallergenic dog food mean?

Put simply, the term "hypoallergenic dog food" refers to any food - whether meat, insect or plant-based - that is designed for dogs that are allergic to other forms of regular dog food. As previously mentioned, food allergies can affect a dog's physical and mental health. Hypoallergenic dog food replaces the proteins that your dog's immune system is conditioned to use with unique proteins that are not recognized as antigens by his antibodies.

Hypoallergenic dog food therefore offers a variety of unique protein sources. This means that these foods contain proteins that are not recognized by the dog's antibodies, reducing the likelihood of allergic reactions.

What makes dog food hypoallergenic?

Because different brands use foods made from different blends of ingredients and protein sources, there is no consistent list of essential ingredients that must be followed for a food to be officially considered hypoallergenic. However, as a general rule, a truly hypoallergenic dog food should contain only a single or a limited number of novel protein sources and/or hydrolyzed protein sources and/or selected carbohydrate sources. They should also not contain high levels of artificial colors, chemicals, flavors or preservatives.

Although dogs are now domesticated animals, when feeding your puppy, think about what he would eat in the wild. With this in mind, it's best to provide your furry friend with a diet that consists of natural and healthy ingredients - this is the mantra of most hypoallergenic dog food manufacturers.

As already mentioned, the secret of a hypoallergenic dog food is not only that it does not contain harmful substances such as artificial colors and preservatives, but also that the natural ingredients contain a high proportion of unique proteins. These proteins should primarily be ones that are not recognized by a typical dog's immune system so that its antibodies do not react to them and trigger an allergic reaction.

Although hypoallergenic meat and fish-based foods exist, insect-based dog foods are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners looking for nutritional alternatives for their nutritionally sensitive pups. At BugBell, for example, we use gentle and effective ingredients such as psyllium husks and potatoes as well as naturally hypoallergenic insect proteins for our entire range of entovegan dog food.

Is hypoallergenic dog food grain free?

Not all hypoallergenic dog food is grain-free. While it is true that grains can cause allergies/intolerances in some dogs, this is very rare and the likelihood that your dog is allergic to an animal protein is much greater. This means that while grain-free food can minimize the risk of reactions, it cannot be considered hypoallergenic in itself. For this reason, there is a difference between hypoallergenic and completely grain-free dog food.

Some hypoallergenic dog food brands even make products that actively contain grains.

How much does hypoallergenic dog food cost?

Not surprisingly, hypoallergenic dog food is typically more expensive than regular, mediocre alternatives. This is because the high-quality ingredients needed to produce these types of feed are more expensive for manufacturers to source and process. However, depending on the brand and type of product you choose, there are our range of very affordable hypoallergenic dog foods on the market. Unfortunately, BugBell is awesome!

If your four-legged friend suffers from allergies and/or intolerances, keep in mind that while hypoallergenic food is more expensive than traditional alternatives, it can save you money in the long run on repeat vet visits and prescription medications.