Jump to section

What are Meat Protein Allergies?

The most commonly reported symptom of allergies in dogs is dermatitis, which is a skin disorder that varies from dog to dog, but almost always includes itching and redness of the skin. Just like humans, the skin of dogs is the largest organ in their body and is 15% to 25% of the body weight. There are seven layers of skin, which are called the subcutaneous muscles and fat, appendageal system, dermis, basement membrane zone, and epidermis. The skin protects your dog’s body from outside contaminants and allergens, which is why it is usually the first sign of any kind of allergy in your dog. In the case of meat protein allergies in dogs, the first sign may be vomiting rather than itching, and it is best to observe your dog the first few times you feed them a new food. Even if your dog really seems to like the food, the body may not agree, and can quickly lead to anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening emergency. If your dog seems to be having trouble breathing (coughing, gagging, vomiting), you need to get your dog to an animal hospital immediately.

Meat proteins are exactly like their name implies, proteins derived from meat, such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and duck. The novel pet foods include bison, venison, buffalo, rabbit, alligator, and kangaroo. These are proteins that are not commonly used in foods so there is less chance of an allergic reaction. Meat proteins allergies in dogs may occur from feeding your dog a new food, treats, chews, or table scraps. In some cases, you may not even realize what the allergen was. This can be a serious condition in some dogs, with inflammation that can lead to anaphylactic shock, which triggers contraction of the smooth muscles of the throat, leading to asphyxiation and death. However, in the majority of cases, the reaction is not as serious and includes itching, redness of skin, hives, and possibly vomiting and diarrhea.

Meat Protein Allergies Average Cost

From 463 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Meat Protein Allergies in Dogs

Symptoms of meat protein allergy may vary, but the most common are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bald spots (alopecia)
  • Breathing trouble
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions
  • Cyanosis
  • Death
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive licking
  • Excitement
  • Facial swelling
  • Hives
  • Incoordination
  • Itching (anus, ears, eyes, groin, muzzle, paws, underarms)
  • Lesions on the skin (usually the face, feet, and groin area)
  • Nausea
  • Paw biting
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Salivation
  • Shock
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting
  • Watery eyes

 Types

Almost all dog foods include meat protein in their ingredients. It is best to look at the ingredients list carefully to see if any of these are listed:

  • Animal fats and oils
  • Animal proteins
  • Bone meal
  • Fresh meat
  • Meat
  • Meat and animal derivatives
  • Meat meal
  • Poultry
  • Poultry fats
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Meat Protein Allergies in Dogs

There are two ways to describe a dog’s abnormal reaction to food. One is allergy, which affects the immune system, and the other is intolerance, which affects the digestive system. Meat protein allergy is usually triggered after your dog has eaten food with meat protein in the ingredients before, because it is the previous exposure that produces the allergic reaction. Meat protein intolerance happens the first time (and every time) your dog eats the food with meat protein ingredients because the body cannot tolerate any product including meat protein.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Meat Protein Allergies in Dogs

Allergies in dogs are even harder to diagnose than allergies in people because dogs cannot tell you what they ate when you were not looking. The best way for the veterinarian to determine the diagnosis is to eliminate other illnesses or injuries that are being overlooked.

A physical examination will be done right away, checking your dog’s overall condition and demeanor. The veterinarian will check body weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate, breath sounds, reflexes, skin condition, and will include a thorough examination of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Laboratory tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry profile, electrolyte panel, glucose levels, urinalysis, and fecal examination will be done to rule out any underlying disease or illness. The veterinarian may also take a skin scraping to sample in order to rule out bacterial or fungal infection.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Meat Protein Allergies in Dogs

In order to determine the protocol for solving your dog’s skin or ear infections, and to give advice on conditions like alopecia or extreme itching, determining the allergen is required. To test for allergies, the most effective way is to use the elimination diet. The veterinarian will instruct you on what to do in detail, but it is usually done by taking away all foods and then starting over again with one food at a time to determine the culprit.  The suspected meat protein will be removed from the diet and reintroduced when the veterinarian feels the time is right. Each food, when added back in, should be tried for several weeks to see if any of the symptoms return. Your veterinarian will be able to instruct you on which foods to try and may have a hypoallergenic food on hand in the clinic that you can start with.

Treatment will depend on your dog’s symptoms and the results of the food trial. A goal of the veterinary team will be to alleviate the itching and inflammation in your dog’s skin for his comfort, and because the skin mirrors what is going on inside the body. In order to do a food trial or elimination diet, your dog’s skin has to be treated first.

Treating the Skin

Your dog’s skin is the best way to determine allergies, so it is important to get the skin back to normal as soon as possible. A hypoallergenic shampoo and cortizone cream for the rash and inflammation will help relieve the itching within a few days.

Food Trial/Elimination Diet

It may take several months to find the right food. Most dog food brands now have limited ingredient food for sensitive dogs. These have just a few ingredients, thereby minimizing the chance of allergic reaction. There are also dog foods with novel meats, meaning the protein in the food is uncommon so your dog will not have had any exposure to that protein. It is the previous exposure that causes the allergic reaction. Some of the novel protein foods on the market have venison, bison, rabbit, and even kangaroo meat. They are usually paired with a novel carbohydrate as well, such as peas, carrots, or potatoes.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Meat Protein Allergies in Dogs

After you determine the allergen and eliminate it from your dog’s diet, the prognosis for recovery is excellent. However, you will need to be vigilant in sticking to the diet all the time and make sure your family and any other caretakers know about your dog’s allergy. You will have to start reading the ingredients on food and treats to make sure there is no meat protein added to the mix. As a matter of fact, you should do this every time you buy dog food or treats because some manufacturers have a tendency to change ingredients without advertising it

It is important to maintain this diet for a lifetime because if you feed your dog an allergen just once, it can be fatal if anaphylaxis occurs. Be sure to follow-up with your veterinarian if there is a problem and take your dog for a checkup at least once per year.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Meat Protein Allergies Average Cost

From 463 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

arrow-up-icon

Top

Meat Protein Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

West Highland Terrier cross shitzu

dog-age-icon

Ten Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

hi, my dog is drinking a lot of water then bringing up back up rather soon after drinking it she is also not eating. This has only come on today also the only new thing she has had is venison meat sticks as treats. She is fine in her self. Could you please offer some advice

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that she is feeling better, and got over that stomach upset. If she is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 15, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Bernedoodle

dog-age-icon

Six Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Recurrent Mucous Diarrhea

Since we got our puppy he has had bouts of mucousy diarrhea - vet said it was reaction to food and put him on ID. He still got sick. He has gotten into goose poop a couple of times - I asked about giardia and she said No it is the food. And offered no other help. I have treated him with safeguard for suspected giardia and have him on chicken and rice and pumpkin - he is doing better but now what - do I try his old food (nature’s logic rabbit) or switch and try a new food? And if so what?

July 9, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hello, This could be from him eating goose poop or could be due to the food. If his stool is back to normal, I would try to switch back to his normal food very slowly. I would recommend that the switching of food take 2 weeks

July 9, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Meg

dog-breed-icon

Great Dane

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy

I had a blood allergy test done on my Great Dane she is allergic to all meats including kangaroo, bison, venison, duck and fish mix also sage was high on the list.... only thing within range is oats, flaxseed, brewers yeast, beet pulp and eggs..... Is there a food out there she could eat and get protein and fats? Or should I just start making food and adding olive oils....... I am At a total loss. She is also allergic to the grass in my backyard.

Aug. 23, 2018

Meg's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3 Recommendations

In these cases the only next real option is hydrolysed protein diets, but they are not guaranteed to not cause any reactions but they are the best we have available at this time; when it comes to fish, you should check whether the allergies were to all types of fish or just certain fish (fin fish versus shellfish etc…). You should also think about consulting a Veterinary Nutritionist to ensure that Meg is getting a balanced diet if you decide to mix your own. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/01/food-allergies/ www.petdiets.com/Ask-the-Nutritionist

Aug. 23, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Alder

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Skin Crust
Vomiting
Nausea
Ear Inflamation

What do you feed a dog protein wise when they have been allergic to chicken, duck, rabbit, kangaroo, beef, and the broken down protein food? My dog alder has been to the vet numerous times for this issue and we can not find a solution. She is eating hydrologized food now but she's allergic to storage mites as well and can not really handle bagged food. I just was wondering if you had any idea what I could do?

Aug. 9, 2018

Alder's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

Meat protein allergies can be challenging and as we spread out more novel protein sources can get more expensive especially if your feeding at home; turkey, bison, venison and fish (cooked salmon or other fin fish) may be possible options. However, in this instance I would recommend consulting a Veterinary Nutritionist to ensure any diet is appropriately balanced nutritionally. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petdiets.com/Ask-the-Nutritionist

Aug. 9, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Brucie

dog-breed-icon

Dachshund

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Itching, Feet Biting, Allergies

My miniature dachshund Brucie has just had an allergy test done and it has come back that he is allergic to meat, fish, soya, rice, wheat and dairy! We have now got him vegetarian dog biscuits, he eats some but he isn’t hugely interested, he has venison about every other day(as it’s rich it upsets his tummy in big amounts) and lots of vegetables and fruit. He’s lost 1lb in 10 days, any help on bulking him up, he’s only 10lbs now, which is good for his breed I worry he will loose more. Also it’s been 3 weeks and he’s still itching, how can I help soothe his skin and how long will it take for the itching to ease?

July 28, 2018

Brucie's Owner


answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

I'm not sure what type of allergy test Brucie had done, but serum tests are not very accurate with food allergies. He may have environmental allergies that need treatment with medication or injections. Since allergies can be such a complicated problem, it would be best to contact your veterinarian and ask the any further questions that you may have.

July 28, 2018

I cant believe a dog would be allergic to ALL meat and fish. My vet told me those allergy tests are not reliable at all. Its best to do elimination diets. I finally found a food that does not make my dog itch and chew that way. He eats duck and potato. It takes up to 12 weeks to get an allergen out of their system and to notice a difference. Zignature makes limited ingredient dog foods free of the most common potential canine allergens: Corn, Wheat Gluten, Soy, Dairy, and Chicken. And when we say free of Chicken, we mean 100% free. We don’t use Chicken Eggs, Chicken Meal, or any Chicken By-Products, whatsoever. They offer single meat protein foods dry and canned. They have goat, guinea fowl, pork, venison, lamb, duck, turkey, kangaroo. Dry and canned.

July 30, 2018

Angela H.


He had environmental tests done too, he’s only midley allergic to dust mites, and he is up to date with flea treatment and the house is sprayed and cleaned regularly. The vet told him to eats things he can have and that he doesn’t need medication or injections as it can be controlled.

July 29, 2018

Brucie's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Bubba

dog-breed-icon

Bloodhound

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itching

I have a bloodhound who recently under went allergy testing. He is allergic to all meat proteins, flaxseed, dairy and so much more. He also has a lot of grass allergies. I took him off of dog food because I can not find a food with no meat or flaxseed in it. I cook him fruits and vegetables with soy and eggs as his proteins. He is still itching like crazy and has lots of hot spots. What else can I try? He has lost a lot of weight already.

dog-name-icon

W

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Mix

dog-age-icon

6 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Loss Of Balance
Loss Of Appetite
Rash
Irratability

W was getting a pimply itchy rash on her tummy. The shelter had been giving a hydrolyzed protein puppy chow, but even that was beginning to cause the rash to worsen and her mood to decline. We switched from chicken- and beef-based kibble to venison and then to salmon. There was an improvement, but it wasn't until we got her on a lupine kibble (V-Dog), switched her to rice-based chews with egg (Earth Animal, NO-HIDE® PEANUT BUTTER LARGE CHEWS) and sweet potato chews instead of hide and started using peanut butter, sweet potato and/or pumpkin mini treats for training that her mood improved and her rash cleared up. Whimzees and Greenies also have meatless treats. We're not sure if gelatin aggravates her, but we cut it out anyway. Dairy definitely upsets her stomach. Her poops also became consistently solid and her appetite improved after 3 weeks off meat protein. Her CBC, liver and kidney values are back in the normal range. She's hitting all of her weight gain targets for her anticipated goal weight and she's athletic, friendly and alert.

dog-name-icon

Melody

dog-breed-icon

Standard Poodle

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Vomiting

My 1 year old standard poodle has been having diarrhea and will vomit every week. We have been to the vet run every test and they decided that she has a protein allergy. They then put her on an hp diet. She does not like the food and will skip meals. She used to get so excited for her food and now she doesn’t want to eat. Everyone tells me that she’ll eat if she’s hungry enough but I’d not like to get to that. Our vets just seem to brush us off. We have had a lot of people suggest a raw food diet but we are unsure if that would work with a protein allergy. She seems to not have any symptoms while on the hp

dog-name-icon

Dixie

dog-breed-icon

St bernard

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Itching
Red Bumps
Dry Patches
Itchy Face, Buttocks, And Ears

My 1 year old dog who has been dealing with allergies for roughly 6 months now. We have tried allergy shots (cytopoint) twice with no relief as well as steriods (depo medrol) twice but only showed improvement with 1 of those. The vet also had us use hypoallergenic detergent, medicated shampoo, and benadryl all with no relief. We took it upon ourselves to switch her from a chicken grain free food to a salmon grain free food and 8 weeks later still no relief. We decided to switch vets at this point. Our new vet suggested a blood allergy test for environmental and food allergies. Her results came back today and she is allergic to literally EVERYTHING. All grasses, most trees, dust mites, etc. The only foods she is NOT allergic to are corn, barley, eggs, and oats. I have been told blood allergy tests are not always reliable for food allergies but I still assume she is allergic to some of these things. I have no idea where to start and our vet and I plan to get a game plan. I'm trying to work on the food allergies first because she of course eats daily and she has stopped eating a couple times for a few days due to an upset stomach I'm assuming. I feel as if the environmental allergies are something we can manage by reducing her time outside, clean her feet after being outside, continuing baths 2-3 times a week with the medicated shampoo and excessive cleaning to reduce dust mites. But the food is my biggest concern right now. What are some dog foods you would recommend trialing to begin with.

dog-name-icon

Sheeva

dog-breed-icon

Belgian Malinois

dog-age-icon

10 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Lack Of Appetite
Stomach Pain
Stomach Ache
Diharrea

My 11 month old Belgian Malinois is allergic to pretty much everything. We tested her and the only things she did not severly react to was: eggs, oats and flee bites. We are having a very difficult time trying to find food/treats that don't cause pain, vomiting, diharrea, etc. Her tummy makes bad sounds and she completly stops eating. These episodes can last up to 5-7 days, until we give her Peptobismol. She is currently in shot treatments (mainly for her skin reactions), buy we have found oursleves having to stop since at times her symptoms are so bad she becomes dehadrated. She currently can only handle Science diet Zd since is for intolerance and sesitive stomachs and even with that she diharrea does not completly go away. Any ideas?

Meat Protein Allergies Average Cost

From 463 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

How can we help your pet?