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What are Nutro Allergies?

Nutro is a popular brand name of dog food that was established in 1926. It became a subsidiary of Mars Incorporated in 2007. An allergy to a particular dog food occurs when the immune system of the body responds aggressively to one or more of the ingredients that make up the food. Canines who develop food allergies usually experience itchy and inflamed skin as well as chronic disorders like ear infections, gas, and difficulty breathing. Although rare, anaphylactic shock may also occur with food allergies. Nutro carries a variety of different categories of dog food, some designed with allergy prone dogs in mind.

There are several specialized varieties of food manufactured by Nutro dog food. Some varieties of Nutro are more likely to trigger an allergic response in a sensitized animal than others.

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Symptoms of Nutro Allergies in Dogs

The majority of dogs acquire food allergies after they are three years old, although they can develop at any age. Allergy related skin reactions are often located under the front legs, around the face and groin, or between the toes.

  • Bald patches
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronic gas
  • Chronically inflamed feet
  • Coughing 
  • Diarrhea
  • Face rubbing
  • Head shaking
  • Hives
  • Obsessive licking
  • Paw biting
  • Poor growth 
  • Skin infections
  • Skin rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Occasionally, a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock can occur with food allergies, and should be treated as an emergency when it does. If your pet develops the following symptoms, they should be taken to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic immediately.

  • Cold limbs
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Excessive drooling
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pale gums
  • Seizures
  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Sudden vomiting


Nutro has several lines of food available for different dietary needs, including foods formulated for dogs with allergies:

  • Original - Nutro’s original line of food
  •  Limited Ingredient - A line of food designed for allergy sufferers, or dogs predisposed to allergies, each formula contains one novel protein and one easily digestible carbohydrate
  • Grain Free - Dog food line with no grains or glutens, comes in the regular grain free formula as well as a high-protein variety
  • Lite & Weight Management - A blend of food designed to aid in weight loss for overweight dogs
  • High Endurance - A food designed for highly active dogs with a higher protein to fat ratio
  • Rotations - A line of food designed to allow your dog to get more variety in their diet without causing gastrointestinal distress
  • Farm’s Harvest - Dog food that incorporates freeze dried fruits and vegetables to the regular kibble

Causes of Nutro Allergies in Dogs

It is estimated that around 60-70% of the cells of the dog’s immune system actually reside within the digestive system. Food allergies are triggered by an abnormally strong defensive response on the part of this immune system to a protein that has been ingested. Digestion is designed to break down the foods your pet eats into their smallest parts, known as amino acids. These amino acids are then absorbed by white blood cells called enterocytes. When proteins are not properly broken down during digestion, the enterocytes identify them as intruders and attack instead of absorbing them. Repeated exposure to the allergen creates a response by the white blood cells that is both faster and more aggressive, which causes the symptoms to intensify. The foods most likely to cause an allergy for canines include beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, eggs, and fish.

Diagnosis of Nutro Allergies in Dogs

The allergy related symptoms that your veterinarian uncovers during the physical examination will most likely prompt your veterinarian to collect samples in the form of skin scrapings from any of the areas with the swelling and rashes. The skin scrapings will be used to perform a cutaneous cytology, which is a microscopic examination of the skin cells in question in order to uncover any potential problems. The type of problems that can be spotted during cutaneous cytology could include mites, signs of disease, or even yeast infections. The exclusion of other conditions will likely lead your veterinarian to suspect a food-related allergy, which means that an elimination diet will generally be implemented in order to confirm the allergy.

An elimination diet is a process involving changing the dog's food to either a hypoallergenic or reduced ingredient commercial food, or a diet of bland human food. Novel ingredients are proteins and carbohydrates that are not common in the dog’s current diet and are generally preferred for an elimination diet. If the symptoms are caused by an allergy, a properly implemented elimination diet will cause them to fade over time. Once the symptoms of the allergy have been eliminated, additional ingredients can be added back into the diet one at a time until the particular allergen is identified.

Treatment of Nutro Allergies in Dogs

Allergies to foods are not curable, but symptoms usually cease if the allergen is removed from the animal’s diet. Several weeks may be required before the elimination diet reveals the culpable allergen or family of allergens, and during this time your pet may experience lingering symptoms. Corticosteroids and antihistamines may reduce swelling and calm itching, but these treatments also tend to make it a challenge to determine which ingredient or ingredients in your dog’s food is causing the reactions by masking allergic symptoms that would normally be apparent. For that reason, many veterinarians prefer to complete the elimination diet before recommending medications to combat the symptoms. Rashes that are caused by food allergies can sometimes develop into secondary skin infections, and antibiotics may be prescribed to fight the infection. Once the identity of the allergen is clearly defined, the initial course of action is avoidance of the ingredient. Any exposure to the allergen can cause a relapse, so care must be taken in the type of treats and flavorings you allow.

Once a dog develops an allergic response to one type of food, they become predisposed to developing new food allergies. Veterinarians differ in their approach to this situation, with some doctors advocating that your pet remain on a single source of food unless allergy symptoms surface, while others maintain that a steady rotation of three of four novel protein foods is ideal. If your pet has experienced an episode of anaphylactic shock, an EpiPen will be prescribed for emergencies.

Recovery of Nutro Allergies in Dogs

In order for an elimination diet to be successful, are a few points should be taken into consideration. Each individual ingredient that is included in your pet’s current food should be strictly avoided when determining the proper replacement food. The entire food family may be responsible for your pet's reaction, so switching from a beef diet to an avian source such as duck will likely have better results than switching to another source of red meat like venison. It is absolutely necessary to ensure your dog complies with the new diet during this testing phase and does not ingest anything except for the food chosen for the elimination diet. A single treat with the allergen can cause a reoccurrence of the allergy. Sources to avoid may include:

  • Cow hooves
  • Flavored medications (including heartworm preventives) or supplements
  • Flavored plastic toys
  • Flavored toothpastes
  • Pigs Ears
  • Rawhides
  • Treats

Nutro Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Jewels and Hank
13 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


Medication Used

Eccinachia,Vit.C, Honey, and Coconut oil

I have 3 Dogs, A 13yr old Labradoodle, A 2 yr old Lab Mix, and an 11 month old Lab/Shepherd mix. About 3 weeks ago my Son adopted a new puppy 8 week old Terrier mix and brought it over. Well it seemed fine. The next week he brought her again and she seemed to be coughing a bit. My older 2 dogs started coughing too. They all did it for about 3 days then stopped. Then last week My oldest Lab started again, I started treating him with Vitamins and just 2 days ago I THOUGHT it was helping him, My Labradoodle started coughing too. I Now have them both on Vitamins but also wonder if it could be an Allergic Reaction to Nitro as My husband just switched to it from Other brands. I will add the other 2 dogs are not coughing at all.I'd take them to a vet except I just got Laid off work and already had to shell out almost $300 for a vet for my doodle who took a fall 2 steps out of our camper but got bruised and was crying even when barely touched. Please give me advise.Thank you Very Much, My Dogs are my world as my kids are grown. Lisa @ [email protected]

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

Food allergies may occur at any time and may be caused by an allergy to any food stuff containing the offending ingredient; the best method to diagnose a food allergy would be to give a bland diet for a few weeks to see if the symptoms lessen in severity and then reintroduce the food to replicate the symptoms. There are also many different causes of coughing in dogs including infections, environmental allergies, chemical irritation, cancer, heart failure, heartworm and other parasites among other causes; without performing a physical examination I cannot tell you the cause of the coughing, but if it gets worse visit your Veterinarian regardless of cost. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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