Food Allergies & Diarrhea in Dogs

Written by: Dr. Steve Sanderlin, Holistic Veterinarian, DVM


Our 6 year old German Shepherd mix, Bailey, has allergies. Every summer from July through September or October he goes crazy!  He licks his front legs and gets hot spots on his hind legs that he licks until they are raw and hairless (not very appealing on a dog).  He also scratches at his mouth until his gums swell up and sometimes bleed. Bailey also tends to throw up easily during these months. Our veterinarian did allergy tests and he tested positive for various grasses, weeds, trees and foods. We put him on a prescription diet of fish and potatoes from the veterinarian, but last summer he was as bad as ever - we had to put him in an Elizabethan collar to keep him from scratching himself so badly. Are there any natural remedies or supplements that could help poor Bailey be more comfortable this summer?  



Hello Susan,

Chronic diarrhea can have many causes, including food ingredient hypersensitivities/intolerances, also referred to as food allergies. Feeding diets with wholesome, simple ingredients, that contain minimal grains, may help control diarrhea associated with food allergies. Some food choices to consider include: Honest Kitchen Force Diet,"I and Love and You" Nude Food Diet and Natural Balance Potato and Duck Allergy Formula. These simple protein and carbohydrate diets are "hypoallergenic and low residue" which minimizes any possible intestinal maldigestion, malabsorption, and inflammatory conditions that can cause diarrhea. Along with these diets, probiotics like NF Spectra, Chinese herbs like Nature's Herbs for Pets Diarrhea Relief, digestive supplements like Only Natural Pet GI Support, and digestive enzymes like those in Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics or Only Natural Pet Vital Digest will improve gastrointestinal health. Finally, it is important to rule out intestinal parasites, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, Folate/Cobalamin imbalance, and several other conditions that can cause diarrhea.