If you ever are wondering what are dogs allergic to wheat explains 90% of cases reporting in to us daily.

Far and away the most common aggravating, inflaming factor in a dogs’ world is wheat. If you ever are wondering what are dogs allergic to wheat explains 90% of cases reporting in to us daily. However after reading part 1 and 2 of you now know that when we say allergic we mean intolerant.
gluten in dogs does not digest well, causing problemsThe problem with wheat is that tough little protein called gluten. Gluten is a tough, long chained molecule, something like a necklace of beads. It gives dough it’s stretchability and it permits you to spread peanut butter on what should be a very flimsy piece of bread. It’s the base of some of the worlds best glues (from where it gets it’s name). A side effect of this amazing property is that it’s very hard to break down in the gut. 30% of humans still can’t digest it properly. The longer you have been eating it the better you are at digesting it. Hence Europeans who have been farming wheat for years are pretty good at digesting wheat. Only 20-30% of Europeans suffer gluten intolerance. However Africans farm and eat gluten free cereals such as sorghum and millet. As a result of the slave trade 400 years ago we now find that 40% of African-Americans suffer the effects of gluten intolerance in the US. Aboriginals were only introduced to wheat 100 years ago and 50% are known to be gluten intolerant.

a picture of ears of wheat on a white background

We’re omnivores, adapted to eating plant forage, with long, slow digestive systems and appropriate microflora. Your dog is a carnivore. With a rapid digestive system and a microflora completely unadapted to plant food, he is terrible at digesting plant forage, and they have only been eating wheat for 50 years!

The very same applies to cows milk. With milk the problem protein is casein, which is very similar to wheat gluten. So cut out all dairy initially also..

To avoid the symptoms of food sensitivity please ensure that your dog is never fed wheat. This means no dog food that contains any wheat (check your ingredients). Also no bread, pasta, no dental sticks, no cereal based dog treats. Not a crumb. It is the number one cause of food intolerance in dogs and it’s removal cures the majority of cases reporting to us.

Way Behind is Chicken and Beef

Dogs are commonly shown to have a problem with chicken and beef, not the normal kind we eat ourselves but the heavily processed type in dry food. Cooking denatures animal protein (think a fresh egg to a fried egg) and as a result cooked meat is harder to digest than fresh (think over cooking a fresh piece of steak). The human food chain produces a huge amount of chicken and beef by-products and waste. All this is collected and put into a big vat with other spurious leftover like used restaurant grease and road kill and what not and in many countries dead dogs and cats.


They  are all rendered / boiled down so that the fat floats to the top and the protein sinks to the bottom. This grey protein goo off is taken off the bottom of the vat and used as the “meat” portion of many animal feed products. They then cook this product at high temperature before being bagged and leaving it sitting in a storehouse for months (or years).



Unfortunately cooking causes structural changes in protein known as cross-linking, a process whereby the individual proteins (called amino acids) hold hands, forming a chain and giving that over-cooked piece of steak it’s toughness. Add to this that cooking destroys all the natural enzymes in meat that would of been released when the fresh stuff was chewed up, means the “meat” portion of dry food is some very hard to digest stuff. Unsurprisingly Stroucken et al. (1996) found cooking during the extrusion of dog food pellets reduced the digestibility of protein in the pellet.

By the time this partially-digested “chicken” or “beef” reaches the dogs intestines it does not resemble real chicken and beef. The immune system does not like these strange little strands of protein and can begin to react to them. Sadly, once this process occurs the immune system can identify even the fresh form of the problem protein as causing a problem. This can result in a dog having a chicken or beef sensitivity, which should be as unusual as a cow being allergic to grass.

We will be able to determine if your dog is OK with chicken and beef down the road but for now please ensure that no cooked meat is used in your dog’s future hypoallergenic diet. The more you cook meat protein the more antigenic it becomes. Just one of the reasons dry foods that state “hypoallergenic” on the front are so very far from the definition of the word.

food allergy in dogsNasty Food Chemicals and Additives Can Cause Food Intolerance in Dogs Also

It will be almost impossible to find out which food chemical is irritating your dog. A short nutritional rule is if you can’t pronounce it don’t feed it. With more agents than the FBI, pet food manufacturers are permitted by the FDA to include anti-caking agents, antimicrobial agents, curing, drying and firming agents, oxidizing and reducing agents, pH control agents and surface active agents. Other chemicals such as synergists and texturisers, emulsifiers, humectants, and stabilizers control the exact texture of the pellet. One of these texturisers, a thickener called sodium carboxyl-methyl-cellulose a plastic filler which used to be used to thicken milk shakes is banned by the FDA for human consumption…but it’s OK for pet food. Then theres BHA and BHT and Ethoxyquin. A nasty group of fat preservers these, already well covered by other authors. A quick Google will quickly let you know why you should absolutely avoid these in your diet.

Other chemicals to cut out would be chemical flea and worm treatments (usually for dogs with no fleas or worms), kennel cough “vaccines”, and annual boosters in dogs (after one year of age, in line with advice from the top veterinary immunologists), if just until we get your dog over this issue. Your dogs’ immune system needs a rest and these chemicals are like a punch to it’s guts.

As long as all these are going in you may never find out which ones are causing the problems in your dog.

Top 3 What Are Dogs Allergic To, In Summary

If you keep putting the above antigens (wheat, cooked meat, chemicals) in to your dog you will continue to get problems on the surface. Again think of a man with a peanut allergy being fed small amounts of peanut each day. As long as you do this you will need to continually focus on the symptoms with expensive pills, jabs and creams, all of which are telling the immune system to quit trying to purge the body of toxins.

The above need to be cut out completely. Not a speck. You will naturally now be thinking, well if I can’t feed him any of that, what can I feed him?! Read on…

Part 2
Part 4


Stroucken, W. P., van der Poel, A.F., Kappert, H. J. and Beynen, A.C. (1996). Extruding vs Pelleting of a Feed Mixture Lowers Apparent Nitrogen Digestibility in Dogs. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 71(4): 520–522.