Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Dog Allergies


If you talk to vets they will tell you the biggest health problem right now is allergies. But if we look at research allergies are not all the common. So why has my dog been diagnosed as having an allergy when my pet is itching and scratching all the time? Many dogs are diagnosed with Allergies when they actually have something called a Systemic Yeast Overgrowth. This takes place in the gut but it is visable on the skin because the skin is the larges filter organ on the body. Toxins work their way to the surface, the pH of the toxins are acid so the skin burns and itches. The dogs then scratch and bite at it and a secondary staphy infection usually starts on the skin. This is how my vets explained it to me.

Before you spend lots of money on allergy testing, please read about these two topics.

Allergies and Systemic Yeast/fungus Overgrowth

This has been my experience. If you think your dog has a food allergy, switch to a single source protein food. Most allergies are protein driven contrary to what you read about grains. Now grain gluten can be an issue for some dogs,but it's proteins that are the culprit for true allergies. So I recommend swithing the diet first - if it is an allergy within 2 weeks they should turn around and you can figure it was the food.

One of the single source protein food that I like to use for this is Precise Lamb/Rice Sensicare formula and then also boast the immune function with Colostrum, the dog should show results within a short time. If not, then we know we are dealing with a systemic yeast issue & need to use the Skin Recovery Kit #30 which features the Nzyme products, to get the dogs digestive tract back in balance. The Nzymes Yeast Removal Program has been featured in articles in the Whole Dog journal Feb 2007 and Pet Product News August 2007, and pet owners have an extremely high rate of success with this nutritional program.

Since the yeast/fungus die-off (mycotoxins) cause thyroid problems I always suggest getting a 5 panel thyroid test done on the dog. If we have a thyroid issue and don't treat it, the Skin Recovery Kit #30 will not be effective and you are right back to square one. It is my experience that most vets only do a T3 and T4 and that is an incomplete thyroid panel. To get it done correctly, go to and look for the thyroid info - they will tell you what forms to fill out to take to your vet. Then your vet will draw the blood and send it back to Dr. Jean Dodds at

Many traditional T3 and T4 tests actually come back a low normal for your breed and need to be treated with the appropriate meds. If the test comes back "low" normal, tell your vet you want to treat for it with meds, it can make all the difference in the world other wise nothing you do will help the dog. A dog can have thyroid issues and not really exhibit much of a problem so take the time to do a test!

Remember besides skin issues reoccurring ear infections are a dead giveaway to yeast issues. When you are sure this is an allergy this is the kit you use to get the dog back no track: Allergy Support Supplement Kit #15

As of 8/2011 Dr. Jean Dodd's now has an allergy test available to you that does not cost an "arm and a leg", your first born child or your pick of litter.
Check out this new Allergy Test for $55

My Dog Has Itchy Skin!

Itchy skin is one of the most common complaints of pet owners but the reasons for itchy skin can be numerous.

  • Poor quality kibble
  • An unbalanced diet - raw, homemade or kibble
  • Over supplementing with vitamins, minerals and oils.
  • A disruption of a balanced kibble by adding vitamins, minerals and human foods
  • An unbalanced Omega 6:3 Ratio (when owners start adding oils to an already balanced diet.)
  • Missing dietary enzymes - lost in cooking and processing of food.
  • Allergies to foods
  • Intolerance to certain foods
  • Contact allergies to other substances such as detergent, carpet fresh, lawn sprays.
  • Suppressed immune function due to vaccines, medications and lack of variety in diet
  • Systemic Yeast Infections.

I think it is important to understand the difference between food allergies and food intolerance. A food intolerance will often cause a digestive 'upset' of some sort. A food allergy, on the other hand, causes an immune reaction when the offending substance is introduced.

Randy Wysong DVM writes: "Allergy is a breakdown in the immune system as a result of years of improper feeding and care. Anyone who is feeding singular diets day in and day out is inviting allergic disaster. Animals naturally crave and need variety just as humans do. Food allergy may in fact be a mechanism in the body to attempt to force us to eat different foods. Variety is not only the spice of life - it is fundamental to health."

Albert Townshend DVM writes: "Food allergy is rare; other causes of GI and/or dematologic sign are more common and some may also respond (for nonallergeric reasons) to dietary manipulation. There are two types of unpleasant reactions to food. The first is an immunologic reaction (a true food allergy). The second is a nonimmunologic reaction (what is termed a food intolerance). Food intolerance are much more common. Allergic reactions do occur to corn, however, depending on the research cited, corn is not thought to be a very common allergen. At least not as high on the list as soybeans, beef, wheat, eggs or dairy products. Even rice has been found to cause allergic reactions in a rare few animals."

The following is a partial list of conditions that may respond to dietary modification:

  • food intolerance
  • small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • lymphangiectasia
  • exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • pancreatitis
  • chronic gastritis
  • gastroesophageal reflux
  • gastric emptying disorders - and there are more. 1.
Allergies and Food Sensitivity- Randy Wysong DVM

These conditions are caused primarily by inadequate nutrition and the constant feeding of so-called “complete” pet foods meal after meal. Breaking this cycle results from rotating nutritious foods, reducing starch, and increasing highly bioavailable proteins.

Contrary to popular and professional belief, a diagnosis and identification of a specific food allergen “CANNOT be made on the basis of clinical signs, routine clinicopathological data, serum antigen-specific IgE assay, gastroscopic food sensitivity testing, or gastrointestinal biopsy.” A food must be test fed to determine tolerance.

(Guliford, W. Grant, et al. Food Sensitivity in Cats with Chronic Idiopathic Gastrointestinal Problems. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 15 (1), 7-13, 2008.)

• “…Diagnosis requires dietary elimination-challenge trials and cannot be made on the basis of clinical signs, routine clinicopathological data, serum antigen-specific IgE assay, gastroscope food sensitivity testing or gastrointestinal biopsy…” Guliford, W. Grant, et al. Food Sensitivity in Cats with Chronic Idopathic Gatrointestinal Problems. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 15 (1), 7-13, 2008.
• “…Skin-testing with selected allergenic food extracts was not useful in identifying food-sensitive dogs.” Kunkle, G, and S. Horner. Validity of skin testing for diagnosis of food allergy in dogs. American Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association, 200 (5), 677-680, 1992.
• “…adverse reaction to food….diagnosis can only be made by the use of an elimination diet. Blood tests (e.g. allergen-specific IgE) or skin tests are not recommended…” Blourge, V.C., et al. Diagnosis of Adverse Reactions to Food in Dogs: Efficacy of a Soy-Isolate Hydrolyzate-Based Diet. Journal of Nutrition, 134, 2062S-2064S, 2004.
• “…suggested that only those products with high or very high protein digestibility should be routinely recommended for patients with suspected adverse food reactions.” Roudebush, P, et al. Protein Characteristics of Commercial Canine and Feline Hypoallergenic Diets. Veterinary Dermatology, 5 (2), 69-74, 2008.

There are many triggers for an "allergic type" reaction, some include: Genetic predisposition for Inhalant Atopic Dermatitis, Contact Dermatitis, Vaccines reactions (Purdue Study- Vaccine Mediated Responses), Candida Albicans (see Systemic Yeast Infections), Flea bite or Insect bite Determatitis, Thyroid and/or Hormones and in rare cases, food allergies.

When it is suspected an animal may be allergic to a food, if tested you will see that in a heighten state of response, an animal or person "appears" to be allergic to numerous things. This kind of "heightened response" is the bodies alarm system telling you that you are not supplying my diet with the nutrients necessary for the body can make the chemicals needed to "cleanse" any toxins from my body.

It is my experience working with many owners and breeders, that the majority of the times when they think the dog has a food allergy and they try a shift in diet, the dog drastically improves. Systemic Yeast infections are also responsible for similar reactions such as shedding, itchy skin, hotspots, redness between the toes, constant ear infections, yeast infections, urinary tract infections only to name a few.

Word About Contact Allergies

Sometimes what appears to be a food allergy is actually a contact allergy. Some of the things that cause allergies are carpet products (sprinkle kind), like Carpet Fresh. I know of a breeder who spent thousands of dollars trying to figure out what was wrong with their show dog. They had this dog back and forth to Purdue with no results. Then one day I the owner and he told me of their problems with this dog and how his show career was over because of his skin problem. I knew he was on a very good diet so I figured something else was going on. So I asked the owner "do you use Carpet Fresh?".......he replied, "Oh yes, 2 -3 times a week, we have two males in the house". I said, "Well, sir more than likely that is your problem, you will need to have your carpets professionally cleaned to have the stuff remove and the dog will be fine." I ran into them weeks later and he was glad to report once they cleaned the carpets and bathed the dog, the skin the problem went away.

If you think you have to use something on your carpet just use baking soda. Tide detergent, as well as other detergents can be a very big problem if used on dog bedding. Just wash bedding in bleach no soap and NO softeners which can trigger respiratory reactions in young animals and children in particular

Any aerosol sprays, like air freshener and especially Lysol and other kinds of disinfectants. Do not use them. Yard, flower, bug sprays and sprayed fields in agricultural areas…all of these things can cause serious contact allergy reactions. And lastly, swimming pools with chemicals/chlorine can also be a serious problem for skin and coats.

In the majority of these cases, owners can remedy the situation simply by switching the diet and using my Blackwatch Feed Program, and eliminating environmental factors (detergents, Lysol sprays, carpet sprinkle products. lawn sprays. etc).

Suggestion For Food or Contact Allergies

Change the Diet -to Precise Lamb/Rice Sensicare for 14 days and if no improvement, then we know to move ahead with the Systemic Yeast Removal Program.

The supplements I recommend for dogs with allergies will detoxify the body and boost immune function so the body can resolve the sensitivites. The supplements recommended can be purchased in a kit form Kit#15 -Allergy Support which includes, OxE-Drops which you will use internally and externally in a topical manner.

Skin: Mist or wipe the red spots on the skin with a solution of OxE-Drops (1 teaspoon + 1 cup distilled water). 2-3 times a day until the condition subsides. Never use OxE-Drops full strength.


1. Text Book of Internal Medicine: by Ettinger and Feldman, 5th edition, Saunders & Co., 2000.



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