A True Food Allergy
Is when a food item triggers an adverse immune response. This causes cells in the body to release histamines or compounds that lead to itching and other allergic signs like digestive disturbances, weight loss, and lack of energy. Thankfully, true food allergies are rare. Food intolerances and sensitivities are significantly more common.
A Food intolerance/ sensitivity
Doesn't involve the immune response. While it doesn't lead to an immune reaction, a food intolerance or sensitivity means that they are not able to properly digest an ingredient in their food. This causes symptoms like itching, poor quality coat and skin, increase flatulence, and digestive upsets. The symptoms of an intolerance and allergy appear quite similar, however, an intolerance affects only the digestive system. Food intolerances/ sensitivities are common and affect 1 in 3 dogs suffering from digestive disorders.
Affected dogs will lick, sometimes almost constantly at their itchy paws, and begin to create a never ending cycle or irritation and inflammation. Affected paws will be moist from the licking and appear red.
Swelling and inflammation can occur on the throat or face, including the lips and the eyelids and ear flaps. These areas are also often itchy, so you might see your dog scratching or rubbing its face.
Food allergies cause inflammation in the intestines, leading to an overgrowth in bacteria and/or yeast in the intestines, which spread to the body, including the ears.
Hives are common for food allergies, since the immune system of dogs are overreacting to a particular substance or allergen. They can develop on any part of the body (face, throat, lips, and ears).
A rash with constant itching and scratching is a common skin problem with food allergies. Creams can reduce the itching, however, pet owners should always look to the root issue and treat the problem.
With food allergies/intolerances, your dog is unable to properly digest an ingredient in their dog. This results in digestive upsets like vomiting, increased flatulence, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.
Diagnosing food allergies can be tough. Skin allergies and upset stomachs can also be caused by:
If your dog ticks the boxes above, you should consider undergoing an elimination diet to find out what your dog is allergic/intolerant to.
If you continue to feed your dog food that he/she is allergic/intolerant to, they will continue to have the offending symptoms. Furthermore, there are some more serious health issues that could develop.
Constant scratching and licking of the paws and ears pose the risk of secondary infection. As your dog scratches, bites, and licks at this skin, he/she risks opening up his skin to yeast and bacterial infections.
Did you know that persistent itching, rashes, and ear infections could get worse overtime? Furthermore, they could lead to changes in behavior (not wanting to eat, aggressive behavior, restlessness, anxiety, withdrawal) and to other illnesses as well.
While dogs often don't die from food allergy/intolerance, it has a major impact on their quality of life. It can feel like having a thousand mosquito bites all the time. To avoid chronic ailments and problems, diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
An elimination diet is a procedure used to identify foods that your dog cannot consume without adverse effects. You will feed your dog unique protein and carbohydrate to which your dog has not previously been exposed to. The trial should go for about 8 to 12 weeks and a minimum of one month. You should constantly check your dog within the first four weeks to see any signs of improvement. It can take up to 12 weeks to begin seeing results.
According to the Pet Nutritionist, a lightly-cooked homemade diet is the best way to carry out an elimination diet.
You can begin sourcing novel proteins (proteins your dog's immune system has not been before, or doesn't consume often.) You'll need to feed this protein along with other vegetables, carbohydrates, and fruits. If you want to cook your own food at home, we recommend you work with a canine nutritionist so that the meals are complete and balanced.
Potential Intolerants/Allergens include:
To save time and money, you can also BUY Bếp Ben: 100% Fresh Dog Food in Vietnam. Bếp Ben is run by an Australia and Vietnamese team that produces homemade, personalized, hypoallergenic meals for dogs with food allergies and intolerances.Case Studies
Treating the root cause of the food allergen
Crafting an elimination diet for your dog is hard, but it's necessary if you want to treat the root cause. Let the experts handle it for you.
Bếp Ben is an Australian-Vietnamese team that works with dogs with allergies/intolerances to provide homemade, customized meals with novel proteins.
We personalize every package so it's tailored to your dog, and convenient for you. We cook our food in our kitchens and deliver it straight to your door. Our food is human-grade and made with purposeful, high-quality whole food ingredients.
We originally created Bếp Ben, for our 3 French Bulldogs, (especially Nori), our French Bulldog that had a food allergy and intolerance to Beef, Chicken, and Pork.
Daisy is a 5yo French Bulldog in Hanoi. She originally was constantly scratching and her face was always swollen and inflamed. Daisy was so itchy, she had poor quality of life, didn't enjoy eating, and was extremely skinny. It got so bad that her constant ear infections, led to vestibular disease (canine vertigo). She lost her sense of balance, coordination, kept falling, and had to go to the emergency department.
Thankfully, Daisy recovered and her mum decided to try Bep Ben - Frog and Fish (Hypoallergenic options) after hearing Nori's successful experience (see below). After her first month, Daisy's mum saw changes to her behavior. She scratched a lot less and actually liked meal times! Usually, Daisy didn't enjoy eating, but now, she showed excitement towards her food and finished the bowl clean.
Furthermore, after a few months, Daisy's swelling went down significantly, and just feeling her body, Daisy's mum could see that Daisy had moved up into a healthier weight range. Now after 3 months on Bep Ben, Daisy's life changed significantly for the better. Daisy isn't always itchy, scratching, and her ear infections have gone way down. She enjoys mealtimes and has shown a lot more happiness and excitement everyday.
Nhat Tra, Daisy's Mum
Nori is a 2 year old French Bulldog that had heavy canine acne, was constantly itchy, licking her paws, and scratching her body. We knew it was an allergy, but we weren't sure if it was environmental or food-related. After going on a homemade elimination diet, we discovered that she was intolerant to chicken, beef, and pork.
We cooked novel proteins and found that frog and fish worked best for Nori. Since then, she's a lot less itchier, doesn't have ear infections anymore and her face has cleared up. We feel much better as Nori's owners, knowing that the food she eats doesn't make her itch everywhere and that her quality of life is much better.
Cindy Tu Thanh Huynh, Nori's Mum
Our meals contain 70% meat and 30% veggies and fruits.
For dogs who can consume pork, chicken, and/or beef, we have additional recipes on our home page.
Frog, basa fish fillet, pumpkin, ark clam (no shell), Japanese sweet potato, purple sweet potato, beetroot, napa cabbage, grounded up sunflower seed, Japanese wakame seaweed, raspberries, blackberries, turmeric powder, ginger powder, eggshell powder.
Basa fish fillet, salmon, pumpkin, ark clam (no shell), Japanese sweet potato, purple sweet potato, beetroot, napa cabbage, grounded up sunflower seed, Japanese wakame seaweed, raspberries, blackberries, turmeric powder, ginger powder, eggshell powder.
Every dog is unique. We will ask you a few questions about their profile, lifestyle, allergies, symptoms and we will build a meal plan customized to their needs.
We'll send you our freshly cooked food that will put your dog on the path towards real, meaningful health benefits. Best of all, we give 30% off the first week for all new customers!
After your starter bags, we'll work with you to schedule regular deliveries of fresh dog food. There's no commitment at all!
Below, are examples of dogs on a Bep Ben diet. Chat to us so we can give you a personalized quote on how much it will cost your dog per day.
A 4kg couch potato female toy poodle, that's 3 years old, neutered, and allergic to beef, and dairy products.
An active female growing corgi, that's 6 months old (grow to ~12kg), who's a very fussy eater, and has a sensitive stomach.
A 18kg active male mixed-breed Phu Quoc Ridgeback, that's 5 years old, neutered, and has plenty of snacks everyday.
A 35kg geriatric neutered male German Shepherd, hitting 9 years of age, with Hip Dysplasia and skin allergies.
We're a family of 5 from Vietnam and Australia.
Victor is passionate about dog health and nutrition. If you're chatting to our team, Victor's the one you're talking to. He'll make sure you know what's in the food, how much to feed your dog, and how to transition effectively.
Cindy's goal is to help as many people make the switch to a real food diet for dogs. She's working hard behind the scenes, to disrupt the antiquated pet food industry built for shelf life and not nutrition.
Cindy Huynh Dip. Canine Nutrition
Reduce and eliminate scratching, itching, and paw licking today with Bep ben's hypoallergenic, personalized meal plans.Start Now ➝