Canine food allergies cause skin irritation, ear infections, hair loss and characteristic itching when dogs eat foods they are allergic to. Corn and wheat are among the most common canine food allergens. This can make mealtime difficult, as corn and wheat are also common ingredients in most commercially prepared dog foods. Making your dog's food at home is one way to ensure that corn or wheat is not included in your dog's diet. Consult your veterinarian about multivitamins suitable for your dog if you choose to feed her a homemade diet.
Creating a wet food for your dog free of corn or wheat is easily done. Focus on protein sources such as beef, chicken, turkey, eggs and fish. Add vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, green beans, tomatoes and potatoes. If you want to add the bulk of grains to the food, corn and wheat are not your only options. Use grains such as brown rice, millet, oats or quinoa. Remember that organic ingredients are best and, in some cases, seem to be less allergenic to pets. (See References 2.) For a simple corn- and wheat-free wet food, combine 1/2 cup cooked meat (any of the meats listed above), and 1 cup lightly steamed vegetables (again, refer to the ones listed above). You can omit grains altogether or add 1/2 cup of the grains mentioned previously.
Dry Food (Kibble)
It is perfectly acceptable to omit kibble from your dog's diet if he suffers from allergies. However, some dogs prefer eating kibble, and some owners prefer feeding kibble. Creating your own kibble is not as easy as buying a bag at the store, but it can be done. Use any homemade kibble recipe, and simply omit the corn and wheat ingredients and replace them with rice, millet, quinoa or soy flours. Alternative flours are available in natural foods stores. Combine various alternative flours (4 to 5 cups combined), along with brewer's yeast (1/2 cup), olive oil (4 to 5 tbsp), nonfat milk powder (1 cup), an egg (including the shell) and water (3 cups). Mix to form a dough, spread evenly onto two to three baking trays and bake at 177 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. Break kibble into little pieces and store in an airtight container.
Every dog likes a treat now and then, and just because your dog is allergic to conventionally made treats does not mean she should be deprived. Again, homemade treat recipes are widely available--and all are doable when you swap wheat and corn ingredients with any of the alternative flours listed under "Dry Food (Kibble)." Make your dog cookies or biscuits using 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup coarsely ground rolled oats (grind them in a coffee grinder to make oat flour), 1 tsp flax seed, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 can tuna and 1/4 cup water. Mix ingredients and drop, as you would drop cookies, onto a baking tray. Bake at 177 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes.