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Symptoms of a Wheat Allergy in a Dog

Updated February 21, 2019

Wheat is a common ingredient in most dog foods, according to Mike Riley, author of "The Dog Allergy Book." Because most dog food contains wheat, it is common to overlook a wheat allergy for the entirety of your dog's life. If your dog has wheat allergies, he will exhibit several symptoms that require veterinary assessment.

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Ear Infection

Ear infection and inflammation is a common symptom of dog wheat allergies. Wheat allergies cause excess fluids to build up in a dog's ears; these fluids cause discomfort and swelling. According to Vet Info, a dog affected by wheat allergies might commonly shake his head because of an uncomfortable feeling in his ears. In addition, the dog might excessively paw at his ears and face or rub his face on the carpet. If these symptoms develop, inspect and clean the dog's ears with a cotton ball. If the symptoms persist, take the dog to your veterinarian for inspection.


Excessive itching of the skin and anus is a common sign of wheat allergies in dogs. Wheat allergies cause the dog's skin to dry and become itchy. As the wheat passes through the dog's system, it causes the anus to become itchy as well. According to Wheat Free.org, the dog might excessively scratch at his skin or lick his paws, causing rashes and sores. The dog might lick his anus excessively or drag his rear end across the floor. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, take him to the veterinarian for assessment.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhoea are common signs of wheat allergies in canines, writes Vet Info. Wheat allergies irritate the dog's digestive system, causing it to reject food that contains wheat when the irritation becomes severe. The dog will commonly vomit within 60 minutes of consuming her food. Frequent diarrhoea might plague the dog as well, caused by allergy irritations. In addition, flatulence might accompany the dog's diarrhoea. According to Alfred J. Plechner and Martin Zucker, authors of "Pet Allergies," if your dog commonly vomits or has diarrhoea, you should take her to the veterinarian for medical review.

Difficulty Breathing

Sneezing and difficulty breathing commonly develop in canines affected by wheat allergies. According to Wheat free.org, wheat allergies irritate the dog's throat, causing it to swell and affect his breathing. If you notice your dog exhibiting asthma-like symptoms, this could be a sign of wheat allergies. In addition to an irritated throat, wheat allergies can irritate the dog's nasal passage as well. An irritated nasal passage will cause the dog to sneeze excessively. If you notice your dog wheezing, coughing or sneezing, you should bring him to the veterinarian for inspection.


Seizures are a symptom of severe wheat allergies in dogs. According to Vet Info, a multitude of medical issues causes seizures in a canine, including severe wheat allergies. If your dog experiences seizures at any point, take her to the veterinarian immediately. Seizures can be life threatening to a dog and are always a sign that something is wrong.

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About the Author

Serena Styles is a Colorado-based writer who specializes in health, fitness and food. Speaking three languages and working on a fourth, Styles is pursuing a Bachelor's in Linguistics and preparing to travel the world. When Styles isn't writing, she can be found hiking, cooking or working as a certified nutritionist.

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