Allergen-free petfoods usually share one of three basic designs or some combination of them, according to DogFoodAdviser.com’s Mike Sagman:
- Limited ingredients make it easier for pet owners to pin down the suspect allergen;
- Novel ingredients are less likely to be recognizable to the “memory” of an animal’s immune system; and
- Hypoallergenic recipes avoid the use of ingredients most likely to provoke an allergic reaction.
Surprisingly, dogs and cats aren’t naturally allergic to most of the ingredients usually listed on labels with a ‘Free’ right behind them or a bold, red ‘No’ in front. Beef, dairy, chicken, corn, wheat, soy and yeast are simply the ingredients most commonly used in petfood recipes and, therefore, the most likely to be fingered first since they are the foods companion animals are most frequently exposed to at the bottom of their bowl. Sometimes, Sagman points out, it’s not even the ingredients that are the problem, but what’s in the ingredients.
But when a dog can’t stop itching or a cat suddenly has a rash, the petfood they eat is usually the first suspect. So whether a pet has ingredient intolerance, allergic reaction or just a finicky stomach, plenty of petfood and treat manufacturers offer products made to get animals feeling better.
A new line of gourmet organic dog treats called DogStars is now available in four flavors from SavvyBeast Treats LLC. Made from chia flour instead of wheat flour, DogStars treats are 100% gluten-free, according to the company. DogStars treats are also made with organic ingredients, including organic chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, coconut oil and sweet brown rice.
“The organic chia flour we use is ground from chia seeds; ironically enough, the same seeds that sprout in the shape of pets,” says Queny Villanueva, owner and CEO of SavvyBeast Treats. “These seeds have more calcium than whole milk, more iron than raw spinach and more magnesium than broccoli. Chia flour is also packed with protein and loaded with healthy omega-3 and antioxidants that can help prevent heart attacks, strokes and lower blood pressure.”
Globalinx Pet LLC offers One Rewards single-ingredient dog treats. One Rewards are freeze-dried to remove roughly 97% of moisture while locking in essential natural vitamins and nutrients of the meats, claims the company. Treats come in four varieties: Chicken Breast, Duck Breast, Chicken Liver and Ocean Whitefish. Without grains, fillers or additives of any kind, One Rewards treats are high in protein and low in fat, while making it easy for pet owners to weed out ingredients that may upset their pet’s diet.
Rachael Ray offers Nutrish Zero Grain Turkey & Potato recipe dog food. The food is made with natural ingredients that don't contain any grains, glutens or fillers, says Rachael Ray. Farm-raised turkey is the first ingredient, combined with vegetables. The product is available in 6- and 14-pound bags and is a healthy alternative for animals suffering from wheat or gluten allergies.
Natural Planet Organics offers three grain-free dog food formulas: Organic Grain-Free Turkey formula, Grain-Free Duck & Whitefish EntrÃ©e formula and Rabbit & Salmon EntrÃ©e formula. The duck & whitefish and rabbit & salmon formulas are manufactured with select non-GMO ingredients for optimal health, according to the company. Natural Planet Organics dog food contains high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and taurine.