My Dog Is Really Itchy – Will A Vegan Diet Help?

An allergic dog that suffers from itchy skin and ears who is constantly scratching and chewing their paws is just awful!

These dogs tend to be more prone to skin infections, sore paws, ear infections and secondary yeast problems. Sometimes these symptoms are also accompanied by abdominal pain and cramping which dramatically reduces your dog’s quality of life.

Food allergies tend to develop in young dogs however they can appear in older dogs too. Generally these dogs have been fed the same food over a period of time with no adverse effects and then your dog suddenly starts to get itchy…it can all be a bit confusing and we are here to help you!

Most common food allergens

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Wheat
  • Eggs

2nd most common food allergens

  • Soya
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Corn 

Dogs being fed a healthy balanced plant-based diet with none of the top allergens found in the food (beef, dairy, wheat, lamb, egg, chicken, soya, pork, corn and fish) will stop scratching as these proteins can be fully eliminated from the diet if they are the cause of the allergy. Food allergies tend to develop in young dogs who have been fed the same food over a period of time and it tends to show as very itchy ears and ear infections.

Cross-reactivity is common in dogs, so if your pet is allergic to beef, they will very likely be allergic to bison or venison. Similarly if allergic to chicken, they will react to duck, turkey and pheasant.

There is nothing more worrying than having your dog constantly itching, scratching and uncomfortable. They are more prone to skin infections, ear infections and secondary yeast problems if the scratching is not kept fully under control and none of us want to see our pets in pain.

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For dogs with food allergies the SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE way of eliminating ALL of the common allergens mentioned above is by feeding a healthy and complete plant-based diet.

A complete plant-based diet is 100% safe and your dog can thrive on it for their whole life. So you don’t need to worry about elimination trials or experimenting with different proteins.

The aim is to transition your dogs so that their diet no longer contains any triggering ingredients. As a result, their skin should heal and in many cases dogs are able to come off long term medications such as steroids, Apoquel (read about the side-effects of Apoquel here) and Atopica which is great news!

We recommend that you slowly transition your dog’s diet and then monitor their skin condition to see the improvements over subsequent months.

If you supplement your dog’s diet with natural Omega 3 Algae oil this will help restore and protect their valuable skin barrier function, particularly if they have been scratching and chewing their paws (atopy).



For dogs that suffer with atopy and are allergic to certain foods as well as environmental allergens, a homemade diet is ideal. Home cooking is very easy, cost-effective and doesn’t take too much time.  Read the science here showing how a healthy gut microbiome from fresh plant-based sources feeds a healthy protective skin in your dog.

Dry food or kibble diets are designed to have long shelf lives and as a result they can carry storage mites. An atopic, itchy dog with a house dust mite allergy may therefore have a reaction to dry dog food in general. Tinned dog food such as Give A Dog A Bean is the best option if your dog has such a severe house dust mite allergy.

We advise keeping any dry food away from your pet in a sealed container or freeze it first in batches to reduce the risk of a reaction if your dog only likes dry food.

The best solution for dogs with environmental allergies to pollen, house dust and grass, is to remove the offending allergen everyday from your dog’s fur and paws. The easiest way to do this, especially after they have been out; is to wipe wherever they scratch and lick with soothing gently medicated CLX wipes. We sell them cheaper than anywhere else!!!



At the end of the day vets are only human and like the rest of us, they will use what is familiar to them and advertised to them the most.

Therefore most vets will recommend doing a strict elimination diet for 2 – 3 months by feeding your dog ONLY hydrolysed diets such as hypoallergenic or anallergenic kibble. Or a vet might suggest you try a novel protein such as duck, deer, ostrich or fish.

Unfortunately all of the above foods still contain proteins in one form or another that can trigger allergies!

This makes it very difficult for owners to understand what is really causing their dog’s allergy. Most owners still need to give their dogs medication and end up spending a lot of money on expensive kibbles and medication without ever resolving the issue long term.

Additionally dogs cannot be maintained on hydrolysed prescription diets indefinitely as they tend to be low in protein and very processed.

Sadly vets do not have the wealth of nutritional knowledge we wish they had however things are changing! More veterinary practices are learning about alternative, more effective diets which is why there is a growing demand for brands such as Solo Vegetal; a plant-based diet formulated by dermatological vets specifically for allergic dogs!


“It’s such a terrible place to be in, I’ve never felt so stressed and helpless. From the vet being so concerned that they thought he would eventually have to be put down as his skin condition was so bad, (he was 1.5 at the time), he’s now 2.5 and thriving thanks to transitioning to plant-based – it saved his life”

Read the full story about Buddy here


Buddy's Owner

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Vegan dog Starla eating Give A Dog A Bean

Give A Dog A Bean

From £17.75


Solo Vegetal Premium Food

From £42.50

Premium vegan dog food green crunch 5kgs with dog bowl

Green Crunch from Vegdog


Greta Mini from Vegan4Dogs now in the UK!

Greta from Vegan4Dogs

From £38.50



CLX Wipes

CLX Skin Wipes


Dermoscent Essential 6 Spot-On for dogs with allergic skin conditions Just Be Kind

Dermoscent Essential 6 Spot-On

From £20.85

We have had so many enquiries about itchy dogs, that we are committed to fully supporting you with food as well as the most natural way to treat your pet’s skin without using medication that given long term can be harmful. (See post here about the side effects of giving Apoquel to your dog).

Add in a pack of CLX Wipes when you next buy your dog’s food. They are impregnated with mild antibacterial and soothing medication and should be used daily to wipe away contact allergens such as pollen, grass and dust mites from your dog’s fur.

Use them daily and save money by cutting them into 4 to make the pack last longer as shown below. Sweet Georgie loves having her itchy paws wiped daily (see video below) 🙂

just be kind vegan dogs
just be kind vegan dogs