Is your dog allergic to common proteins? Here are some chicken- and beef-free recipes you can make him at home!
It is common for dog food to be made with chicken and beef, as it is a relatively inexpensive way to include a lean source of protein that is packed with a range of healthy nutrients. Unfortunately, however, it is also common for dogs to suffer from digestive sensitivities to chicken. While generally more well-tolerated, beef can also cause health complications in dogs with an allergy to the protein.
The prevalence of these proteins in mainstream dog foods can make it tricky when it comes to feeding your furry friend. Thankfully, though, some dog food manufacturers do make specialty, chicken-free dog foods, as well as some that eliminate beef, too.
What are novel proteins?
There are several pork-based recipes included below, as pork is generally more well-tolerated than beef and chicken. Still, pork isn’t always ideal for animals with allergies. It can be helpful to replace more common sources of protein with novel proteins for those with allergies. Novel proteins are those that do not come from the primary sources that have dominated our diets for centuries (such as beef and chicken). Novel proteins, such as kangaroo, crickets, and ostrich, can be easier on the system when it comes to allergy sufferers.
Lazhar, from Breeding Business, published a guide to chicken-free dog foods and explained that “some protein sources, commonly chicken and other poultry meats, can be problematic and cause indigestion due to food intolerances in dogs”. However, “it is very important to confirm with your veterinarian whether the meat you have fed your dog so far was really the cause of the pet’s digestive issues”. He concluded, “many kibbles use animal by-products which can cause problems whereas clean muscle meats from the same animal are digested with no issue.”
Recipes to try at home!
There are also many simple home recipes that can provide your dog with excellent nutrition without the worry of an allergic reaction occurring.
Here are four simple healthy home recipe ideas to get you started.
Pork, vegetables, and rice
This recipe is a simple take on a traditional meal of protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates, including lots of healthy greens for your pup.
As mentioned above, it’s important to note that pork is a healthy, safe choice for dogs so long as it is well cooked, and free of any added flavorings, seasonings or additives. Dog allergies to pork are uncommon.
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 pounds (1.35kg) pork mince
- 2 carrots (grated/shredded)
- 3 cups baby spinach (chopped)
- 1 zucchini (grated/shredded)
- 1/2 cup peas (canned or frozen
- Cook the rice in a large saucepan, as per packet instructions
- Using a large stockpot or similar, heat the olive oil, then add the pork mince and cook for approximately 4–5 mins, or until brown (keep the mince crumbled as you cook)
- Add the carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach, and cooked rice to the stockpot, and cook until it is heated through and the spinach has wilted down
- Leave it to cool completely before serving
You can divide this recipe into individual meal servings, label, and freeze them, so that they’re ready to defrost overnight as needed.
Here’s another home recipe that uses pork mince as the main protein, accompanied by a serving of veggies and grains. This one also includes an added nutrient kick of eggs and the excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric.
Using coconut oil for cooking doggy dinners can also help to aid their digestion, improve their coat and skin, and reduce any allergic reactions. Coconut oil introduces a healthy fat into their diet, which they need for optimal health, just as we do.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 pound (0.45kg) pork mince
- 1 cup baby spinach (chopped)
- 1 large zucchini (grated/shredded)
- 1 cup carrots (grated/shredded)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Once heated, use a large pot or skillet, add the coconut oil and pork mince, and cook through until browned
- Reduce the heat and add in the carrots, spinach, zucchini, and turmeric. Stirring occasionally, cook for a further 6-7 minutes over medium heat, until the vegetables are cooked and tender
- Turn the heat off and crack the egg straight into the mixture, letting it cook in the food’s heat as you mix it in
- Add the cooked rice and stir until well combined
- Leave it to fully cool before serving
Divide into individual portions and store in the fridge for up to seven days or the freezer for up to three months.
Easy mix and serve fish dinner
This doggy fish dinner is quick and easy to make and is packed with goodness, protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids, amongst other things.
- 1 can pink salmon
- 2 pounds (0.9kg) fish fillets (chopped)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 4 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp bone meal
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
Mix all ingredients together and serve!
If your pooch is a fan of eggs and salmon, then this no-fuss meal will be a favorite – so long as you don’t eat it first!
- 1/2 can salmon (skinless)
- 1/2 cup spinach (chopped)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 eggs
- Heat the olive oil in a pan or skillet over high heat
- Add salmon and spinach and cook through
- Crack the eggs into the mix and stir for 2 minutes as they scramble
- Allow to cool fully before serving
It can feel overwhelming when you first realize that you need to provide your pup with a specialized diet, but there are many simple, at-home recipes you can use. Please consult with your vet to ensure that you are providing them with the balanced nutrition they need.
Emma Williams is a professional writer and pet parent who has written for big publishers including Canadian Dogs Annual, The Telegraph, Home Beautiful and Marriage.com. She enjoys sharing her knowledge on pet health, lifestyle topics and pet behavior.