School of Health Sciences
adverse food reactions, grain-free, veterinary medicine, food allergies, dogs
Small or Companion Animal Medicine | Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health
Dunn, Savannah, "Development and Management of Canine Adverse Food Reactions and its Connections to the Grain-Free Dog Food Movement" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 947.
Canine Adverse Food Reactions include immunologically-mediated food allergies as well as non-immunological food intolerances. Although popular belief holds grains are responsible for AFR, the majority are aggravated by the common protein sources found in commercial dog foods. Elimination diets, a time-intensive method in which suspected allergens are removed from the dog’s diet, are the most effective form of diagnosis, though alternative techniques including patch testing and serum antibody tests have been explored. Presently, avoidance of allergens is the recommended management approach. The erroneous association of grains with AFR has led to the rise of grain-free dog food. However, these nontraditional diets have been connected with a surge in diagnoses of dilated cardiomyopathy, hinting at a detrimental nutritional deficit.