What Foods Are German Shepherds Allergic to?

Last Updated on December 4, 2022 by Amanda P. Brown

German Shepherds are allergic to certain foods, which can cause various reactions and allergies in the German shepherd’s body. Animal protein sources like chicken or beef trigger food allergies in German shepherds. Over time, they might grow intolerant to other food sources like milk, wheat, soy, or eggs. 

The symptoms of this allergy include Scratching, chewing, or biting on certain parts of the German shepherd’s body. However, allergies are divided into 2 main categories, food and environmental. For example, a food allergy is a dog food thing. On the other hand, ecologic allergies originate in the environment. 

Therefore, this allergy can occur in any dog, including German Shepherds. In this situation, taking your dog to the veterinarian eliminates this allergy. Now, let’s discuss in detail what foods are German Shepherds allergic to:

What Foods Are German Shepherds Allergic to?

What Foods are German Shepherds Allergic to

Foods that German shepherds are allergic to include:

  • Chicken 
  • Beef
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Chocolate

1. Chicken

Chicken is one of the foods that most frequently trigger allergic reactions in canines. Chicken allergies affect about 15% of all dogs. In general, chicken is a protein food. The majority of dogs are allergic to proteins in particular. 

However, in some cases, the protein can be perceived as dangerous by the dog’s immune system. Even can cause allergic reactions. Common protein allergy symptoms are itching, rash, skin discoloration, and hot spots. So, avoid these allergenic foods when you feed your German shepherd.

2. Beef

 For dogs, beef is a staple and healthy food. But regular consumption of beef can lead to the development of allergies. This can cause your German shepherd to develop uncomfortable skin diseases in addition to chronic conditions like breathing problems, indigestion, and ear infections. 

However, to protect your dog from this allergic reaction, you need to ensure that your dog is fed a well-balanced and varied diet. For example, lamb, chicken, and beef can be fed to your dog alternatively every week. But do not feed your dog the same meat regularly every week.

3. Wheat

Carbohydrates are the main constituents of wheat. In addition to this, it is a fantastic source of energy. However, it’s possible that some dogs have sensitivities to wheat and other cereals. This grain allergy causes symptoms in your dog, such as itching, hair loss, ear infections, hair loss associated with chewing, constant scratching, and swollen pads on the bottom of the paws, often accompanied by obsessive licking. 

However, if your German shepherd has a wheat allergy, take your dog to the vet and give your dog some alternative sources of healthy carbs.

4. Dairy

Generally, lactose in milk can cause allergies in some dogs. This dairy allergy causes symptoms in your dog, like constipation, excessive licking, scratching, dry skin, bald patches, red skin, and itchy skin. Even some dogs can be intolerant to lactose. 

Also, these lactose intolerance symptoms include gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, gas, or vomiting. You should thus avoid giving your German shepherd any dairy products if it shows any of these symptoms.

5. Soy

Soya is an edible bean with a lot of protein. This soy can potentially trigger an allergic reaction in dogs. These allergies can also cause various health problems in your dog. However, soy allergy symptoms in German Shepherds include hair loss, excessive scratching or licking, eyelid inflammation, vomiting, ear infections, and diarrhea. Therefore, avoid feeding these allergens to your German shepherd. 

6. Eggs

 Egg yolk protein can cause an allergic reaction in your dog. However, if your German shepherd is allergic to eggs, your dog will show vomiting, diarrhea, paw, and ear infection symptoms. Therefore, if your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after eating eggs, stop giving them eggs and consult a veterinarian. 

7. Chocolate

Chocolate is harmful to dogs because it has theobromine and a small amount of caffeine, which is dangerous for your dog’s health. Even humans easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs cannot. 

However, chocolate causes allergy symptoms in your German shepherds, like diarrhea, vomiting, heart palpitations, increased thirst, excessive urination, restlessness, or asthma. 

Read More:

How Can You Help Your German shepherd With Allergies?

How Can You help your German Shepherd with Allergies?

Usually, certain dog breeds are more prone to allergy development. The German shepherd is one of them. Even allergies may also be inherited, meaning that a German dog with allergies is much more likely to have allergic children. 

However, to relieve your German shepherd of allergies, purchase a hypoallergenic or sulfate-free shampoo for your German shepherd. Also, you can select a shampoo with tea tree oil or aloe Vera as an ingredient, which provides a soothing effect on the skin. 

Common Allergies of German shepherd

Typically, there are 2 major kinds of allergies, ecological and food. A food allergy is a dog food thing. On the other hand, ecological allergies can be found anywhere, like the pollen of a certain plant. However, German Shepherds have common allergies, which can happen to any dog. Let’s take a look below:

Flea Bites

Among the most ordinary allergies in German Shepherds is fleas. All dogs are also affected by these fleas. But they are affected not only by flea bites but also by flea saliva, which causes allergic reactions in dogs, such as large red spots, itching, and loss of fur at the bite site. 

However, the greatest way to avoid these allergic reactions is to keep your dog, house, and yard flea-free. Also, pest control products can be very effective in your home and yard. Even you can consult a veterinarian to protect your dog from these flea allergies.

Cleaning Products

 Generally, the strong chemical cleaning products used to clean your carpets, mop floors, and wipe surfaces can cause allergic reactions in your dog. Dogs spend most of their time on the floor and are close to what we use to clean the floor, which causes an allergic reaction in your German shepherd. 

You can use natural cleaners to prevent your dog from developing these allergies. Environmentally friendly cleaning products don’t include dangerous chemicals. It is also safe for the skin. 


 Pollen is an airborne substance that is produced by trees. These allergies are spread around the time that specific grasses and trees bloom. When they inhale, it causes allergic reactions in them. These allergies will become chronic as they age and cause various symptoms such as a runny nose, red itchy skin, and other ailments. 

You can consult your vet to keep flare-ups under control. Additionally, medications and supplements can help relieve symptoms. 


Mold is harmful to any living organism. Particularly, it is a nasty substance that can cause various illnesses. However, many dogs have mold allergies. These mold spores can cause serious health problems and death. Mold also causes various allergy symptoms in German Shepherds, such as excessive scratching, vomiting, inflamed skin patches, loss of appetite, and dry and scaly skin.

Moreover, mold grows under sink cabinets, other hidden areas, and bathrooms. So to protect your German shepherd from this mold, use cleaning products that remove spores and molds.


 Like pollen, dust is also harmful to the German shepherd. However, when your German shepherd inhales, the dust enters your dog and causes atopic dermatitis. It also causes various allergic reactions in your dog, like skin rashes, asthma, and breathing difficulties. 

Since dust is inevitable, keep your house clean to protect your dog from dust allergies. Also, keep your dog away from dusty areas of your house.


 Typically, all feathers cause complications in dogs, except certain feathers. Even some dogs have feather allergies. If feathers are found in your dog’s food for some reason, it can cause various allergic reactions in dogs.

 Also, some dogs are so sensitive that they only have to touch one feather. However, it is difficult to protect your dog from this feather allergy. But you should be careful that your dog does not encounter feathers.


 Many dogs are allergic to perfumes. Because strongly scented sprays or shampoos applied directly to pets can cause nausea, skin reactions, airway irritation, and lethargy, so, to avoid this perfume allergy, you should avoid perfume around your dog.

Keys to Fighting Food-Based Allergies

A fresh diet is an excellent way to combat foods that cause skin allergies. Fresh foods contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, B-vitamin complex, and zinc to reduce the inflammatory response to allergens. Also, commercial wet foods and dry kibbles generally don’t offer a similar level of nutrition as fresh foods. 

Because commercial foods lose necessary nutrients due to the heating method used in the cooking process; in addition, a diet of fresh foods contains necessary fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) and healthy fats. Which helps fight food-based allergies. However, listed below are some of the solutions for various types of food allergies in German Shepherds: 

Condition            Change Coat Color
Dull Coating and ScalingYou should adjust EPA and DHA levels in the food. For example, add fish oil. Also, try foods with added zinc.
Dietary Requirements and AdjustmentsIncrease the amino acids found in protein (75g per 1000 calories). You can also use the calculator to convert a percentage on a label to a calorie basis (g per 1000 calories).
Dandruff and CrustinessAdd the levels of zinc and vitamin A.
Concurrent GI SignsAvoid foods containing histamine and tryptamine, such as meat, fermented vegetables, or dairy. Also, try a common ingredient diet trial.
Chronic dermatitis and itchingStrengthen the food with zinc, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin E found in fish oil. Add a probiotic. Also, try a common ingredient diet trial.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Allergic?

Generally, it is difficult to diagnose environmental, fly, or food allergies in German Shepherds. Even these allergies can also be chronic. About 30% of pets have food allergies as well as flea or seasonal allergies. 

However, below are some of the signs and symptoms which may indicate that your German shepherd is suffering from allergies:

  • Excessive licking, scratching or biting.
  • Itchy ears and ear infections. 
  • Fur Damage
  • Dry, itchy skin, skin rashes (tummy, face, paws).
  • Dark, thickened skin
  • Red, swollen skin, hot spots (sores, infected skin).
  • Diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Watery eyes, itchy, red, pink nose, sneezing.
  • Swelling of ears, eyelids, face, and lips.
  • Bacterial or yeast skin infections.

Allergy Symptoms in German Shepherds

Allergy Symptoms in German Shepherds

Generally, German shepherd dog allergy symptoms can vary depending on the cause. However, a German Shepherd experiencing any of the following signs are often experiencing an allergic reaction.

  • Itching
  • Chewing 
  • Licking
  • Dandruff 
  • Dry skin
  • Vomiting
  • Skin sores
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Hair loss
  • Scratching

How Can You Detect Skin Allergies?

You can detect skin allergies with a skin prick test. This skin prick test is also called the puncture or scratch test. It can test for allergic reactions to as many as 50 various substances at the same time. 
Also, this test is commonly done to detect allergies to dust mites, pollen, pet dander, food, and mold. In addition, the test is typically administered to adults on the forearm.

Final Verdict

Many people are concerned about their German shepherd’s diet and What Foods Are German Shepherds Allergic to? However, the above 7 food allergies in German Shepherds have been explored in this article, and I hope this information will assist you in making the best meal selections for your dog.

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