Australian Shepherd Food Allergies

Australian Shepherd Food Allergies

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Australian shepherds are such friendly, energetic, and happy dogs. They make great family pets, especially when their family is an active one romping in the outdoors as they love to do.

Aussies are very loyal and want to be everywhere you are, so if you’re on the couch snacking and watching TV, then that’s where they want to be.

Of course, it couldn’t hurt to give them some of what you’re snacking on, like potato or tortilla chips. Right?

While it’s never a good idea to give yourself or your dog junky snack foods, this could turn out to be a very bad idea for your Australian shepherd.

Unfortunately, Australian shepherds are prone to allergies and these could be either environmental allergies or food allergies.

In the following post, I will cover symptoms and triggers of Australian shepherd food allergies as well as Australian shepherd eating habits. I will also answer the question “what can Australian shepherds eat?”

Australian Shepherd Food Allergies
Image from Pixabay

For your dog’s vitamin supplement, food, toys, or other dogs product please visit the Health Extension website.

Australian Shepherd Food Allergies Symptoms


In humans and dogs, symptoms of food allergies have a few similarities and a few differences. Humans, of course, will not willingly eat anything they know they’re allergic to, but if they have any food allergies, there comes a time that they find out, and unfortunately, if allergies are severe, this can be deadly.

When humans eat something they are allergic to, they can have symptoms of itchy hives, rash or gastrointestinal issues.

Some people are so highly allergic to food that it only takes a minuscule amount to have a life-threatening reaction called anaphylactic shock.

This type of shock occurs within seconds, causing a drop in blood pressure and airways to narrow, leaving a person unable to breathe. Patients need an emergency shot of epinephrine and a quick trip to the ER.

An Australian shepherd’s symptoms can be just as severe, also causing anaphylactic shock.

This is due to an ingested allergen creating an immune-related response that is exaggerated.

In some animals, an allergy affects the lungs, but in dogs, the response happens quickly and presents with vomiting, diarrhea, cold paws, very pale gums, drooling, seizures, and an eventual coma if treatment is not quick.

Usually, reactions of this nature in dogs are hereditary and not as common as a non-threatening food allergy.


Listed below are Australian shepherd symptoms of food allergies that are not due to anaphylaxis and can be gradual.

  • Gastrointestinal issues – chronic diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Scratching and itching
  • Dry scaly skin or oily skin
  • Rashes
  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes or eyes with a discharge
  • Hot spots
  • The skin has a leathery texture
  • Skin is dark or more pigmented in certain areas
  • Ear infections
  • Bacterial skin infections

If your Aussie has any or many of these symptoms. take them for a visit to their veterinarian.

Often dogs will eat their meal and then chronically have diarrhea afterward. This tells you that something in their food does not agree with them.

To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.

Australian Shepherd Food Allergies Symptoms
Image by LRuss from Pixabay

Australian Shepherd Food Allergies


If your Aussie begins to have any of the symptoms listed above, they may have a food allergy.

An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system identifies a normally harmless substance as a threat or foreign invader.

The immune system then tries to fight it causing the uncomfortable symptoms above. For your Australian shepherd, environmental allergies can begin between the ages of one and two but food allergies can develop earlier with an offending food being the trigger that causes that attack response by the immune system.


Just as no two people are alike, neither are any two Aussies. One may have allergies and one may not.

One may be allergic to more common food allergens while another may be allergic to an unusual ingredient while others have no allergies whatsoever. Listed below are the more common allergy offenders.

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Rabbit
  • Pork
  • Wheat

wheat – Wheat and grains are the biggest cause of food allergies in dogs. Many commercial pet foods contain grains.

Some people have problems digesting grain products because they contain a substance called gluten and many are gluten intolerant.

The same is true for dogs who have descended from wolves. Wolves have eaten primarily meat over the centuries, not grains.

  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Eggs


These are just a few of the common food allergens that can affect your Australian shepherd.

If your shepherd is plagued by food allergies, the remedy may be simple as switching dog foods but sometimes it is a little more difficult to exactly identify the cause.

Commercial dog foods contain many ingredients, some we may even be unable to pronounce! It’s best to purchase the healthiest dog food with the least amount of ingredients.

Understanding Dog food ingredients x
Understanding Dog food ingredients

If allergies are severe, you may have to make homemade food, gradually adding a different ingredient at a time.

There are many, many different dog foods to choose from and quite a few are for breeds with food allergies.

Australian Shepherd Eating Habits

The Australian shepherd is an extremely high-energy breed, being a hardworking dog over the centuries, herding sheep and cattle.

They require high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs as well as plenty of exercises. They have a voracious appetite and require at least 1,300 calories a day.

Of course, you don’t want to overfeed but, because their activity level is so high, they will quickly burn off the calories.

Australian shepherds love eating and will often take foods to the floor, preferring a flatter surface for their little “picnic.”
For a medium-sized dog, the Aussie has a huge appetite. Just be aware that especially as puppies they tend to try and eat anything in sight. This could pose bigger problems than allergies!

What Can An Australian Shepherd Eat?


Unless you are going to feed your Aussie a raw diet, which is supposed to be healthy for most breeds but time-consuming, your pup needs high-quality food with a minimal amount of additives and preservatives with healthy ingredients.

A food that is preferably grain-free so as not to ignite an allergy is a good idea and many companies offer a wide variety.

Australian shepherds don’t need to have a boring diet that just includes dog food. Many human foods are healthy, nutritious, safe, and suitable for your Aussie. They can be used for snacks or to “jazz’ up their pet food.

Below are a few choices to try, but only present one new food at a time to prevent allergic reactions and to know if there is one what the offending allergen is.

  • Cooked eggs (never raw)
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon (no rinds or seeds)
  • Strawberries
  • Fish (salmon – sardines)
  • Peanut butter ( great to hide medication if they need to take pills!)

The foods above are all healthy and each has different nutritious benefits like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, or Omega 3 fatty acids.

These foods work well as snacks or as an addition to their dog food, but should never be used as their main source of food.

Foods That An Australian Shepherd Can’t Eat

Foods that your Australian shepherd or any breed should never eat are listed below. These foods can cause serious illness or even death.

  • Avocado
  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum and candy)
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Lemons
  • Chocolate


Australian shepherds are prone to allergies. This doesn’t mean that your Aussie will ever suffer from one allergy symptom, but be aware of the signs and symptoms of food allergies.

If your pup begins to suffer from one or more of the symptoms listed above, and you just can’t pinpoint the source, don’t hesitate to get your veterinarian involved to help identify the cause.

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