What Is Hydrolyzed Protein Canine Meals?


From itchy pores and skin to continual ear infections, extreme meals allergic reactions in canine can depart your pup (and also you!) downright depressing.

In your battle in opposition to all-things-allergen, you’ve probably stumbled throughout hydrolyzed pet food as a possible possibility in your analysis. However what are these high-tech doggy diets, and are they a good selection to your four-footer? 

Beneath, we’ll clarify what hydrolyzed protein canine meals are, once they’re acceptable, and the professionals and cons they current.

Key Takeaways: What Is Hydrolyzed Protein Canine Meals?

  • Hydrolyzed pet food is a particular kind of canine eating regimen that’s made with modified proteins. These proteins are modified in a course of that makes use of water, therefore the title “hydrolyzed.”
  • Hydrolyzed canine meals are often solely really helpful for canine affected by inflammatory bowel illness or extreme meals allergic reactions. Accordingly, these meals are sometimes solely accessible with a veterinary prescription.
  • Hydrolyzed canine meals are virtually at all times costlier than common kibbles. Nonetheless, they’re often (although not at all times) efficient, which makes many homeowners keen to foot the additional expense.

What Is Hydrolyzed Protein Canine Meals?

Hydrolyzed protein pet food options proteins damaged down into tinier elements with water in a course of known as hydrolysis, incomes the “hydrolyzed” title. 

Breaking proteins down into smaller elements helps them slip by your canine’s immune system, stopping an allergic response and permitting your canine to soak up vitamins with out itchy pores and skin, digestive upset, or different painful responses.

Which Canines Want a Hydrolyzed Protein Canine Meals?

which dogs need hydrolyzed foods

Hydrolyzed protein pet food is veterinary-prescribed for particular medical situations, so it’s solely accessible to canine who want it. Don’t anticipate to cruise over to Amazon or Chewy and seize a bag with out a prescription.

There are two major canine well being points which can be handled with hydrolyzed proteins: 

  • Meals allergic reactions: Canines with meals allergic reactions might have a meals that’s a step above a standard limited-ingredient pet food or single-protein pet food recipes. These allergic reactions can happen in response to a lot of proteins, like dairy, eggs, wheat, or rooster, leaving hydrolyzed meals as an expensive however vital possibility.
  • Irritable bowel illness: Hydrolyzed protein pet food is designed to be simpler to digest, giving troublesome digestive tracts an opportunity to relaxation and recuperate for a short while or completely, if deemed vital by your vet. Since they’re simpler to digest, your canine absorbs extra vitamins, serving to him preserve his weight and really feel higher general.

Meals Allergic reactions vs Meals Intolerances: Perceive the Distinction

dog allergies cause itching

Whereas meals allergic reactions are typically handled with hydrolyzed canine meals, they’re sometimes pointless for treating meals intolerances.

Sadly, meals allergic reactions are sometimes confused with meals intolerances. 

With meals intolerances, your canine could have extreme gasoline or diarrhea, much like how an individual with lactose intolerance would react if their latte had cow’s milk as a substitute of the oat milk they ordered.

Signs of a meals allergy, in contrast, are systemic and will be extreme, together with:

  • Itchy, infected pores and skin (notably across the paws, rear finish, and interior thighs)
  • Crimson ears or recurrent ear infections
  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Like intolerances, meals allergic reactions can set off gastric signs, however allergic reactions sometimes have an effect on a number of areas of the physique, as  your canine’s immune system reacts to the allergen. 

A vet ought to at all times handle suspected meals allergic reactions or intolerances to make sure an underlying well being challenge like illness, parasites, or an infection isn’t accountable.

The commonest meals allergic reactions in canine are to proteins like rooster, eggs, or beef, not grains, which is usually cited as why individuals swap to grain-free pet food.

In actuality, most canine tolerate grains simply fantastic. 

Your canine’s meals isn’t the one wrongdoer for triggering allergic reactions, both. Take note of your canine’s treats! Hypoallergenic canine treats are greatest for canines with meals allergic reactions however at all times double-check along with your vet. And for that matter, most allergic reactions in canine are triggered by issues within the surroundings quite than meals. 

The Professionals of Hydrolyzed Protein Canine Meals

itchy dog

Hydrolyzed protein pet food is likely one of the many wonders of at present’s advances in science and has particular perks over different choices. They’re virtually all centered round your canine feeling higher, too, which is at all times a serious win.

The advantages of feeding a hydrolyzed protein pet food are:

  • They usually relieve meals allergic reactions: Canines with extreme meals allergic reactions to a number of elements can profit from switching to a hydrolyzed pet food since they’re designed to not set off an immune response, giving taxed programs a break. Not solely does this assist his physique loosen up, however it additionally soothes itchy, infected pores and skin and upset stomachs.
  • Aids in irritable bowel dysfunction: The continual nature of bowel illness is tough in your canine’s system, however since hydrolyzed pet food is made to be straightforward for many pups to digest, it may well result in firmer stools, much less ache, and a happier pup. 
  • Permits for higher nutrient absorption: 4-footers with malabsorption points could discover it simpler to get key vitamins via easier-to-digest hydrolyzed protein canine meals. That is notably true with canine whose malabsorption is linked to meals allergic reactions or different continual situations inflicting digestive upset.
  • Are vet-approved solely: Virtually all canine meals that includes hydrolyzed proteins are prescription-only, so you realize your vet is on-board with the meals from the beginning. This isn’t true with off-the-shelf meals except you talk about them along with your vet. This fosters a singular dialogue about diet, which is typically missing within the vet-client relationship.

The Cons of Hydrolyzed Protein Canine Meals

sad dog

Whereas hydrolyzed protein pet food has its upsides, there are negatives worthy of consideration. These cons vary from on a regular basis issues like their impact in your pockets to how helpful they might be to your canine.

The downsides of a hydrolyzed protein pet food embrace:

  • Price: With most hydrolyzed kibbles beginning over $100 for a 25-pound bag, the value makes an enormous dent in your month-to-month bills, notably when you have a big breed to feed. Add within the equally steep price of canned hydrolyzed meals when you have a choosy eater of a pup, and it may be brutal in your pockets.
  • Prescription requirement: Whereas it’s helpful that your vet has to take a look at your pup and say hey, he wants this earlier than you run out and purchase hydrolyzed meals, it’s additionally a ache to take care of submitting a prescription authorization if buying via a third-party like Amazon or Chewy. Worse, your prescription can lapse if #life occurs, leaving you and your doggo within the mud till you may renew it.
  • Potential lack of efficacy in some canine: A 2019 examine revealed in The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science discovered that some canine nonetheless had lymphocyte reactions to hydrolyzed proteins, in order that they will not be match for all four-footers. 
  • Poor style and texture: Generally, your floof has no alternative, however hydrolyzed protein canine meals aren’t as flavorful as different choices, which will be a problem with pickier pups that want engaging. Each kibble and canned varieties are usually bland and oddly odorless, with the moist sorts usually described as loaf-like or overly dry. Including a small quantity of heat water can assist to a level, at the very least.

What Is Hydrolyzed Protein Canine Meals: FAQ

hydrolyzed dog food questions

We’ve lined the fundamentals of hydrolyzed canine meals, however this novel doggy eating regimen will be difficult to know, so you’ll have some lingering questions and issues. Let’s leap into them!

Is hydrolyzed protein good for canine?

Hydrolyzed protein meals are vet and animal nutritionist-formulated, in order that they’re nutritionally sound for canine. They’re additionally simpler to digest and have broken-down proteins that don’t at all times set off an immune response. This makes them a stable alternative for canines with well being situations like irritable bowel illness or a number of meals allergic reactions. 

What are the unwanted effects of hydrolyzed protein canine meals?

In some circumstances, canine can proceed to have pores and skin reactions or digestive upset like diarrhea whereas consuming hydrolyzed pet food. Different pups could expertise new points like constipation or new circumstances. Your pup can also refuse to eat hydrolyzed protein meals, as they’re much less flavorful and odorous than conventional choices.

One other unlucky aspect impact is the fee to you. Hydrolyzed canine meals come at a heavy monetary toll. For many households, that’s a tricky expense to swallow, however it may be downright painful or not possible with a big pup at house.

Do canine acquire weight on hydrolyzed protein canine meals?

Some canine can acquire weight on hydrolyzed protein canine meals, particularly those that’ve been unable to soak up vitamins resulting from extreme gastric upset. In these circumstances, weight acquire is critical and welcomed. 

If you happen to discover your usually svelte barker gaining weight on a hydrolyzed protein pet food, name your vet to make sure you’re feeding the correct amount of meals and that nothing else is accountable for the additional pupper kilos.

What’s hydrolyzed protein created from? 

Hydrolyzed proteins function on a regular basis proteins like rooster liver, soy, or salmon. They’re damaged down utilizing water in a course of known as hydrolysis, which provides them their fancy title. By considerably lowering the dimensions of the proteins, they’re much less prone to set off an immune response in canine, avoiding unfavourable pores and skin or digestive reactions.

How lengthy ought to a canine be on hydrolyzed pet food?

Since hydrolyzed canine meals are vet-prescribed, it’s essential to feed them so long as your vet recommends. Generally, this generally is a six to twelve-week span whilst you’re doing an elimination trial of meals, or it may be long-term to deal with continual canine situations.

If you happen to’re struggling to cowl the expense of hydrolyzed pet food over time, don’t draw back from mentioning it to your vet. They might have producer coupons to scale back prices or counsel cheaper choices to strive, like switching to a novel protein like rabbit or goat, choosing one other hypoallergenic pet food, utilizing a limited-ingredient meals with a single protein supply, or making an attempt a vet-formulated house recipe.



Does your canine have meals allergic reactions? Has she eaten hydrolyzed pet food? Share your expertise within the feedback. We’d love to listen to!


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Carl Brooks


Introducing Carl, a highly experienced writer at our blog. With a deep passion for dogs and expertise in hypoallergenic dog food, Carl brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to our platform. His extensive experience in the field allows him to provide valuable advice on the technical specifications and features of hypoallergenic dog food, making him a valuable resource for all dog owners seeking to optimize their pet’s health and well-being.



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