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From Itchy Skin to Upset Stomachs: Decoding Your Dog’s Distress Signals

From Itchy Skin to Upset Stomachs: Decoding Your Dog's Distress Signals
Reviewed by Dr. Joseph Menicucci, DVM, MBA. Veterinary Health Specialist and Diagnostic Expert.

*This content is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice.  
If your pet shows any symptoms mentioned, promptly consult a veterinarian.

Understanding Your Dog’s Discomfort:
The First Step to Relief

Our dogs, silent family members, rely on us to notice when they’re in discomfort.
This guide highlights how to spot signs of sensitivities caused by diet and environment.
Common signs stem from specific proteins (chicken, beef), grains (wheat),
and environmental factors (trees, grass, dust), putting virtually every dog at risk.
Recognizing these triggers is the first step towards managing their sensitivities
for a healthier life.

From Symptoms to Solutions: Act Now for Your Dog’s Relief. 

Consulting a veterinarian is a critical first step if you notice any symptoms of sensitivities in your dog. They can help rule out other conditions and provide tailored advice. For deeper insights into your dog’s specific sensitivities or intolerances, consider a dog sensitivity and intolerance test. This can guide you in making informed adjustments to their diet or environment, improving their health and happiness.

Simplified Dog Sensitivity & Intolerance Detection Test Kits Comparison Chart

Food Sensitivities 236 ingredients 350+ 103 ingredients 275 ingredients 236 ingredients
Environmental Allergens 107 items 300+ 11 items 105 items 107 items
Non-Food Items 58 500+ 12 105 58
Test Focus Common Allergens Extensive Intolerances Food & Environmental Food & Environmental Broad Spectrum
Unique Feature Specialized in Common Allergens Largest Number of Tests Customized Food Recommendations Nutritional Analysis Combined Food & Non-Food Testing

Is Your Dog Constantly Itchy or Unsettled?

If you’ve noticed your dog excessively itching, scratching, chewing, or licking themselves, it might be more than just regular dog behavior. Sensitivities to food & environmental factors are a common but often overlooked issue, leading to discomfort and frequent vet visits. Understanding the signs and knowing how to respond can greatly improve your dog’s quality of life.

Recognizing Environmental Sensitivities In Dogs

Skin Irritations

  • Hot Spots: Look for areas of red, inflamed skin that your dog may lick or chew excessively.
  • Persistent Itching: Dogs may scratch relentlessly, especially around the ears, paws, and underbelly.

Digestive Symptoms

  • Stomach Upset: Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive gas.
  • Appetite Changes: A sudden lack of interest in food might be more than pickiness.

Respiratory Symptoms

  • Sneezing and Coughing: Reactions to pollen, dust, or mold can lead to respiratory issues.
  • Watery Eyes: Allergens can cause eyes to become red, itchy, and watery.

Identifying Food Sensitivities in Dogs

Skin and Coat Symptoms

  • Itchy Skin: Look for constant scratching, particularly around the chest, belly, and base of the tail.
  • Coat Changes: A dull coat or hair loss can indicate a reaction to food.

Veterinary Insights: Why Professional Advice is Invaluable

Consulting a veterinarian is crucial for interpreting symptoms of sensitivities and developing a tailored treatment plan. Veterinary expertise is essential not only for accurate diagnosis but also for ensuring that any health interventions are safe and effective.

A Holistic Approach to Health: Integrating Comprehensive Care

Embrace a holistic view of your furry friend’s  health that includes dietary adjustments, environmental changes, and medical interventions as recommended by professionals. This integrated approach ensures you make informed decisions that enhance your dog’s health and well-being.

Best Dog Sensitivity & Intolerance Detection Test Kits

Most sensitive: My Pet Sensitivity

my pet sensitivity Advanced Pet Sensitivity Test

My Pet Sensitivity: Comprehensive Sensitivity Testing for Pets

  • Sensitivity & Intolerance Test: Screens for 300+ items.
  • Environmental Sensitivities: Identifies potential triggers from the environment.
  • Nutritional Imbalances: Detects deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
  • Non-Invasive: Uses hair samples for testing.
  • Detailed Report: Provides a comprehensive breakdown of sensitivities.


My Pet Sensitivity stands out with its commitment to understanding the unique sensitivities of pets. Their tests analyze over 460 common food ingredients and environmental factors, providing a holistic view of what might be causing discomfort to pets. The process is straightforward: register the test, collect a small fur sample, send it in, and receive detailed results within five days of the sample reaching their facility. Their brand story emphasizes the deep bond between pets and their owners, and their goal is to enhance the quality of life for both. With a range of tests tailored for different pets, including dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens, My Pet Sensitivity is dedicated to ensuring the best health and well-being for our furry companions.

My Pet Sensitivity Full Review



Widest Variety of Quality Products: Chewy


Chewy: Your One-Stop Shop for Leading Pet DNA and Allergy Testing Kits

  • Pinpoint the cause of your dog’s discomfort: Over 120 Allergens Tested
  • Custom Food Recommendations: Tailored advice based on detected allergies.
  • Easy Swab Process: Simple, user-friendly testing.
  • Results in 7 Days: Quick turnaround for peace of mind.
  • Comprehensive Sensitivity Overview: Understand your dog’s environmental and food sensitivities.


Chewy stands as a leading and established name in the pet industry, renowned for its extensive range of pet products, including an impressive selection of the best dog DNA and allergy tests from top companies. With a commitment to providing exceptional customer service, Chewy has earned the trust and loyalty of millions of satisfied customers worldwide. Their platform offers a curated collection of DNA and allergy tests, enabling pet owners to gain valuable insights into their pets’ breed, health, and potential sensitivities with ease and accuracy. Chewy’s dedication to quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction has solidified its reputation as a go-to destination for pet owners seeking the best products and services for their furry family members.


Most Extensive Range Of Tests: 5Strands

5Strands: Comprehensive Intolerance Detection

  • Affordable Testing: budget-friendly intolerance tests.
  • Extensive Screening: 300+ food and environmental items.
  • Non-Invasive: Uses hair samples for testing.
  • Fast Results: Delivers results within 5-7 days.
  • Detailed Report: Provides a comprehensive report with a level of intolerance.


5Strands takes a holistic approach to pet health, emphasizing the intricate relationship between your pet and its environment. Their testing method demands a full commitment, which might sometimes require a shift from processed pet food to home-cooked meals or a raw diet. This ensures a more accurate detection of allergens that could be affecting your pet’s well-being.

5Strands Full Review


Fastest Results: CheckMyBodyHealth

check my body health Pet Sensitivity Test

CheckMyBodyHealth: Pioneering Pet Sensitivity Analysis

  • Holistic Health Testing: Offers tests for both pets and humans.
  • Extensive Sensitivity Analysis: Covers 300+ food and non-food items.
  • Easy Sample Collection: Uses a simple hair sample.
  • Fast Turnaround: Delivers results within 7-10 days.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Emphasizes customer satisfaction.


CheckMyBodyHealth offers a unique approach to pet sensitivity testing. Unlike many other services, there’s no physical kit sent out. Instead, pet owners are guided through a seamless process where they send in their pet’s hair or fur sample. This method ensures a hassle-free experience for the pet and the owner. Once the sample is received, results are delivered within a mere three working days, making it one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry. The test is comprehensive, analyzing sensitivities to a vast array of potential irritants. Their commitment to efficiency and accuracy makes CheckMyBodyHealth a top choice for those seeking insights into their pet’s sensitivities.

CheckMyBodyHealth Full Review


Allergies vs. Sensitivities and Intolerances

Distinguishing between allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances is crucial for your dog’s health. Each condition affects your dog differently and requires unique management and treatment.


Allergies in dogs involve an immune system response to an allergen, usually a protein. Symptoms include itching, inflamed skin, vomiting, and diarrhea. Allergies are less common but more severe due to immune involvement. They can also be triggered by environmental factors like pollen and mold​.
Remember, allergy testing is a veterinarian’s task.

Sensitivities and Intolerances

Sensitivities and intolerances do not involve the immune system. They are generally related to the digestive system’s inability to process certain foods, causing symptoms like loose stools, gas, and stomach pain. These conditions are common and often confused with allergies​.

Why the Confusion?

Many pet owners mistakenly seek allergy tests for conditions that are actually sensitivities or intolerances. We use the term “allergy test” to guide owners to the appropriate tests. However, diagnosing allergies is a veterinarian’s job. Always consult a vet for accurate diagnosis and treatment.


How accurate are sensitivity and intolerance test kits?

These test kits can be very accurate in identifying specific triggers affecting your dog’s health, helping you to tailor their environment and diet accordingly.

How does a dog allergy test work?

These tests typically use bioresonance technology or other methods to analyze a sample (hair or saliva) from your dog. The sample is compared against a database of various substances to identify potential intolerances or sensitivities.

my pet sensitivity Advanced Pet Sensitivity Test

My Pet Sensitivity – Advanced Pet Sensitivity Test

Testing for 460 commercial pet food ingredients

10% Off with Code: PETPICKS10

What can a dog allergy test detect?

Dog sensitivity tests can detect sensitivities and intolerances to a wide range of substances, including various types of food ingredients, environmental factors, and potentially harmful materials in skincare products.

Why should I consider a sensitivity test for my dog?

A sensitivity test can be helpful if your dog is experiencing symptoms like hot spots, itchy skin, digestive disturbances, vomiting, or flatulence, and you are unable to determine the cause. It can also be used proactively to understand potential intolerances your dog might have.

Is the test suitable for all dogs?

Yes, these tests are generally suitable for all breeds and sizes of dogs. Some tests are also suitable for cats.

A Loving Reminder

The information provided at ThePetPicks.com is based on research and expertise, aiming to enhance the bond between you and your dog. However, it’s essential to remember that every dog is unique. Always consult with professionals, like veterinarians or trainers, for specific concerns or advice. At ThePetPicks.com, we believe in “Trust Born from Love,” and we encourage every pet parent to make informed decisions rooted in love and care.

Top Kits

Dr. Joseph Menicucci

Dr. Joseph Menicucci is a dedicated veterinarian passionate about enhancing pet health and wellness. He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Western University of Health Sciences and an MBA focused on Health Care from the Jack Welch Management Institute.

Dr. Menicucci’s career includes valuable experience at Straley Veterinary Clinic, Fort Morgan Veterinarian Clinic, and Trans Ova Genetics. His commitment to accessible, high-quality pet care makes a significant impact on pet owners and their animals.

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