Date: 24/02/2023

Food hypersensitivity is one of the main diseases that affects dogs. Scientific researches point out that this is the third most common allergic dermatopathy in domestic animals.

It is estimated that 1% of all dermatopathies in dogs is caused by food hypersensitivity. Therefore, this is a serious matter that requires attention, since 10% of allergic dermatopathies are originated from feeding [1].

Food hypersensitivity or food allergy happens for a few reasons, with the bad nutrient digestion being among them - especially the proteins, frequently responsible for allergies, mainly when their molecular weight is between 10.000 to 60.000 da.

Generally, these allergies are caused by a reaction in the immune system to a specific food or nutrient, producing acute symptoms in the organism.

The immune system's exaggerated response to some food components can cause significant reactions, just like atopic dermatitis - a disease that causes skin inflammation, injuries and itch.

Anaphylaxis - an acute allergic reaction that occurs immediately after the ingestion of an allergen -, respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms [2], along with the problem solution in dogs, are the purpose of this article.

Another important aspect to understand how hypersensitivities, allergies and intolerances occur in the digestive system is that they emerge when a kind of food is regularly eaten.

It means that it’s more common to have hypersensitivity by eating the same food on a daily basis than when something new is introduced sporadically. This happens because these foods cause inflammation, causing food hypersensitivity or allergies, leading to intolerance.

For domestic animals - especially dogs - hypersensitivity occurs frequently, since daily repetition of the same food, with the same composition, for a long period of time, can cause allergic reactions in the pet’s organism.

Therefore, some factors are quite important when it’s time to pick up a food with benefits for dogs, which we will see later on in this article.

Before we get there, however, it’s important to emphasize some aspects for better understanding about the difference between hypersensitivity and food intolerance.

Some research sources indicate that while food allergy or food hypersensitivity happens due to an immunologic response to an ingredient (where there is a production of specific antibodies to combat it), food intolerance is a non-immunologic reaction [3].

Food allergies and hypersensitivities are classic reactions noticed over time. Intolerances occur belatedly, are less known by the immune system and are less noticeable than allergies [4].

The most common intolerances are to gluten and lactose, whereas allergic reactions can be caused by hereditary or genetic aspects and from foods from various sources, notably those with proteins of animal origin.

As we mentioned before, generally, proteins can be the greatest agents of allergic reactions, especially the low digestibility types or the ones that cause an incomplete nutrient digestion.

The result of the lack of protein absorption makes allergenic substances stay longer in contact with the intestinal mucosa, allowing the organism to identify them even after digestion, generating a tendency of immunological reaction [4].

So, proteins that aren’t completely digested can have a greater potential to cause allergies and hypersensitivity in organisms, being that human or animal.

In dogs, allergies occur more frequently. Despite being caused mostly by genetic factors, ingestion of protein ingredients with low digestibility can increase food hypersensitivity.

This also happens because “all proteins of the diet are potentially allergenic, as they are recognized as foreign bodies by the immune system and, most of the time, are the only food allergens found” [4].

Food hypersensitivity, as well as other factors like nutrient allergy or intolerance, cause chronic gastrointestinal problems with symptoms that can change over time, like vomit, diarrhea and weight loss.

The solution for these gastrointestinal malfunctions in dogs is the ingestion of a diet rich in hypoallergenics - products that have nutrients with low quantities of substances that can cause allergies, also known as allergens.

Food and feed with easily digestible proteins and high apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC), as well as with free amino acids and rich in bioactive peptides, have lower allergenic potential and higher nutritional effectiveness.

This happens because enriched diets have molecular levels below 10.000 DA which, as stated before, decreases the chances of hypersensitivity development.

Thus, in this scenario, the diet is extremely important to avoid hypersensitivity and food allergies development, also aiding in treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal disorders in dogs.

It is also important to mention that a viable solution, validated by scientific researches, is the inclusion of BioActio Health & Palatability Chicken Liver Protein Hydrolysate from BRF Ingredients.

Benefits of BioActio Health & Palatability in diets for dogs

Produced by the enzymatic hydrolysis process, BioActio Health & Palatability presents many benefits that enhance animal nutrition.

The enzymatic hydrolysis breaks a molecule into smaller pieces by using water, which allows the formation of bioactive peptides - substances that provide better health and metabolism for the animals.

The Chicken Liver Protein Hydrolysate (CLPH) from BRF Ingredients’ BioActio Health & Palatability is a functional ingredient capable of supplying nutritional and metabolic demands of dogs, improving quality of life and performance for the pets.

Rich in bioactive peptides, BioActio is highly palatable and presents itself as a hypoallergenic solution with high effectiveness, reducing the chances of the development of diseases like food hypersensitivity, allergic reactions and food intolerance.

The bioactive peptides found in the CLPH from BRF Ingredients are formed in smaller chains and 100% of them are below 3.000 Da, aiding the pets’ digestibility of the ingredients.

It is important to notice that the bioactive peptides originated from BioActio can be absorbed 10 times faster than the free amino acids, since the absorption of those nutrients doesn’t occur in the same place in the organism.

Besides that, BioActio Chicken Liver Protein Hydrolysate is highly palatable for dogs, because it’s produced with fresh raw material with sensorial properties. It has 13% of free amino acids and is produced solely with chicken liver.

It also has a high crude protein content, low molecular mass and 95% digestibility, allowing the dog's organism to absorb nutrients more easily, thus reducing the likelihood of developing food hypersensitivity due to long exposure.

Another advantage provided by BioActio Health & Palatability is that it has specific functionalities for dogs’ health, with activities such as anti inflammatory, anti oxidant and the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor.

The diet is extremely important for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders caused by food hypersensitivity, allergies and/or food intolerance.

That is why the introduction of a functional ingredient benefits the pets’ health and metabolism. BioActio is an enriched ingredient that has not only immunomodulatory action, but also it is hypoallergenic.

Animal nutrition bears many challenges for the industry and the owners of dogs with food hypersensitivity. However, according to studies, the best option for an animal with gastrointestinal disorders is always the utilization of a balanced and complete diet, supplying nutritional and functional demands of dogs.

As stated in this article, Chicken Liver Protein Hydrolysate (CLPH) from BRF Ingredients’ BioActio Health & Palatability provides the expected results of an enriched diet that generates functional and nutritional values that are essential for the pets’ health.

Discover more about the benefits of BioActio protein hydrolysates for dogs’ nutrition. Please visit: BioActio Health & Palatability (Chicken Liver Protein Hydrolysate) - BRF Ingredients.


[1] Prior, Vitória Dotto Ragagnin; Burdulis, Priscila Becker Ferreira. Dietas hipoalergênicas e sua importância no tratamento de cães. Anais do 13º Salão Internacional de Ensino, Pesquisa e Extensão da Unipampa: Pesquisa e Inovação, v.13, nº. 3, 2021. Disponível em: DIETAS HIPOALERGÊNICAS E SUA IMPORT NCIA NO TRATAMENTO DE CÃES | Anais do Salão Internacional de Ensino, Pesquisa e Extensão ( Acesso: 16 e 17 de novembro de 2022.

[2] Delves, Peter J. Alergia alimentar. Disponível em:,-autoimunes-e-outras-rea%C3%A7%C3%B5es-de-hipersensibilidade/alergia-alimentar. Acesso: 16, 17 de novembro.

[3] Prosser, Christiane S. Informativo Técnico: Alergia alimentar em cães e o papel da dieta hipoalergênica. Disponível em: Informativo_RCVET_21x28_clinvet4. Acesso: 16 de novembro de 2022.

[4] Weis, MARIANA. Monografia: Hipersensibilidade alimentar em cães - revisão da literatura. Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-árido. Porto Alegre/RS, 2011. Disponível em: Acesso: 16 de novembro de 2022.