Dog Allergy Testing - All There Is to Know + Best Dog Allergy Tests Reviewed


Does your doggo seem to have an allergic reaction?

Sometimes, it’s not easy to spot whether dogs suffer from an allergy or some other skin diseases, and I'm there to guide you.

After reading this article, pet owners will be ready to spot symptoms of allergies in dogs, as well as make the crucial first step towards the solution of a problem: performing dog allergy testing.

The good thing that people may not know is that you can do it all from home, without taking your pets to the veterinarian and performing expensive blood allergy testing or skin testing.

I made sure to pick (in close consultation with a dog allergist & a dermatologist) the best allergy tests that you can get.

There are many factors and information to take in about the allergies and their cause and signs in pets, so without further ado, we can begin.

In a hurry? After 34 Hours of Research, I Recommend:


94/100

My Score

Why did I deem it the best dog allergy test?

  • Detects most of the allergies
  • Veterinarians recommend it
  • Quick diagnosis & life improvement guidelines
  • 355 dog allergens
  • The biggest number of environmental allergens
  • Doesn’t require a blood sample

How I Picked:

reviews considered

Reviews considered in making a decision

The consumer opinions matter,
and I pick through those thoroughly.

Sources inspected & researched

I gauge the source authenticity & authority before checking the opinions.

Hours spent comparing & researching

I spent the time so you don't have to. The products are reviewed with utmost care.

Products considered

My selection included all the popular entries from popular sources, and was narrowed down to the finest seventeen.

Last Updated: August 4th 2020

By Michael T.
This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best outdoor dog beds available for those who are interested in taking care of their pets the best way. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best outdoor dog beds currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

5Strands Allergy Testing Products
- Comparison Table -

Product
5Strands Pet 300 Test for Dogs
5Strands Pet Metals & Minerals Test
5Strands Pet Treat Test
5Strands Pet Environmental Only Test
5Strands Food Intolerance Test
Image
5Strands | Affordable Pet 300 Test | 255 Food Ingredients & 100 Environmental Items Tested Cat & Dog | Allergy Sensitivity & Intolerance at Home Collection Test Kit | Hair Analysis
5Strands | Household Pet Metal & Mineral Over Exposure Test Kit | Dog & Cat | Tests 40 Items | Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury | Hair Analysis
5Strands | Affordable Pet Treat Intolerance Test | 50 Single Ingredient Cat Dog Treats Tested | Bone, Jerky, Salmon
5Strands | Household Pet Environmental Intolerance Test Kit | Dog & Cat | Tests 100 Environmental Items | Fabrics, Cleaning Solutions, Trees, Grasses | Hair Analysis
5Strands Food Intolerance Test | 600 Items | at Home Collection Kit | Hair Analysis | Results 7-10 Days | Holistic Adult & Child Allergy Sensitivity | Gluten Soy Dairy Lactose Protein
Detects
Food & environmental allergens
Metals & minerals presence, drug sensitivities
Food allergies (found in pet treats)
Environmental allergies
Food Allergens
Accuracy
5/5
4/5
3.5/5
4.5/5
5/5
Number Of Allergens
355
40
50
100
600
Product
5Strands Pet 300 Test for Dogs
Image
5Strands | Affordable Pet 300 Test | 255 Food Ingredients & 100 Environmental Items Tested Cat & Dog | Allergy Sensitivity & Intolerance at Home Collection Test Kit | Hair Analysis
Detects
Food & environmental allergens
Accuracy
5/5
Number Of Allergens
355
What do I think about it
Product
5Strands Pet Metals & Minerals Test
Image
5Strands | Household Pet Metal & Mineral Over Exposure Test Kit | Dog & Cat | Tests 40 Items | Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury | Hair Analysis
Detects
Metals & minerals presence, drug sensitivities
Accuracy
4/5
Number Of Allergens
40
What do I think about it
Product
5Strands Pet Treat Test
Image
5Strands | Affordable Pet Treat Intolerance Test | 50 Single Ingredient Cat Dog Treats Tested | Bone, Jerky, Salmon
Detects
Food allergies (found in pet treats)
Accuracy
3.5/5
Number Of Allergens
50
What do I think about it
Product
5Strands Pet Environmental Only Test
Image
5Strands | Household Pet Environmental Intolerance Test Kit | Dog & Cat | Tests 100 Environmental Items | Fabrics, Cleaning Solutions, Trees, Grasses | Hair Analysis
Detects
Environmental allergies
Accuracy
4.5/5
Number Of Allergens
100
What do I think about it
Product
5Strands Food Intolerance Test
Image
5Strands Food Intolerance Test | 600 Items | at Home Collection Kit | Hair Analysis | Results 7-10 Days | Holistic Adult & Child Allergy Sensitivity | Gluten Soy Dairy Lactose Protein
Detects
Food Allergens
Accuracy
5/5
Number Of Allergens
600
What do I think about it

Guide to Dog Allergy Testing:
How to Know Whether Your Dog is Allergic to Something

how to know if your dog is allergic to something?

In 99% of the cases, you should be able to spot common symptoms of allergies:

  • Obsessive licking
  • Ear infections
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Biting the skin and body
  • Inflammation
  • Wheezing

But the only certain way to find out is to perform allergy testing.

By the way, for any animal testing, make sure that your dog is not taking any antihistamines or corticosteroids (at least ten days before the testing), or it can affect the quality of the results.

In the meantime, take a look at some e tips to ease the symptoms:

Another thing that I want to make clear: once you recognize the symptoms, perform an allergy test, and gather all the information, I recommend making an appointment with your vet.

In some cases, the condition and the allergic reaction can be eliminated by limiting the exposure to the allergens or by not using the food allergen if it's a food allergy.

But some allergies in dogs, especially skin allergic reactions, require medication. Under no circumstances should you experiment with the medications by yourself!

For example, a specialist may prescribe using corticosteroids or antihistamines, especially in the case of atopic dermatitis and similar skin reactions, and in severe cases, an injection might be needed.

For other, milder conditions, just make a brand-new diet plan, with some wholesome ingredients, excluding the things your dog is allergic to, and you’ll notice improvement after a week or so.

Types of Dog Allergy Tests

1. Strand Hair Test (My Recommendation)

Just like I mentioned, out of all types of testing, this one provides the most extensive and reliable sample report.

Here’s how it is performed:

  1. You receive your test kit (currently, there’s no better than the 5strands one). You’ll have to fill out some info regarding your pet and your address.
  2. Collect the hair. 10-15 strands should be enough (preferably, pulled or clipped - not shed).
  3. Place the sample in the bag. You will get the bag in the package.
  4. Send the whole kit via mail. You will be provided with a pre-addressed envelope.
  5. Wait. You will receive a notification email that the test has been delivered to their laboratory, and from that moment on, you should wait for around 5 to 7 days.
  6. Analyze the report. Upon the arrival of the testing result (again, via email), you can observe what your dog is allergic to. It’s pretty easy to follow (signaled in green, yellow, and red - according to severity). I had no trouble reading the reports, but just in case, I wanted to test the customer support. I can confirm they are responsive and helpful!
  7. Improve your dog’s life 🙂. Now that you know what’s causing allergies, it’s time to stop that scratching & itching forever, and reevaluate your dog's diet - perhaps go with homemade food so that you can control what your pup takes in?

2. Saliva Testing

Although I suggest strand testing, this type can also be an efficient technique

The procedure is quite similar to the previous one, so I won’t describe it in detail. You’ll receive the kit, fill in the info, and, after it’s ready, mail it back in the pre-addressed envelope.

The only half that differs is that you should put the cotton device in your dog’s mouth and collect the saliva sample until the swab indicates that it is enough. Then, you put it in a tube that you get with the purchase, and that’s it.

3. Veterinarian (Blood Allergy Testing Test/Skin Testing)

At-home allergy testing tools are much more convenient than these, because it is reasonably easy to perform them, and they show the same results.

Not to mention that this type is almost three times as expensive as the homemade alternative!

You should opt for this source of testing instead of a home-based one only if you don’t find the ingredient you’re suspicious of on the list of allergens. But that’s very unlikely, especially with the 5Strands Test that contains more than 350.

Besides, veterinarian tests often include blood samples, and just like us, humans, our dogs are not too fond of blood extraction. No need to submit it to torture!

5 Best Products for Allergy Testing

My Rating: 94/100

The 5Strands Pet 300 test by far beat all of the other products and landed squarely in the first place.

Why is it better than blood allergy testing or intradermal skin testing?

Not only this testing method is the easiest, but it is also the most reliable and extensive allergy test out there.

Namely, it tests as many as 355 of the most common allergens, including 255 pet food ingredients and 100 environmental items. Pretty impressive, huh?

Listing all the details here would be too much, but if you’re interested in the complete list,  you can check it out here.

As you can see, there is every possible allergen that could cause your dog atopy, anaphylaxis, redness, or itching, including pollens, molds, dust, fleas, and even ordinary protein sources like chicken, lamb, eggs, soy, etc.

The best part is that it detects long-term reactions to the allergen (aka intolerances), which are very hard to detect otherwise because they may come with a delayed onset. 

This means that the symptoms can appear several hours (or even days) after your dog has been exposed to it.

How does this advanced allergy test work?

Unlike many unreliable allergy dogs’ tests that require blood samples or skin testing, the 5Strands Pet 300 testing (just like the name suggests) tests your pet’s hair sample. 10-15 strands are all you need for it to provide comprehensive and easy-to-read test results.

Pros

  • 100% accurate allergy testing
  • Easy procedure to find the root cause of dog allergies
  • Comes with personalized guidelines on how to improve your dog’s diet
  • No age/breed limit
  • Results ready in 7-10 days
  • Testing for many allergens (355)
  • Responsive staff

Cons

  • Doesn’t test for yeast allergies

Conclusion:

The 5Strands Pet 300 test is my top pick, and I suggest taking it for any trouble that your dog may have. No more itching, swelling, sneezing, and irritation - it will tell you everything you need to know about therapy.

2. 5Strands Pet Metals & Minerals Test - Best Drug Sensitivity Test

My Rating: 90/100

Now, the following method of testing isn’t precisely a dog allergy test as we know it.

What do I mean by that?

If you’re diligent in discovering all the causes that affect your dog's health - not just allergic reactions - and improving its diet, skin, and general lifestyle, the following tool is an incredibly versatile test.

Also, there’s no better test if you’re determined to find out whether your dog is too sensitive for particular medications and its composition.

It's true - some medications might be good therapy for another condition, but what's the use, if a metal used in it causes an allergic reaction?

This veterinarian developed test is suitable for all dog breeds.

Its primary purpose is “health screening for minerals & metals,” which encapsulates, but is not limited to, allergen testing.

Namely, this allergy test tests for 40 potential metal & mineral imbalances.

These are sometimes included in medications, or even found in traces of dog's food, along with other sensitivities that might indicate that your dog has an allergy to a particular medication or metal and minerals in its composition.

They might even be found in water, and you may be surprised to find out that your dogs may be exposed to lead by eating from a ceramic bowl and chewing on different things.

Pros

  • Benefits your dog’s overall health
  • Checks drugs resistance & medication sensitivities with regard to its composition
  • Good for all breeds (as well as cats)
  • Built by experts

Cons

  • Doesn’t test for any food allergies

Conclusion:

Ideally, the 5Strands Metal & Mineral test should be performed along with the first one that I mentioned, the 5Strands Pet 300 Test.

The combination of test results of these two methods should point out anything that your dog might have issues with without blood allergy testing or an expensive skin test!

3. 5Strands Pet Treat Test - Budget-Friendly Pick

dog allergy testing - best allergy tests that won't break the bank

My Rating: 88/100

The next dog allergy test has a narrow scope, but it's still very accurate.

It tests for 50 potential food allergens in popular pet treats, such as Tendons, Hoofs, Jerky, Bones, etc.

As you can see, this test won't provide the complete diet analysis (hence the lower grade), but it still contains many allergens that are found in pets' treats, although they aren’t that numerous as with my top pick.

Many veterinarians recommend it, and it will definitely help you decide which brand you should buy for your dog.

The whole procedure isn’t complicated, just like with other 5Strands products. You will get all you need in the kit, and the instructions are easy to follow.

Pros

  • Results received via the email address
  • Better than a skin test
  • Checks all the widespread dog food allergens & substances found in most dog food brands
  • Suitable for cats, as well
  • Good for making elimination diets and preventing skin infections

Cons

  • A bit narrow scope of intolerance ingredients

Conclusion:

If your dog displays any signs of food allergies, you can use the 5Strands Pet Treat test, which will help to narrow down the culprit of your pet’s food intolerance if the problem is due to the content of treats!

4. 5Strands Pet Environmental Only Dog Allergy Test - Best for Environmental Allergens

dog allergy testing - best allergy tests that won't break the bank

My Rating: 88/100

Pet Environmental Only test isn’t a bad choice if your dog has mild allergies because it is probably going to help.

It’s not as efficient as my top pick that screens for environmental components AND foods, but if you've ruled out the latter, this is the one to take.

Still, if you’re in two minds whether your dog has a sort of food or skin allergy, you’d be better off doing the first test that I reviewed.

This product discovers your dog allergy symptoms and sensitivities for up to 100 allergens, including fleas, parasites, pollen, mold, dust mites, and other forms that trigger a skin reaction. If you’re interested in the complete list, check it out here.

Pros

  • Responsive customer support
  • Checks for dust mites, fleas, pollen from trees, weeds, and flowers & mold spores allergies
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Quick results

Cons

  • Some other kinds contain food recommendations in the results

Conclusion:

If you're not sure what causes allergic reactions, the Environmental Only Dog Allergy Test can help you find what your 4-legged friend can and cannot be exposed to.

5. 5Strands Food Intolerance Test - Best for Food Allergy Testing

dog allergy testing - best allergy tests that won't break the bank

My Rating: 89/100

Finishing off with another test by 5Strands, the dermatologist I'm working with confirmed that this is the most efficient one for food allergy.

What can I say?

5Strands are really the gold standard when it comes to food allergies and household products required for allergy testing with dogs.

However, this version - the blue one - is specifically for a food trial, i.e., food sensitivity (1000 allergens are tested).

It doesn't recognize chemical substances, grasses, pollen, supplements, and similar stressors in the environment that may affect the well-being of your dog and cause some other types of allergic response.

These are not the so-called IgE allergies, so you shouldn't take this test if your dog happens to have a sign of yeast infections. Other than that, it covers pretty much every food ingredient and allergen there is.

By the way, in the case of atopic dermatitis and other visible skin allergies, the sample should be taken from the test site (the site that has visible signs of skin reaction).

Pros

  • Dermatologists recommend it
  • High accuracy
  • Clear directions and results
  • Great for food allergies & making an elimination diet
  • Easy to use
  • Treatment guidelines are provided

Cons

  • While it is good for food allergies and food sensitivities, it still doesn't include environmental allergies & issues
  • Doesn't test for allergies that are caused by the immune system of the body

Conclusion:

5Strands makes incredibly accurate techniques. Just send it to their laboratory, and wait for the response.
All the problems will soon be gone!

 - Frequently Asked Questions -

Q: Is allergy testing for dogs accurate?

A: If you’re wondering if it can substitute expensive testing at the veterinarian - yes, it can, and it is accurate in the sense that it will determine the cause of allergies, dermatitis, etc. It’s important to find a reliable testing brand, though, and that’s what I did in this article.

Q: How do you test for allergies in dogs?

A: There are different kinds of testing methods for detecting allergies in dogs. For more info, refer to the type of dog allergy test.

You can also perform a skin test or a blood test if you make an appointment with a vet, but it isn't necessary.

Q: What is the most common food allergy in dogs?

A: Some of the most common food allergies dog owners report include:

  • Peanut allergies
  • Believe it or not, corn
  • Proteins (beef, pork, turkey, etc.)
  • Dairy products
  • Wheat

 Q: Is there a shot to get rid of dog allergies?

A:  In severe cases, your dog might need an injection shot to help him with a strong reaction in the immune system, but mostly, you will cure allergies by determining the allergens and getting rid of them.

After All Is Said & Done, I Recommend:


94/100

My Score

Why did I deem it the best dog allergy test?

  • Detects most of the allergies
  • Veterinarians recommend it
  • Quick diagnosis & life improvement guidelines
  • 355 dog allergens
  • The biggest number of environmental allergens
  • Doesn’t require a blood sample

Conclusion

Congratulations!

Your doggo will be immensely grateful for this.

Now you learned how to solve all the persistent infections, skin issues such as atopic dermatitis, swelling, etc. The key to the solution is finding the cause, and these allergy tests will help you!

I also recommend getting a test as a preventive, even if your pets don't show clear symptoms of allergies.

You know how they say - Prevention is better than cure, and by not exposing your dog to some potential allergens, you’re already doing so much for him!

Make sure to share this article with someone who might consider it helpful!

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