Basenji Food Allergies and How to Deal With Them

In this article, we are going to be looking at Basenji food allergies and how to specifically deal with them. Basenjis, like other dogs and people, suffer from food allergies. We are going to look at these and establish exactly what causes them and how you can remedy them.

Basenjis can suffer from food allergies and food intolerances. Just like people, Basenjis are susceptible to food allergies. About 20% of Basenjis suffer from them. Your Basenji will react to food allergies in different ways so you need to be able to recognize them.

Offering a Basenji dog a treat during reward based training.
Offering a Basenji dog a treat during reward based training.

You need to be able to tell the difference between food allergies and atmospheric allergies and this article will hopefully help you to better distinguish between the two thereby helping you to help your Basenji get the best treatment possible.

Signs Your Basenji Has Food Allergies

What are the signs of food allergies that you need to watch out for? By and large, you will see a number of signs that show that your dog is experiencing food allergies. These include anal licking, vomiting, hair loss, scratching, itching, ear infections, skin infection, redness, and paw licking.

Basenji Food Allergies

When you see any of this, there is a high likelihood that your Basenji is experiencing food allergies.  In most cases, you will notice a defined behavioural change in your Basenji’s behaviour which is a trigger for you to be more attentive to what exactly may be impacting them.

Understanding Basenji Food Allergies a Little Better

The usual misconception when we begin to see signs of allergies on your dog is that it’s due to something that they recently ate. It often takes around two years for the signs o begin showing on your Basenji.

Allergic reactions are part of the body’s response to irritants in the food or atmosphere. When your Basenji starts to experience these, it is a sign that the body has reached a stage where it can no longer continue to tolerate the allergens.

This is usually the case within the first two years of your Basenji’s life. You can give them a specific type of food for over two years of their life without any issues whatsoever then start seeing an allergic reaction at the age of two and over.

It takes two years for certain immune responses to be fully developed hence the intolerance kicks in at that point. What this means is that your Basenji can eat specific food for two years and not experience any problems with it.

It’s only at the stage where they pass over the two-year threshold that they start exhibiting signs of negative reactions to the food. When this kicks in, it may simultaneously tie in with you introducing a specific type of food and you may erroneously isolate this food as the causative factor.

A Basenji puppy sleeping on the couch.
A Basenji puppy sleeping on the couch.

Foods That Can Trigger Allergies for Basenjis

To help you get a better understanding of why this may be a factor, let’s take a look at the list of foods that are known to cause allergic reactions for your Basenji. The list of food includes beef, eggs, soy, corn, wheat, milk, chicken, potatoes, and corn.

As you can see, the list above includes a number of food items that you most likely have been feeding your dog for a very long time without any signs that they may be the cause of the allergic reaction that your Basenji is experiencing.

A lot of times, dog owners have mistaken yeast infections with allergic reactions. Yeast infections are usually caused by carbohydrates in the diet and may not necessarily be an allergic reaction. You need to be able to tell the two apart.

A visit to the vet is a great way to establish what exactly you will be dealing with.

Suggested Remedies for Food Allergies

How exactly do you treat food allergies in your Basenji? Primarily, you need to establish whether or not this is actually a food allergy. Here is a recap of the signs that your dog is suffering from a food allergy:

“The signs of food allergies in your Basenji include anal licking, vomiting, hair loss, scratching, itching, ear infections, skin infection, redness, and paw licking.”

basenji dog eye wipe
Like many small dogs, Basenji’s need eye gunk removed – preferably before they dry. Dog eye wipes help but any cloth can do.

When you see these signs, you need to start treating your Basenji. The first thing to do is to put them on a hypoallergenic food trial for 6 to 12 weeks exclusively in order to eliminate possible causes.

This involves feeding them an exclusive diet and monitoring the responses during this time. Giving them a raw food diet is a great way of killing two birds with one stone as raw food has a reduced chance of causing food-related allergies.

When you find something that works after the six to twelve weeks period, stick to that diet going forward.

Treat underlying symptoms during this time using some vet prescribed medications. The fact that you have removed the allergy-causing food doesn’t mean that the allergies will automatically disappear. You need to treat your Basenji for these.

Organic Medication

An alternative is to look into organic medication that you can give your dog. There are some herbal remedies that are out there which can be used to treat your Basenji’s allergic reactions. Look for certified herbal dog therapists who can treat your dog using natural remedies instead of pharmaceutical drugs.

A growing number of Basenji owners are resorting to these types of remedies as well as organic dog food to counter these allergic reactions as well as to improve the overall health of their Basenji.


Two in every ten Basenjis will suffer from allergic reactions. If your Basenji is below two years of age, they will not exhibit any signs of allergic reactions and it’s pretty much a waiting game to establish whether or not your B will have them.

A great way to get ahead of this is to feed your pup as much raw food as possible with a strong leaning on organic foods that have not undergone processing. The body is less likely to develop allergic reactions though this is not a guarantee.