Wellness

Dog Allergy Testing: How Much Does It Cost And Is It Worth It? We Review The 5 Best At-Home Tests

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Last Updated: May 30, 2024 | 10 min read | 15 Comments

This content was reviewed by veterinarian Dr. JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM.

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Dog itching with allergy test next to them.
Image credit: Happy monkey, Shutterstock

Is your dog scratching incessantly? Or do you think your dog isn’t tolerating his food well because he’s having ongoing digestive issues? If so, you may be wondering how to find out what your dog is allergic to. Allergy testing is the most efficient method, and now there’s an easy way to test your dog for a wide variety of food and environmental allergies from the convenience of your home. I review some of the best at-home dog allergy test kits that could help you uncover what’s pestering your pup.

WinnerRunner-UpThird Place
5Strands Pet Food & Environmental Intolerance TestMy Pet Sensitivity Dog Sensitivity Test.EasyDNA Dog Intolerance Test.
5StrandsMy Pet SensitivityEasyDNA
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Read Review

What Types Of Allergies Are Tested?

These kits test for sensitivity or intolerance to food and environmental factors that develop over time rather than IgE (Immunoglobulin E) allergies, which are caused by the body’s immune system. IgE allergic reactions can occur within minutes of ingestion or exposure and are diagnosed through a blood test or skin prick test by veterinarians. Here are some examples of what at-home kits test for:

  • Food intolerance and sensitivities (proteins, grains, veggies, fruits, oils, etc.)
  • Artificial food preservatives and additives
  • Airborne allergens (pollens, grasses, dust, fungus)
  • Fleas, ants, and dust mites
  • Household cleaning ingredients

These kits aren’t meant to replace a consultation with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has allergies. Rather, you should discuss these kits’ results with your veterinarian. They can complement blood or skin allergy testing that your vet performs.

How Does At-Home Dog Allergy Testing Work?

Are you wondering how to test for dog allergies at home? How do these kits work? All you have to do is collect a hair or saliva sample (depending on each company) and mail it to the company’s lab. Then, you’ll receive results via email within a few weeks. You should share your results with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment plan for your pup.

Are At-Home Dog Allergy Tests Accurate?

It’s important to keep in mind that conventional scientific research hasn’t found tests analyzing hair samples for intolerances to be conclusive or accurate. However, holistic veterinary medicine often utilizes these test methods and many holistic vets are proponents.

What Can Dogs Be Allergic To?

Like humans, dogs can develop allergies to a multitude of substances, including a variety of foods, medications, shampoos, and environmental factors. What are the top dog allergies? The most common food allergens include dairy products, beef, egg, chicken, lamb, wheat, and soy. Common environmental triggers include fleas and dust mites, as well as molds and pollens from trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers.

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Allergies

Dog allergy symptoms can vary widely based on what’s causing the allergy, but some common symptoms include:

  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy, red, moist, or scabby skin
  • Constant licking
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Hair loss
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

Best Dog Allergy Test Kits

We based our rankings of the best allergy test for dogs you can do at home on several factors, including the information you get with your results, customer reviews, pricing, and more.

Winner: 5Strands Pet Food & Environmental Intolerance Test Review

5Strands Pet Food & Environmental Intolerance Test

View on 5Strands | View on Amazon | View on Chewy

The extensive 5Strands Pet Food and Environmental Intolerance Test kit tests for a whopping 275 food ingredients and 105 environmental items. The laboratory scans your pet’s hair sample (10-15 strands) using bioresonance technology, which “creates a profile of energies that radiates from a person or pet,” according to the company’s website. This analysis helps identify imbalances in the body.

The test also provides you with an easy-to-understand report. Results are color-coded, with red being foods and other triggers to avoid and yellow to flag those items to use with caution. They also give you dietary and lifestyle guidelines, including a recommended elimination diet (if needed), based on your dog’s results.

While some owners said the results were inaccurate, many found the test extremely helpful in alleviating their pet’s allergy symptoms. 5Strands also has approval from organizations such as the North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH), the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA), and the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

ProsCons
Tests for 380 food and environmental itemsOn the pricey side
Only requires hair samples
Get results in 7 days
Website lists all allergens they test for
Also offers other pet wellness tests
Customer support via live chat, phone, and email
For dogs and cats

Price

Looking for a 5Strands promo code? Get 10% off your order with the coupon code CSM10. Just click here to get started.

In-Depth 5Strands Review

Read my full review of 5Strands to learn more about the science behind this company’s analysis methods and other pet tests 5Strands offers.

Runner-Up: My Pet Sensitivity Dog Sensitivity Test Review

My Pet Sensitivity Dog Sensitivity Test.

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My Pet Sensitivity offers a holistic Basic Dog Sensitivity Test, which tests for 300 food ingredients, artificial food preservatives, and environmental allergens. Like 5Strands, this company uses bioresonance technology to analyze hair strands from your furry friend to determine which items your dog may have an intolerance to. My Pet Sensitivity hasn’t been on the market nearly as long as 5Strands, but I still think it’s worth consideration, particularly for the more affordable pricing.

Results provide all the items that could be causing temporary imbalances and discomfort for your pet as well as an elimination guide. This company also offers a similar test kit for cats, a puppy & kitten test, and an advanced test, which includes nutrition and metals & minerals analysis in addition to the basic sensitivity analysis. My Pet Sensitivity is trusted and accredited by NASH and the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine (IPHM).

ProsCons
Tests for 300 food and environmental itemsNo sample results available on their site
Competitive pricing with frequent discountsSome customer complaints that it takes much longer than 5-7 days to receive results
Only requires hair sample
Get results in 5-7 days
Website lists all items they test for
Steep discounts when purchasing multiple tests
100% money-back guarantee

Price

My Pet Sensitivity has frequent discounts on the following pricing.

  • Advanced Pet Sensitivity Test: $100
  • Basic Dog Sensitivity Test: $90
  • View all options

EasyDNA Dog Intolerance Test Review

EasyDNA Dog Intolerance Test.

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The EasyDNA dog Intolerance test kit tests for over 143 food items and 49 environmental allergens by analyzing 4-5 strands of hair. The kit also includes a small green collection tube, which you can use to send a sample of anything you think your pet is sensitive to (e.g., pollen, dust, food, treats, shampoo, etc.)

Results include the potential allergens that produced 85% or more intolerance in analysis. It also provides a guide on how to proceed with the complete removal of these elements from your dog’s diet and environment for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. You can also order an add-on Food Suggestion Report for an additional $39. It provides a personalized list of specific food brands and recipes you can incorporate into your dog’s diet based on his food sensitivities.

ProsCons
Competitive pricingNo information about the type of scientific analysis used
Tests for 190+ food and environmental itemsSome reports about long wait times for phone support
Only requires hair sample
Get results within 5 days
$10 discount on each additional test kit
The website lists all allergens they test for and has a sample results report
Live chat, phone, and email support

Price

Looking for an Easy DNA promo code? Click here for the best deal we could find.

In-Depth Review Of EasyDNA Dog Intolerance Test

To see more test details, read my full review of EasyDNA’s Dog Intolerance Test.

More Dog Allergy Test Kits

As this market grows, more providers jump in with their allergy test kits. Who knows? Maybe you’ll try more than one and find one of these works better for your unique pup and situation. I’ve also reviewed:

Glacier Peak Pet Intolerance Test Review

glacier peak pet intolerance test

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The Pet Intolerance Test by Glacier Peak Holistics tests for over 300 stressors or triggers in your pet’s diet and environment using a method based on traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and Western holistic medicine.

The testing method uses energetic analysis with a “biofeedback device.” What exactly does that mean? According to their website, biofeedback “has the ability to read the energetic resonance that emanates from the hair and saliva samples.” So this test measures imbalances that could indicate an intolerance or sensitivity to certain items. If you’re into holistic medicine for your dog, you may find value in this test kit.

Our Personal Experience With Glacier Peak

They received the test samples and we got the results within a week, thanks to selecting the expedited shipping option! The results included a 3-page PDF breakdown of my dog’s energy imbalances and stressors. It also provides resources and contact information if you have any additional questions or want to speak to a holistic vet further about your dog’s results. I called customer service by phone and spoke to a very helpful person right away.

Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Parent, Creative & Content Marketing at Canine Journal
ProsCons
Easy saliva and hair sample collectionWebsite doesn’t have sample results or a list of each allergen they test for
Tests for 200 food and 100 environmental triggersWebsite lacks resources about pet allergens
Get results in about 2 weeks
A consult with a holistic wellness coach is included with kit purchase
Free standard shipping
Also has tests for cats and horses

Price

In-Depth Glacier Peak Holistics Review

Read my full review of Glacier Peak Holistics for more details about the test and process.

NutriScan Review

NutriScan

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Unlike the other kits we review here, NutriScan is only a cat and dog food allergy test that identifies food ingredient intolerances. It does not test for mold, pollens, fleas, and other environmental triggers. NutriScan was developed by a world-renowned veterinarian who’s an expert in pet nutrition. They’ve conducted two clinical trials that validated the test’s efficacy and have tested 23,000+ dogs.

This test measures antibodies to 24 primary foods (e.g., beef, chicken, soy, corn, etc.) in the saliva of dogs and cats. The results tell you which foods to avoid. You’ll also see the level of intolerance that your pet has to the foods that were tested: high, intermediate, borderline, or no reaction. The high cost of this kit kept it out of our top three rankings.

ProsCons
Easy saliva sample collectionExpensive
Get results in 2-3 weeksOnly tests for food intolerances (and not as many foods as other tests we review here)
Extensive website knowledge baseAdded $30 fee to consult with pet nutrition experts for personalized dietary advice
Test validated in clinical trials in Europe and U.S.
For dogs and cats

Price

In-Depth Nutriscan Review

See my full review of NutriScan for more details about the science and clinical study results for their unique test.

What’s The Best Allergy Medicine For Dogs?

Whether your dog is suffering from digestive issues or skin problems, allergies can wreak havoc on a dog’s body. How can you relieve your dog’s suffering? You’re likely wondering, what can I give my dog for allergies? We tell you all of the safe medications, supplements, and other products that can help your pup in our best allergy medicine for dogs article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions we’ve received from our readers regarding dog allergy testing. If you don’t see yours here, please don’t hesitate to ask us in our comments.

Can You Give Puppies An At-Home Dog Allergy Test?

Most companies state that their tests are for dogs older than six months. Be sure to check out each company’s website for age restrictions before purchasing.

How Do Vets Test For Allergies In Dogs?

IgE allergy testing for dogs in a veterinarian’s office can be performed using two techniques: skin or blood testing.

Intradermal Allergy Testing

Considered the “gold standard” in determining the cause of atopic dermatitis, an intradermal skin test involves an injection of a small amount of a potential allergen under the skin’s surface. After about 20 minutes, the area is examined for a reaction at the site.

Large areas of your dog’s coat must be shaved to allow the injection sites to be monitored for a reaction. Three things to note with intradermal testing: (1) your dog will need to be anesthetized; (2) it’s only performed by veterinary dermatologists, who may not be available in your area; and (3) the test may be expensive.

Serum Allergy Testing

Vets can also conduct a blood test if they suspect that your dog has allergies. The serum from your dog is tested for sensitivity to a variety of potential allergens, including dust, pollen, fungi, dust mites, and common ingredients found in dog food. No anesthesia or shaving of the injection area is needed. However, blood tests can be less precise than skin tests and are also prone to false positives. Still, they’re considered safer because there’s less risk of a severe allergic reaction at the injection site. They also don’t require anesthesia.

How Much Is A Dog Allergy Test At A Vet’s Office?

Pricing varies by your vet and location, but in general, you can expect to pay an average of $200 for a skin test and $200-$300 for a blood test. If your dog is getting a skin test, you may also have to pay a vet examination fee and for sedation. Sedation averages from $50-$100 for a small dog and $100-$200 for a large dog.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Allergy Testing?

Depending on the condition or reason you’re getting the allergy test and the coverage details from your insurance company, in most cases, the answer is yes; pet health insurance can help pay for allergy testing for itchy skin and other problems. Some pet insurance plans will cover the allergy test and the entire cost of the visit to your veterinarian, but coverage may vary based on the provider and your specific policy. Read our pet insurance reviews to see which companies we recommend.

Does Your Dog Need A New Diet?

Is dog allergy testing worth it? For sure. Discovering what’s causing your pup’s discomfort and getting the appropriate treatment can be life-changing for your dog’s health, well-being, and overall happiness.

If you’ve discovered from one of these tests (and in consultation with your vet) that your dog isn’t tolerant of certain ingredients he’s been eating, talk to your vet about changing your dog’s diet. We encourage you to read our reviews of the best dog food delivery services and the best foods for dogs with allergies to find a possible alternative.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally has over 20 years of experience in human health sciences communications, including 10 years as an expert on pet health conditions and treatment. She’s also spent over a decade researching at-home pet DNA, allergy, wellness, and other types of tests. At Canine Journal, she’s part of a team of dedicated canine professionals and long-time dog owners who test and research the best pet products, not only for our own pups but for all of our readers.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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