Brothers earned the Dog Food Advisors Editor Choice award for Best Allergy dog food from 2012 - 2022

The main cause of allergies in dogs is a condition called Leaky Gut that develops primarily as a result of a high carbohydrate, low animal protein diet. The use of antibiotics, exposure to toxins like topical flea treatments, pesticides in GMO grains, or heavy metal accumulations in fish can accelerate the process.

Allergies in dogs are far more common than is usually believed because the mechanism that causes them (Leaky Gut) is not very well understood, or accepted by mainstream veterinarians and nutritionists.

 Allergies and Food Intolerance are usually perceived to be the same thing but there are differences.

What is perceived as a food allergy is usually a food intolerance.

What most people think is an allergy is usually a combination of a Food Intolerance (to the meat protein in the food) caused by Leaky Gut.

Systemic Candida. They are both a result of Leaky Gut and the multiple symptoms they produce are usually associated with having allergies. 

In the end both Food Intolerance and Systemic Candida are the result of the same condition known as "Leaky Gut" and are almost always in the system at the same time, and are ultimately resolved with the same diet.


A diet of too many carbohydrates is the primary thing that causes a bacterial imbalance in the gut that ultimately leads to Leaky Gut and the symptoms we refer to generally as "Allergies". The excess sugar, from too many carbohydrates feeds the destructive bacteria which outgrows the beneficial bacteria (an imbalance called Dysbiosis).
This causes gaps to develop between the cells that line the inside of the small intestine which is Leaky Gut. At that point partially digested proteins, the Candida Albicans fungus, and fecal matter begin leaking into the blood stream.
The damage is accelerated by the use of antibiotics which kill the beneficial bacteria as well as the harmful bacteria. The harmful bacteria fed by the sugar from the carbohydrates grows back faster which increases the state of Dysbiosis and perpetuates the Leaky Gut condition.
Leaky Gut is made worse by the presence of toxins like pesticides, systemic flea medications, or heavy metals.
The gut lining becomes permeable as the bad bacteria outgrows the beneficial bacteria and causes gaps to develop in the joints between the cells (enterocytes) that line the gut wall. 
Partially digested proteins (in the form of random lengths of amino acids) leak into the blood stream and the immune system perceives them as attacking pathogens, records them, and builds an antibody to attack them should they return, as they certainly will, unless the Leaky Gut condition is resolved..
Over time, hundreds or thousands of random lengths of that protein leak through the gut wall and the immune system becomes overextended and hyper-vigilant in an effort to eliminate the constant flood of pathogens getting into the blood stream each day.
Switching to a unique protein is not a solution. The only solution is a food designed to heal heal Leaky Gut and is not full of the high-glycemic carbs that cause to bacteria to get out of balance. . If Leaky Gut is not healed the body will just form a food intolerance to the novel protein over time, the same way it did to the original protein. leading up to developing a food intolerance with that new protein.
The leaky Gut condition must be healed by changing to a diet that dos not have so many carbohydrates in it and does not upset the balance of ninety billion bacteria in the microbiome.
Brothers Dog Food is specifically designed to keep the gut healthy and in balance and strengthen the microbiome.
Once the Gut wall is healthy and no longer porous the dog can eat the offending protein without a problem.

Brothers Dog Food is designed to restore and maintain a fully functioning, healthy gut because the health of the gut, and the ninety-trillion bacteria that live in a healthy gut, determine the overall health of the organism. 

Allergies or "Food Intolerances", as they are often referred to, are caused by a condition called "Leaky Gut" that develops over time due to Dysbiosis which is an imbalance between the harmful and beneficial bacteria in the gut.

There are 90 trillion bacteria in a healthy gut and the majority of them are beneficial and essential for it's proper functioning. They keep the harmful bacteria in check and maintain the mucosal lining of the gut (small intestine) that isolates the fecal matter from the rest of the body and from which about 80% of the immune system is generated.

The inside lining of the small intestine is just one cell thick and is composed of specialized cells called Enterocytes that butt together a little like bricks. Small fine hairs called Cilia grow out of the enterocytes and help transfer nutrients from the food in the intestines, into the bloodstream where the body can use them, without allowing any fecal matter to escape into the blood stream.

Proteins are long chains of amino acids, of which there are 22 different ones, and they must be reduced to individual amino acids before the body can use them to rebuild or grow.

If partially digested, random lengths of amino acids get through the gut wall into the blood stream the immune system identifies them as invading pathogens, remembers them, and if they see them again which they certainly will if the dog has Leaky Gut, attacks them. This is what most people identify as an allergic reaction and it is similar but is actually a food intolerance, and once the Leaky Gut situation is cleared up the dog can eat that protein again without a problem.

Leaky Gut is usually caused by a diet high in carbohydrates and low in animal protein and fat. The carbs feed the harmful Candida Albicans yeast/fungus which overgrows and attacks the joints between the enterocytes and openings develop that allow what is inside the small intestine to leak through the wall into the blood stream. 

The immune system perceives any portion of a protein as an invading pathogen and makes a copy of the sequence of amino acids in case the same sequence appears again, whichit will unless the Laaky Gut condition is resolved.

After a few hundred partially digested proteins get into the blood stream the immune system is constantly under attack and fighting to remove these partial amino acid sequences.

This constant attack by the immune system on the partial proteins leaking through the gut is perceived as a food allergy but it is more accurately described as a food intolerance and can be resolved by healing Leaky Gut, so the dog can eventually eat that protein again without a problem. This would not be possible with a true allergy.

It does not help to change to a novel protein if you do not fix Leaky Gut first because the body will simply develop an allergy to the new protein which will leak through the gut wall like the previous one and eventually will develop a food intolerance to the novel protein.

Updated June 19, 2023

Richard S Darlington, CEO

Brothers Dog Food, llc