Most pet foods on the market include a variety of processed food proteins and carbohydrates but there is a vast range of "acceptable ingredients". Allergic reactions commonly develop with repeated exposure over time so you might not immediately suspect a food allergy.
So, what does a possible food allergy look like?
Symptoms of Pet Food Allergies
Several common symptoms can point to a potential pet food allergy or intolerance.
- Itchy skin and ears
- Redness of the skin
- Ear infections
Several studies have identified the most likely culprits behind pet allergies. The ingredients are slightly different for dogs and cats.
Dogs: beef, chicken, chicken eggs, lamb, fish, dairy products, corn, wheat, and soy.
Cats: beef, lamb, seafood, corn, soy, diary products, and wheat gluten.
What To Do Next
If you suspect your pet has an allergy, it is important to meet with your veterinarian first to go over your pet’s medical history and current nutrition. You will need to have a complete list of all the foods and treats that you are currently feeding or have previously fed your pet. This includes non-pet food items, like table scraps and chew toys with food flavorings.
You and your veterinarian can talk about the various therapeutic diets to see which one is a good fit for your pet. Therapeutic veterinary diets strive for consistency, and the protein and carbohydrate sources remain the same in every batch that is produced. These diets are only available through veterinarians. Once you find the right fit, this new diet is fed exclusively over a two to three-month period to see if the symptoms resolve or not. If not, you will need to continue with a new food and try again.
Because food allergies can develop over a long period of time, it is important that you keep up with yearly exams for your pets. A complete medical history will make diagnosis easier in the long run should you see symptoms of food allergies.
Posted Thursday, August 27, 2015