Live Well

Understanding Food Allergy in Cats and Dogs

Pets are no different from humans and they too may suffer from conditions such as food allergies. The issue is very common among dogs, as well as cats. The pet goes through itchiness and real discomfort that can affect the behavior and overall well being. You may feed your pet a variety of foods that include processed meals. These different foods contain processed proteins, colors and flavorings that must be digested in the animal’s body. In some cases, the substances may not be effectively recognized as a harmful foreign invader by the immune system. The immunologic activity in turn results in inflammation or itchiness in the skin. Pets may take a long while, sometimes even several years to exhibit the signs of food allergies. This is because their body can take time to develop and cause dysfunction in the body. Here is a better understanding of food allergies in pets and the different ways of dealing with the same.

The genetic factor is mostly likely to play a role in causing food allergy among pet. Dogs and cats who have an immune system or digestive system that react mistakenly go on to develop intolerance to certain types of foods. As genetics is a possible factor, it would serve well to understand from the breeder if there are possible food allergies carried in the bloodline. It may be difficult to point out a food allergy in cats and dogs. This is especially true because most allergies in pets exhibit very similar signs. However, here are some hints that can point towards a food allergy in your dog or cat:

  • The itching caused from food allergy may be seen even during no-seasonal periods. Normal skin conditions are likely to only be prevalent during extreme weather conditions.
  • The dog or cat incessantly scratches areas around the face, neck, anal area. There may be limb chewing and recurrent infections in the ears.
  • Itching may have begun when the pet was less than a few months or post the age of 5 or 6 years.
  • The pet does not respond to treatment administered for sarcoptic mange.
  • Apart from skin irritation, there are other signs such as diarrhea and vomiting. This sign is most commonly observed among pets with food allergies.

Determining the exact food that is causing the allergy or intolerance must be done by feeding the pet a hypoallergenic diet for a while. In the case of recovery, the original diet is resumed to check if the allergy continues. If the allergy is observed with the original diet and test diet brings recovery, the allergic food is may be pinpointed with an elimination style diet. There are several commercial foods available, such as Royal Canin cat and dog food, Evo salmon cat food, Natural Balance cat and dog food, Hill’s Prescription Diets and more that can work well for your pet.



 

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