Here are the top 6 food allergies in cats and dogs
Food allergies are exceedingly common among cats and dogs. However, more often than not, the symptoms of a food allergy can go unnoticed by the pet’s parents. If you notice your pet is scratching incessantly or is frequently suffering from problems related to the digestive system, there is a high likelihood that your feline or canine companion is experiencing food allergy. This type of allergy occurs when the immune system of the cat or dog reacts negatively to a particular ingredient in the food.
Pet parents should always be on the lookout for food allergy signs and symptoms. In case of a suspicion of a food allergy, a visit to the vet is highly recommended. The vet will then conduct a series of tests including physical examination and blood work. Once done, the vet will conduct an elimination diet trial to determine the food allergen responsible for the troubling symptoms.
The elimination diet trial may last for weeks to determine the food allergen that is causing the reactions in the immune system and leading to the development of food allergy. Once the source of the food allergy has been diagnosed, you may have to make required modifications in your pet’s diet and buy cat or dog food that does not have the food allergen.
Symptoms of food allergies in cats and dogs
You should seek expert advice as soon as you notice the listed symptoms in your pet.
- Gastrointestinal signs like flatulence, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Dermatological signs like hair loss and skin redness, itchiness, inflammation, and rashes
- Chronic ear or foot problems
- Weight loss
- Respiratory system issues like coughing, wheezing, sneezing
- Behavioral problems like scratching and biting fur, restlessness, and frequent shaking
Here’s a list of the most commonly reported food allergies in cats and dogs that can cause the aforementioned signs and symptoms in your pet.
Beef: Beef is a widely used ingredient in pet foods, and a lot of dogs and cats develop an allergy to the proteins present in it.
Wheat: Gluten intolerance may lead to an allergic reaction in your feline or canine companion.
Chicken: Another common food allergen is chicken. An adverse reaction in the immune system caused by chicken ingredients may lead to the development of a food allergy in your pets.
Lamb: Lamb/mutton is one of the most used ingredients in pet foods and also a widely reported food allergen in both cats and dogs.
Dairy products: Cats and dogs that develop intolerance to the protein present in dairy products end up developing a food allergy.
Soy products: Soy protein products are also common food allergens in both felines and canines.
While buying cat or dog food, one should be wary of the food allergies and intolerances that your pet has suffered in the past. Make sure to check the label and go for products that claim to be an allergen-free cat or dog food.