Pet Food Allergies and How You Can Help Prevent Them

The third most common cause of allergies seen in cats and dogs is food allergies. Those allergies account for about 10% of all the allergies and is only preceded by flea bite allergies and atopy (inhalant allergies). By feeding their pets a lamb and rice diet, many pet owners feel that they are avoiding pet food allergies, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

According to the Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster and Smith,

“The entire process of a pet being sensitized to a particular agent in food and the complicated antibody response that occurs in the intestinal tract in pets with food allergies are not very well understood. Despite our lack of understanding of the actual disease process, there are many things that we do know including the symptoms, how to diagnose food allergies, and also how to treat them.”

Food allergies commonly occur between the ages of 2 to 6 years, but have been revealed as early as five months and as late as 11 to 12 years of age. Food allergies have an effect on all animals, whether they are male or female or neutered or intact, in the same way. They affect both cats and dogs. There has been no sturdy link among specific breeds and allergies. Coexisting inhalant allergies or contact allergies can be found in many animals with food allergies.

Food allergies should not be confused with food intolerances. There are differences between the two. Allergies normally cause such symptoms of itching and skin problems connected with canine and feline allergies. Whereas, food intolerances do not produce distinctive allergic response and normally result in diarrhea or vomiting. Similar to the response of diarrhea or an upset stomach people have when eat spicy or fried foods. If you feed your pet a diet free from the bad ingredients, you can get rid of food intolerances and allergies.