March27 , 2023

    Food Allergies in Dogs and Cats


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    A food allergy is a reaction to food which triggers a response from the body’s immune system. In dogs and cat, proteins are usually the offending substances responsible for adverse food reactions. For this reason, feeding the grain-free/gluten free and boutique diets which are recent fads, is not only unnecessary and expensive, but potentially harmful. (See July 2018New Studies Debunk Today’s Myths about Pet Food.) The immune reaction to food may be manifested by itching and/or gastrointestinal signs, such as chronic vomiting, diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, and gas. Sometimes chronic ear infections are the only sign of food allergy.

    Allergies vs. Adverse Food Reactions and Food Intolerance

    There are differing opinions among dermatologists concerning how common true food allergies are. Part of this may be due to the fact that in the clinical setting, true food allergies are usually not distinguished from adverse food reactions and food intolerance, which do not trigger an immune response. However, true food allergies are probably much less common than environmental allergies. Still, frustrated pet owners, in an attempt to relieve a pet’s itching, often try a plethora of new foods, hoping to find something that will work, and frequently end up disappointed.

    Is Your Dog Prone to Food Allergies?

    Certain breeds tend to be more susceptible to food allergies, including:

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