Pet owners just want to see their cats and dogs grow healthy and strong. Therefore, they feed their pets food designed for their benefit. Most pet foods on the market include a variety of processed food proteins and carbohydrates, which are broken down during digestion. If your pet has a bad reaction to their cat or dog food, it may be due to either a chemical intolerance or a unique allergic reaction to a protein ingredient. Allergic reactions commonly develop with repeated exposure to large proteins over time.
Symptoms of Pet Food Allergies
It’s important pet owners can recognize when dog food or cat food is causing an allergic reaction. Several common symptoms can point to a pet food allergy or intolerance.
- Itchy skin and ears
- Redness of the skin
- Ear infections
Determining the source
Ask your veterinarian to perform a diet trial to determine if your pet is having an adverse reaction to certain ingredients in his cat or dog food. The doctor will need a thorough medical history of your pet, including 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.
Several studies have found 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.
When should I call my veterinarian?
Visit local clinics if your pet’s symptoms worsen, if you see vomiting and/or diarrhea or your pet refuses to eat the new food. Always check with your doctor before stopping or changing your pet’s diet. Schedule follow-up visits (via VetNX) as directed to check your pet’s response to the plan of care.