Food allergies are becoming increasingly common with people, but many pet owners are surprised to learn that they can occur with pets too. Understanding a little more about food allergies and how they could be affecting your pet will help you make good decisions about your pet’s health and nutrition.
First, it’s important to note that food allergies for pets are actually fairly uncommon. True allergies only occur for 10 percent of pets. Flea and environmental allergies are much more common.
Instead, many pets suffer from a food intolerance. If a pet is allergic to a food, they will respond with severe itching, hives and other allergic reactions. If they are intolerant of a food, they will have digestive complaints, like vomiting or diarrhea.
That said, pets can be allergic, and they can develop an allergy at any time. Cats are most commonly allergic to fish, beef and diary. Dogs are most commonly allergic to chicken eggs, corn, soy, wheat, dairy, chicken or beef. Unfortunately, these foods are part of almost all commercially prepared pet foods. Because of this, if you suspect an allergy, it’s important to get your pet checked out by the vet before you start eliminating foods, because you don’t want to sacrifice your pet’s nutrition for a supposed allergy.