Food allergies could be on the rise with family pets

It is widely recognised that food allergies are on the rise in the human population, particularly among children, you may be surprised to hear that there is also a rising concern amongst pet owners that food allergies in our pets are also increasing.

General signs and symptoms of food allergies for dogs include: dry itchy skin, excessive scratching or licking, bald patches, a high frequency of hot spots, ear infections, skin infections, diarrhea, and vomiting.  Most common food allergens for canines are: beef, dairy, and wheat.

While food allergies are the third most common type of allergy in cats following flea allergy and inhalant allergy. Signs that your cat may be experiencing food allergies include non-seasonal itching particularly on the head, face, ears and neck. Also excessive licking of the affected skin which may develop papules, hair loss, and vomiting. The most common causes of food allergies among our feline friends are fish, beef, chicken, eggs, wheat and milk.

Treatment of food allergies in pets usually initially includes diagnosis of the food allergy with many vets opting to place pets on a “hypoallergenic” or “exclusion” diet to  identify all the food allergens.  Interestingly, mirroring the human issue of food allergies it is also not known what is causing these food allergies in pets.

If you suspect your pet may have a food allergy, it is essential to get a professional opinion and examination immediately.

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