It’s no secret that our pets are like family to us. We love them, care for them, and do everything we can to keep them healthy and happy. So when our furry friends start showing signs of allergies, it’s natural for us to want to find out what’s causing them and how we can help.
Unfortunately, allergies in pets are becoming more and more common. In fact, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, as many as 15% of dogs and 30% of cats suffer from allergies. And one of the most common places those allergies come from is their food.
Why Do Pets Develop Allergies?
The first thing to understand is that not all allergies are created equal. Just as humans can be allergic to pollen or peanuts, pets can be allergic to things like proteins, grains, or even certain preservatives in their food. The most common food allergens for pets are proteins like beef or chicken, followed by grains like corn or wheat. But any ingredient in your pet’s food has the potential to cause an allergy.
It’s important to note that not all allergies show up in the same way. Skin allergies, for example, are the most common type of allergy seen in dogs and cats. They can manifest as excessive scratching, biting, or licking; rashes; hot spots; or hair loss. But gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea can also be a sign that your pet has an allergy. If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior or health, it’s important to bring them to the vet so they can rule out an allergy and get your pet on the road to recovery.
What Can You Do?
If you think your pet may have a food allergy, the first thing you should do is talk to your veterinarian. They will likely recommend eliminating certain ingredients from your pet’s diet until their symptoms improve, then slowly reintroducing them one at a time to figure out which ingredient is causing the problem. This process can take months, so it’s important to be patient and work closely with your vet throughout the process.
In some cases, switching your pet to a hypoallergenic diet may be recommended. Hypoallergenic diets contain novel proteins that your pet is unlikely to be allergic to—things like rabbit or venison—as well as limited ingredients that make it easier to identify which ingredient is causing the problem if an allergy does develop.
How to Prevent Food Allergies
You can help prevent your pet from developing allergies by doing two things: rotating your pet’s food and balancing their gut. Rotating your pet’s food (protein cycling) can help prevent the gut from building up an immune response due to over exposure to an ingredient. We recommend rotating proteins at least every three months.
You can also help your pet’s gut by adding bone broth or goat’s milk to help the digestive process. Most allergies develop because the body is not absorbing the nutrients properly and the body produces an immune response.
Bone broth benefits your dog’s gut health by making a condition known as leaky gut less likely. The intestinal lining contains millions of microscopic holes that allow digested nutrients to pass through so they can benefit the rest of the body. Goat’s milk is loaded with probiotics that help to support digestion by increasing the population of healthy bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract. Supporting your dog’s digestion helps to improve nutrient absorption, boosts the immune system, and aids in filtering out toxins.
No one wants their beloved pet to suffer from allergies—but unfortunately, it’s a reality for many dog and cat owners out there. The good news is that by working closely with your veterinarian and being patient during the diagnosis and treatment process, you can help your furry friend feel better and live a happy, healthy life despite their allergies!