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Top Tips for Dealing with Food Allergies in Cats and Dogs
Tuesday April 4th 2017
Food allergies, hypersensitivity and intolerance are all relatively common problems for both felines and canines but this is not to say that they should go untreated. Adverse reactions to food can seriously impact your pet’s long-term health if you ignore them.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
Any abnormal reaction in your beloved pooch or pretty kitty should be a cause for concern and you should take your pet to a vet to get them check over.
But there are some more common traits associated with food allergies in your pets, such as…
• Itchy skin
• Recurring or chronic ear conditions
• Gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or changes in bowel movements
TACKLE THE PROBLEM
1. Keep a food diary and eliminate causes
There is only one significant way to beat food allergies in cats and dogs and that is to find the source and eliminate it from your pet’s diet.
Dogs are frequently allergic to chicken, eggs, soy or corn, while 90% of food allergies in cats are caused by fish, beef and dairy; rather than cutting out all of these foods, narrow down any individual allergies by trying out each ingredient, one at a time.
Give your pet just one type of food over a few days and monitor the effects; if you see symptoms then add this to the list of allergies, eliminate it from your pet’s diet and move on to try another food group.
2. Avoid treats
Once you’ve identified a batch of foods that are good for your pet to eat, try not to stray too far away from this diet.
Use food that your pet can eat and freeze or bake into shapes so that your four-legged friend can get the feeling they’re being treated without any nasty symptoms.
3. Keep them indoors or on a lead
Cats and dogs can pick up food that is left on pavements etc. It’s near-impossible to manage animal food allergies if they’re dining out on someone’s leftover takeaway or sucking up discarded morsels on the streets.
Keep cats indoors and dogs on a lead when you take them for walks; this will help you control exactly what is going into their tummies and keep any allergens at bay.
4. Keep litterboxes away
Some dogs pick up allergies from kitty litter trays so it’s important to keep these out of reach. The same goes for bins, compost caddies and cupboards containing cleaning products.
Keep anything that could be nibbled on out of the way if it is likely to be toxic or hazardous.
5. Introduce hypoallergenic foods
There are special dried foods that are better for pets with sensitive stomachs, intolerances or food allergies.
However, these often come at a hefty price.
If the diet change is part of a long-term shift, then once you’ve tried your animal on the food for a few weeks and can be sure there are no symptoms then buy the food in bulk, hopefully for a cheaper price
6. Make your own pet food
Preservatives, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers – there are lots of additives mixed in with pet foods and the only real way to be sure what your pet is eating is to make your own.
Not sure where to start? Why not adapt the recipe from our guide to making your own pet food