Food Allergies? Food Intolerances?

Food Allergies? Food Intolerances?

 

Like us, pets today are suffering more and more from allergies and sensitivities. These can manifest themselves in the form of itchy or dry skin, itchy feet, ear infections, soft or sloppy stool, or a host of other problems. Dogs generally suffer allergies as a result of:

  • Atopy (reaction to environmental substances like pollens, grasses, moulds etc)
  • Flea allergy dermatitis (reaction to the saliva from flea bites; often leading to hot spots)
  • Food allergy (reaction to an ingredient in petfood).

Food allergies affect both dogs and, less so cats, and generally account for approximately 20% of the itching and scratching in dogs today. Food allergies can develop over time making it all the more important to be aware of these symptoms. They can show up as early as 5 months and as late as 12 years of age, though the majority of cases occur between 2 and 6 years of age. Many dogs with food allergies also have inhalant or contact allergies.

Studies have found that some foods are more likely to cause food allergies than others e.g. beef, dairy products, chicken, corn, wheat, and soy.
Selecting an elimination diet for your allergy suffering pet can help identify the source of the problem.

What are elimination diets and what are their benefits?

Elimination diets are formulas which limit the number of ingredients while selecting unique and novel protein, carbohydrate and oil sources. Selecting novel proteins, oil and carbohydrates and limiting the number of ingredients the pet is exposed to, is the first line of defence against allergies and food intolerances. Limited Ingredient Diets are created with a single protein source and as few additional ingredients as possible to create a complete and balanced diet.  

We offer several elimination diets for dogs:

Do you suspect a grain allergy?

Some dogs can be intolerant of certain grains, especially those containing gluten e.g. wheat. There are a number of diets available today that are completely grain free. Instead of using grains as their carbohydrate source, they use wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables.

Our grain free recipes for dogs are:

 

It can be very difficult to determine the exact cause of your dog's allergic reactions, but a good place to start is to support his immune system through feeding the best quality diet that you can. And remember to be patient  - it can take up to 8 - 12 weeks to see an improvement from a change in diet. 

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