Avoiding Food Allergy Emergencies over The Holidays (and Everyday)
With all the buzz about food this week, we thought it would be a good time to talk about food allergies in pets.
A pet food allergy, just like those in people, can be quite common and easy to manage. Food allergies are simply a result of your pet’s body confusing a non-threatening food or nutrient as harmful; thus causing the body to reject it.
To help you identify the symptoms of possible food allergies and prepare you for any food-related emergencies this holiday season, and always, we broke down information by dogs and cats below.
Food Allergies in Dogs
We tend to see allergies to food more in dogs than in cats, perhaps this is because dogs are more likely to beg for and receive scraps of human food! Dogs can obtain a food allergy at any point in life, just like humans – so it’s important to always be prepared to adjust diets and limit leftover scraps from your meals.
While the possibilities are limitless, the most common food allergies in dogs are yeast, dairy, wheat and meat products. The most commonly seen symptoms when dogs have food allergies include itchy or dry skin, hives, respiratory problems, gas or diarrhea and vomiting.
Food Allergies in Cats
Despite the fact that cats usually don’t get as many table scraps (in most cases!), that doesn’t mean that feline friends don’t get any sneaks or don’t have access to garbage or other places food may be.
The foods that most often cause food allergies in dogs are similar for cats: yeast, dairy, wheat and meat – but these can range and other food products can cause allergies in some cats as well. Cats try to hide their discomfort, but a cat suffering from food allergies will generally shake or scratch his or her head often, lose their hair or show signs of stomach issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Should your dog or cat have any of these symptoms in relation to food, try eliminating the food from his or her diet and monitor any changes or decreases in symptoms. Try also talking to your veterinarian about diet changes or alternative causes of the symptoms for larger medical problems.
While you are exploring possible food allergies, it’s recommended to avoid treats, tasty toys (such as rawhides) and try to keep garbage locked up. Keeping a bland diet and monitoring your pet’s symptoms will be a great start in the process of identifying possible food allergies.
If you have guests staying in your home for the holidays, be sure to share household pet rules, helping monitor what foods your pets are fed.
Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2014