Scratch down to the bottom of a lot of illnesses, and you’ll find that the underlying cause is a sensitivity or an allergy to food. That goes for humans, and that goes for pets, too. For dogs and cats, the most common food allergens are corn, wheat, chicken, and beef. Sometimes the repeated exposure to the common allergens causes pets to develop allergies. Many food allergies can be prevented all together simply by feeding a high quality food to your pet. These are ingredients found in almost all pet foods, especially those that are less expensive.
If your pet displays symptoms of allergies, the most common problem is fleas, followed closely by food. Here are the things we recommend if you suspect your pet has a food allergy or sensitivity:
Change Food. We stock the following foods that are made from quality ingredients, and not filler:
a. Purina HA. This hypoallergenic food is available by prescription.
b. Hills ZD. This food has hydrolyzed (or broken down) protein, which is easier to digest. It’s also available by prescription.
Do a Food Trial.
a. Eliminate beef, chicken, corn, and wheat from your pet’s diet. Be careful, though. You must read labels. Food labeled as fish or lamb flavored may still contain chicken or beef.
b. Leave your pet on the new food exclusively for 8 – 12 weeks. During this time, your pet’s body will get rid of all traces of the allergens and the inflammation they cause. Remember, exclusively means no treats, and no table food.
c. After 8 – 12 weeks, introduce beef, chicken, corn, and wheat back into your pet’s diet, one food at a time. Watch for any reactions.
You may really be surprised at how a change in your pet’s diet can alleviate symptoms – and sometimes improve other health issues, and even behavior. Sometimes, healthy and happy simply boils down to scratching certain foods off the list.
Give us a call and let’s talk about your pet.