We frequently get asked about the best foods for dogs with allergies, but how do you know your pet has food allergies?
Studies show that .2% of dogs and .1% of cats have food allergies. Just little more than that have food intolerances. What’s the difference?
The top food allergies in dogs and cats are chicken and wheat. Meanwhile, food intolerances typically have something to do with the balance of fats, protein, and fiber in your pet’s food.
But how do you know if your pet has allergies or intolerances? Here are the top 2 signs:
1. Itchy Skin—If your dog always has itchy skin or hot spots (year-round), then it could be because of a food allergy or intolerance. If it is not year-round, skin issues may be the result of something else. They may have a seasonal allergy to pollen, grass, or mold. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on their flea medications as well before deciding if they have a food allergy.
2. Runny Stool/Vomiting—If your dog has a consistently runny butt or your cat doesn’t go a meal without throwing up…it could be a food allergy or intolerance. Make sure your pet isn’t getting into things he shouldn’t be first, though, as that is a more common occurrence than a food allergy. Also, make sure your pet isn’t eating too fast. Many cats and dogs will throw up after every meal if they have eaten too fast. Find them a puzzle feeder or Slow-Bowl to help them eat slower and see if this fixes the issue. Typically, these symptoms are more indicative of a food intolerance rather than an allergy. Experiment with foods that have a higher or lower percentage of fiber, and/or fat content.
If you suspect your pet has an allergy or intolerance to their current food, take note of the ingredient list and fiber/fat percentage, come on down to either of our locations, and let us help you find a new food to try! We often have little 1 cup sample bags that you can take home, but you are always welcome to try any size bag we have on the shelf as well. Remember—all of our brands are a part of our Buy 12, Get 1 Free program, so sign up once you’ve found your pet’s new food!