What to do if you suspect your pet has a food sensitivity

Is your pet suffering from itchy skin, bloating or gas? He might have a food sensitivity! Read on to learn about some common symptoms and culprits, and what to do about them.

You’ve noticed that your dog is scratching like crazy, and his skin is red and inflamed. Or maybe your cat has been plagued with diarrhea and chronic gas. Whatever the symptoms are, they might be indicators of a food sensitivity. Pet food allergies and intolerances can occur at any age and can cause problems with digestion, skin, and even behavior. These issues are known as cutaneous adverse food reactions (CAFRs), and can develop at any stage of your pet’s life.

3 foods that commonly cause a food sensitivity  

Food sensitivities are typically associated with the protein or meat sources within a pet’s food. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants typically don’t cause allergies, but they can trigger similar symptoms.

Curious what proteins could affect your pet? Here are three foods that commonly cause adverse reactions:

1. Beef is the most frequently reported food involved in adverse food reactions in both cats (18%) and dogs (34%). It is the most common ingredient in pet food, and is often fed to pets for years – a phenomenon that’s been shown to increase the animal’s chance of developing a CAFR.

2. Milk products. Many dogs and cats have issues digesting lactose, so this CAFR is typically an intolerance to dairy rather than an allergy (see sidebar). Either way, consider cutting this ingredient from your pet’s diet to determine if it’s the problem.

3. Chicken is another common protein in pet food that causes CAFRs. Although it is the blandest meat option, it causes allergic reactions in 15% of dogs and 5% of cats.

Pinpointing the allergy

There are two typical ways to nail down the ingredient that’s causing a CAFR. You can talk to your vet about skin and blood allergy tests – but be wary of this option, as there is no evidence that these tests are 100% accurate. Another option is the elimination diet. Simply remove the suspected ingredient from your pet’s diet, and see if his symptoms persist. If they do, try removing another ingredient until you get the results you’re seeking.

What’s next?

Once you figure out what’s causing your pet’s food sensitivity, look for two to three diets you can rotate through every few months. Rotating your pet’s diet reduces his chance of developing further allergies to other ingredients. Reach for a high-quality, transparent pet food brand such as PureLUXE to ensure it meets the nutritional requirements listed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PureLUXE is a hypoallergenic pet food that contains alternative protein sources like turkey and lamb, providing you with peace of mind about the food you’re giving your pet!

If your pet has a food sensitivity, don’t fret. You should be able to find all the nutrients he needs, in the right amounts, in a commercial pet food brand. Just remember to avoid the protein that’s causing the reaction, and ensure the diet is complete and balanced with as few additives as possible. Trust us, your pet will thank you!