Practice shows that your pets are often faced with the same diseases as we humans. Unfortunately, food allergies have not spared them either.
According to statistics, most cases of food allergies occur in the second to the sixth year of a pet’s life, but it can manifest itself as early as 5 months.
At its core, this is the immune response to certain foods or ingredients of the diet: processes in the gastric tract lead to increased sensitivity and the production of biologically active substance histamine.
Often there is a hereditary predisposition to this. Despite the fact that breeders convince us that certain animals are prone to allergies to a greater or lesser extent, scientists have not been able to confirm this hypothesis and establish the relationship between the development of this disease and the breed, sex, or the fact of sterilization.
What causes food allergies?
Like humans, your furry companions are unique, and what is completely harmless to one animal can cause a very strong reaction in another. Nevertheless, in veterinary practice, you can identify some products that most often become the culprit for the poor health of your wards, among them – chicken, soy and cereals. In addition, dairy products, beef and other ingredients are at risk.
There are also opposite cases, when a cat or dog has a pronounced allergy to all types of animal protein, except for fish.
What else can provoke an allergy?
- Poor feed quality. The composition of inexpensive diets, as a rule, is generously “enriched” with unhealthy carnivorous grains, corn, and preservatives.
- Prohibited foods. No matter how patiently the cat looks, hypnotizing your meal with a glance, and no matter how diligently the dog asks you for a piece of chocolate that you grabbed for tea, there will definitely not be any benefit from these human “benefits”. Show courage and do not succumb to provocations that can harm your younger brothers.
- Mixed meals. Unfortunately, many owners of eared sly ones are following this “slippery path” in an effort to diversify the pet’s dry menu with canned food or natural products. Unfortunately, this approach is fraught not only with the manifestation of allergies but also digestive upset or more serious consequences.
- Addictive. As a rule, an allergic reaction appears precisely to the ingredients that are constantly present in the animal’s diet, and not to those that have been introduced recently.
How to distinguish allergies?
The first symptom of an allergy can be considered the appearance of itching and rashes localized on the face, ears, paws and even in the groin. In animals with this diagnosis, discharge from the eyes, nose and the appearance of ear infections can be observed. Another signal is increased sweating, which can be detected by wet hair in the armpit area. Allergies should be distinguished from food intolerances, which are characterized by diarrhea and nausea.
What to do?
First, it is necessary to establish what type of allergy you have to fight: in addition to food, you can deal with a reaction to parasite bites or to substances from the environment. Of course, if you are sure that any product is to blame, your first impulse will be to change the feed. Do not rush. All modern diets consist of many components, which means that any of them, and not the main meat ingredient, for example, could cause an exacerbation of the disease.
Seek help from a veterinarian who will help you pinpoint the cause of the illness and will conduct a series of tests to rule out diseases with similar symptoms, and then prescribe the necessary treatment for your unfortunate comrade. Do not self-medicate!
How to avoid food allergies?
It is difficult to unequivocally answer this question, because, perhaps, no one is immune from allergies. The most significant thing you can do is take care of the diet of your domestic predator. By nature, carnivores require high amounts of protein and a variety of meat ingredients. Conversely, the simple carbohydrate content will not be good for your pet.
When choosing dry food, remember that the composition should not contain:
- flavor enhancers,
Fortunately for caring owners, Canadian specialists have developed ACANA formulas for cats and dogs based on the principle of biological compatibility, which meet the natural needs of tailed households, sensitive to certain foods.
Good health to your pet!