If you see your pet dog or cat constantly itching, biting fur, and scratching in discomfort, there is a good chance the reason is an allergic reaction. There are many ways in which your pet can develop an allergy. But you should be aware of the common triggers and understand how they can be handled to avoid further health complications.
Food is a big culprit as it is hard to know and understand all the ingredients that are used in the preparation of pet food. However, there are certain ingredients which are allergy triggers in cats and dogs more often than not. Here are the five most common allergy triggers you should know about.
You will be surprised to find out that chicken is one of the most common allergens that affect cats predominantly. It is one of the primary ingredients used in cats and dog food recipes available. So, if you find out your cat may be developing animal protein allergies, avoid feeding them chicken protein and chicken fat foods. Similarly, dogs can develop allergies to beef and lamb sources of protein.
You know that cats love fish. But if your furry little feline ends up eating too much raw fish, the poor thing can unknowingly develop a food allergy. Ideally, fish should not make up a major portion of your cat’s diet and you must ensure its daily supplements are being met with alternative sources of protein from the sea. Tuna is fine as long as you don’t overdo the serving. Food allergies can result in a number of discomforts including itching, common infections, and the swelling of paws. Dogs, on the other hand, are less allergic to fish and fish-based foods. But you must consult with a veterinarian to confirm if fish is a good dietary option depending on the breed of the dog.
Gluten allergy can also affect dogs and cats, just like humans. Your furry friends may develop a gluten intolerance from wheat or wheat-based products. However, there is no cause for alarm as cats and dogs with a certain type of gluten allergy can still tolerate rice, wild rice, millets, soybeans, buckwheat, and quinoa. The allergy is mostly triggered due to the presence of gliadins and the aforementioned food sources contain almost no gliadins.
We’ve all cooed over images of cats drinking milk, but did you know that 90% of the food allergies that cats develop are a result of an unexpected reaction to dairy products. Giving your pet a saucer of raw milk might be a bad idea as it might prompt an allergic reaction. Kittens and puppies must be fed milk, specifically, their mother’s milk during their early growth years. However, after a certain age, they are at a high risk of developing an allergy due to their inability to digest dairy. Lactose intolerance is one of the leading triggers in the list of top food allergies in cats and dogs. The visible symptoms of a dairy allergy include diarrhea, vomiting, itchy skin, gas, lack of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain and bloating, and excessive licking of the skin.
Corn is a common ingredient in pet foods and is one of the leading triggers of food allergies in cats and dogs. Dog foods usually contain corn and for many brands, it serves as the base for the plant protein used. However, dogs can have an allergic reaction to plant proteins derived from corn. This is commonly a result of your pet having an overactive immune system. Environmental changes, a chemical imbalance in their gut, and difficulty in digesting certain food ingredients are among other causes that trigger or exacerbate the allergy.