Many pets suffer from allergies or intolerances, but most pet owners are confused by the difference. This article could give you an idea about the difference between pet food allergies and intolerances.
Pet Food Allergies
A pet food allergy involves the immune system. This can be triggered by a dog’s response to a certain ingredient such as protein source. For example, cells may release histamine which causes itching.
Generally, food allergies cause skin-related issues in dogs such as inflammation, itching, hair loss and hot spots. There is also the possibility they can develop ear infections that can reoccur once treatment has ended. A dog that has a food allergy will most likely always suffer from this. However, the severity of this can change over time.
A common theme for owners is to assume that itchy skin is caused by a food allergy. However, true food allergies in cats and dogs are very rare, making up for only 1% of all skin diseases in dogs.
Pet Food Intolerances
A pet food intolerance does not involve the immune system and is caused when a food doesn’t agree with your dog’s body. This is simply a digestive issue to a particular food. An example of this is a dog may be sensitive to wheat or soya. Intolerances often mimic food allergies because the body can only demonstrate a problem in so many ways.
It can be challenging to identify what causes food intolerance. Owners can use an elimination diet method to take away ingredients that they believe may be the cause of the problem. This works by removing a suspect ingredient for a minimum of 4 weeks from your dog’s diet and then reintroducing the ingredient and wait for a return of any physical changes.
Common ingredients that may cause intolerance’s (not inclusive):
§ Grains (ie: Wheat, Corn, Maize. etc)
§ Dairy Products.
What can pet owners do?
If you suspect your pet is suffering from a food allergy or intolerance, there is a number of things they can do to help them.
- Feed their pet hypoallergenic food as this helps to avoid common allergens and intolerances.
- Choose a diet with a single protein source such as meat or fish.
- Select a diet with novel ingredients
- Follow an elimination diet method
- Consult your vet to rule out the allergen.
Here at Barekmor, all our recipes are hypoallergenic. Each of the recipes has been formulated to be free from common allergens which may lead to intolerances and sensitivities in pets. Barekmor: Original Dry Dog Food range is formulated by mono protein and rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals to support everyday health and well-being. Added sweet potato and potato energise the carbohydrate source and is suitable for those with grain intolerance/sensitivity.