How do I know if my pet has a food allergy?

Like humans, your pets can develop food allergies over the course of their lives. Unlike us, however, they won’t be able to say which thing they’ve eaten has made them feel bad. That why it’s up to us, their friends, to do a little sleuthing and figure out if our pets have food allergies and which foods are causing reactions. Untreated allergies can be dangerous for your pets and even send them to the animal hospital.

What are the symptoms of food allergies in pets?

Allergies occur when an animal’s body decides that normal substances are actually invaders that require the animal’s immune system to be activated. Exactly which symptoms the animal’s immune system will create vary widely. Here are just a few of the most common symptoms of allergies to look out for:

• Anxiety and mean behaviour (due to your pet feeling unwell but not knowing why)
• Hair loss
• Loss of appetite
• Vomiting
• Scratching
• Watery eyes
• Rashes

The last two symptoms are perhaps the easiest to spot. Just as with people, allergies often cause itchy skin or rashes on your pet’s skin. If you notice your pets with watery eyes or scratching or licking themselves profusely, be sure to take them to an animal clinic.

What are common foods that cause allergies in pets?
The trouble with allergies is that they can develop or disappear slowly over a pet’s life and just about anything can cause them. That being said, there are a few common foods that can cause allergies in pets:

• Wheat
• Dairy
• Egg
• Soy
• Corn
• Poultry
• Meat

If you suspect that your pet has a food allergy, you may want to try to narrow down the list of suspects from this list. Doing this will take a little time and careful observation of your furry friend but will be worth it in the end. To narrow down the list, you’re going to have to do a simple experiment of carefully controlling what your pet eats, adding and subtracting ingredients and seeing the results. Once you’ve identified what is making your pet feel bad you can design a new meal plan that protects your pet while keeping them out of the animal hospital.

Of course, an easy way to get the best advice and treatment is to visit your friendly vets at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic and Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital. Our vets do everything they can to help you keep your best friends healthy and happy, from making house calls to being ready for any emergency in our animal hospitals in Toronto. Contact us today to find out more about pet allergies or anything else about caring for your pets.

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