Allergies to food can appear at any age but they more commonly become apparent at around 1 years old.  A food allergy will affect your pet all year round.  In a small number of cases (10% to 15%) it can also affect a pet’s gastrointestinal system such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal discomfort. 

A food allergy is the result of the immune system overreacting to most often, a protein source within the food.  There are sometimes reactions to a carbohydrate source too, but these are less common.  Commercial diets or “off the shelf” diets like the ones you might buy in a pet shop or supermarket, are regularly contaminated with other protein sources as part of the manufacturing process.

The only way to find out if your pet has an allergy to food is through a food elimination trial.  A diet trial needs to consist of a food that has a “novel protein”  source or more simply, a source that your pet hasn’t been exposed to before. 

There are several options available to owners to find the right kind of diet:

  • Home cooked food – this is time consuming and sometimes less practical option and requires a real commitment from an owner.
  • Hydrolised diet – a diet where the proteins are broken down so small, the body cannot detect their presence.

Whichever choice is made, your pet would need to stay on this diet for 6-8 weeks.  Once your pet has been diagnosed with a food allergy the only treatment is a strict avoidance of the ingredient causing the allergy.

If you think your pet has an allergy and you’d like some advice, call the team today on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352 or open a chat on PetsApp.

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