Has your cat or dog ever had an adverse reaction to their food? It might have been caused by an intolerance to a certain ingredients and is worth investigating, especially if the reaction was severe. Below we look at what a food intolerance in a dog looks like, how you can find out what it is, and what you can do to stop it from happening.
What causes food intolerances?
Any ingredient in pet food, can in theory, cause an intolerance and some dogs can show intolerances despite being fed on the same food for many years. The most common ingredients in pet food that can cause an intolerance are Beef, Milk, Wheat, Soya, Artificial Colours, Flavourings and Chemical Preservatives.
Symptoms of a reaction
Recognising intolerances to ingredients in the diet can be difficult for pet owners as recurring signs are often passed off as irritable bowel disease, ear infections, eczema, dermatitis, vomiting and diarrhoea bugs. If any of the above symptoms keep reoccurring, despite treatment at the vets, then the diet should be closely looked at.
What you can do
There are tests available but these are sometimes not accurate or can be inconclusive so we find the best method to find out what intolerances your pet has is to use the elimination diet. This usually involves feeding a carbohydrate source or a protein that the pet hasn’t been fed before, called a novel protein. Check out our guide to novel protein here.
Unfortunately, this can be a lengthy process as you need to be feeding any new food for at least 8-10 weeks to notice a difference. Once you see success in the new diet then one food ingredient at a time can be added to the diet, again for a period of 8-10 weeks, so the owner can see what their pet is reacting to.
Choose a Healthy Pet Food
Pet food companies sometimes group together their ingredients using phrases such as ‘cereals’ and ‘animal derivatives’ and this remains very unclear to the pet owner as to what they are feeding their cat or dog.
At Simpsons Premium, all our ingredients are clearly listed on the packaging and website and our recipes remain the same from batch to batch. This ensures that pet owners know exactly what ingredients go into the pet food they feed their dog. Take a look at our Sensitive and Hypoallergenic Dog Food range here.