Food Allergies: It’s All About Making Good Choices

If your pet is experiencing food allergy problems, the solution comes down to making good choices for your pet. In doing so, it is important not to listen to misinformation. For example, lamb is often thought of as hypoallergenic by many pet owners, or somehow better for pet’s skin. Lamb is a protein source like any other and has no magical properties. I, however, find it to be utterly delicious with mint jelly and nice Chianti. Perhaps some fava beans, as well. But for your pet, it’s just another source of protein (and for them, please avoid the mint jelly and Chianti!)

Animals can develop an allergy to lamb just like they can to beef, chicken or any other ingredient. The reason for this misconception is that pets used to be prescribed lamb-based diets as part of a food trial, because not many pets had been exposed to lamb. People got used to pets being prescribed lamb-based diets for itchy skin and just assumed that the lamb was somehow better at preventing the itch, when it was only a new protein source than many pets had not been exposed to before.

Fortunately, many pet food companies have responded to the need for diets using unusual protein sources.  Foods may now consist of venison and potato, fish and potato, egg and rice, duck and pea, and even kangaroo. New types of hypoallergenic diets are being developed all the time, so be sure to talk this over with your veterinarian. He or she will prescribe the most appropriate diet for your pet.

With a little patience and some dietary tweaking, pets suffering from food allergies can be helped in most cases. It just takes time, a little understanding and a good relationship with your veterinarian to see it through!

Next week, more about inhaled pollen allergies and your pet.

Photo credits: Sam C. on Flickr

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