Trying to pinpoint an allergy in your pet can be quite challenging. Any one of the following symptoms could be pointing to an allergy: Constant itching, red skin, chronic eye, ear or skin infections, lack of an appetite, nausea and/or diarrhea and the list goes on.
Allergies can be both seasonal and food-related. Unfortunately, symptoms are frequently the same, which makes it hard to tell what your pet is battling. Both outdoor and food-related allergies can cause the same symptoms.
Is it a true allergy or an intolerance? The bottom line for your pet is that it doesn’t really matter. The ‘fix’ will be the same. So we start on a process of elimination. We typically begin with elimination of foods since that is an easier process than eliminating the great outdoors! Common offenders in dogs are the grains….wheat, corn, and soybean meal. Another common offender is the most commonly used protein source across the pet food industry….chicken. One additional that might surprise would be potatoes. And potatoes are a common ingredient used in many ‘grain-free’ kibble as starch is needed to produce a kibble. There are alternatives, however.
We usually recommend a switch to a grain-free formula with a unique protein and we have several to choose from like duck, rabbit or venison. Of equal importance is to remember that the treats you give your pet are a key part of this process as well. If you switch to a chicken free and grain free diet it doesn’t make much sense to give them those treats full of chicken.
Give your pet 3-4 weeks on the new food to determine any digestive or skin changes. Changing to a grain-free formula should clear your allergy-ridden pet from yeast buildup, digestive irregularity, lack of energy and skin troubles. Over the course of a few weeks, their symptoms should improve. Your pet’s body needs time to detox, just like our bodies. GIVE IT TIME. You won’t see 100% of a change in just one small bag or a week.
Probiotics are usually recommended for pets that appear to be affected by environmental allergens. Probiotics are designed to strengthen the immune system, control yeast and candida, improve digestion and reduce inflammation of the skin. They contain healthy bacteria that can survive within the stomach and intestines to correct imbalances. Probiotics also feed healthy bacteria growth and regulate bowel movements and enzymes that reduce inflammation.
Several of our product lines include the ability to switch among several nutritionally matched foods for different flavors and experiences. An example of this is the Fromm 4-Star Nutritionals. This also can serve to help prevent your pet from developing an allergy over years of the same exact food….ie., everyday the same chicken based diet. While ‘rotation’ feeding is not necessary for nutritional reasons, it can help prevent an immune reaction from long term exposure if your pet is at all disposed to such a reaction.