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Is Your Pet’s Food Making Him Sick?

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Have you observed your cat or dog scratching a lot more than normal, or has he been having gastrointestinal problems?  If so, he may be allergic to his food.  I wasn’t aware of this issue myself until going through it with my kitty boy Bo a couple of years ago.

What I learned is that it’s a good idea to change your pet’s protein source periodically, not just to prevent boredom with the same old, same old taste, but because pets can develop allergies to various protein sources.  So, for example, if your feed your pet a chicken-based food normally, change it up every month or two and feed beef for a while.  When you do alter the protein source, be sure to observe your pet to see if the skin and digestive problems improve…or get worse.  Worsening symptoms are probably a pretty good indicator that your pet is allergic to that protein source and you should avoid feeding it.

If you alter the source and symptoms don’t change at all, your pet may need a diet of novel proteins.  Some of the novel proteins are venison, duck, rabbit, kangaroo and ostrich.  Again, it may take a while to find proteins that agree with your pet’s body, and his taste buds.  Check with your veterinarian regarding the novel proteins, because some of them are similar to other more common sources and might not work for your pet.  Venison, for example, can cause reactions in pets allergic to beef; duck may cause a reaction in pets allergic to chicken.  Some of the novel proteins, like rabbit and kangaroo are often difficult to find which can be a problem.

Once it’s determined which proteins work and which don’t for your pet, be sure to read food and treat labels for the ingredients to be sure they don’t include the source that’s a problem.


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