How to Handle a Pet with Food Sensitivities or Allergies

FFranklin September 17, 2023 7:01 AM

At times, our furry friends can develop food sensitivities or allergies, leading to discomfort or even serious health issues. If your pet is showing signs of food sensitivities or allergies, it's crucial to know how to handle the situation effectively.

Understanding pet food sensitivities and allergies

It's essential first to understand the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity or intolerance. A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a particular food or ingredient. A food sensitivity or intolerance, on the other hand, is a digestive system response where the pet's body has difficulty digesting a certain food.

Signs your pet has a food allergy or sensitivity

Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

  • Scratching or itchy skin
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Poor coat condition
  • Changes in appetite

Causes of pet food sensitivities and allergies

Pets can be allergic to any food, but some foods are more likely to cause allergies than others. Common allergens include beef, dairy products, chicken, wheat, and corn.

How to diagnose pet food allergies

If you suspect that your pet has a food allergy, consult your vet. They might recommend an elimination diet to identify the culprit. This involves removing all potential allergens from your pet's diet and then gradually reintroducing them, one at a time, to see which one causes a reaction.

Treatment and management

Once the allergen has been identified, the first line of treatment is to avoid that food. Depending on the severity of the allergy, your vet may recommend medication to manage the symptoms. A nutritional diet that meets your pet's needs without triggering an allergic reaction is essential.

There are numerous hypoallergenic pet food brands in the market that cater to pets with food allergies. Some popular ones include:

  • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
  • Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet
  • Hill's Prescription Diet
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets


Preventing food sensitivities and allergies mainly involves avoiding known allergens. Regular vet check-ups can help detect early signs of food sensitivities and allergies, enabling prompt treatment.

Remember, every pet is unique and what works for one may not work for another. Always consult your vet before making any changes to your pet's diet.

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