Feeding your pet is generally looked at as a simple enough task. Buy a good-quality food off the pet store shelves and feed the appropriate amount to your dog or cat. But for many of us who have pets with food sensitivities or allergies, this can be a much harder feat.
Several years ago my dog, Charlie, began to suffer from widespread yeast infections. From the top of his head to the tips of his doggie paws, he developed painful overgrowths of yeast that left his skin cracked and bleeding. The vet put him on hypoallergenic food, to no avail. Then we moved up to the ultra hypoallergenic food. Still no help. It was by chance that I discovered poor little Charlie is allergic to grain.
As it turns out, food allergies are the third most common cause of itching and skin irritation in cats and dogs. The allergy is often misdiagnosed as atopy (dermatitis caused by a reaction to chemicals or environmental irritants) or flea allergy. The more frequently identified food allergies include fish, chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, grain, soy and potatoes. I know, not a very narrow list.
With the use of an elimination diet, you can usually find the culprit. Luckily, high-quality, nutritionally sound food is easier to find these days. Earthborn Holistic Pet Food offers many types of grain-free food for both cats and dogs, as well as formulas tailored to puppies, kittens and even weight control. Canidae is another company making pet food that not only meets but exceeds the AAFCO guidelines. From kibble with four animal protein sources to food made to meet the particular needs of indoor cats, you will find the right food to keep your fur-baby healthy and strong.
As always, consult your vet before making any changes to your dog or cat’s diet. Be sure to have annual checkups and stay on top of your pet’s vaccinations to ensure they live a long healthy life.