Understanding Pet Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Tired of seeing your pet deal with constant scratching and discomfort? Just like humans, pets can suffer from allergies too. Whether it’s seasonal allergies or food intolerances, understanding your pet’s allergies is crucial to their well-being. If you’ve been searching for ways to help your furry friend manage their allergies, you’ve come to the right place at The Grateful Pet. 

What are common signs of an allergic reaction in pets?

There are different types of allergies, including food allergies, environmental allergies and flea bite allergies. These allergies often present similar symptoms, which include: 

  • Itching; including licking, scratching, biting and rubbing of the skin of face, paws, back, limbs, bum and ears 
  • Redness of skin and ears 
  • Dryness of skin
  • Increased dandruff
  • Oily skin and hair coat
  • Repeated ear infection and inflammation
  • Repeated skin infection
  • Over-grooming (excessive grooming) in cats
  • Any self grooming in dogs 
  • Hot spots / Wet Eczema (often presents as red and sore patch of skin) 
  • Fur loss
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as soft stool, diarrhea, vomiting and gas 
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Watery eyes or excessive eye discharge
  • Redness of eyes
  • Sneezing and/or reverse sneezing 
  • Swelling of eyes or face

What is the difference between food and environmental allergies? 

Food allergies can develop at any point in a pet’s life, and are normally triggered by a particular ingredient in the diet, more commonly a protein molecule. Some common allergy triggers in dogs are beef, chicken, dairy, lamb, egg, pork, wheat, rice and soy while some common allergy triggers in cats are fish, beef, chicken, dairy, lamb, egg and wheat. Symptoms of allergic reactions can manifest down the road even if your pet had been eating the same type of food for years without any issues. This is possibly due to a change in their immune system. Pets develop allergic symptoms when their immune system overreacts to an allergen, upon repeated exposure. Allergies can be seasonal or, result from daily consumption or contact with specific allergens.

Meanwhile, environmental allergens include pollen, molds, grass, trees, and dust mites. Another common allergen is flea saliva, which causes a disease in pets called flea allergy dermatitis. Although there are no cures for such allergies, here are some ways you can help your allergic pet, including home remedies which include: 

  • Keeping the home clean of dust.
  • Installing an air purifier and changing the air filters regularly.
  • Bathing your pet with shampoos that help with natural flea control or have soothing ingredients such as aloe and oatmeal, or medicated with allergy-relieving ingredients.
  • Applying skin ointments or creams for small flare ups. Check with your vet for safe options.
  • Skin and gut-health boosting  supplements, such as omega 3 fatty acids or probiotics.
  • Wiping your dog’s paws and belly with a clean cloth or pet wipe after their walks to remove environmental allergens such as pollen.
  • Natural soaks or targetted application on itchy skin or paws using a water and iodine mixture
  • Consult your vet on the use of prescribed antihistamines such as Benadryl. Never buy medication online without advice from a veterinarian professional.

Overall, diagnosing allergies tends to involve a lot of trial and error, so having as much information as possible will be helpful for your veterinarian.

How to manage your pet’s food allergy 

Feeding your pet with raw food is the most ideal option for food allergies, because it eliminates common allergens found in processed foods, such as grains and fillers. Sadly, most commercial pet foods often include these grains, fillers and other miscellaneous additives that may be hard for your pet to digest, especially if they have food sensitivities. These additions tend to cause inflammation, which means they only make your cat or dog’s allergic reactions worse.

A fresh dog or cat food diet that most closely mimics their natural eating habits can improve overall health and digestion. Opting for grain-free raw cat food or fresh dog food with a natural balance of healthy ingredients can help enhance digestion and nutrient absorption.

Additionally, since it only contains fresh foods, you can eliminate any mystery potential irritants like chemical preservatives which get in the way of a strong immune system.

While figuring out the culprit to your pet’s dilemma is of utmost importance, feeding an appropriate diet is as vital. Fresh diets can fortify your pet’s immune system, making it more effective at combating allergies. A complete and balanced fresh meal is packed with essential amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants, providing the nutrients your dog needs to remain strong and healthy.

The Grateful Pet is here to help!

Allergies can be frustrating — both for you, and for your pet who can’t seem to find relief from their itchiness. However, taking preventive measures such as feeding your pet raw cat food or  fresh dog food can help get rid of potential triggers and improve your pet’s overall health and nutrition.

The Grateful Pet raw cat food and fresh dog food is made from 100% natural ingredients, made with premium whole-muscle meat, organs, and nutrient-rich with superfood ingredients like New Zealand green-lipped mussels and omega 3 anchovy oil for added health boost. Choose from a variety of proteins from such as cage-free chicken to wild kangaroo! Our array of recipes with novel proteins are perfect for a cat or dog suffering from allergies, looking into new protein alternatives. Try it today!