Many of us pay more attention these days to what we’re putting into our bodies, and so naturally we are more aware of what our dogs and cats eat. Pet sensitivities are on the rise, yet many pet owners may be unaware of what is specifically impacting their four-legged family members. With a host of potential allergens and irritants, it is crucial to understand the source so you can mitigate the negative effects it may be having on your animal’s health and overall well-being.
Food is one common source that can cause sensitivities in pets. Pet health and nutrition specialist Michele Dixon agrees. “Food sensitivities are increasingly prevalent in pets such as cats and dogs,” she said. “If you suspect your pet may be suffering from a food-related intolerance, try replacing their food with one that is geared toward pets with food sensitivities and specific dietary needs. For instance, a diet that is designed with this in mind and made with high quality ingredients can be tremendous in minimizing pet allergies.”
ARE GRAINS A PROBLEM?
There are some very good reasons to feed a grain-free diet, among them pets who have a sensitivity or even an allergy to grains, which can manifest as itchy skin or ear infections. It is important to remember that grains themselves are not a source of allergies; rather each grain must be treated as its own potential allergen. Additionally, pet parents should be aware that what might be perceived as an allergy to a grain-based protein is often a meat-sourced protein sensitivity that is causing the reaction.
TRY A NOVEL PROTEIN
New pet foods are now using ‘novel’ proteins like venison, duck and turkey. Foods with a single, novel protein can help determine if your pet is sensitive to meat proteins or grains. If you feed a recipe that has a single novel protein source, but is not grain-free and your pet’s condition improves, then you can be reasonably certain that your pet’s sensitivity was to a meat protein and not a grain. If, on the other hand, your pet’s sensitivity symptoms persist when she or he eats the novel protein food with grains (and if environmental factors are ruled out), then it’s time to consider a grain-free product. You should make sure that enough time is allowed after any new food is introduced, usually 6 to 8 weeks, before you can expect to see results.
TAKE YOUR TIME CHOOSING A FOOD
Choosing a pet food that’s ideal for your valued four-legged family member is an important part of ensuring their long term health, happiness and vitality.
Natural Pawz specializes in limited ingredient diets (LID) for pets with sensitivities. Here are some of the diets that we carry.
Petcurean Go! Dog and Cat diets.
Cat duck formula and dog formulas are duck, salmon or venison.
Dog formulas include grain-free salmon, kangaroo, venison and lamb.
Cat diets are turkey or duck formula and dog diets are duck, lamb, turkey or salmon.
Single protein dog diets are duck, kangaroo, lamb, turkey and whitefish.
Nature’s Variety LID
Cat diets are LID turkey or LID duck
Dog diets are LID turkey, LID Duck or LID lamb.
LID foods are Duck & Pear, Lamb & Apple and Pork & Squash.
Honest Kitchen dehydrated diet
– Zeal fish
Grandma Lucy’s – dehydrated diets
Artisan Line crafted with potato – pork, PreMix (vegetarian), Venison, Lamb
Pureformance Line crafted with chickpea– lamb, fish, PreMix(vegetarian), rabbit
Valor Line crafted with Lentils and Quinoa – Turkey.
The choices for pets with allergies and sensitivities is much better than it has ever been. However, the options can be overwhelming to find the best diet and treats. We would be happy to work with you to find the best option for you and your pet.