What Are the Signs That Tell Your Pet is Suffering a Food Allergy?

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Our friends from the pet world are susceptible to food allergies, just like humans. The responses to allergies are pretty similar in ranging from mild to severe conditions in our pet companions. Pet dogs or cats may become highly sensitive to certain food items at any age. There is no right age for the onset of an allergy. However, knowing the food items that are triggering allergic symptoms helps in managing the issue.

With the help of your vet, you can get your canine or feline friend tested for food allergies. Then, follow your vet’s nutritional advice to keep your pet protected from allergies after that. Pet health insurance supports your ailing pet through this process and so many other health issues. Purchasing a pet insurance NZ policy allows you to provide your furry friend with timely medical assistance through illness, injury and more, with little economic burden on you. So, buy a policy to provide your pet friend with the best healthcare at affordable costs.

Which are the everyday food items that may cause allergic reactions in pet dogs and cats?

More common: dairy products, fish (in cats), egg, chicken, beef.

Less common: oats, barley, corn, wheat, rice.

What are the typical allergic symptoms?

1. Skin troubles

Itchy skin is known as “Allergic Dermatitis” in medical terms. It may occur in any region on your canine or feline pet’s body. For example, in cats, you may notice it often on the head/neck areas. While in dogs, you may commonly observe the ears, stomach, paws, and rear end.

“Urticaria” may develop on your pet’s body within six to twenty-four hours of ingestion of any food that potentially causes allergy. If your pet dog has a short coat, itchy red bumps are more apparent; otherwise, you may have to touch to recognise their presence. Whereas, in cats, it may not appear within a day or two. Small fluid-filled lumps may take months to develop before you spot them on your cat’s body.


Your pet companion is more likely to scratch, bite and lick the affected skin areas, which may lead to hair loss, broken skin and further deteriorate the condition. In such a case, the broken skin makes your pet more vulnerable to infections. As a result, your pet may direly need treatment.

2. Stomach issues

Your four-legged friend may suffer from gastrointestinal issues like nausea, gas formation, vomiting, and diarrhea due to particular food.

3. Swelling

Your pet canine may develop swelling, usually in the face. Look for any puffiness in the lips, eyelids, throat, nose and ear flaps. This may be accompanied by sneezing, runny nose and/or coughing.

4. Ear/Paw infections

Much more frequent and chronic infections in your pet dog’s ears/paws may be a sign of hypersensitivity to food and not a food allergy.

Note: Food allergy triggers an instant immune system response, whereas food sensitivity doesn’t. A gradual reaction to food ingredients may show sensitivity and not an allergy.

The best way to diagnose a food allergy in pets is through allergy testing or an elimination diet. Meet with your vet to understand what food products are causing allergies in your pet friend and how to remedy them. Pet health insurance serves your pet’s health needs across all kinds of illnesses, injuries and other upsets. Find the best pet insurance policy to have your pet covered for diagnosis and treatment of allergies and much more.


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