Is your pooch or kitty itchy and scratchy?

Added on 07 Mar, 2006 . There are .

Dog and cat owners may carefully buy the best pet food on the market for their beloved pets, but is what they are dishing up causing their furry companions a food allergy problem?

Many veterinarians are now starting to look more closely at the nutrition of their furry patients, especially when faced with dogs and cats with abnormally itchy skin, ears and feet, and wheat could be at the root of it.

As with food allergies in humans, it's vital to locate and eradicate the food allergen in your pets diet to allow them to lead a happy, food allergy free life. Wheat and corn are often identified as the major food allergens that dogs and cats can react to, suffering discomfort.

Allergies affecting your pets skin cause inflammation which can often turn into a secondary infection, such as in the ear. All infections need to be checked out by your vet, however until the cause of the problem is located it will recur, causing your pet anguish and discomfort.

Pets where food allergies are suspected should be put on a vet prescribed hypoallergenic food diet, which removes preservatives and any other allergens such as wheat. This diet should help to eliminate many of the variables that may be causing your pets itchiness. However environmental issues will also require looking at if there is no noticeable difference after 4-6 weeks on the hypoallergenic diet.

A 100% hypoallergenic food diet is only available through your vet, over the counter versions may not be pure enough for the purposes of identifying your pets allergies.

While your precious pet is on this diet treats, table scraps and any other things that they will eat, bite or chew are forbidden.

Blood tests may also be able to identify the cause of the problems, and allergy shots are available to treat some of these.

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