Each of my pets have been very unique in personality, size and in their toy likes and dislikes. They’ve also each been very unique in what they can eat. Being owners of multiple pets over the years, my husband and I have learned that pets can have food allergies just like humans. After talking to several veterinarians and other pet owners, we’ve also learned that it’s a lot more common that many think.
Our first dog, an American Eskimo and Collie mix named Joey, could eat anything. I swear he had a stomach made out of iron! We had to watch him like a hawk to ensure he never ate anything that harmed him. We failed twice, but thankfully, it wasn’t anything that a quick call to the vet couldn’t cure.
Our second dog, an American Eskimo named Vegas, was a little pickier when it came to food. When he was very young, he started scratching, biting and licking his legs non-stop. After several trips to the vet, he got put on allergy medicine, received allergy shots, and we gave him frequent baths with anti-itch shampoo. When many of his symptoms continued, we started thinking it may be his food. After doing some experimenting (using lots of guessing), we eventually discovered he couldn’t eat lamb. When we stopped giving him food that contained lamb, many of his allergy symptoms stopped. he still had seasonal allergies (mostly just scratching) and we took him to the vet to treat that, but the biting and licking year round stopped when we switched his food. When he got older, he started having some stomach issues. With the help of a veterinarian, we discovered he was getting too much fat in his diet. Once we switched him to a low fat food (that did not contain lamb), his stomach issues disappeared. Once again, food was a culprit of a health issue!
One of our former cats, a Maine Coon mix named Phoebe, was not allergic to anything. She would eat anything (even dog food!) so we had to watch her closely. However, a little barn cat we rescued named Reno, had to be on a special food after we discovered he had an underdeveloped kidney. Though his issue was not a food allergy, he still proved to us that food was very important to his overall health.
Through our first two dogs and two cats, we’ve learned to really put a lot of attention on our current pets nutrition. Monica (our female Maine Coon) has had a sensitive stomach since we brought her home from the breeder. We experimented until we found a food that worked. We’ve made a couple of changes to her food over the years and every time, we always go back to the same combination (a little canned meat, a little canned fish and a tiny bit of dry food). I tried to give her a little Wellness sample I received from Influenster recently, but it irritated her stomach. She gets some food by Wellness already, but the new formulas just did not work for her.
Our puppy, Minnie Pearl, started having symptoms of a urinary tract infection a few months ago. After several rounds of medicine and having her urine tested two times, we learned she did not have an infection. So, we looked to her food as being the issue and started investigating. Her symptoms were that her urine smelled a little fishy and she started urinating very frequently, but only after she got into the cat food. We kept it up high, but she always seemed to figure out how to get to it within a second of us turning our heads. We started feeding the cats on our second floor and put gates in our stairwells. We also switched her to a vegan food after seeing her current food had salmon oil in it. After making these changes, she stopped having any symptoms of a urinary infection. She’s been doing well on her new food (she’s currently eating Halo brand) and we are so relieved we figured it out.
Ross, our male Maine Coon, is like our dog Joey. He eats what he wants when he wants. We have him on the same food as Monica (Organix and Wellness) and he’s super happy with that. He’s a pretty cool cat.
So, if your pet starts experiencing some strange issues with their stomachs, allergies or behaviors, I encourage you to talk to your vet. Find a vet that is knowledgeable about medicine AND food. If a vet is dismissive of your ideas regarding food being an issue, find a new vet. We’ve had to do this and know that it’s okay because our pets are WORTH IT!
Happy Friday ya’ll! Sending our light and love to anyone who needs it!