Unlike most food allergies, food intolerance is most often linked to digestive upset due to a sensitive stomach. Find out what can cause dog food intolerance, how to distinguish the condition from dog food allergies and how sensitive stomach dog foods can help.
What is dog food intolerance?
Dog food intolerance is a type of food sensitivity and occurs when food simply doesn't agree with your pet, says Dr. Simon Starkey, PetSmart vet expert.
Symptoms can be similar to dog food allergies, but the most common reactions affect the digestive tract and often include loose stool, vomiting or diarrhea in dogs. Unlike food allergies, food intolerance does not typically involve a reaction of the immune system or dermatologic symptoms. Dog food intolerance can be caused by a wider array of ingredients than those that cause allergies. To determine whether your dog has a food allergy or intolerance, consult your veterinarian.
How can Sensitive Stomach dog food help?
Feed your pet a premium pet food with a limited number of high-quality protein and carbohydrate sources. Grain free, limited ingredient dog foods and those specially formulated for sensitive stomach are ideal because they are less likely to contain some of the ingredients that may be causing the issue. Your vet may suggest a prescription dog food. Mix a small amount of the new food with the current food and increase the new food over the course of 10 days.Avoid foods with ingredients known to cause allergies and intolerance in dogs, including wheat, beef, dairy and chicken.
Avoid treats and people food.
Feed your dog the new diet exclusively for six to 12 weeks and document the type and amount of food eaten and any reactions they have. Review your notes with your vet, noting any changes in your dog's symptoms.
The information used in this report is approved by PetSmart nutritionists and vet experts.
Information from "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition," 5th Edition, Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush, Novotny, Copyright 2010 by Mark Morris Institute was used in this report.