FOOD ALLERGIES IN DOGS AND CATS
After the great success of my previous article on ideal dog food, I decided to write you a detailed article on food allergies and intolerances. Many write to me that their animal is in a similar situation and that their dog or cat is allergic to everything and does not find a solution to relieve their animal.
How do you know if your pet has allergies?
Allergies are a reaction of the immune system to a stranger or a molecule that enters the system that is believed to be dangerous. So the reaction in dogs is inflammation. The animal may have red skin. He can scratch constantly. He may have ear infections, skin infections, digestive problems, etc. If your pet has chronic inflammation, which means your veterinarian has diagnosed your dog with a disease that ends up “itis” and that you go to vet several times a year for the same thing, your pet may have food allergies or intolerances. Example: otitis, dermatitis, etc. Why am I using the term intolerance? Certain foods are going to be more severe, therefore an allergy, but other foods that your pet will not tolerate and will make all the difference if your dog or cat does not eat.
If you read my other article, you know that Myla, my jack russell terrier dog, has quite severe food allergies. She started scratching, licking her legs all day, going to the vet several times a year to give medicine, etc. So, since she been 3 years old, I have tried everything to help her. I gave her ’Iams‘ ’to veterinary foods, grain-free kibble, dehydrated, etc. The change helped a little, lessened these symptoms, and then exploded a few months later. As a veterinary technician at the time, I didn’t know what to do. Even as a healthcare professional, I didn’t have the solution to improve Myla’s condition. For me, I believe in prevention and health. I would not put myself or my pet on medication, as these have side effects and may shorten even reduce the quality of life for your pet. Except in the case of drugs necessary for survival. On the other hand, for allergies, these are dangerous drugs for the pets health if given in the long term. So, I decided two things: a sensitivity test and to take a nutrition course for dogs and cats.
With this full course given by an agronomist specializing in animal sciences, I understood how kibble is made, the reality of what a dog or cat must eat in life and learn about raw food. Raw meat is often seen as a negative diet by veterinarians, but the reality is that the course we took at veterinary school was given by Hill’s, Royal Canine and Purina! A veterinarian is not the pro of everything, he has its knowledge in terms of diseases, surgeries and everything that surrounds it. But when it comes to food, you have to keep an open mind! You have to read what’s in bags of kibble and ask yourself if it’s really good for your animal! Do you understand all of the ingredients that are written on the bag on the back?
A dog is a carnivore with an omnivorous tendency. His main diet should consist mainly of meat and there may be a small amount of fruit and vegetables. Why is the dog carnivorous? What convinced me was to see the wolf’s skull compared to the dog’s skull. It is identical. Their teeth? Identical. Their digestive system? Identical. So why doesn’t he eat the same thing? The cat is very similar, but strict carnivore. There is no need for vegetables.
Most put fear on raw meat because of bacteria. If we buy quality human consumption meat, it’s like the meat we buy at the grocery store. If we clean the place of preparation, there is no risk. On the dog there is no risk either. Veterinarian articles will say that the stools of dogs in the flood have more bacteria, but who will touch there? For other issues, the fear that it will not be balanced is just to buy from a company that offers complete and balanced recipes. We offer complete food at our boutique such as good kibble as well.
With this course too, I understood why so many dogs and cats develop health problems related to food. Kibble has only been around for over a hundred years. What did our animals eat at that time? Fresh food. No processed foods. I often compare kibble to ‘’ ’McDonalds’ ’. Processed foods is not recognizable by the animal’s body, therefore it will cause inflammation. The immune system does not recognize what it is eating. So from generation to generation, kibble has weakened our animals with processed foods and the body is trying to fight.
We go back to the story of my dog. So after so many years of trying to find the solution for my dog, I finally found it. It was raw meat.
First, I did the Glacier Peak test, a holistic test that detects stress in the animal with a sample of saliva and hair. A couple of weeks later, I receive the results. There are a lot of things I need to get out of my dogs diet: grains, dairy, potatoes, pork, chicken, lamb, certain types of fish and the list goes on. With all of this list, there was no kibble on the market that would have been allergen-free for her. So I got her on raw food diet.
To start, I went to several stores to get samples. Myla hated everything I presented to her. Did I give up? No. Until I find one with a mixture of beef tripe. She would only eat if it was mixed with tripe. I kept her on turkey protein with beef tripe for a minimum of 3 months without anything else. All allergens must be eliminated so that the body recovers completely to stop the inflammation. My dog got almost all of these symptoms gone in 4 weeks. After 4 months, I tried to incorporate ingredients to confirm that the test is true. As soon as I gave chicken, she had an inflammatory reaction within 24 hours. Over time, I did several tests and it always worked. She has been eating raw food for 4 years now and I will never go back. She is in good health, I did not need to go to the veterinarian for 3 years and all her blood tests are still excellent at 12 years old.
So, raw food works to solve inflammation problems or just to do the sensitivity test, I have several customers that I could find them a kibble that had no problematic ingredients and that too solved their problem . Veterinary visits for chronic diseases are over. For severe cases like my dog Myla, flooding was the only solution not only because of avoiding the reactive ingredients, but also because of the carbohydrates. A high percentage of carbohydrate can cause inflammation too. In raw food, meat does not have a lot of carbohydrates and in nature, canines and felines do not need a lot of carbohydrates. It’s hard to find a low carb kibble. You have to make sure of its quality and that there is as much meat as possible. In addition, the percentage of protein must come mainly from meat.
Several questions that my clients ask me: ‘’ Do I have to put my dog on raw if my dog has allergies? ’’ The answer is no. There are good kibbles on the market. This is also the reason why I did the nutrition course to understand all the types of food offered for the animal and to choose it well. There is good and bad in everything. If the food is not balanced whether it is kibble or raw, your dog will be sick. Veterinarians do not like raw (most), because they see in examination those who are sick, those who eat a diet of unbalanced raw meat. Like Myla, I didn’t go to the vet for 3 years because she was healthy, even after all the skin problems she had. I saved a lot of money by providing food that my dog is supposed to eat and that she digests it well as nature created her.
Finally, there are several ways to transition to raw food. However, you must be careful not to cook in the microwave or to cook the entire meal. The complete recipes include crushed bones inside (rich in calcium) and you should absolutely not cook them. The bones become hard and brittle when cooked and will be dangerous during digestion. Raw bones are digestible and with the acidity of a dog’s or cat’s stomach, it shouldn’t be a problem. So, for an easy transition, please contact us so that together we can find tips for getting your pet to eat at the start. Thereafter, you will see your animal will devour its dish! The difficult transition is in more picky or older animals. Most will eat it instantly.
If you need help with your dog or cat with food allergies or intolerances, I am available for you. The Glacier Peak sensitivity test is offered at my store and you get my help in choosing your food as soon as you receive the results. We can choose a kibble or go to raw meat if possible and optimize the health of your animal.
Looking forward to helping you.
Owner of Muso and Spaw