The misunderstood allergy

Despite common belief, food allergies are not prevalent in pets. Although food allergies are possible, it’s more likely your pet’s skin condition has a different cause.

Food allergies affect a small percentage of the Banfield pet population.

Food allergies come with baggage

Pets with a food allergy are likely to also have another skin issue, so it may be necessary to test your pet for other (or related) conditions to reach a complete and correct diagnosis.

30%
of food-allergic dogs and cats are found to have another allergic skin condition
6X
More likely to develop skin infections
15X
More likely to develop skin infections

Meet Max

Four-year-old Max has suffered from food allergies. Read on to find out how his owners, Jacob and Evelyn, worked with their veterinarian, Dr. Otis, to diagnose and treat him.

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What we learned from Max's case

Max’s story shows us that identifying a food allergy can be challenging, requiring several tests and trial diets. Partner with your veterinarian to find out whether your pet might have a food allergy and to identify the best diet options.

Mythbusting

Many pet owners are mistaken about food allergies. Here are the most common myths you may have heard:

  • Myth

    My pet’s allergic to grains, just like I am

    SEE FACT
    Fact

    Food allergies in pets are most commonly due to protein sources like chicken, beef or dairy. Grain (carbohydrate) allergies are less common.

    SEE MYTH
  • Myth

    Gluten-free diets will solve food allergies

    SEE FACT
    Fact

    There’s no one-size-fits-all diet for pets with food allergies. Wheat allergies are possible but not as common as animal protein-based allergies. Every pet is unique, so different diets may need to be tried before the best diet for your pet is identified. Work with your veterinarian to find the best solution for your pet.

    SEE MYTH
  • Myth

    Pets with food allergies need a prescription diet

    SEE FACT
    Fact

    A veterinarian-prescribed diet isn’t always required for pets with food allergies, but a high-quality consistent-ingredient diet specific to your pet’s life stage is always recommended. What’s important is finding a diet with ingredients your pet hasn’t previously eaten and does not have an allergic reaction to, produced in a facility where there will be no cross-contamination. Work with your veterinarian to identify the best diet for your pet.

    SEE MYTH

To learn more, read our article about food allergies in pets.

There's more to your pet's skin than allergies

Visit Skin Care Central, our online guide to the signs, causes, and treatments for various skin conditions.

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