Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Back to results
Enter Your Information All fields are required

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

*Please note: Questions submitted and the answers will appear on our website as a benefit to all pet owners. Please make sure not to include any personal information in the box where you enter your question.

Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Thank you! Your question has been submitted.

You will receive an answer from Dr. Dym and our vet/tech team as soon as possible, usually the same day.

All answers are provided for informational or educational purposes only, and are intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your pet's veterinarian.

It may be necessary to consult your pet's veterinarian regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your pet's symptoms or medical condition.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Oops! Your question has not been submitted.

An error has occurred, please reload the page and try again.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Got questions? Ask Dr. Dym & our Vet Team:

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

Do these answer your question?
Showing of | See All
Have another question, or can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
We're Sorry!

There is no answer related to your question

Can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
Category Hide All Show All

Food Allergies and Intolerances in Pets

Food allergy is a common concern for pet owners, however, true food allergy is not very common in dogs and cats and is frequently over-diagnosed. True food allergies account for only 10% of all pet allergies and affected pets shows characteristic signs such as severe itching, hives, skin breakouts, etc. The most common adverse food reaction is called food intolerance and usually causes gastrointestinal upset. It is not an allergic reaction to the ingredients in a food and as such there are no characteristic "allergy" signs. Instead, it is an intolerance to a component of the food—such as the quality of the ingredients, artificial dyes, preservatives or other additives—and causes vomiting and diarrhea.

However, whenever a pet experiences vomiting or diarrhea from a food, owners and veterinarians alike are quick to blame "food allergy". This diagnosis is often inaccurate and many pets are placed unnecessarily on hypoallergenic diets, when potentially all they needed was a high-quality pet food without artificial ingredients. If your pet experiences vomiting or diarrhea when starting a new food, first make sure you are transitioning properly and then consider that your pet may be experiencing an intolerance to inferior ingredients. At that point, you can select a high quality diet without artificial ingredients or consider home-cooking for a short time. Home-cooked diets provide the advantage of being preservative- and other additives-free. If your pet does well on a home-cooked food you can confirm it is not an allergy to the proteins contained in the food—that instead, it is an intolerance to some component of the commercial pet food.

True food allergies do occur and if you still suspect your pet may be affected, contact your veterinarian to discuss a proper food trial. The gold standard of diagnosis is an 8 to 12 week home-cooked unique (novel) protein and carbohydrate food trial in order to avoid possible allergens to which your pet has previously been exposed. Other forms of allergy testing, such as blood and skin tests, are not reliable for diagnosing food allergy. Although you will get results from these tests, they don't accurately correlate with food allergies present in either the dog nor cat and are not recommended by board-certified dermatologists at this time. Contact your veterinarian for more information.