Consumer confusion around allergies

Talking with consumers can be illuminating. Those conversations often reveal what consumers believe about food allergies: that is, their pets have an allergy to a meat protein (chicken, beef, etc). How do they know for sure? Could it be a flea bite? Is it observed during the relative humidity months of the year? Is their pet bathed regularly? The typical response is always ‘I switched foods and the problems went away’. These include problems like dry skin, itching, flaking, dermatitis and diarrhoea.
Some protein allergies do exist but the nutritional formulation and processing controls can vary widely among pet foods. Nevertheless, consumers and the blogosphere are quick to blame pet foods for the use of some ingredients (preservatives, colours, fibres) which are unproven allergens. Regal Dog food recipes are formulated without artificial colours or preservatives.

Allergy vs intolerance

Consumers often misunderstand food intolerance as an allergy, interpreting an intestinal upset as an allergy.
A true allergy is an immunological response to a protein allergen and can be seen in itchy skin, skin and ear infections and even hair loss. However, food reactions range from 1% to 6% of all dermatoses seen by veterinarians. Most true allergies seen in pets with skin disorders are due to fleas, dust mites, grasses, pollen and other environmental issues. If the immune system is truly compromised, flea insensitivity and dermatitis can be triggered.

How can a consumer know that their pet truly has an allergy?

Veterinary practices will be able to offer allergy testing in order to try and identify the potential causes for the clinical signs being seen. Although, most would suggest this has to be done by process of elimination, changing from one food (or one ingredient) to another. If the consumer is a typical consumer, they are feeding many treats, table scraps, dental products along with their complete and balanced food(s). A new food regime must be fed 45 to 60 days to completely allow the new food to be seen to be having an impact.

Regal Dog Food Recipes

Our pet food recipes are formulated for everyday health and well being and often exclude ingredients which may cause unwanted intolerance’s including grains (i.e wheat and maize) as well as beef, chicken, soya, or dairy. Our recipes may able to assist with food intolerance’s as opposed to allergic reactions and are not classed as an allergenic pet foods.