How to Determine What Your Pet Is Allergic To

Your pets are part of the family, so you want to ensure they are happy and healthy. This means keeping an eye out for sensitivities and allergic reactions they may have to their food, items, or environment. It is easier to treat and comfort your pet when you know what is causing the problem. Use the following tips to determine the cause of an allergic reaction in your pet.

Check for Signs of Allergies

You should check for signs of allergies if your pet is having difficulty eating, especially if you notice a change in your pet’s appearance or behavior. The signs may vary per reaction, but you may notice itching, redness, swelling, sneezing, vomiting or diarrhea. Create a list of their symptoms when you notice them and their activity at the time. Use this information to determine if there is a food item causing their allergy or a common environmental element such a high pollen count or freshly-cut grass.

Schedule an Appointment with the Veterinarian

If you feel your pet is having an allergic reaction to anything, contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment. Your veterinarian can administer an allergy test to determine what may be causing the reaction. You can also find at-home allergy tests to administer to your pet before delivering the results to your veterinarian. However, if you want to make sure you get the most accurate readings, you may want to leave it to a specialist.

Veterinary Elimination Diet Trial

Another option is a veterinary elimination diet trial, which is a trial period where you only let your pet eat certain foods that are recommended by your veterinarian. Make sure not to even give your pet a small treat, as it could affect the results of the trial. Your veterinarian will check your pet once the trial has ended, and they may recommend returning them to their normal food and treats. This allows them to determine if their symptoms were bought on by something in their regular diet. Depending on the results, you may decide to switch them to organic pet food, which will have less complicated ingredients and make the source of their allergies easier to isolate.

Be Mindful of Other Causes

You should also be mindful of other causes of allergic reactions. For example, you may notice your dog has been sneezing ever since you switched their shampoo, or that your cat has been scratching since you changed your laundry detergent. If you make a note of what may be causing their allergy, you can do your best to prevent another allergic reaction.

If you visit the veterinarian, keep an eye out for signs of illness, and check for underlying causes, you can help to prevent and treat an allergic reaction in your beloved pet.

 About the Author: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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