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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Help Your Pet Scratch the Itch

Apr 07, 2011 04:54PM ● By Janet Monaco

Is your pet itching and scratching? It could be caused by food allergies. Classic symptoms that dogs exhibit include facial itching, foot and limb chewing, belly itching, and recurrent ear infections. Food allergies for cats, on the other hand, usually produce scabs and other signs of itching around the face and neck. Your pet may show one or more of these symptoms.

A food allergy is one of the itchiest conditions known to cat and dog. Animals eat a variety of processed food proteins, fillers, and colorings which are further processed inside their bodies. Proteins may be combined or changed into substances recognized by the immune system as foreign invaders to be attacked. The resulting inflammation may target the GI tract or other organs but, in dogs and cats, it is the skin that most often suffers from this immune reaction. One clue that directs the owner toward food allergies is that the symptoms are not seasonal, but occur all year around. It is also important to eliminate the possibility of fleas.

Food allergies don’t happen overnight; they require time to develop. Most animals have been eating the offending food for years with no trouble, making it hard to detect. The needs of pets can vary so it is important to find the right diet for each pet. There are special diets that have been developed to address allergies including a wide variety of organic pet food that is free of artificial colors, preservatives and fillers.

Pet Pros specializes in food allergies and carries eight brands of organic food. The store is located at Barnes and Murrell in Rockledge. For more information call 321-639-4300.

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