MILLION of people suffer from hay fever and allergies and avoid certain foods because they are intolerant to them.
And our pets are suffering along with them.
4 Our pets are suffering from the same allergies and food intolerances we doCredit: Getty – Contributor
The number of dogs with allergies or intolerances appears to have nearly DOUBLED in just three years.
Tails.com reports a staggering 75 per cent increase in requests for hypoallergenic food blends since 2016.
The site is also seeing more requests from owners to exclude specific ingredients such as soya, dairy, beef, eggs, maize, wheat or grain.
Shar Pei dogs are the most prone to allergies, with a huge 29.8 per cent of owners reporting a problem. That is followed by 28.5 per cent of French bulldogs, 26.3 per cent of English bulldogs, 21.5 per cent of West Highland terriers and 20.7 per cent of English bull terriers.
4 Chihuahuas are more resilient to food allergies than other breedsCredit: Alamy
The Japanese Akita is least likely to have food allergies, with just 7.93 per cent of the breed’s owners reporting a problem. Chihuahuas were a close second at 8.63 per cent, while crossbreeds are generally less likely than pedigree dogs to have food allergies.
The condition is seen more in adults and mature dogs than in puppies and younger animals.
And while nearly 30 per cent of humans suffer hay fever, one in ten dogs have a pollen allergy leading to itchy skin (rather than runny eyes and sneezing).
About 12.5 per cent of new dogs registered with tails.com have sensitive digestions listed as an existing health condition, while 10.5 per cent specify skin problems.
Pet Vet Sean McCormack says:“Dog food allergies are far more likely to be related to animal proteins such as beef and dairy than plant-based ingredients.“Many people now see grain-free, wheat-free or gluten-free as being healthier, more natural or beneficial.
“But grain and wheat are healthy, wholesome and nutritious foods for dogs when used as part of a balanced diet. The true prevalence of wheat or grain allergies in dogs is far lower than pet-food marketing claims would have you believe.
“And the symptoms of food allergies in dogs can overlap with environmental allergies.”
Pet vet Sean McCormack answers your questions
SEAN McCORMACK, head vet at tailored food firm tails.com, is on a mission to help the nation’s pets. WHEN 77-year-old Anne Hill’s hen Gert died after 18 months, she bought a replacement to keep her other hen Daisy company. But Dora The Explorer arrived covered in lice.Anne tried powder without success and wondered if “spot-on” treatment could work. Dora camps out on the doormat in the garden but Anne won’t let her inside until the lice are gone.Sean says: “There are some pretty ineffective products on the market. An organic method you can use is a powder called diatomaceous earth (DE) but it needs to come into contact with every louse on the bird and in the environment to be effective. That is not an easy task among all those feathers!“There are some other anti-lice medications in powder form, with the same problems in applying them correctly. Luckily, there are a few ‘spot-on’ liquid medications you can use, prescribed by your vet, which will get the problem under control much more easily. Discuss with your vet how long after treatment you need to wait before eating their eggs again, as some of them can affect the eggs for a short time after.”
What does it mean when your dog has a dry noseSAMANTHA STOTT, 42, from Darlington, Co Durham, has a five-year-old cocker spaniel called Boris that never has a wet nose. Should she be worried?Sean says: “No. Despite traditional advice, a dry nose is not always a sign there’s something wrong with your dog. Many dogs have a permanently dry nose while others have a wet one.“It’s an individual thing. For Boris, it sounds like dry is normal – but you know what is normal for your dog. If you are worried, get him checked out by your vet.”
Star of the week
NUKA, two, has become the country’s first Alaskan Malamute assistance dog, helping to give owner Sarah Parker her life back.
Sarah, 39, was a recluse after illness left her almost completely housebound. The married mother of two, from Telford, Shrops, agreed to foster Nuka until a home could be found after her owners were unable to cope.
4 Nuke, two, is Britain’s first Alaskan Malamute assistance dogCredit: Paul Tonge – The Sun
But as Sarah, who uses a wheelchair, says: “Nuka began taking interest in me. She would stay next to me so I could lean on her. She would pick up things I dropped.”
Sarah contacted the charity Dog A.I.D. for help training Nuka and switched her diet to raw and natural dog food from Natures Menu.
And she adds: “Nuka has totally transformed my life.”Win dog bag
ARE you for ever pulling poo bags from your pockets on dog walks?
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4 You can win this Cosy Canine Company dog walking bag now – here’s how
For a chance to win, send an email headed COSY CANINE COMPANY to email@example.com.
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