5 health issues caused by pets’ food

We are what we eat, and the same goes for our pets. The food they consume can affect their health, so it is important that we feed them the best food we can afford. But sometimes, that relatively expensive food is not the best option for our pets and it can have a negative influence on their health. Luckily, there are foods and supplements that are specifically developed to help with these issues.

Here are the five most common health issues in cats and dogs that are caused by the food they eat.

 1. Allergies

Allergies are one of the most common problems in pets, but it can be difficult to figure out what exactly is causing the allergies in your cat or dog. If you suspect that the allergy is being caused by your pet’s food, speak to your vet about an alternative.

Symptoms include:

  • Itching and scratching anywhere on the body. This is the most common symptom.
  • Itchy paws. Your dog might lick his paws a lot.
  • Skin rashes and hot spots.
  • Oily and/or scaly skin.
  • Red eyes.
  • Discharge from eyes, or eye infections.
  • Pigmented skin.
  • Hair loss.
  • Ear infections.

2. Digestive problems

Just like people, some pets’ digestive systems struggle with certain ingredients, and then they suffer with digestive problems like diarrhoea, vomiting, cramps or an upset tummy. Mostly, it is due to certain ingredients that your pet can’t tolerate, but to be certain that there isn’t something else at play, consult your vet.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Cramps
  • Diarrhoea, soft or very hard stool.
  • Excess gas.
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  1. Weight problems

Is your cat or dog under- or overweight? There are a couple of factors that could cause this. It is possible that your pet is not getting the ideal measurement of food. In other words, he is being either under- or overfed. It could also be because he is getting too many treats. If you’re feeding your pet according to your vet’s recommendations, and your pet is still losing or gaining weight, then you need to discuss your pet’s diet with your vet again. And follow your vet’s instructions – they know best.

Symptoms include:

  • He is always hungry.
  • He is gaining or losing weight.

4. Coat problems

It might take a little while before you notice any problems with or changes to your pet’s coat due to malnutrition. A healthy, shiny coat normally indicates that your pet is healthy and is eating nutritionally balanced food, but it’s not a guarantee.

A dull coat, on the other hand, can indicate various health issues, but normally other symptoms would also be present, like fur loss, excessive shedding, dandruff or symptoms like bad breath, reflux and body odour. Speak to your vet to find out if you should change your pet’s food, or to see if there is something else going on with your pet’s health.

5. Nutritional imbalances

In many cases, when owners prepare their pets’ food from scratch at home, they serve their pets food that is not properly balanced by an expert in veterinary nutrition. This happens when the pets are fed raw food or table scraps. Food developed by reputable pet food manufacturers is expertly prepared and contains everything that a pet needs.

Consult your vet

If you suspect that any of the aforementioned health concerns are being caused by the food your pet eats, speak to your vet for a proper diagnosis. But the symptoms could also be caused by something totally different, like inflamed gums or a gastrointestinal disease. If it is the food, your vet will suggest a better option for your pet.

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