What are Cat Food Allergies?
Many of us know that cat food is formulated specifically for cats; however, there are times in which your dog may decide to eat this family member’s food. Typically, a small amount of cat food will not harm your dog, but he may ingest a little too much and may have a reaction.
Cat food is formulated differently than dog food. It contains more protein and fat, and perhaps that is what may attract dogs to the cat food dish. It is known that cats are pure carnivores and must eat meat in their diet; dogs are omnivores and can eat plant foods and meat. Since their systems are very different, cat food can affect dogs because of the higher levels of fat and protein.
If for some reason your dog ingests a high amount of cat food, or even a small amount of cat food over a long period of time, he may not want to eat his food which is formulated for him. This will lead to a vitamin deficiency in your dog, because cat food does not contain the same vitamins as dog food. He may also develop kidney problems and urination problems due to the fact that cat food does contain a high amount of protein that dogs are not accustomed to. All in all, cat food is not good for a dog’s health and should be avoided at all costs.
Cat food allergies in dogs may happen when dogs ingest cat food that they normally do not eat, or consume too much cat food and have an adverse reaction to the different formulations of food.
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Symptoms of Cat Food Allergies in Dogs
If your dog has ingested a large amount of cat food, the symptoms he develops may be more severe on an immediate basis. However, if he eats a small amount of cat food each day, the long term effects may be severe as well. Symptoms can include:
- Kidney problems
- Kidney stones
- Urination issues
- Stones in the urine
- Vitamin deficiency
There are many types of cat food on the market today. Your dog should avoid every type of cat food so as not to develop any symptoms. Types of cat food include:
- Dry cat food
- Wet cat food
- Cat food formulated for urinary health
- High-protein cat food
- All-natural with raw meat
- Prescription diet food, formulated for various health conditions
Causes of Cat Food Allergies in Dogs
Causes of a cat food allergy in dogs is due to the dog eating cat food, either all at once in large amounts or on a regular basis in small or moderate amounts. Specific causes of cat food allergies in dogs are:
- An overdose of protein into the dog’s diet
- An adverse reaction from an unfamiliar food
- An overdose of the different prescription formulations in some cat foods
- An overdose of specific vitamins, such as vitamin B, that are contained in cat food
Diagnosis of Cat Food Allergies in Dogs
If your dog has ingested feline food and is suffering from an allergy, you will need to make an appointment with your veterinarian. The veterinarian will look at your dog’s symptoms which will vary from dog to dog. The symptoms will depend on the type of cat food your dog ate as well as the amount he ingested.
The veterinarian will assess his clinical signs and run any tests in which he feels are necessary. He may do a blood test, check for protein levels in the blood, perform a urinalysis, and administer a biochemistry profile. All of these tests are necessary to determine if your dog has any internal damage due to the overconsumption of cat food. The medical professional will ask you many questions as to how much of this type of food he has eaten, when his symptoms began, how long they have affected him, and any other questions pertaining to specific symptoms he is having.
Typical food allergies are caused by the dog’s response by the immune system toward a main ingredient within a food item. In the case of cat food allergy, this will more than likely be an allergic reaction to protein, and your veterinarian will need to run tests in order to be sure. However, your veterinarian may choose not to do so at this time, especially if you are sure that your dog ingested cat food. He may simply recommend that you halt all consumption of cat food and see how your dog improves.
Treatment of Cat Food Allergies in Dogs
Treatment of cat food allergy in dogs is basic. Treatment methods are few and far between, with the one method being to not allow your dog to ingest anymore food that is meant for felines. Treatment methods are:
Avoid cat food from this point on, so your dog can heal from the reaction and to prevent it from reoccurring. This is the only method of treatment that will prove effective.
If your dog ingested a large amount of cat food and became quite ill from it, your veterinarian will administer IV fluids to help flush his body and enable proper kidney function to occur.
If your dog ate a very large amount of cat food, such as by getting into the cat food “supply” and engorging on this food, the veterinarian may perform emesis on your dog so that he can get rid of much of what he ingested. This may be followed up with activated charcoal, however it may not be necessary since cat food is not technically a toxic substance.
Recovery of Cat Food Allergies in Dogs
After your dog is treated for a cat food allergy or reaction, you will be able to take him home. In terms of prognosis, he has a very good chance of recovering from this ordeal. Once he is home, continue to monitor him for any new symptoms that may develop.
The one thing you can do to prevent this from happening again is to put the cat food in a place where he cannot come into contact with either the dish or the actual container of food. You may also consider feeding your cat in a different location in which he is used to. You also need to monitor your cat as he is eating, so when he is finished you can put the bowl up; if your cat is used to “grazing” on his food during the day or evening, this may need to change so your dog isn’t tempted to eat what is in the bowl or dish.
Cat Food Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog keeps getting in the cat food and now he keeps licking his paws can it be an allergic reaction he is a 1 year old bull terrier mix iam trying to keep him from licking
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