Three weeks ago, I walked into Petco to get a few things for my 12 year old Australian shepherd…and there she was. A local shelter was having an adoption day, and a little, white puppy made her way over to me, climbed up to reach my nose, and gave it a thorough licking. As I type this, that little white puppy – Willow – is curled up on my lap. Nothing like a little impulsivity on occasion!
I had bought her a puppy chow recommended by the people at Petco, but within hours of her first meal here, her belly was not happy. I had also bought her what I thought were healthy training treats…which only made things worse. Making a long story short, our veterinarian believes it to be a sensitivity to something in the food. At the end of our appointment, he commented on the incredible increase in food allergy in dogs.
Well – as you can imagine, this struck a nerve. My Aussie, at 10 years old, suddenly developed an allergy to his dog food too. (I now have to spend a fortune on a special blend.) Fortunately, Willow only needed me to switch brands and the issue cleared up. Still, what on earth?!
Being me, I decided to delve into the question a little deeper. Believe it or not, information on this was actually hard to find. I found plenty on the increased rates of people’s allergies to their pets…but not very much at all on the rates of allergy in pets themselves. But I did finally find an article[i] on CNN’s website:
“Allergies are on the rise in humans and in animals, said Cliff Bassett, an allergist/immunologist with the Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, New York.”
The article claims that 10% of dogs now are diagnosed with allergy. And why not? Dogs are (mis)treated the same as humans – excessive antibiotics, low quality diets, too often a lack of exercise, etc. I asked our vet for a good probiotic for Willow and Apollo. And I am researching a good prebiotic now too. After all, our pets’ biomes are just as depleted as ours.