Many pet owners struggle with adverse food reactions in their dogs and cats. It can be difficult to determine what exactly is causing the reaction, and if the reaction is a sign of a food sensitivity or a true food allergy.
The term cutaneous adverse food reaction (CAFR) is used by vets to describe food sensitivities, food intolerances, and food allergies that affect the skin. The digestive system may or may not be involved in pets with CAFRs.
Veterinary researchers reviewed dozens of scientific studies and published an article listing the most common food offenders for dogs and cats that experience CAFRs.
The most common allergens for dogs are beef, dairy products, chicken, wheat, and lamb. Less common sources include soy, corn, egg, pork, fish, and rice.
Cats also experience adverse food reactions. The most common sources for cats are beef, fish, chicken, wheat, corn, dairy products, and lamb.
Talk to your vet if you suspect your pet has a food allergy or intolerance. Many vets will advise you to try an elimination diet that removes a suspected food source like beef or chicken. Always make pet dietary changes with guidance and supervision from your vet.
True food allergies tend to be less common than food sensitivities. If your pet’s skin is affected (as in a CAFR) and not just the digestive system, there’s a better chance that it’s an allergy and not simply a digestion issue.