Ill dogThis is the second part in our series about food allergies and food intolerance.  In our first post we talked specifically about food allergies.  In this post, we’ll look at how a food intolerance is different from a food allergy.

Both food allergies and food intolerance in dogs are caused by a reaction to a particular ingredient.  With a food allergy, the immune system is involved.  A food intolerance is a digestive problem rather than an immune response.  The intolerance refers to a gastrointestinal response triggered by certain ingredients.

Signs of a Food Intolerance
Signs of a food intolerance can include digestive distress – gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or irritable bowel, failure to gain weight or a weight loss.

Causes of a Food Intolerance
A dog experiencing intolerance problems may be sensitive or intolerant to one main ingredient in the dog food such as beef, chicken, lamb or fish.  The problem ingredient could be one or more of the artificial colors, preservatives, texturizers, palatability enhancers or other substances in any of the 27 categories of allowable pet food additives.  These ingredients aren’t what you’d normally consider to be in dog food, but they are there.  Due to the hundreds of different ingredients used in poor quality commercial pet food, it’s not surprising that some of them cause problems for dogs.

Treatment for a Food Intolerance
The treatment for food intolerance is usually an elimination diet for 8-12 weeks, supervised by your veterinarian.  Food intolerances often clear up quickly once the offending food is eliminated.  If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
At Eli & Jojo’s, all of our treats are grain-free.  This eliminates the worry of allergies to grains.  In addition, we never use any artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors or flavors, and absolutely no fillers or by-products.  Every ingredient is organic and human-grade quality, which means you can buy it in a grocery store and you probably have it in your own home.  Yes, you could eat our dog treats!