Nutrition trends: Allergen-free petfoods and alternative ingredients
A bowl full of novel ingredients, fewer ingredients or a hypoallergenic recipe may be just what the itchy, uncomfortable pet ordered
Allergen-free petfoods usually share one of three basic designs or some combination of them, according to DogFoodAdviser.com’s Mike Sagman:
- Limited ingredients make it easier for pet owners to pin down the suspect allergen;
- Novel ingredients are less likely to be recognizable to the “memory” of an animal’s immune system; and
- Hypoallergenic recipes avoid the use of ingredients most likely to provoke an allergic reaction.
Surprisingly, dogs and cats aren’t naturally allergic to most of the ingredients usually listed on labels with a ‘Free’ right behind them or a bold, red ‘No’ in front. Beef, dairy, chicken, corn, wheat, soy and yeast are simply the ingredients most commonly used in petfood recipes and, therefore, the most likely to be fingered first since they are the foods companion animals are most frequently exposed to at the bottom of their bowl. Sometimes, Sagman points out, it’s not even the ingredients that are the problem, but what’s in the ingredients.
But when a dog can’t stop itching or a cat suddenly has a rash, the petfood they eat is usually the first suspect. So whether a pet has ingredient intolerance, allergic reaction or just a finicky stomach, plenty of petfood and treat manufacturers offer products made to get animals feeling better.
A new line of gourmet organic dog treats called DogStars is now available in four flavors from SavvyBeast Treats LLC. Made from chia flour instead of wheat flour, DogStars treats are 100% gluten-free, according to the company. DogStars treats…