Environmental pet allergies and petfood allergies are often confused, and changing your pet's diet to a specialty food may not make a difference, according to veterinary dermatologists at VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Englewood, Colo.
"Food allergies occur in only 10%-30% of dogs and between 20%-30% of cats," said Dr. Christina Gentry, with VRCC's dermatology/allergy department. "Environmental allergies are much more common." As such, switching to a specialized diet (such as grain-free or raw) may not actually be addressing the issue at hand.
Veterinarians at VRCC's dermatology/allergy department recommend that your pet's diet should be assessed based on its overall nutrient profile of the ingredients, rather than the ingredients themselves. If you are concerned your pet may have environmental or food allergies, contact your veterinarian to have them properly assessed and treated.