dogs in a field

Dog Food Intolerances and Allergies

Our pets are family.

So if your dog can’t stop scratching or has constant diarrhoea, or if your cat loses hair for no reason or is often physically sick, it can be very concerning – especially if you don’t know how to make them better. But often there can be a natural solution. There are so many causes of excessive scratching or loss of hair in pets – for which the first port of call is often checking for fleas. However, if fleas aren’t the issue, you could explore the possibility that they have an allergy or an intolerance to their food, also known as an adverse food reaction, or ARF.

Some of the things we eat can cause bad reactions in our bodies


What is a food intolerance?

Is that the same as an allergy?

Some of the things we eat can cause negative reactions in our bodies and it’s the same with our pets. If your pet has an intolerance to a particular ingredient, the food is very poorly digested, leading to diarrhoea or vomiting. If your pet has an allergy to an ingredient, their own immune system fights against that food, releasing chemicals in the body, and it is those chemicals (including histamine) that cause the classic signs of itching or vomiting. However, because the symptoms are pretty similar and because the natural treatment is the same for both, we can talk about intolerances and allergies together as adverse food responses. Aside from vomiting, diarrhoea and itching, some of the other possible symptoms of intolerances and allergies can include:

  • Flatulence
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Evident pain or discomfort, especially in the stomach
  • Ear problems
  • Coughing or sneezing

Pets of any breed, age or gender can be affected by food intolerances or allergies, which can appear at any point in their life – although often occur after a new type of food has been added to your pet’s diet. Some breeds of dog seem to be more susceptible to food allergies and intolerances than others. Allergies can even build up over a period of months or years before your pet will experience a reaction. However, once your pet is allergic to something, this food or ingredient will always cause them to suffer a reaction.


How do we remove the problem?

Very simply, because adverse food responses are caused by eating certain ingredients, the natural treatment is to avoid those ingredients. At James Wellbeloved, we do this in three ways:

Firstly, we exclude ingredients that vets inform us are the most common problems – so our recipes don’t contain any pork, beef, wheat, eggs, dairy products or soya.

Secondly, because all allergies and many intolerances are cause by proteins, we only have one animal protein in each of our foods and this obviously reduces the risk of a bad response – the more proteins there are, the greater the chances that one of them will be a problem.

Thirdly, we don’t add any synthetic colours, flavours or preservatives because we strongly believe that these can cause problems, particularly related to behavioural issues like hyperactivity.

It’s a really simple and obvious answer to the problem but we know it can be extraordinarily effective and we have lots of letters from grateful owners to testify to our natural approach. As your dog can have an adverse food reaction (ARF) to any ingredient, we produce a range of products, each containing a different protein source. If you try the Lamb and your dog’s symptoms do not clear up, then you can try one of our other variants.

An elimination diet is a useful way to try to identify problem foods. Remove the food or ingredient that is believed to be the problem from your dog’s diet, whilst ensuring that they are still getting the right balance of foods. This may be tricky, but persevere and you should see results. Using James Wellbeloved foods, you should expect to see an improvement in a matter of weeks. If you don’t, we recommend you speak to your vet so they can investigate other potential causes of your dog’s symptoms.