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Skin Problems in Dogs and Cats

What is a skin problem due to food allergy?

Both dogs and cats can be susceptible to developing skin problems at any point in their lives. If your pet develops a skin problem it is important that you take them to the vet for a health check to make a diagnosis. Only 10% of skin allergy cases in dogs are linked to food allergies. Cats, tend to be less prone to skin problems due to food allergies.

Symptoms of skin problems due to food allergies are:

  • Chewing/licking of the skin

  • Redness

  • Inflammation

  • Dry/flaky skin

  • Hair loss

  • Bald patches

Misty the grey and white Sheepdog lifting her paw up

Why do dogs and cats develop skin problems due to food allergies?

A food allergy develops when a dog or cat's immune system overreacts to a protein source. It is important to remember that protein isn't just sourced from the meat included in pet foods, but also from cereals, grains and vegetables.

It is best to feed a dog or cat that is prone to skin problems a diet which is free from cereals such as wheat, oats, and barley. Where meat proteins could be a cause, feeding a single source protein diet can help to eliminate a protein allergy which may trigger a skin allergy in your dog.

Boxers, Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, German Shepherds, Westies, Shar Pei and Dalmatians are all dog breeds more prone to skin problems due to food allergies.

How can OSCAR help?

A dog with a skin problem should ideally be fed on a grain free recipe such as OSCAR Adult Complete Turkey & Potato, OSCAR Adult Complete Fresh Salmon, or a gluten free recipe such as OSCAR Adult Complete Chicken & Rice and for senior dogs, Adult Care Complete Pinnacle Plus.

Luckily, cats are a lot less prone to developing skin problems linked to food allergies. But if you suspect your cat has a skin problem caused by a food allergy, it is important to take your cat to the vet so that they can specifically identify which protein is causing the allergy. Please then see our cat food range to select which diet would suit your cat the best.

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.