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K9 Allergies vs Human Allergies

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I just listened to an interesting podcast about the increase in allergies in human populations, wondering if the factors discussed are also in play for K9 allergies.


[Science Weekly] Why are food allergies on the rise and is a cure on the horizon? #scienceWeekly
https://podcastaddict.com/science-weekly/episode/158558909 via @PodcastAddict


The woman being interviewed is an allergy specialist @ Harvard School of Public Health, so not a looney.  She said (among many other things) that early exposure to a wide variety of proteins helps avoid the development of allergies.  Is this also true for dogs?  Should we be feeding pups variety, rather than sticking with one main staple?



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Back in the days when dogs were fed table scraps and the like, the incidence of allergies was definitely less reported, so there may be something in feeding a varied diet rather than sticking to a particular brand/mix all the time.


Gonna be hard to break the current thoughts on pet nutrition though... when I was studying vet nursing, there was a whole subject dedicated to making sure we all knew how to convince pet owners to feed the premium packaged pet foods. The constant mantra of "complete and balanced" - even when that "balance" is primarily gained by additives/supplements - is hard wired into vets and nurses to espouse as the optimum for feeding any pet.


As any long time pet owner will know, the best feed for your pet is actually the food it does well on, be that cheap supermarket kibble right up to the most expensive premium brand, or table scraps, or a well-planned raw diet, etc. Let's not forget that the pet food industry is HUGE and has far-reaching influence, whether that be for altruistic reasons or otherwise (can anyone say profit margin?)


As for other types of allergies, I can only say that in my own case, regular exposure to allergens I reacted to (cats) has actually seen my allergic response go from severe hayfever symptoms and hives when exposed to nearly ALL cats, to only reacting with more minor discomfort to the odd cat. I would say that if one's allergy is not life threatening, then exposure therapy might be an option to try.



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