All mammals can have food allergies, science is learning, which means that our pets can have them just as we can. Some pets know which foods cause them problems and avoid them. Picky eaters are not necessarily doing so out of dislike for a food, but may be doing it to avoid things that make them sick.

A new research paper from Europe, published in the Allergy and Clinical Immunology journal, says that food allergies with pets are on the rise just as food allergies are with humans.

Mammals can have elevated immunoglobulin E, one of the primary triggers for food allergies.

“Not only humans but basically all mammals are susceptible to developing allergies, as their immune system is capable of producing immunoglobulin E,” lead author Dr. Isabella Pali-Schöll of the University of Vienna wrote.

Although asthma, anaphylaxis, and severe shock are unusual in animals, but skin and gastrointestinal reactions are very common. Most of the items we consider human allergens, the paper states, can also be allergens for dogs, cats, horses, etc. Dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and so on are all common allergens for animals.

Testing for food allergies in pets is complicated and time-consuming. It usually involves removing their food and starting from scratch to add individual items and watching for a reaction. Finding and removing the allergen is the only option for treatment so far.

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