A new study says that some allergies can be exacerbated or even triggered by pet foods or by contact with pets after they’ve eaten. The study, conducted by Sylvana Research and headed by Dr. Paul Ratner, was inspired by the story of a boy in California who was licked by a puppy and had an allergic reaction. Not to the puppy, but to the peanuts in the puppy’s treats, eaten just minutes before.

The boy broke out in hives as his reaction to the peanut allergy. The study found that dog foods often contain wheat, soy, egg and fish – all allergens for some people. All of the products studied included at least one of these allergens.

Because food allergy labeling laws do not apply to pet foods, they often contain things that pet owners may not be aware of. Shellfish are common ingredients in seafood-flavored pet foods, for example, while foods for chickens, rabbits and dogs will often have peanuts or wheat. Milk protein is also common in dog treats, as are peanuts.

The study concludes that parents of children with food allergies should check not only the labels on their own foods when shopping, but also check labels on pet foods.

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