Wheat commonly causes allergies in dogs and cats.
It's a myth
There is a widespread misperception that wheat commonly causes food allergies and
pet foods containing it should be avoided.
Food allergies are uncommon in dogs and cats.
- Food allergies constitute only a small percentage of allergy problems in pets. While
the exact incidence is unknown, it is estimated that only 10% of allergic skin conditions
are caused by food.1
- Flea bites and environmental allergens, such as pollens, mold and dust mites, are
more common triggers of allergic symptoms than food.2
Any ingredient can cause an allergy.
- An allergy is an abnormal reaction by the body's immune system to normal substances
in the environment, including foods.
- Allergies can form to almost any food or ingredient, but the more animals are exposed
to a food or ingredient, including wheat, the more likely it is that allergies will
- Proteins, especially beef and dairy products, are the most common food allergens
in dogs and cats.
- Genetics is also a factor in the development of allergies. Certain individuals are
predisposed to becoming allergic to something, but no single food is more likely
to cause allergies than another.
- The only way to truly diagnose a food allergy is with an elimination diet trial,
which your veterinarian can prescribe.
- Unless it's been proven to be the culprit through appropriate testing, arbitrarily
avoiding a single ingredient, such as wheat, won't prevent allergies from developing.
Wheat is a valuable pet food ingredient.
- Wheat is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates for energy, as well as a source
- Including wheat in a pet food as an energy source preserves the animal proteins
in the diet for building and maintaining a pet's muscle and tissue.
Allergies to wheat are not common. And the only way to diagnose a food allergy is
with an elimination diet trial, which your veterinarian can prescribe.