Food allergies and intolerances in dogs are massively on the rise, according to a new report from data from tails.com.
The data compiled by tailor-made nutrition service, tails.com, reveals that there has been a staggering increase (75%) in requests from owners for hypoallergenic food blends since 2016, as well as a growing demand for ingredients such as soya, dairy, beef, eggs, maize or grain, to be excluded from their dog’s food.
Certain breeds have been highlighted as the most likely to have food allergies, with Shar Peis coming out on top at 30%, closely followed by 29& of French Bulldogs and 26% of English Bulldogs.
The report showed that Japanese Akitas are the breed less likely to have food allergies at just 8%, with Chihuahuas a close second at 9%.
Crossbreeds are generally less likely than pedigree dogs to have food allergies, with just 12% of cross breeds registered as having allergies. Overall the data showed that more allergies were prevalent in adult dogs than in puppies and younger dogs, illustrating the tendency for food allergies to develop over a long period of time.
The data made the nutrition service company to question whether dogs are actually becoming more allergic to certain food ingredients, or whether there are other factors at play.
“The statistics may in fact hide some other factors affecting dog owners and their pets’ status when it comes to allergies or intolerances,” Tails.com said. “Human food trends are certainly having an influence on pet owner consumer behaviour, with many seeing ‘grain-free’, ‘wheat-free’, or ‘gluten-free’ as synonymous with healthier, more natural or beneficial.
“It’s now estimated that 8.5 million people in the UK have gone ‘gluten-free’ with supermarkets expanding their ranges for gluten-free alternatives.”
The report went on to say that grain and wheat are healthy and wholesome and nutritious foods for dogs when used as part of a balanced diet. The true prevalence of wheat or grain allergies in dogs is far lower than pet food marketing claims would have you believe.
It stated that dog food allergies are far more likely to be related to animal proteins such as beef and dairy rather than plant-based ingredients.
Data insights from tails.com’s unique dog database, compiled and analysed by Dr. Lorna Brightmore and tails.com’s head vet, Dr Sean McCormack.