Avoiding the Allergens in Pet Foods and Treats

Because pet food, pet treats, and flavored pet toys can contain allergens, it’s necessary to consider how your food allergic child might come into contact with them.

Possible Contact

Pre-school children are particularly susceptible to pet food allergens since they naturally put fingers or objects into their mouth multiple times per hour. They may directly ingest bits of animal food found on the floor, or taste test a pet’s favorite toy.

Allergic individuals might also react to the saliva of animals that have ingested allergen containing foods. For instance, if a dog has eaten peanut butter its friendly lick or wet kisses could cause a skin rash, or even a severer reaction, in someone allergic to peanuts. Reactions to animal saliva are rare, but have been reported.

Fortunately, the same common sense strategies we use to avoid people food allergens work equally well for avoiding pet food allergens.

Avoiding Pet Food Allergens

The most obvious way to eliminate a pet food reaction in the home is making sure your pet’s meals, treats, and toys do not contain the allergens you are concerned with. However, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) does not require that allergens are listed on pet food labels. To be certain a product is allergen free you may have to call the manufacturer.

Dairy, wheat, and soy are frequent ingredients in pet cuisines; less frequent but still common is peanut, egg, fish, and shellfish. However, any food allergen might be found in a pet product, and this is true not only for cat and canine fare. Allergens may be in foods for rodents, fish, birds, and reptiles, or any other critter that becomes a cherished part of your family.

Other avoidance tactics include strategically placed pet food dishes, feeding pets meals and treats in a single designated area, having family members wash their hands after feeding pets, and asking friends or family not to bring unapproved pet treats or toys into the house.

Outside the Home

Naturally, not all animal contact that children have is in the home.

Kids encounter animals in their neighborhood, parks, petting zoos, other’s homes, and at day care, or in school. However, the risk of food allergen exposure from animal contact outside the home is low, and hand washing (or using wipes) after playing with, or feeding animals sets the risk even lower.

The benefit of companionship with animals far outweighs the risk of pet food allergen exposure, for nearly all kids, when common sense precautions are applied—but allergy reactions are invariably a surprise. Those with auto-injectors should always keep one or two handy.

Sources: Allergy Home; Food Allergy Canada
Photo credit: Cathy Stanley-Erickson

Latest Community Discussions

Latest Post by agrohimacn Tue, 02/25/2020 - 1:25pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by krisztina Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:49pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by carmen22 Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:46pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by chicken Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:45pm
Comments: 3

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

If children begin to eat many different foods at a young age, there is much more of a chance that by the time they are in school, they will eat...

Those with peanut allergies often find that they are unable to enjoy dessert since there's always the...

If you've ever tried to find...

For those with peanut allergies, baked goods present a serious risk. Many baked goods do not appear to contain peanuts, yet were baked in a...

Those who have peanut allergies know to avoid peanut butter cookies, of course – but what about other...

Which candy bars are safe for those with peanut allergies? Those without allergies are accustomed to...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

For those who have wondered whether airport x-ray machines negatively affect epinephrine auto-injectors, the folks at Food Allergy Research &...

Molecular allergy component testing identifies the specific food or environmental proteins triggering a person’s allergic reactions. Component...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Misunderstanding the significance of food allergy test results can lead to unnecessary anxiety and dietary changes. The three tests used most...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

Tree nuts and peanuts are distinctly different. An allergy to one does not guarantee an allergy to the other. Peanuts are considered legumes and...

Welcome to the complex world of being a Peanut Allergy Parent. Get ready to proofread food labels, get creative with meals, and constantly hold an...

Take control of your food allergies! Get results in ten days and change your life forever! If you are tempted to use a home testing kit...

What can you eat if you can't eat peanut butter? Fortunately for people with a peanut allergy, there...

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of five people in the U.S. has an allergy. Because there is a...

Eliminating peanut butter is the best way to handle a rash caused by this food

If your baby or toddler develops a rash caused by peanut...

Nearly all infants are fussy at times. But how do you know when your baby's crying means something wrong? Some babies are excessively fussy...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...