Dog Care: Pet Food-Related Illnesses

It's so important to find the right food for your pet. So today, we at My Animals would like to discuss some of the most common pet food-related illnesses.
Dog Care: Pet Food-Related Illnesses
Alejandro Rodríguez

Written and verified by the biotechnologist Alejandro Rodríguez.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Needless to say, a good diet and good health go hand-in-hand, which is why it’s so important to be sure that you’re giving your dog the right food. Not doing so could have serious consequences for your pet in the future. So, today, we want to tell you about pet food, and the most common pet food-related illnesses.

Pet food: so many options to choose from

When we talk about your pet’s diet, we’re referring to something far more important than a dietary regime. Far from just satiating your dog’s appetite, their food should be a source of energy and nutrients. It is one of the pillars upon which their health is based.

Finding the right food for your four-legged friend will depend on a number of different factors. Breed, age, exercise levels and weight among the most important aspects to keep in mind when trying to choose pet food. There’s an infinite variety of options to choose from, so you can find one to meet all your pet’s needs.

However, if your dog is suffering from some type of health complaint or is more sensitive to certain foods than others, and you don’t know about it, they may start to display symptoms of an illness or intolerance, including loss of appetite, gastrointestinal issues, weakness etc.

A labrador refusing food.

Intolerance to certain foods or ingredients is undoubtedly one of the most common food-related issues in dogs. Like us, dogs can be allergic to:

  • Gluten.
  • Lactose and its derivatives.
  • Food coloring and artificial ingredients present in pet food.

Your vet will be able to warn you about these types of allergies and offer you solutions, such as an alternative diet, or special hypoallergenic food. If your pet’s food intolerance goes undiagnosed, you’ll start to see symptoms such as respiratory issues and skin complaints.

Pet food-related illnesses.

Needless to say, if your dog has a bad reaction to something it’s eaten, the digestive system will be the first to know about it. A poor diet – or the wrong choice of dog food – will result in more than one unexpected bathroom trip for your pet. Yes, we’re talking about diarrhea.

Diarrhea can appear for a number of reasons from food intolerance to indigestion. In these cases, it’s important to pay attention to the frequency. If the diarrhea starts to become chronic, there may be something wrong with your pet’s diet. 

Diarrhea in dogs.

Though it’s more commonly related to poor-quality food, there is one other digestive issue – besides diarrhea – that is very common in dogs: gastritis or acute indigestion. There are a number of different causes of gastritis, from a food intolerance to eating contaminated, out-of-date or poor-quality food. Keep your pet away from rotting food – i.e. from the trash – and watch what they’re putting in their mouths.

Recently, experts have also discovered that certain components in dog food may be linked to cardiovascular disease. However, it isn’t yet known to what extent it may be responsible for this condition. What we can be sure of, however, is that with the help of your vet and the right diet, your dog will be able to enjoy a full and happy life.

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Nutrition: 4 Reasons to Avoid Dry Dog Food
My Animals
Read it in My Animals
Nutrition: 4 Reasons to Avoid Dry Dog Food

While we won't say that dry dog food is the worst option for your pets, it is true that some kibbles are worse quality than others.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Freeman, L. M., Stern, J. A., Fries, R., Adin, D. B., & Rush, J. E. (2018). Diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs: what do we know?. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association253(11), 1390-1394.
  • Chesney, C. J. (2002). Food sensitivity in the dog: a quantitative study. Journal of Small Animal Practice43(5), 203-207.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.