Critically appraised topic on adverse food reactions of companion animals (2): common food allergen sources in dogs and cats

BMC Vet Res. 2016 Jan 12:12:9. doi: 10.1186/s12917-016-0633-8.


Background: To diagnose cutaneous adverse food reactions (CAFRs) in dogs and cats, dietary restriction-provocation trials are performed. Knowing the most common offending food allergens for these species would help determining the order of food challenges to optimize the time to diagnosis.

Results: The search for, and review and analysis of the best evidence available as of January 16, 2015 suggests that the most likely food allergens contributing to canine CAFRs are beef, dairy products, chicken, and wheat. The most common food allergens in cats are beef, fish and chicken.

Conclusions: In dogs and cats, after a period of dietary restriction leading to the complete remission of clinical signs, food challenges to diagnose CAFR should begin with beef and dairy products, the most commonly recognized food allergens in these two species.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cat Diseases / diet therapy
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / diet therapy
  • Dogs
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity / veterinary*


  • Allergens