Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pet Allergy Assessment

At last! A simple at-home alternative to allergy testing for your pet! Instead of paying any where from hundreds to thousands of dollars for an allergy assessment from the vet where your pet will endure getting a layer of skin scraped off and/or allergens driven under their skin using needles, there is now a pain-free way to do it from home!

It's called ImmuneIQ and it's simple. It's veterinarian developed and approved. For $87 (under a hundred dollars!) you get a kit in the mail that gives you what you need along with instructions. You send in a sample of your pet's hair and saliva. The assessment covers 125 different pet food ingredients and common environmental allergens and sensitivities. In a couple of weeks you'll receive an email with the results as a ".pdf'"document, along with an explanation and other health tips.

You also have the option of adding on further assessments (for an extra charge) such as toxins, bacterial/viral, and fungus/molds if you want. The basic allergy assessment includes proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, fatty acids, nutritional supplements and environmental.

Although this is not an all-inclusive assessment/test, it is a very helpful tool that gives you some groundwork to start with. It's pain-free, easy to do, and not that expensive. It gives you an inside look -- from the view of your pet's immune system -- what ingredients or toxins are overwhelming to it and not okay for your pet's immune system, which ones are neutral and so you know to give in moderation and not over-do it, and which ones are okay and actually assist in the well-being of your pet's immune system for better health.

If we want our pets to be their healthiest and to thrive instead of just survive, we must be proactive and do our own research. We must not only learn to read the ingredient list on everything they ingest just as we must do for ourselves, but learn what the ingredients are and become more aware of what we are feeding our pets. Humans and pets alike are so bombarded with chemicals, poisons, carcinogens and toxins of all kinds, we have to do what we can to limit them and this easy to do pet allergy assessment is a helpful tool to assist us in doing that. That's why I had our dog Duke tested.

Duke
To give you an example, I was a little surprised to discover that dairy, cottage cheese and yogurt showed up to be on Duke's "not OK/overwhelming" (red) list. Tuna and shrimp were too. But Salmon was "neutral", while herring/anchovy were on the "OK/assistive" (green) list. I was occasionally giving him some organic yogurt and cottage cheese because I thought it was good for him. Even though he may not have any noticeable allergy symptoms during or after giving him these things, now I know not to give those to him because it can overwhelm his immune system, which is something I don't want to do. (It's already got enough to deal with.) Now I also know what proteins, carbs, fruits, etc. to add to his diet that will assist his immune system that I was not giving him. I will be altering his foods and treats accordingly so as to help his body do what it does naturally --  and that is to always seek balance and wellness.

Another example of something on the assessment that surprised me was that human dander and pet dander both showed up under his "environmental" list of items that are "not OK/overwhelming" (red) list. Of course there's not a whole lot I can do about that other than keep things as clean as possible and vacuum regularly, but at least I am aware that that is an issue for his immune system.

There were some ingredients on his "red/overwhelming" list that I expected and that I already had been avoiding such as soy, corn, white rice, wheat, canola oil, and cotton seed. On the toxins "red" list were things not-so-surprising like fertilizer - popular brand ingredients, popular air freshener ingredients and popular carpet cleaning chemicals.

Of course every animal is unique and therefore each assessment  will be different. (It's for cats too!) I do suspect that there will be a lot of ingredients, toxins, etc. that are common among them all though, like the GMO ingredients such as corn, soy, canola and cottonseed oils. (If you start paying attention to ingredients, you will discover the majority of commercial and prescription foods not only contain these GMO ingredients, but some foods and treats are primarily made up of these ingredients.)

This is a great tool to assist us in learning what is contributing to our pets' health and what's detrimental to it. Find out more by going to their website at https://immuneiq.com/  and get some groundwork as to where to start to help your pet stay as healthy as possible. Right now they are offering the basic allergy assessment for half price on Groupon! Can't beat that!


Instead of this...
Do this! 


P.S. You may remember that several years ago I also had Duke's DNA tested to find out what breeds made up his DNA. He is a unique looking dog and we were always asked what kind of dog he is. For his 10th birthday we found out! Check it out here. Though the result surprised us a little, it made perfect sense. And again, this was yet another tool that gave us an insight into his DNA and what types of things he might be predisposed to.