Cats & dogs with food intolerances

Often confused with food allergies, cat and dog food intolerances occur when the digestive system has difficulty digesting certain foods. Unlike food allergies, intolerances cause short-term reactions that subside relatively quickly, such as vomiting or diarrhoea.

So, what do cat and dog food intolerances have in common with food allergies? Both issues can be treated with a natural, whole food diet that addresses the microbiome – more on that in a moment.

dog snouts under blanket

Symptoms of cat & dog food intolerances

If your pet suffers from a food intolerance, they may display one or more of the following symptoms, generated as the body struggles to digest meals:

•  Flatulence   •   Diarrhoea   •   Vomiting  •  Abdominal discomfort    Nausea 
Rumbling stomach      

The role of the microbiome

To tackle a food intolerance, you need to focus on improving the microbiome. Just like us humans, colonies of bacteria reside on and inside our pets’ bodies, predominantly in the digestive system. This vital network of bacteria is called the microbiome.

A robust microbiome plays a pivotal role in tackling digestive issues, creating the barrier that prevents ‘inappropriate’ food particles from entering the bloodstream. While a healthy microbiome is fortified by diverse species of bacteria, a poor microbiome leads to a weakened barrier.

Feeding a natural, highly digestible diet

Standard pet food contains high levels of cheap cereals and sugar. However, dogs and cats evolved to thrive on food found in their natural environment, which is why their bodies respond best to a fresh, whole food diet.

Feeding a species-appropriate diet is key to combatting cat and dog food intolerances, and can even reduce the need for prescription diets and medication. Unlike typical highly processed pet food, a good natural diet contains the components needed for a strong microbiome. Additionally, whole foods are species-specific, so they’re easy for your pet to digest.

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Nutritious food that suits your pet

Elimination diets can also help to identify the dietary cause of your pet’s intolerance. Our range of recipes includes nutritious novel proteins including pork and hydrolysed proteins, enabling your pet to avoid common food allergens such as wheat, dairy, chicken, and beef.

Food for itchy dogs

Need help choosing?

Hug’s raw, whole food recipes closely mimic the diets cats and dogs evolved to thrive on, making them the ideal choice for pets with food intolerances.

Made from only the best natural ingredients, they deliver optimal nutrition, putting to work prebiotics such as chicory root, which aids in the cultivation of diverse bacteria and improves the microbiome. We also offer select cold pressed recipes designed to address dog food intolerances.

For guidance on the best recipes for specific health concerns, please get in touch – that’s what we’re here for.


Carding S, Verbeke K, Vipond DT, Corfe BM, Owen LJ. Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota in disease. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2015;26:26191. Published 2015 Feb 2. doi:10.3402/mehd.v26.26191