Expert advice from Bailey’s nutritionist Katie Lugsden on keeping your pet in peak condition

Q. My dog suddenly started scratching to the point where he made himself raw. My friend suggested it could be because he is allergic to soya, but as he had been eating the same feed with no problems for over a year I assumed this couldn’t be right. Is it possible that he has now become allergic to this feed?

Sarah Karter, N Yorkshire

A. Although excessive scratching is a common symptom of an allergy, other causes such as fleas may be responsible. It is advisable to get your dog checked over by a vet to make sure that something else isn’t to blame and to helprelieve the itching and soreness that your dog is experiencing.

Allergies can occur to just about any ingredient in a dog food, although soya is one of the common ones and many dog foods such as Baileys Working Dog Mix or Vitalin Premium are soya free for that reason.

An allergic response can occur suddenly even if a dog has been eating the same food for years. What causes this to occur is still not really understood, but some researchers have suggested that some sort of other stress such as a change in routine, may be the trigger in certain cases.

A change in diet is advisable and so you need to identify which ingredients are included in the feed you currently use and try to find a feed that is based on different ones.

Thereare lots of different feeds available based on many different ingredients and so you should be able to find one that helps to avoid this happening again