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E. Improving Food For Allergic Pets

Narrator: This is Science Today. If you have a dog with food allergies, you know the problem can be just as distressing as it is for humans. That's why University of California researchers are working with the pet food industry to improve the quality of the food. This partnership is based on research discovered by UC Berkeley's Bob Buchanan, who found that a natural occurring protein called thioredoxin breaks down allergenic proteins in food and increases its digestibility.

Buchanan: We haven't started human trials yet but dogs are very similar to people in their allergies and actually, the pet food industry is very progressive and is aggressively following new and better foods for pets, for dogs.

Narrator: Although some canine allergies do last a lifetime, Buchanan says most dogs have milk and wheat allergies only as puppies.

Buchanan: So one of the things we want to do is develop a pet food for young dogs - puppies, which will be lower allergenicity and for old dogs or senior dogs which will be more digestible so we should be able to help the animals at both ends of the spectrum.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.