By: Yvonne Sims
We all love our pets and want the very best for them. That includes showering them with lots of love, providing them with the best foods that fulfill their individual needs and making sure they are at their optimal health. At times, many of our pets feel ill and show abnormal behaviors like gnawing at their paws, vomiting, hair loss, restlessness, watery eyes, and irritability, but we do not know why they are experiencing these symptoms. 5Strands® Affordable Testing is on a mission to “empower families with a voice about their own health care and that of their pets. We strive to fill the void of consumer-driven needs with our affordable testing” (5Strands.com, 2019). This business was created because some of our pets was having health issues and we tried several avenues to find out the cause of their ailments, but nothing worked. We then started doing more research on how to ascertain the cause of our pets’ declining health and eliminate their issues for good. From our own personal experiences and wanting to better the lives of our pets, 5Strands® Affordable Testing was created.
We care for your pets, so we can provide an extensive report that tests for 255 food ingredients and 100 environmental items. You can see the test here: Pet 300 Test (355 Items). Our intolerance tests are simple, painless and non-invasive. In order for our pets to receive their personalized analysis, all we need is 10-15 hair strands, preferably brushed (with a clean comb or brush) or pulled from a small area on the pet. Once we receive your pet’s hair sample, we notify you via email. Our laboratory then uses bio-resonance technology to run the hair sample against the food ingredients and environmental items to see what your pet has an intolerance to, and then your pet’s personalized results are formatted into a simple, easy to read report. You can expect your pet’s results within 7-10 days via email after receiving the pet’s hair ‘sample received’ email.
What makes our test special are the items we test for. In addition to testing whole food items, we test for many different food ingredients found in most pet food such as chicken meal, cornmeal, additives, and preservatives, supplements, etc. We also test for environmental items such as wool, found in clothing or household rugs, and grasses, which can be found in some of our backyards. We stand by our results and believe in our tests, but receiving your pet’s results should only be used as a guideline to do research on what your pet is actually eating and exposed to in their environment. You should also contact your local vet and pet nutritionist to inquire about changes you can make to better the health of your pet.
Like many companies, we have some frequently asked questions. The following are a few that we have received inquiries about:
Are intolerances the same as allergies?
A food intolerance is a non-IgE (Immunoglobulin E) response and is developed when your body is unable to properly digest those foods. Many of us mistake food intolerances for food allergies, and even though the symptoms can be very similar, they are not the same. Symptoms of a true allergic reaction to food are immediate and more severe than symptoms of a food sensitivity. They trigger the immune system, can cause swelling of the body, and could even become fatal. Food intolerance symptoms may appear several hours or days after ingestion or exposure. Common symptoms of food intolerance are bloating, migraines, headaches, runny nose, stomach ache, irritable bowel, hives, or simply feeling under the weather. These symptoms aren’t as bad as those of a true food allergy but they can be uncomfortable inconveniences.
Do items need to be in your body or environment for an intolerance to be detected?
“With intolerance testing, you do not have to ingest or be exposed to the item for it to register as an imbalance. Our method of testing utilizes bio-resonance technology to scan hair samples to determine energetic imbalances between your body and the items being tested. The testing identifies intolerances which may cause varying degrees of symptoms if currently being ingested or exposed to or would be, in the future. 5Strands® Affordable Testing does not test for immunological responses which would require exposure to a particular allergen” (Affordableallergytest.com, 2019).
After receiving the hair analysis report, what should I do next?
Receiving your pet’s tailored results is just the beginning. We recommend the owners to then review their pet’s results by going through the items listed and identifying which food and environmental intolerances your pet consumes and is exposed to at home. Once that is done, the pet parent should then work to eliminate those intolerance factors in order to improve their pet’s health. We also recommend speaking with a veterinarian and pet nutritionist in order to inquire about other steps you can take to better cater to your pet’s needs.
Most veterinarians and people in the pet food industry have been trained to believe that the protein source is typically the main trigger for most pets that have issues. This may be the case when it comes to “true” allergic reactions, but not with food intolerances. As an example, we see a lot of pets that have been eating just kibble their whole life, have an intolerance to taurine, which is in just about every kibble on the market. Everyone assumes that taurine is a necessary source for the pet but they are actually used as a preservative in the food to help extend the shelf life of the product. We have seen that once the pet has eliminated the kibble from their daily nutrition plan, they experience fewer symptoms. We are often questioned on why we test for vitamins and minerals that are essential to the pet’s diet. Our response is simple. When you look at the list of ingredients on a bag of kibble, most of those vitamins and minerals listed are additives to the foods and are synthetic in nature. The source does not come from natural whole foods. It is the processing of these synthetic vitamins and minerals that cause issues and can trigger symptoms in the pets. It does not mean that if your pet eats a “whole” food that was rich in a particular vitamin or mineral that they would react to it. We have had many pet parents tell us once they removed the kibble and switched to a raw or cooked food diet for the 6-8 week elimination period, they were then able to slowly introduce the kibble back into their pet’s nutrition plan once again and they remain symptom-free. All their body needed was a chance to heal and rebalance itself. Another one of the most important things that we can point out is that you should be rotating your pet’s food. Just like our bodies, we should not eat the same exact food every single day!
While it may seem that the majority of symptomatic issues may be the result of food intolerances, we have also seen that our testing results for environmental issues have been quite successful. We have a great story that we like to share about a dog that was biting his paws every day to the point of bleeding. The pet mom had spent thousands of dollars at the vet’s to try and pinpoint what was causing the trigger. After being unsuccessful, she purchased our 5Strands Affordable Pet Test. The results indicated that the dog had an issue with the fabric wool. It just so happened that the pet parent had wool area rugs all over her house. After just 2 weeks of taking up the rugs, the dog stopped biting his paws and has been great ever since. Even the vet could not believe that our test figured out what his trigger was! While this may not be the typical scenario for most, we have countless stories that are reported to us each day on the successes achieved.
“We are proud to report that we have received countless testimonials from individuals who have personally experienced positive outcomes as a result of utilizing 5Strands Affordable Testing for themselves or their pets” (5Strands.com, 2019). Along with providing our customers and their pets with their personalized hair analysis, we have also conducted case studies that have supported our mission https://www.5strands.com/case-studies/. Here are a few examples of pets whose lives have been changed since receiving their results:
Diorabelle is a female long-coat Chihuahua. Before getting her 5Strands® Affordable Testing results, “Diorabelle was not gaining much weight, had very itchy skin, losing fur to the point of bald patches, red watery eyes, sneezing and wheezing, constantly chewing on paws and scratching ears, and tummy issues of all sorts. She was a miserable pup with low energy” (Affordableallergytest.com, 2019). After her parent received her results and changed Diorabelle’s foods and was more cautious about her environmental exposure, her parent reported that “she has gained 1 pound (she’s now 4 lbs.), only has occasional itching, has bright clear eyes, her coat is coming in thick and lush (no bald spots anymore), she has much more energy and her tummy issues are gone. She is a very healthy happy pup now!” (5Strands.com, 2019).
Atlas, a male American Staffordshire Terrier, is a rescue dog that was experiencing skin issues, hair loss, having seizures and eventually stopped eating because he knew that his food was making him feel bad. After his hopeful parent had his hair analysis done, received his results and eliminated Atlas’ triggers, his parent reported that “his seizures have stopped, he does not itch, and his coat is shiny and soft. He has put on muscle and his weight is back to normal. His tummy does not bloat after eating. Honestly, I do not think Atlas has ever been more excited to eat a meal, he literally jumps for joy when he sees me grabbing his empty bowl!” (5Strands.com, 2019).
It’s testimonials like these that make our day! It’s nice to see your pet’s results in front of you because once you see it; it just makes sense. To see families and pet’s lives changing tremendously all because of one simple hair analysis makes us feel accomplished and elated. This is why this company was created and we look forward to seeing our company grow and continue to help change lives! Check out the website: https://www.5strands.com/