Food allergies with a puppy.
Puppies can have food allergies, just like a human. And like with humans, the symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe. Food allergies can begin at any age and even start out of the blue when nothing has changed in terms of diet.
What is a dog food allergy?
Food allergies are an immune system reaction that is caused by allergins that are part of specific food ingredients. Food allergies tend to show themselves through dermatological disorders such as itching or gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea. See below for a complete list of dog food allergy symptoms.
Dog food allergy symptoms.
Common symptoms of a dog food allergy are as follows.
- Hair loss
- Itchy skin
- Swollen face
- Itchy eyes and ears
Puppies and dogs often do not die from food allergies but it does have an effect on their quality of life. They are always itching or possibly always feeling sick to their tummy. While it is not the end of the world, it can increase stress which in turn reduces the effectiveness of your puppy’s immune system which could contribute to other illnesses. It is always best to try to help keep your little friend feeling as well and healthy as possible.
Testing for a food allergy.
One of the most reliable ways to understand your puppy’s allergy is to work with your veterinarian to perform an elimination test. This can take upwards of eight weeks and requires eliminating specific ingredients from your puppy’s diet.
Over time, different ingredients are introduced back into the diet and the puppy is observed for a recurrence of symptoms. Once the allergen of allergens is found, the veterinarian can help you find the right food for your puppy to prevent further allergies.
What to feed an allergy-prone puppy?
The main point to remember when trying to find a hypoallergenic diet for your puppy is that it isn’t the quality of food that is causing the allergy, it is instead an ingredient. Knowing which item to avoid is critical in making the best choice for your puppy’s diet.
Some commercial pet food makers have created diets specifically for dogs and puppies with allergies. In some cases, the actual molecules of the diet have been altered to allow for the food to be consumed without triggering a reaction.
With many choices of prescription diets and therapeutic foods on the market, the best way to find the right food for your puppy is to discuss your options with your veterinarian.
Other medications and treatments.
There are many treatments available for your puppy if they show symptoms of an allergy. Sometimes, a veterinarian may prescribe a skin cream, or antihistamine to help aid the symptoms while a longer-term plan is being formulated. Always consult your veterinarian to get clear directions and guidance before attempting to administer any medications to your puppy.