Food allergies are difficult to determine as allergy symptoms can be caused by environmental factors. Gastrointestinal symptoms can be caused by food allergy or food intolerance. Food intolerance is not the same thing as an allergy however the symptoms can appear to be the same. Food intolerance is when a puppy or a dog can not digest certain foods. Symptoms of food allergies in puppies include facial itching, limb chewing, belly itching, recurrent ear infections or skin infections.
Since the puppies consume a lot of prepared food materials including various kinds of proteins, fillers, coloring agents and more; in the commercial food materials, the incidences of food allergies are more than one can imagine. Allergic reactions mostly involve the skin or the gastrointestinal tract.
The best way to determine what food your puppy is allergic to is to stop feeding him his current diet. Then start him on a very plain, simple food with few ingredients. Keep him on this diet until he is symptom-free. Start introducing different foods one at a time very gradually until symptoms start showing up. At this point, you will be able to determine what foods were tolerated well by your puppy. Now you know that the most recently re-introduced food is causing the allergies.
Hopefully, there will be several foods to choose from that you know he can tolerate. Write down all of the ingredients listed on the labels of the foods your puppy can tolerate. Now you have something to refer to so you can look for different foods and treats with the safe ingredients. This is how you can give your puppy some variety without the allergic reaction.
Work Closely With Your Vet to Keep Your Puppy Healthy
Your vet may also suggest adding supplements to your puppy’s food but make sure you only purchase supplements that are free of any of the ingredients that your puppy is allergic to. Just get into the habit of reading the labels on everything you give your dog.
Food allergies are often linked to the hyperactive behavior noticed in the puppies. Added colors, preservatives, and high-fat diet might cause such food allergies in the puppies and hence, one has to be careful in providing new kind of diet to their puppies and closely monitor the puppy for any signs of allergy.
If your puppy starts having what you believe to be an allergic reaction, always take him to the vet and don’t just assume that it’s allergies. Your puppy could have eaten something he found on the ground and it caused an allergic reaction. However, even if you think it is probably allergies take your puppy to the vet to be sure your puppy doesn’t have an infection or something very serious such as pancreatitis. Puppies with gastrointestinal symptoms can easily be assumed to have allergies as the symptoms may appear similar in the early stages. It is always safer to error on the side of caution.