Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Good morning, my 5 month old doodle has recently developed a food allergy. She was on 4health grain free puppy formula. I am looking to change her to 4health salmon and potato. Does anyone use this for there dog, how do you like it? Also, what are some treats you give your dog with food allergies? Any advice would be helpful, I am new to all this.

Thank you

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Hi Erica,

We have a very active, comprehensive group here on DK called the Food group, which has a list of recommended food brands. 4health is not on it, for several reasons. Please join us! Here's a link to our recommended list:

We also have a list of recommended treat brands.

Next, it is close to impossible for a 5 month old dog to have a food allergy. She may have developed a sensitivity to some ingredient in her food, but an actual allergy is immune-related and takes 1-2 years to develop. Despite what you read online, food allergies in dogs are actually very rare. Here is some information about that.

Your best bet if your puppy is having some digestive issues is to feed a limited ingredient diet from one of the brands on our recommended list. There are very few LID "puppy" formulas, but there are several ALS (all life stages) formulas with limited ingredients that would work for your pup. It's best to choose one that utilizes a single protein that your pup has not eaten before. Zignature would be a good line for you to consider. 

For treats, I recommend a pure protein treat such as Pure Bites. Other options on our list. 

Lots more info on all of this in The Food Group

I will check into the different brands and treats for my little girl, I also thought it was rare for her to have a food allergy. I took her to the vet and she has a lot of yeast in her ears and the vet said that was also abnormal for her age, 30 mins-an hour after she eats she is constantly scratching and biting at her back legs. Also, after she eats she just isn't her hyper normal self. That is why the vet is leaning towards a food allergy at her young age. 

Most GP vets are not real well versed in allergies. 

There are more common allergies that could account for the kind of symptoms your pup is showing. Storage mites, for one. Storage mites are similar to dust mites, but they are found in dry cereal type foods, and they are a very common allergen in dogs. It's important to store your dog's dry food in a clean, air-tight container (dispose of the bag) and never have more open dry food than your dog will eat in a month, unless you can freeze it. You also want to wash the food and water bowls daily with hot water and soap. 

Ear issues are very very common in Poodles and Poodle-mixes. The ears must be cleaned weekly with a product that contains a drying agent. You can get that from your vet if you haven't already. Some dogs also need the hair removed from the ear canal on a regular basis. 

But it wouldn't hurt to try a different food anyway. Salmon is a good choice, because the Omega 3 fatty acids in fish help with itching and allergies in general. It's also important to have an Omega 6:3 ratio of less than 5 to 1; this might actually be one of the problems with the 4health formula you are using. It has an Omega 6:3 ratio of more than 6 to 1, So switching foods may help. 

Here's some info about allergies in dogs:

Our Springer Spaniel didn't have food allergies, but had yeasty ears or infections.  We found, like Karen suggests, that a seafood based kibble helped curb the ear problems.

We feed our dogs salmon and sweet potato kibble (either Natural Balance or the Kahoots house brand) and have had no allergy problems with these brands of kibble from the hundreds (literally hundreds) of dogs that we have fostered.  However we have received dogs who have food derived allergies previously to being with us.

Our veterinary dermatologist stated that, contrary to popular beliefs, the primary culprits in dog allergies are not grains but, rather they are beef, chicken and pork...

Yes, in those cases where a dog does actually have a food allergy, it's usually to a particular protein source, always one that the dog has been eating regularly for a long time. So if a dog has never eaten pork before, it is not possible for that particular dog to be allergic to pork, since you cannot have an allergic response to something to which you have never been exposed. An allergic response is due to the immune system having been sensitized during previous exposure. We often hear about dogs being allergic to chicken: the reason is, chicken is the protein most dogs have been eating since puppyhood. If they had been started on say, lamb, and never been exposed to chicken, they couldn;t be allergic to chicken. That's why, as I stated above, when food allergies are suspected, it's best to switch the dog to a single protein source that he has never eaten before.   



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