All puppies are adorable. Even breeds which are not always regarded as being good looking dogs have beautiful puppies. And puppies, from the moment they can move around, are charming. Whether they are timid and hide in mom’s shadow, or they are rambunctious, constantly tripping over their brothers and sisters, puppies are incredible to watch. These are just a few of the reasons that puppies charm humans, winning them over in ways that even the staunchest hearts cannot deny.
But, for as cute and cuddly as puppies are, this time of their lives is a crucial one. It sets the groundwork for the well behaved dogs that we grow to love even more than our silly and adorable puppies. Growing up for puppies covers many of the same areas of development as humans face. This includes education and training, socialisation, discipline and, of course, physical development including playtime and nutrition. And, if you have ever seen a busy puppy eat, then you know that eating is just as valuable as playing for many puppies.
However, as with humans, food sensitivities can (and do) develop in canines. Interestingly, science is discovering that many of the same foods that plague humans are also troubling for dogs. But, many of these items are routinely found in dog – and puppy – foods.
What Are Food Sensitivities?
Digestion is an essential process for living. Although humans (and dogs) can be fed intravenously when necessary, it is not an ideal life and many people regard the prospect of a lovely meal with anticipation. However, as essential as digestion is, it is also an intricate process. As such, it does not always happen smoothly.
Food sensitivities develop when foods become difficult for our bodies to digest. The associated symptoms are just as uncomfortable for canines as they are for humans:
· Diarrhoea and loose stools
· Inability to release the bowels
Keep in mind that while any of these symptoms may occur from time to time, it is the frequency that can be alarming. There is a vast difference between occasional flatulence and recurring conditions.
Puppies have an especially difficult time with these functions because their digestive systems are still developing. However, once they are old enough to leave their mother, they should be capable of digesting their food relatively normally. Although older dogs may develop food sensitivities over time because of repeated exposure to them, puppies with these symptoms are likely to have overly sensitive stomachs and digestive systems.
However, despite the differences in food sensitivity development, many of the same foods trouble canine bellies. These foods are simply more difficult to digest, and canines especially are likely to ignore the process, or simply overdo it. Troubling foods are likely to include:
· Maize products
· Soya and its derivatives
· Wheat gluten
· Dairy products
· Beef, is known to be a developed sensitivity, though it may also be a natural one
Unfortunately, many pet foods include these items as a matter of course. Typically, they are inexpensive, and easy to process into kibbles. And, although there are plenty of dogs with food sensitivities, there are still those who can eat seemingly anything without experiencing a reaction. (The same applies to humans as you have surely noticed.)
Sensitive dog food, on the other hand, is made from different meat and fish products and is bound together with other starches. Typically, this includes rice (which is often recommended for dogs after an upset stomach), and beetroot which has plenty of additional nutrients that canines need, without any of the side effects. Sensitive dog foods also include prebiotics which are essential for developing healthy digestive flora. Prebiotics are not enough to restore sensitive digestive systems on their own, but they aid restoration and continuation of regular digestion.
What About My Puppy’s Food?
Many puppy owners assume that their pets will outgrow their (sometimes disgusting) digestive issues and tend to leave the matter alone. This is extremely detrimental as food sensitivities is not a self-healing condition. Puppies, just like adult dogs (and humans) require a specialised diet if their food is causing concerns.
However, puppies still require additional supplements and nutrients that fully grown dogs do not. That is precisely why there are specially formulated puppy foods available on the shelves. It is crucial to choose a sensitive puppy food rather than an adult one, especially in the first year of a dog’s life. Owners of puppies that will soon transition to adult food may want to consult with their vets before switching to puppy sensitive food. In some cases, it may be less troubling for your pet to make one change while providing additional nutrients in another form. But, this decision should be discussed with your dog’s health care provider as diet will always be a crucial part of your dog’s development and well being.
If you suspect that your puppy may have food sensitivities, there are a few things you can do to assist with diagnosis. Ensure, firstly, that your pet is only receiving his food, and not table scraps. (Do not forget to check with other members of your family who may be prone to offering treats.) Even though you may be training your puppy, and offering biscuits as a reward, you will want to cut these out of your puppy’s diet – at least temporarily. If symptoms persist, your pet should be taken to the vet for a check.
Although these symptoms are largely attributed to food sensitivities, there are other conditions, which can cause them. Your vet will be able to run tests, if required, and understand the correlation between these symptoms and other possible diseases. Of course, if you are worried about your puppy at any time, or the symptoms of food sensitivities present themselves with lethargy or crying, then you should not hesitate to schedule a visit to the vet. After all, your puppy has plenty of growing up to do, and the earlier any condition is diagnosed, the sooner it is that your pet will return to normal.
For more information about feeding your puppy on a sensitive diet please visit the Burgess Sensitive diet – http://www.burgesssensitive.co.uk/