Whether you’ve already collected your new fur baby and brought them to their fur-ever home, or you’re eagerly awaiting the day you go to pick them up, making sure you have everything they need for them to settle into their new life with you will help make things easier.
From a cosy bed and plenty of toys to keep them stimulated, to tasty treats to use for their training – there’s a list of things you need to buy on your next trip to the pet shop… including suitable food.
No matter how long you’ve had your canine companion, chances are, you’ve noticed that something is a little off when it comes to their nutrition.
Like us, our dogs can suffer from food allergies – such as wheat, dairy, soy and, perhaps the worst of all – grains.
But how can you tell if they’re allergic to grains?
Our experts here at Pet Shop Online reveal five of the most common allergy symptoms in puppies and what to do if you spot them.
1. Skin irritation
If you’ve noticed your pooch scratching, particularly around their face and paws, after meal times, there’s a good chance that they’re allergic to grains.
Grain allergies manifest as skin irritation in most dogs, and often cause itchiness and scabbing – so it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of irritation if you suspect your dog is allergic to grains.
2. Repeated ear infections
This can be another surefire sign that your pup has a grain allergy.
If they have an ear infection, you’ll notice your dog:
- Head shaking
- Scratching the affected ear
- Redness and swelling of their ear canal
- Dark brown discharge
- An unpleasant odour
Of course, ear infections in dogs can be caused by many different things, but if they’re reoccurring and you’ve tried everything else to get rid of them, it could be a grain intolerance.
3. Upset tummy
Has your canine companion been vomiting a lot recently?
Maybe they’re having more frequent bowel movements or diarrhoea?
Puppies are prone to munching on pretty much anything they can get their paws on, which – as you can imagine – has the potential to cause some stomach upset.
But if their digestive issues are unexplained, it may well be a problem with the food you’re giving them at meal times, and you should consider switching to a grain-free alternative.
4. Behavioural changes
Dogs are notorious for hiding their discomfort, so keep a close eye on them to spot any changes in their behaviour.
It isn’t as hard to spot as you might think, and some signs to look out for include relentless scratching, lethargy and just general uneasiness.
And eating grains with a grain allergy can fuel these habits and behaviours.
Only you know your fur baby, so if they seem uncomfortable and out of character, use your best judgement.
5. Anal gland issues
Your pup will attempt to relieve the surface of their anal glands occasionally by dragging themselves along the floor, and this can be completely normal.
However, if they’re doing it frequently, it could be a sign that their glands are affected by a food allergy.
If you suspect this is a problem, it’s important to have your pup checked over by a vet as soon as possible – as this could cause more serious problems, such as ruptured anal glands, in the future.
They’ll also be able to offer help and advice when it comes to your dog’s diet to help avoid these sorts of issues happening again.
What to do if your pup has a grain intolerance
If you suspect your furry friend has a grain intolerance, the best thing to do is take them to the vet.
A professional will be able to examine their symptoms and offer their expertise and will likely recommend a food trial if they suspect a grain allergy.
This is where you switch your pup over to a grain-free food for a set amount of time, to see if their symptoms improve and disappear.
If they do, they likely have a grain allergy, but if not, you’ll need to make a follow-up appointment with your vet to investigate further.
Shop high-quality grain-free puppy food at Pet Shop Online
Looking for a high-quality grain-free food for your precious pooch to trial?
You’re definitely in the right place.
Here at Pet Shop Online, we stock a plethora of grain-free puppy food to provide all the nutrients your fur baby needs. And with an array of tasty flavours available, you’re sure to find something to keep their tail wagging.
For help choosing the perfect grain-free formula, get in touch with our expert team today. We’re always available and more than happy to help!