Is My Puppy's Food Upsetting His System?

If there's one thing puppy's do well aside from looking cute, it's eating. When your pup's hungry, he's not afraid to shove his face in his food bowl and begin munching down. If you recently switched his food or he's developed an intolerance to a certain ingredient, his digestive system or immune system can be thrown out of whack.


Watch For Allergy Symptoms

Aside from the occasional upset stomach that results from switching your pup's food, one of the most common adverse reactions to a certain type of food is an allergic reaction. Your puppy's immune system tags one or more ingredients in his food as a danger and reacts by having a fit of sorts, resulting in a boatload of potential symptoms. Excessive scratching, skin lesions, hot spots, snoring, vomiting and diarrhea make up the bulk of the problems.

Signs In Stool

Look at your pup's stool. A big sign that your puppy's food is disagreeing with him is an increased need to defecate and a loose and sometimes watery stool. He may not always have diarrhea, although that's certainly a possibility and not always connected to an allergic reaction. Loose stool may stem from a hasty switch from his old food to a new food or from an ingredient that he has difficulty digesting properly.

Behavior and Activity Level

Diet-induced nausea will cause your puppy to become less active. He might not play as much or seem as energetic and bouncy, like puppies normally do. Excessive drooling and licking are also signs of nausea. Vomiting doesn't usually happen with a change in food unless a food allergy is at play, but it is possible.

Is Puppy At Fault?

Consider your puppy as a possible culprit if any noxious smells start snaking through your house. Puppies who start eating a new food without being slowly introduced to it often have flatulence for a few days, until they become used to their new diet. If his flatulence doesn't improve, he may have an intolerance to a certain ingredient. Any ingredient that he has difficulty digesting may result in a gassy experience for the youngster.

Appetite Loss

Watch for a loss of appetite. If your puppy's not eating regularly, he may be telling you in a not-so-subtle way that his food is causing him problems. A lack of appetite usually coincides with other symptoms, such as nausea or an allergic reaction.

By Chris Miksen

Warning: Always talk with your vet if your puppy's symptoms do not disappear after one or two days, especially if those symptoms include vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice he has bloody stool or bloody vomit, contact your vet immediately.
WebMD: Diarrhea in Dogs: Causes and Treatment
Vet Info: Dog Nausea Diagnosis and Treatment
PetWave: Preventing Gas in Dogs
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Allergies

About the Author
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business.