Food allergies are common for people and for dogs, but when your toy poodle eats a certain food, it might induce a reaction, forcing you to switch to hypoallergenic dog food. He or she is unable to tell you how it feels as the food is being processed in the body. Instead, you need to watch for common allergic reactions and monitor what your dog is eating that might be triggering the reaction. There are also tests available that can tell you what your dog reacts to.
Figuring out if your toy poodle is having an allergic reaction and to what, especially if the reaction is mild to moderate, is a process that can take some time and some trial and error. The good news is there are hypoallergenic foods that make it easier for your dog to get the nutrition he or she needs without having to worry about triggering any allergies.
Table of Contents
- What Do You Need to Know About Toy Poodle Food Allergies?
- What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?
- What are the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food Options for Toy Poodles?
- Holistic Select
- Wellness CORE Natural
- Addiction Wild Kangaroo and Apple
- Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein
What Do You Need to Know About Toy Poodle Food Allergies?
Many dog food brands include ingredients that are common allergy triggers for dogs. For instance, many of the less expensive brands include wheat. And while wheat isn’t outright dangerous for a dog to eat, many dogs tend to have an allergic reaction.
How do you know if your toy poodle is having an allergic reaction?
Reactions to foods can be severe for dogs, just like they can for humans, but more often than not a reaction will be mild to moderate. You might not even realize a reaction is occurring at first and it might seem as though your dog is just agitated or a little off.
The most common allergic reactions to foods including:
- Itching and scratching, especially unseasonably
- Stomach or gastrointestinal issues including diarrhea, gas, constipation, and vomiting
- Behavioral issues
- Paw or groin area licking
Infections also tend to be more common in dogs that are having an allergic reaction to food. If you notice chronic ear infections, yeast, and fungal infections, or infections that arise because of excessive scratching, the problem could be linked to your dog’s diet.
Obviously, eliminating the ingredient that is triggering the reaction is the best way to prevent allergies and ease your toy poodle’s distress.
First, you’ll want to rule out any other causes of a potential reaction with a visit to the vet. A round of testing can help you determine if there is another health problem and if one doesn’t turn up, it’s time to try hypoallergenic dog foods.
When do Allergies Occur?
One of the most common questions to arise when you notice your toy poodle experiencing discomfort and other signs of an allergic reaction is “why now?” Many dogs eat the same diet for years without a problem and suddenly they begin to have a reaction to their food. The truth is a food allergy can arise at any time during your dog’s life. Allergies can occur at any time and in place, just as they do for humans, so don’t assume that if everything has been okay with a diet so far that it isn’t the culprit.
Also, keep in mind that your dog might have been allergic all along, but his or her immune system was able to fight the allergy so you saw no symptoms. Just the slightest change elsewhere in your toy poodle’s life and suddenly you’re seeing symptoms of a full-blown allergic reaction. This can happen as your dog ages, when other health issues arise, or even if there is a change in his or her living environment. Something as simple as increased stressed due to a specific event can bring on the symptoms of an allergy that was always there but went unnoticed.
One of the best ways to determine if you are dealing with a food allergy is by limiting the foods your dog is eating. Until you sort through the problem and identify the culprit ingredient, you should not be feeding your dog table scraps or treats. Stick entirely to one food, preferably one that has as few ingredients as possible. If you are only feeding your dog one thing it’s much easier to identify the problem than if your toy poodle is getting a little of this and that throughout the day.
What are some of the most common allergy triggers for dogs?
- Dairy Products
What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?
High-quality hypoallergenic foods all contain a certain feature that makes them “better” for toy poodles that are having an allergic reaction.
For instance, hypoallergenic foods can be:
- Highly digestible
- Low in additives and preservatives
- Filled with antioxidants and vitamins E and C
- Free of any suspected allergic ingredients
- Filled with lutein and taurine
When you introduce a hypoallergenic food into your dog’s diet it’s important to make sure the ingredients left out don’t leave your dog with a nutrient deficit. For instance, it’s important to look for foods that contain taurine when you are feeding your dog a wheat-free diet. Wheat isn’t necessary for dogs, but taurine is, so you need to supplement in other ways when you eliminate wheat, which is a common allergy.
It’s also important to gradually switch your toy poodle to a new diet. Like all small dogs, they can be finicky eaters and in general, dogs tend to react poorly when you suddenly alter their diet.
Make a Slow Transition
Do not immediately remove your dog’s original food completely, even if you suspect there is an allergic reaction occurring unless your vet specifically instructs you to do so. (You can also eliminate the food entirely if there’s been a recall or notification that the food poses a specific danger to your pet.)
Instead of switching suddenly, mix a bit of the new hypoallergenic food into your dog’s original food. Start with a ratio of 75% original and 25% new. After a couple of days if you notice no change in your dog’s eating habits and don’t see any negative digestive issues, blend the foods 50/50. After a few days of that, a transition to 25% original and 75% new. And after a few days of that, you can switch to feeding your dog the new hypoallergenic food entirely.
Once your dog is on the new food entirely for at least eight weeks or so you should see an improvement in the allergy situation. Some dogs experience benefits much sooner than that, but if after 8-10 weeks you don’t see improvement it’s time to try another solution or speak to your vet about other potential causes. It’s important to stick to the new food for at least a couple of months to get a feel for whether or not it is helping the problem.
Making Dog Food From Scratch
Some people choose to make their own food when their dog has an allergic reaction to pre-made food. This can be a solution, but it’s important to approach this option carefully because you need to be sure your dog is getting all the nutrients needed to feel his or her best and maintain good health. This is especially important when it comes to omega 3s. These healthy fats not only promote good overall health but are a necessity for dog’s that are suffering from skin conditions and they must be included in your dog’s diet.
Not to mention making your own dog food can be time-consuming and expensive. It can help you narrow down the potential allergens, as you know exactly what ingredients your dog is eating if you are preparing the foods. It can also eliminate allergies because homemade foods don’t have preservatives.
Still, if you think this option might be the way you want to go, make sure you speak to your vet about your plans and do all you can to meet your dog’s dietary and nutritional needs.
What are the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food Options for Toy Poodles?
The good news is you don’t need to make all of your toy poodle’s meals for him or her to get a healthy, non-allergenic diet. There are plenty of fantastic high-quality food brands out there that provide your toy poodle with everything he or she needs and nothing that triggers allergies.
It might take some trial and error to find the right option for your dog based on personal tastes, availability, and affordability, but the list below includes a few of our favorite hypoallergenic dog food brands that are great for toy poodles:
Holistic Select is a high-quality dog food brand that offers a product that contains digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics, which help clear unhealthy waste buildup and ease digestive disorders. The brand offers both grain (for a high-fiber diet) and grain-free options.
Holistic Select is one of the best ranked hypoallergenic dog food brands and many owners have reported their dog’s health problems cleared up after switching to this food. You should never consider food a cure for a health problem your pet is experiencing, but eliminating your dog’s current food and switching to Holistic Select might be a way to avoid triggering the allergic reaction your dog is experiencing.
Holistic Select is available in a wide variety of flavors, so your toy poodle can enjoy different options at each meal. Flavors include chicken, seafood, duck and lamb meats.
- Made from high-quality ingredients
- Loved by many pets and owners
- Features a wide variety of flavor choices
Another great option for a hypoallergenic dog food brand for toy poodles is Wellness CORE Naturals. This is a high-quality food loved by many pet owners. There are both gluten-free and grain-free options and the food comes in a wide variety of “novelty” flavors that dogs love. Wellness CORE includes plenty of seafood options which are great for dogs that are experiencing problems with their skin and coat because of allergies. There are also other benefits to feeding your dog a diet that is high in seafood.
- Gluten-free and grain-free options
- Novelty flavors available
- Seafood options
- Can be difficult to find if you don’t order online
If you are looking to provide your toy poodle with a protein source that is exotic and not the first one dog owners think of when considering what to feed their pets, kangaroo is certainly it. This food is made in New Zealand.
The majority of dogs are not going to have an allergic reaction to kangaroo because so far have been eating it. This means there has been no opportunity for an allergy to develop from exposure. Kangaroo dog food also contains apples, which can help to heal a dog’s stomach. This means the rate of digestion will be slowed down and the risk for diarrhea will be less. Your dog is also better able to absorb the water in the food, which means he or she will stay hydrated and feel full longer.
- Made from kangaroo meat which is a rare option for dogs
- Contains apple pectin to soothe the stomach lining
- Made in New Zealand and some people prefer a domestic manufacturer
Toy poodle owners love Orijen because it’s a food brand that contains no fillers. It features ingredients like whole eggs (avoid if your dog has a chicken or egg allergy!) and fruits and vegetables. This food is made from whole foods and has very few “filler” ingredients.
Owners also report their dogs to consume less food in volume, so even though they are feeding more expensive food, the cost they are paying for food overall doesn’t change that much. Many also claim their dog eliminates less waste because their bodies are better able to process more of the food.
- Contains no miller ingredients
- Made from whole foods that keep dogs full longer
- Contains eggs which can trigger allergies
Royal Canin is a popular brand of dog food that is often recommended by veterinarians. It can be a great option for dogs that are allergic to certain meats and require a diet made up of exotic, harder to find protein sources.
Hydrolyzed protein is used in this Royal Canin food which makes it easier to digest. The food is already partially broken down when your toy poodle eats it, so you don’t need to worry about a reaction when he or she is unable to digest the food properly.
- Made with easily digestible meats
- Features exotic protein sources
- Some pet owners aren’t comfortable with the brand