The first six months are the "main growth phase". They require high quality protein and nutrients.

The next 6- 12 months require a reduced protein content to help prevent any growth disorders.

Now fully grown, finding the right diet to match their energy requirements is key. 

Now in old age, diets with a lower fat and phosphorus are needed.

Food allergies in dogs

If a dog vomits a lot, has diarrhoea or flatulence, he may be suffering from a food allergy. Allergies can also take the form of acute skin problems with intense itching. Sometimes skin problems and digestive disorders can occur simultaneously.

We do not know what causes allergies

Unfortunately it is not possible to prevent an allergy. In fact, it is still not really clear why they happen. An allergy is a sort of “derailment” of the immune system. In most cases, the experts are unable to find a specific trigger. But they do know that the predisposition to respond allergically can be inherited, although this does not necessarily mean that it will happen.

Correct diagnosing food allergies

What the scientists do know is that an allergy can only develop to substances with which the body has already come into contact at least once. The only reliable method of identifying a food allergy is an elimination diet combined with blood and skin tests carried out by a vet (although these are not always conclusive).

The elimination diet and how it works

An elimination diet works by excluding all nutritional components that the dog might be unable to tolerate.
It involves giving the dog a protein source and a carbohydrate source that he has never had before to exclude the possibility of an allergic response. The dog must then receive no other food over a 6 - 8 week period, including no treats, apart from its special diet.

The provocation diet and how it works

If the allergy symptoms disappear after the elimination diet, you should try to find out what is triggering the allergy. However, you should only do this if the dog’s allergic reactions are not life-threatening. The provocation diet involves feeding a succession of nutritional components that were previously fixed components of the regular food. The dog’s response shortly after consuming individual raw ingredients will help you determine which food components are triggering the allergic response. You should not feed these to your pet ever again.

Dog sitting by bowl