Cavapoos are extremely popular dogs, a mixed breed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. With more people considering welcoming one of these dogs into their families every day, it’s important to learn everything there is to know about them.
Cavapoos have earned a notorious reputation for suffering from food allergies and sensitive stomachs. Your Cavapoo might be suffering from food intolerances that cause pain during mealtimes.
Common food sensitivities for Cavapoos include beef, wheat, chicken, dairy, eggs, lamb, and soy.
So, what can you feed your Cavapoo? Let’s take a look at Cavapoo food sensitivities in more detail now.
How Do You Know If Your Cavapoo Has A Food Sensitivity?
There are a few telltale signs that your Cavapoo is suffering from food sensitivities. The reaction will most often happen either immediately or soon after the meal.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, but you should always get them checked by a vet to make sure your dog recovers properly.
Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of food sensitivities in Cavapoos.
1. Scratching Or Excessive Grooming
The most common symptom of food sensitivity in Cavapoos is itchy skin. In fact, food-related irritation makes up 20% of all scratching in dogs. Look for a hot spot on your dog where they focus the majority of their itching. This is most commonly on their feet, face, ears, armpits, legs, or anus.
They might also experience full-body irritation.
Similarly, your Cavapoo might bite its skin excessively. This is another way of itching any irritation that the food sensitivity has caused. They might lick and chew their skin until it’s swollen and the hair has fallen out around the area.
Other signs concerning the skin include hives, rashes, and inflammation of the skin. You might even see open sores or hot spots, hair loss, and more.
2. Chronic Ear Issues
Another common symptom that many owners don’t (but definitely should) link to food sensitivities is chronic ear infections. They can also get yeast infections within the ear canal, which is another common side effect of food sensitivities.
These ear issues are caused by excess mucus found in the nasal and ear membranes caused by food sensitivities. If your dog is suffering from chronic ear issues or one ailment after the other, you might be missing a food allergy as the root cause.
You might also see red and itchy ears, along with frequent head shaking.
3. Respiratory Problems
Cavapoos suffering from food sensitivities might be more inclined to suffer from a runny or blocked nose. They might also suffer from coughing and wheezing, and even shortness of breath in severe cases.
You might also see their eyes turn red and start running or itching.
4. Gastrointestinal Reactions
Food sensitivities are chronic reactions that build up over time after repeated exposure to a certain food. It can often take months for the reaction to appear, so don’t expect to diagnose a food sensitivity right away.
Food sensitivities will most likely cause a gastrointestinal reaction, such as vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, appetite loss, gas, and weight loss.
Gastrointestinal issues come from the fact that your dog cannot process an ingredient in their food properly. It then gets stuck in the digestive tract and remains there until it can eventually be broken down – but not before causing a host of gastrointestinal reactions in the meantime.
Common Food Sensitivities In Cavapoos
Now let’s take a look at the most common foods to cause sensitivities in Cavapoos. When choosing a diet for your Cavapoo, you should avoid as many of these allergens as possible.
You can also remove one from your dog’s diet at a time to try and pinpoint which is causing the sensitivity.
Beef is full of different proteins, and these are notorious for causing food sensitivities. Feeding your Cavapoo the same ingredient for many years increases the chances of them developing a sensitivity to it.
Beef is the most common meat source in pet foods, so it makes sense that your dog might have developed a food sensitivity to it.
Grains are often added to dog food as filler ingredients, as they can bulk up the formula without costing the manufacturer too much money. Wheat is much less expensive than a high-quality meat source, which is why it’s so often used in dog food.
However, as wheat does nothing for your Cavapoo except fill them up a little more, it can do more harm than good. Again, as this is in so many pet foods, your dog’s overexposure to it might cause sensitivity.
Chicken is another very common ingredient in dog foods, and that’s why so many owners are surprised to find that it is also a common allergen! The proteins in chicken make it difficult to digest and more likely to create a sensitivity over time.
All dogs are lactose intolerant, so they shouldn’t be fed dairy in the first place. Lactose intolerance can lead to gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog has an actual dairy allergy, it will also suffer from itchy skin and other skin issues.
Again, your Cavapoo might have trouble digesting the proteins found in egg yolks. There are plenty packed in there, so eggs are considered a common allergen among Cavapoos.
Luckily, many food manufacturers don’t add eggs to their formulas for this very reason. This should only be an issue if you’re making homemade food for your dog.
The majority of mass-produced dog foods on the market feature either beef or chicken. So, lamb was considered to be a good alternative to those suffering from sensitivities from beef and chicken.
However, lamb can cause just as many food sensitivities if your Cavapoo is exposed to it for long enough.
Many professionals are now advising us to stay away from feeding Cavapoos soy altogether. It can have other negative effects on the body, including reproductive and growth issues, as well as thyroid and liver disease.
It can also produce food sensitivities. We think it’s safe to say that the negatives outweigh the benefits of soy in a dog’s diet!
Testing Your Cavapoo For Food Sensitivities
If you think that your Cavapoo is suffering from a food-related allergy or sensitivity, the first thing you should do is talk to your vet. They can help you pinpoint the allergen without extensively testing your dog. Most of these methods start at home.
We already mentioned that you might be able to remove allergens from your dog’s diet to determine whether that was the issue. For example, you might replace chicken with venison, as this is not an allergen. You should not replace chicken with beef or lamb, as these are other allergens.
If this doesn’t work, your vet might suggest a blood allergy test. You can buy these on the market to do at home, or some vets offer them as a service.
However, there is limited evidence that actually shows these tests to be accurate, so the most effective method still remains to be the elimination diet.
What Is The Elimination Diet?
Vets often recommend the elimination diet as it’s a relatively unobtrusive and inexpensive method of finding out what your dog is experiencing a food sensitivity to.
You’ll be asked by your vet to make a list of all of the ingredients your Cavapoo currently has in their diet. This will include treats and main meals, including any brands you use as substitutes when your go-to isn’t in stock!
Now you’ll completely change up their diet so that they’re eating completely different ingredients. You might even be asked to feed them alligators or yak! This is to make your Cavapoo feel better and stop its negative symptoms.
Once your dog is feeling better, you’ll then begin reintroducing old foods that might have been the original issue. One food will be reintroduced every few weeks to give it enough time to cause a reaction.
If no reaction is seen, another old food will be reintroduced. If the reaction flares back up, you’ll know that your dog has a sensitivity to this food.
However, the elimination diet doesn’t stop there. Cavapoos are known for suffering from multiple food allergies, so you should continue reintroducing old foods one at a time until you’re confident that they’re not allergic to any of their other old foods.
Feeding Cavapoos With Food Sensitivities
Now that you know the foods your dog is sensitive to, you can get to planning their new diet. There are a few different choices you have, from choosing a prescription diet from your vet to making their food at home. Let’s look at the choices.
Making Your Own Dog Food At Home
More Cavapoo owners are choosing to make their own dog food at home, as this is the most reliable way to make sure that your dog is avoiding their sensitive foods.
Your vet will be able to help you with recipes, but the most common ingredients in homemade dog food are sweet potatoes, rice, and a meat source. Just make sure it’s not meat that your Cavapoo is allergic to!
Your vet might also prescribe your dog specific food that is free of the allergens they suffer from. Opting for professional advice is always a good idea, so many of us trust our vets to use the food they deem best.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cavapoo food sensitivities
Why Is My Cavapoo Throwing Up?
There are a number of potential reasons why your Cavapoo is throwing up. The most common reason is that they have eaten something that irritates their stomach, such as a common allergen or out-of-date food.
Other causes could be obstructions of the stomach or intestines, pancreatitis, toxin exposure, or acid reflux.
Other Cavapoos might simply throw up because they’re feeling under the weather. If you’re worried, always talk to a professional vet to be safe!
Do Cavapoos Have Digestive Issues?
We cannot generalize and say that all Cavapoos will have digestive problems, but the majority of them do suffer from some kind of digestive ailment at one point or another during their lives.
The main digestive problems include gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea. This is because one of their parent breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, also is notorious for suffering from digestive issues.
The Cavapoo inherits these possible ailments from their parents.
What Foods Should I Avoid With My Cavapoo?
You should avoid specific ingredients that your dog has shown sensitivity to in the past. If you have not yet done an elimination diet with them, you might be clueless about their sensitivities.
If you are a new Cavapoo owner, you should avoid foods with filler ingredients in them, like grains and soy. Dairy is also a no-go, as all dogs are lactose intolerant.
Feed your dog a balanced diet of vegetables, protein, and fruit to make sure they’re getting all of the necessary nutrients. Avoid allergens like beef and chicken, and swap their diet around every now and then to avoid them developing a sensitivity.
What Foods Soothe A Dog’s Stomach?
If your Cavapoo has an irritated stomach, foods such as plain pumpkin, oatmeal, yogurt, bananas, and sweet potatoes can help soothe it while keeping your dog full.
The best part is that these are some of a dog’s favorite foods, so they won’t mind this diet at all!
Thanks for reading our guide to Cavapoos and food sensitivities. Cavapoos are known for their sensitive stomachs, and they can suffer from many food sensitivities, including beef, chicken, and wheat.
Signs of food sensitivity include gastrointestinal issues and skin irritation. Remember that food sensitivity takes weeks or months to appear, so your dog might have been suffering for a while!
The best thing to do when worried about your Cavapoos food sensitivity is to talk to your vet. They can help you get to the root cause and advise you on what to do next. Good luck!
For more information on dog nutrition, take a look at our essential dietary tips for dogs.