Using morsels of food is a surefire way to get your puppy to do just about anything you want. If he has allergies, the typical selection of doggie treats isn’t going to do you any good. You still have plenty of things you can feed your young pooch to encourage good behavior. From fresh meat to certain processed dog treats, find something that fits the special needs of your puppy.
Some of the most common meat allergens are beef, chicken, lamb and fish. While these are some of the primary types of protein available at the market, you still have plenty of other options available. Pick up pork loin, duck, turkey or venison -- the leanest cuts possible. Boil the meat until it’s fully cooked. This cooking method keeps it moist, giving it the ultimate meaty aroma. Dice up the cooked meat into small bite-size pieces and store it in your refrigerator. When it comes time for some hard-core training, take out those meaty morsels and make your pint-size canine work for them.
Pieces of Kibble
When your vet determines which types of allergies your four-legged comrade has, he can write you an allergen-friendly prescription for food. These prescription dog foods are only sold at veterinarian offices or pet stores with an on-site veterinarian. Rather than pouring a bowl of kibble at meal times, make your puppy work for his food. For instance, if you have puppy training in the evenings, pack up his supper in a plastic bag and take it to school with you. He’ll be famished at that point and likely will do whatever you say, just to get a piece of kibble.
Most prescription dog foods have corresponding wet canned foods. Don’t worry, you don’t have to feed your pup handfuls of wet food. Instead, scoop it out onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Each scoop should only be about the size of a piece of kibble. Freeze the wet food overnight and use it for the next day’s training session. Frozen wet allergen-friendly dog treats are super smelly, making them highly desirable for even the pickiest of puppies. These frozen treats soften quickly though. Use them only for short training sessions, so they don't thaw and make a mess.
Processed dog treats often have fillers such as soy, wheat or corn. While these ingredients generally are safe for a healthy canine, they’re not safe if your fur ball is allergic to any of them. Once your vet narrows down the allergy, pick out a treat that’s made specifically for dogs with allergies that doesn’t contain the problem ingredient -- a prescription isn’t always required. These types of treats are made with meats and carbohydrate-containing ingredients that aren’t usually the culprit of allergies, such as duck and potatoes.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.