Dog Food Allergy: The Elimination Diet


“Meals with restricted components are a great place to start out,” says Judy Morgan DVM, CVA, CVCP, CVFT. “Begin with a ‘novel’ protein, that means one your canine has not eaten prior to now. Rabbit, duck, pork or fish are usually good selections. Rabbit is likely one of the least allergenic. Some folks will use venison or lamb. New meals are hitting the market with very novel proteins resembling alligator, emu and llama. However homeowners even have to take a look at the secondary components. If the preliminary meals contained peas or different legumes, the brand new meals ought to comprise a unique starch — possibly potatoes or oats or brown rice.”

There’s additionally what’s referred to as a hydrolyzed protein food plan. “These diets often have hydrolyzed proteins wherein the proteins are damaged down into very small items and are capable of elude the immune system,” says Megan McGlinn, VMD.

Defining an elimination food plan is the simple half. It could take a little bit of sleuthing to find out which meals is the issue. However that sleuthing shouldn’t be thought of a DIY venture — your veterinarian needs to be your lead detective.

“Plenty of pet homeowners do it on their very own however they don’t do it methodically, so they only maintain switching diets,” cautions Cailin Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN, board-certified veterinary nutritionist. “If pet homeowners are apprehensive the problems are meals associated, attempt one food plan with completely different components. If that doesn’t make a distinction, they need to then work with their vets.”

Like many different issues in life, this doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. “There isn’t any one finest pet food for meals allergy symptoms. It’s depending on the canine and can fluctuate on a case by case foundation,” Dr. McGlinn says, additionally endorsing you get your veterinarian’s suggestion based mostly in your canine’s well being historical past.

And it might not be fast. “A real elimination food plan can take months to find out what the canine can tolerate,” in keeping with Dr. Morgan.

The excellent news is that after it has been decided that food plan helped resolve the problem, the food plan that works will be fed long-term, says Camille Torres, DVM, DABVP-Canine/Feline.

The Cummings College of Veterinary Medication at Tufts College, the place Dr. Heinze is an adjunct affiliate professor, has an in depth handout for shoppers concerning the elimination food plan course of and consists of the guidelines under. It gives an outline of what you’ll be earlier than and in the course of the food plan trial, which is commonly six to 12 weeks.

Guaranteeing an correct elimination food plan trial

Earlier than beginning the food plan trial, undergo the next guidelines. Be very strict in the course of the trial with a view to get correct outcomes.

✔ Be certain all relations perceive the “OK to feed” and “don’t feed” meals.

✔ Ask your main care veterinarian about alternate options for any flavored drugs (together with chewable heartworm preventives), drugs in gelatin capsules and flavored toothpaste.

✔ Discontinue feeding all desk meals, industrial treats, rawhides, and different edible chews and flavored toys.

✔ Guarantee that your pet is not going to have entry to different pets’ bowls or different meals sources.

✔ Wash your pet’s bowl completely.

You’ll discover treats don’t seem on the record, however Tufts has your canine’s again. Once more, examine along with your vet based mostly in your canine’s wants.

✔ You possibly can put aside a few of your pet’s food plan and put it in a clear deal with jar to present as in the event that they had been particular treats. As well as, you possibly can bake the prescribed canned novel or hydrolyzed diets into small cookies to present as treats.

✔ If feeding a novel ingredient food plan, you may make do-it-yourself treats utilizing solely the components within the food plan. For instance, in case your pet is consuming a food plan containing salmon and potato, she or he will be fed small quantities of cooked salmon or potato as treats in the event that they keep throughout the advisable deal with allowance and are suitable with another nutrient objectives.

Thumbnail: Pictures ©PoulCarlsen | Getty Photographs

Concerning the creator:

Elizabeth Anderson Lopez is an award-winning author based mostly in Lake Forest, California. She and her husband have many pets, together with two English Bull Terrier rescues named Dexter and Maybelene. You possibly can contact her at

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