One of the most common symptoms of food allergies in dogs is intense non-seasonal itching, licking, and inflammation. The itching and licking can be generalized, but many times the face, neck, or feet are more severe. Some dogs may not itch but have reoccurring ear infections as a response to a food allergen. When a dog is fed the same diet over an extended period, it’s not uncommon for them to develop an allergic reaction. Simply changing to a different brand may not solve your problem because may brands use similar proteins or ingredients. 

An elimination diet, also known as a food trial, is a therapeutic diet that consists of limited ingredients with unique proteins that your dog not previously been exposed to. The purpose of an elimination diet is to help identify the root cause of allergies. 

During a food trial, feeding a novelty protein such as Kangaroo or Rabbit is an excellent starting point. Many dogs have not been exposed to Kangaroo or Rabbit and will likely not have an allergic response to those proteins. It is critical to not give your dog any treats or chews during a food trial. A single treat or a bite of their human's dinner can invalidate the food trial. Therefore it is important that the entire family is on board during the food trial and treats, nibbles of table food, or other pets foods are not accessible. 

Dogs may react to food allergens for up to 6 weeks. Therefore it’s recommended that you continue a food trial for a minimum of 8 weeks to evaluate the efficacy. This time period also allows your dog's system to repair and restore. 

Once you have successfully completed the food trial and your dog is no longer itching or licking, you have two options – Stay on the food that’s working well, or begin to challenge your dog by introducing new foods and proteins to narrow down your dog's allergens further.

Stop in and allow us to help you begin your elimination diet.