For anyone who has ever experienced a pet with food allergies, you know just how frustrating it can be to find the right diet to suit your pet’s needs. At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we often ask our clients to start their pet on a “Food Elimination Trial” to narrow down the cause of allergies or to at least help control them.
Not all allergies are caused by what your pet eats. In the Comox Valley, it is just as common to see environmental allergies due to the region and climate in which we live. However, if it is determined that your pet is developing allergies from his diet, the next step is to try and rule out the culprit!
What is a Food Elimination Trial and why is it recommended?
The best way to diagnose whether or not your dog is suffering from an adverse food reaction is a food elimination trial. The purpose of a food elimination trial is to determine which ingredient is the cause of the symptoms and remove this ingredient. Food elimination trials are often difficult and time-consuming. However, they are crucial in determining the allergen source that is causing your pet pain and discomfort.
What are the DO’s and DON’Ts to ensure a successful outcome?
Do – Keep a journal of everything your pet ingests and any allergic reactions leading up to and during a dietary elimination trial.
Do – Continue with any medications your veterinarian has prescribed.
Do – keep your pet from eating the other household pets’ food and keep those curious canines out of the litter box!
Do – let grandparents, children, family, friends and neighbours know that they cannot feed your pet anything but the prescribed food. Absolutely NO people food.
Don’t – feed your pet anything other than your veterinarian prescribed formula. Any treats, chews, medicated flavoured tablets, dental chews etc. can interfere with results and lead to a reoccurrence of allergic symptoms. Even the use of pet flavoured toothpaste can cause a reaction!
Don’t – leave out food, garbage or other materials that your pet can reach and ingest without your knowing – this will interfere with the trial results.
Do – remain patient with your pet and your veterinary team. Food trials take time…. a few months of consistency is definitely worth your dog’s lifetime of comfort and improved health!
Do – contact us if you have any questions or concerns – we’re here to help!!
Submitted by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital (some info courtesy of Royal Canin)