“My Dog has the worst allergies! What should I do?” True Carnivores hears this statement time and time again especially when the seasons are changing. Fall/Winter and Spring time are the most common seasons to see allergy flare-ups. What do we suggest? An elimination diet.
What is an elimination diet?
An elimination diet is a single protein diet that people put their cats or dogs on when they have allergies and are trying to find what the cause is. It works by removing all other variables that may be causing allergies in your pets diet.
Why Do An Elimination Diet
Elimination diets are an excellent choice to consider if your dog is suffering from hot spots, red itchy skin, chronic ear infections, brown teary eyes, feet chewing, or regular bloating/gassiness. These are symptoms commonly seen in allergy sufferers and are likely due to a reaction to something in the diet.
How To Tell If The Diet Is Working
Some dogs respond faster than others. Sometimes you can see results in as little as three days and sometimes it can take 3 weeks. More often than not the first sign we see is in your dog’s skin – the redness begins to calm down and the itching begins to lessen over time. Once the symptoms stop for a prolonged period of time, it is safe to add one new protein to see if your dog or cat has a reaction. This way you can begin to build a list of proteins that are “safe” to feed your pet, so you can offer some variety in the diet.
What Proteins to Choose
Begin by choosing one protein that your dog hasn’t been fed as a main protein before in their lifetime and strip their diet down to just that one option.
Popular proteins are:
Can I Add Veggies To My Dogs Dinner?
Yes, however we don’t recommend adding them until your dog’s allergies have stabilized. We say this because often times it is the high sugar levels in the fruits and vegetables that are causing your dog to have a reaction.
Can My Dog Still Have Treats?
Absolutely! Providing they are the same protein as the meat you have chosen and are a “one ingredient only” treat. This means no salt, sugar, or other meats mixed together. True Carnivores finds the best treats are more often than not – bones! Raw meaty bones are a dog’s favorite treat and are can even substitute as a meal.
What Do I Do After My Dog’s Allergies Have Been Alleviated?
Once your dog has been completely cleared of all their symptoms you can begin adding new proteins into the diet. Of course, we recommend adding one protein at a time about 3-4 weeks apart to begin building your “safe list!”
If you are looking at trying an elimination diet feel free to contact us at 604-264-3647 or visit our store front located in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale!