Now That You Have The Diet Correct You Need to Need To Find Out What was Causing all This Allergies in Dogs…
The process is simply and it involves an elimination diet. In short this involved first finding the right base diet for your dog. Once this is established and your dog has gone 14 blissful days without any symptoms we will begin to challenge him with one new protein every month. We do this by adding the protein to their normal daily meal. Then we wait for a reaction. If his symptoms reappear then we look back over the last few days and are able to see what caused it! Unlike blood tests or painful pin pricks, an exclusion diet is simple, pain-free, cost-free and extremely effective.
Day 1: Get the Baseline Right!
Allergies in Dogs Part 4 gives you some hypoallergenic diet ideas, one that won’t cause a reaction in your dog. This is called the base diet. Once established please continue feeding it for around a month of good, undisturbed health, giving you a period where you can both relax, recoup and take a breath! It allows your dog’s system time to restore and repair. His symptoms need to completely (or at least 95%) dissipate before beginning the exclusion diet week 5.
During the month on the “safe” diet make sure they are not getting anything else in their diet – no treats whatsoever! These are always a weak point. Remember if I have a peanut allergy it’s not OK that I “just have a few peanuts on a Sunday”. Cut everything out. We highlight the main baddies in Allergies in Dogs Part 3.
Adding a new Protein…
After a month of good health, you need to being your testing of the dog. Pick a meat protein to test. If your dog is on the turkey diet then we might test him with a little duck, or vice versa. You add a pinch of the mince every meal for 3 days (so Day 14, 15 and 16) then sit back, watch and wait. If not symptoms return by the end of the week then you put a big tick beside the protein you tested. It seems OK for your dog. If there is a reaction, stop adding the new protein, take a note and return to the baseline diet for a week for the dog to recharge.
Test one new protein each 2-3 weeks from this point until you have exhausted every ingredient you wish to add to your dogs diet – so try chicken, fish, beef, lamb, duck, turkey, fish, pork, as well as eggs, rice and different vegetables.
If you find fresh minced beef causes a reaction in your dog then it is very likely that any part of the cow (tongue, liver, heart, muscle, kidney, it all looks the same in the end!) will cause the same reaction. However do should still check this out at a later stage.
Never ever test wheat, assume it is the problem. It has no place in the feeding of carnivores.
Many dogs coming to this approach are living on steroids. Studies of humans show that steroids can hammer your vitamin D content. Vitamin D is crucial to the whole process so consider picking up some Vitamin D and adding it to your dog’s diet. Dose according to body size is fine (or, if you want to be technical, 300-500 IU per day for a 20kg dog)