How does an elimination diet work? - Countryside Veterinary Clinic

We use an elimination diet when we think a dog has either a gastrointestinal or a skin problem related to its diet. When dogs have an allergy or a hypersensitivity to food, it's generally the protein, the beef, the chicken.

And of course, the most common protein that we feed dogs sometimes is milk protein. It's not ever very often a grain that’s causing you hypersensitivity. So a hypoallergenic food or elimination food is picking a food that has a single protein, and probably one that you've never been on before.

So if you're always feeding chicken, we might try a lamb food and also a single carbohydrate source so we can eliminate all the other possibilities. Then we feed them that for about 12 weeks, during which time your dog's GI problems or skin issues are hopefully better.

Then you can then slowly add back a few things. And if the dog does well on them, then that is not something they were allergic to. So that's how we do that.

How does an elimination diet work? - Advanced Animal Care

We use elimination diets if we're trying to figure out if your pet is sensitive to a specific protein. So you often hear this as a food allergy. And so, what we're trying to do with an elimination diet is figure out what specific protein your pet is allergic to. So it may be that we have you take out all of the things with chicken, or maybe we have you take out all the things with beef. Your vet may recommend a completely hypoallergenic diet that has a plant-based protein like soy. But the best thing to do is get strict guidance from your veterinarian, and they can walk you through how to work that elimination diet step by step.

How does an elimination diet work? - Animal Hospital of Statesville

Elimination diets are used to diagnose and treat food allergic disease or food intolerance. What that means is we eliminate everything that the dog is currently eating or has eaten and offer what's called a hydrolyzed protein diet, which is food that has been modified at a low molecular weight so the dog's immune system won't pick up the microscopic food particles. Either that or what's called a novel protein and a novel carbohydrate diet like rabbit and pea or duck and potato will be recommended. There's a bunch of them out there. You feed that and only that for one to three months. If the dog's signs, which include vomiting and diarrhea intermittently as well as skin itching, go away, it helps us to form a diagnosis such as a food allergy or food intolerance. We can then refeed items to see which ones trigger the response again. The only way to diagnose food allergies is with an elimination diet trial. There are no accurate blood tests.

It's hard for owners, but they have to stick with that food and nothing else. I'll give a list of certain treat-type items that are acceptable in food trials and won't cause an immune response, but you have to be very diligent. Everybody in the household has to be on board with the plan because if you feed for a month and then somebody offers them a hamburger, you have to start over. So that's important. Once we get the signs under control, those diets are meant for long-term feeding as well. Most owners don't want to re-introduce foods that cause signs again.