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New Test Reveals What Foods Your Dog Is Allergic To

New Test Reveals What Foods Your Dog Is Allergic To


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Learn what foods will keep your dog healthy

At the end of a long day, your dog is there to put a smile on your face, a kick in your step, and a chew toy in your hand. They are there to cuddle with you when you’re lonely, loyally stay by your side whenever you are sick, and accompany you on endless walks to who knows where.

For all the little things your dog does for you, it’s time to help make sure your dog is as healthy as they can be. Just like humans, dogs have allergies to foods. Thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network, this will be a lot easier.

The network has recently helped get one of the first food allergy tests for dogs to the market. The test is a low-cost saliva diagnostic kit for pet food intolerance developed by Italian research group called Nutrigene. The allergy tests were first tested in the U.S. and have been launched by American firm Hemopet under the product name NutriScan. You can purchase and learn more about the product here.

Help your best friend avoid the foods that can make him sick today!


How to Tell if Your Dog Has Food Allergies

Food allergies in dogs can be tricky to identify. The symptoms aren’t what many pet parents expect, and there are a lot of myths out there about food allergies in dogs. True food allergies are not that common in dogs, for one.

Here’s how you can figure out if your dog has food allergies and what you can do about them.


What Causes Food Allergies?

According to Tuft University, "Food allergies occur when an animal's immune system misidentifies a protein from a food as an invader rather than a food item and mounts an immune response. The end result of this response can be itchy skin or ear and skin infections in some pets, while it may cause vomiting or diarrhea in others." Once an immune response is triggered, it grows stronger every time that type of protein enters the body, which means your dog's allergy may worsen every time he eats that particular food.


Treatment

Most of the time, you can manage food allergies in cats and dogs by making changes to what they eat, so that they avoid their trigger food.

Your vet may prescribe medication or a skin cream to help ease symptoms while they figure out a long-term plan.

It’s rare, but a life-threatening allergic reaction can happen and your pet may not be able to breathe. If that happens, call an emergency animal hospital right away.

Sources

MSPCA Angell: “The Itchy Pet -- Food Allergies in Dogs and Cats.”

American Kennel Club: “How To Tell If Your Dog Has Food Allergies.”

American Kennel Club: “Types of Allergic Reactions in Dogs.”

American Kennel Club: “Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment.”

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: “Food Allergies.”

Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University: “What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Food Allergies.”


Allergy Tests: Now You Can Find Out if You’re Allergic to a Male or Female Dog

Dog allergies are pretty common. People who have allergic reactions to dogs are usually reacting to the pet’s dander, which is made up of secreted proteins from dead skins cells, saliva or urine. (Yuck!)

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Eventually these proteins make their way to the pet’s fur, or it could settle on your clothes, couches and carpets.

If you’re allergic to dogs, you might find yourself suddenly itching, coughing or wheezing when there’s one around. But what if you could better narrow down the dog you’re allergic to?

Is your friend’s female pug causing your sneezing attacks? Or is it the male Labrador retriever that’s triggering your allergy misery?

Now, there’s a precise allergy test ― called an in vitro allergen test ― that gives you details about whether you’re allergic to a female or male dog.

How the allergy test works

Ear, nose and throat specialist Michael Benninger, MD, says it’s sometimes hard to know if your allergic reaction is to furry animals in general, or if it’s to one very specific animal. The test can help identify what animal might be triggering your allergy attack.

This innovative test gives you much more information, unlike a skin test that may tell you that you’re allergic to cats and dogs when you’re actually, in fact, only allergic to one of them. It can assess your sensitivity to distinct types of furry animals, including dogs, cats and even horses.

The test can also pinpoint the exact protein that triggers your allergic reaction ― and from what animal or animals. And if you’re allergic to a male dog or female dog.

How is that possible? Dr. Benninger explains that about 40% of people who test positive for dog allergies are only allergic to prostate protein. And since only male dogs (obviously) have prostates, if everything else is negative, the person can be near a female dog and not have any sort of allergic reaction.

That means you can know which dogs to avoid. Or (yes!) which one you can adopt for your very own.

As of right now, testing for either male or female components is only available for dog allergies. But Dr. Benninger says the test is changing the game for allergies and helping to improve the quality of life for those that suffer from them.

Other uses for this type of allergy testing

This type of component allergy testing is quickly breaking new ground in common animal and food allergies involving proteins.

These specific protein tests can help to refine the major culprits in people who have multiple allergies where there may be overlap in traditional allergy tests, so that allergy avoidance can be maximized and treatment individualized.

The same test can also help determine serious, life-threatening reactions in those who have peanut allergies.

For example, about 77% of those who are allergic to peanuts are not at risk for anaphylaxis (a severe response including swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure and sometimes shock). This could help some of those PB&J lovers who don’t really have to avoid peanuts altogether.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy


Rules for Success

The goal of an elimination diet is to alleviate the pet’s clinical signs, either itchy skin or gastrointestinal symptoms. It is important to remember that an elimination diet is a test. The test is performed at home, and the goal of it is to identify what foods the dog is sensitive to in order to avoid them in the future.

Elimination diets need to be very controlled in order to be performed correctly. The diet trial should last at least 8 to 10 weeks to ensure success, with nothing else in the diet for the specified meal for the whole period – no treats, goodies, table scraps, flavored medications or supplements, or dental products (3, 15, 21, 22).

Things that you don’t even expect to interfere can completely alter the course of the trial. For example, a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association showed that a once monthly heartworm preventative flavored with beef and soy can be enough to make a soy allergic dog symptomatic (22).

The elimination diet is often difficult for pet owners to perform on their dogs, but without following these very strict guidelines it will be impossible to determine what the dog is reacting to. Ensuring the dog has no access to the cat’s food, or the litter box, or any offending ingredients outside is also important.

Summary : Elimination dietary trial must follow strict rules, and continue for at least 8 weeks to ensure success.

Good for novel protein diets Taste of the Wild PREY (Trout)

PREY is Taste of the Wild’s line of limited ingredient diet formulas. Taste of the Wild is focused on providing animals with diets that closely mimic that of what their ancestors would catch and eat in the wild. Prey is made with non-GMO ingredients and is grain free. They also have the lowest number of ingredients of any food on our list with just 4 ingredients or less in each of the PREY formulas, making it a true limited ingredient diet.

  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Price: $54.99 for a 25lb bag
  • Who’s it for: Dogs starting an elimination diet

Overall Best Dog Foods in 2021

  • Created by canine nutritionist
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
  • 60% off first order

  • Grain-free recipe
  • Highly digestible recipe
  • With proprietary K9 strain probiotic blend

  • DHA and ARA for healthy brain and eye development
  • With Calcium, phosphorus and essential vitamins
  • No corn, wheat, soy or poultry by-product meals

  • USA-raised chicken is the first ingredient
  • Complete and balanced grain-free dog food
  • Crafted with farm-grown fruits and veggies

  • Complete and balanced nutrition for dogs
  • A great natural formula
  • Made with twelve whole fruits and vegetables

  • Composed of 88% meat protein
  • With premium-quality beef, chicken and pork meals
  • Ideal for sporting pups and those with high physical demands

  • Made for adult dogs with real beef protein
  • Natural recipe with added vitamins
  • Nutrient-rich and highly digestible recipe

Below is the list of products reviewed on this article:

1. Ollie Turkey Recipe

Key Features:

  • Human grade premium dog food
  • Creates an individual plan for your dog
  • High in protein and fat
  • No fillers, artificial flavorings, or preservatives
  • Ordered online and delivered door to door

Ollie is created by canine nutritionists, a raw food system designed to give your pet optimum nutrition in a limited ingredient formula.

Everything is created using restaurant grade ingredients and shipped within days of getting made. It’s easy to set up your account and manage things based on your dog’s needs. If you’ve got the extra budget, it’s worth it.

The limited ingredients present in Ollie's formula makes it a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs and will help prevent potential allergic reactions.

By cutting out the plant proteins that are typically found in dry dog foods to boost the protein content, your dog will be less likely to suffer from digestive distress.

Ollie is therefore perfect for even the pickiest of dogs. Of the four unique vet-crafted recipes on offer, we would recommend the Turkey Recipe option.

It incorporates turkey breast, turkey liver, kale, carrots, blueberries and chia seeds to provide a flavor and texture that is unrivaled.

This fresh dog food formula is grain-free and contains no fillers. The meat is also sourced from farms that provide vegetable-fed and hormone-free turkey. All these factors make Ollie a step above other luxury formulas.

Whole fruits and veggies provide excellent doses of vitamins and minerals, which helps with immune support, while coconut oil and cod liver oil contains essential fatty acids for maintaining skin and coat health.

Everything is packaged in easy to use portion sizes, so there’s no confusion about how much to feed each mealtime. This is the closest to a homemade dog food out there.

Fill out a questionnaire for your dog and receive perfectly portioned meals. Put them in your refrigerator or freezer, and they’re ready to serve when you are.

Despite its steep price point, we truly believe that Ollie is the best dog food on the market today. We feel confident in stating that your dog will love it, and you would to if you tasted it!

  • Fresh dog food
  • Raw nutrition with limited ingredients
  • Well-sourced ingredients
  • Perfect for sensitive pets
  • Designed specifically for your dog
  • Delivered to your door
  • Regular deliveries
  • Expensive
  • Weekly and biweekly delivery not available for some areas (may cause storage issues)

2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Key Features:

  • Dry Food
  • Bison and Venison
  • Grain-Free
  • High in protein and fat
  • Based on an ancestral diet

Most Popular Healthiest – Taste of the Wild has produced a brilliant canine formula a that we are not sure can be beaten at this price point. Using bison and venison as its two animal protein sources, this dry dog food takes its inspiration from the ancestral diet of prehistoric canines.

It contains 32% protein and 18% fat. These numbers are brilliant and far above average. A high amount of protein and fat will do wonders for supporting the growth and maintenance of your dog's muscles and bones. High-fat content is also necessary for your dog to maintain a healthy immune system.

It is worth pointing out, however, that some of the protein in this formula is vegetable-based, with pea protein and potato protein featuring on the ingredients list.

Vegetable proteins are harder for your dog's stomach to break down, but it shouldn't be too much of a concern if your dog does not have any digestive problems.

Some dogs might also need to avoid eating potatoes and peas. If your dog does have trouble digesting foods, you might be better off trying a limited ingredient food instead.

As well as its great protein and fat content, Taste of the Wild has packed this formula full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This will help maintain a dog's health, improving their coat and skin.

The tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries present in the formula will also help supplement these effects by providing your dog with valuable antioxidants and vitamins. This formula is free from grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

All this means that Taste of the Wild has focused on what's really best for a dog's diet, without cutting costs and reducing its quality.

This really is an all killer, no filler dog kibble! We feel confident in saying this is the best dry dog food in its price range. We love it and think your dog will to!

  • High in Protein
  • High in Fat
  • Also available in canned food
  • Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids

3. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Key Features:

  • Dry Food
  • High in fat and protein
  • Main animal protein is salmon
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Grain-free

Most Inexpensive (Cheap) – American Journey has produced a dry dog food that goes to show that cheap does not have to mean poor quality. Using salmon as its main source of animal protein, this formula contains 32% protein and 14% fat.

This is amazing for a budget kibble and will be more than enough to ensure your dog maintains a healthy immune system, bones, and muscles.

However, some of this protein is from the vegetable source pea protein. This is harder for dogs to digest than animal protein, but shouldn't be too much of an issue for a healthy dog.

This kibble does also use chicken and turnkey meal to bolster its protein content, which could be of some concern to dogs with food allergies. In those cases, you would be better off going with American Journey's limited ingredient range. Still, this formula is grain-free,

This formula does include “dried plain beet pulp” as a source of fiber. This is fine but the saponinins in it has been found to cause irritation in a minor amount of dogs' gastrointestinal tract.

For this reason, we would recommend looking out for any irregularities or discomfort in your dog's behavior when transitioning to using this food.

As we said, it's usually fine in most dogs, but being cautious will help you guarantee that no allergic reactions are occurring.

We love that American Journey has included chickpeas in the recipe as a great source of fiber and protein, and the usage of sweet potatoes as a substantial ingredient means that this dry dog food will deliver high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene.

These elements will help your dog's eyes remain in great shape. We have heard some complaints in the reviews of this product that the kibble was too hard for the teeth of toy dog breeds.

It's worth keeping that in mind if you do have a small dog, but other than this problem, there was a near-universal positive response from consumers reviewing the product.

Salmon can be a funny ingredient to dogs, with some not liking the pronounced fish odor and refusing to eat it. Whilst we have opted for the salmon and sweet potato recipe due to its higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acid, any of the other recipes in this range would be an option for any dog owner on a budget.

Overall, American Journey has produced a well-balanced kibble offering that is sure to give your dog the luxury experience, at an affordable price. Another best dog food at an affordable price.

  • Cheap
  • High in protein
  • High in fat
  • Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Uses pea protein
  • Salmon might not be appropriate for all dogs
  • Can be too hard for smaller dog breeds

4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy

Key Features:

  • Includes DHA and ARA for brain and eye development
  • Enriched with an abundance of vitamins and minerals
  • No corn, wheat, soy or chicken (or poultry) by-product meals
  • High-quality protein for healthy muscle growth

Best Puppy Food – Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is a kibble designed for puppies under the age of 12 months and contains different feeding specifics for 1-3 months, 3-5 months, 5-7 months, and 7-12 months.

They have tried to produce a formula that will best enable your puppy to develop into a strong and healthy adult, and so have included a few extra vitamins and minerals that aren't always seen in regular puppy kibbles.

Blue Buffalo have utilized flaxseed and menhaden fish meal in the formula to give it a large amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

This will help your puppy develop strong and healthy skin and coat. It has also been enriched with calcium and phosphorus to help strengthen the bones and teeth of your puppy. We really like the approach that Blue Buffalo has taken with this food in taking into consideration all the needs of a puppy.

The kibble has been made smaller than usual to help dogs with smaller jaws and aids in tartar removal. DHA and ARA have also been added to boost brain and eye development. These fatty acids are typically found in mother's milk and so can help make up for an absence of this in your puppy's diet.

At $50 for a 30-lb bag, this puppy food is definitely in the more expensive category of dry dog food. We believe it justifies this price through its abundance of vitamins and minerals.

At 26% protein derived from chicken and 16% fat, Blue Buffalo has produced a formula with adequate levels of nutrition. These are pretty average amounts and will be just about enough for you to not have the fear that your puppy needs another source of protein to grow its muscles.

Some of this protein does, however, come from pea protein which can be difficult for some dogs to digest. With no corn, wheat, soy or chicken (or poultry) by-product meals used, you can rest assured that only the finest quality ingredients will be going into your puppy.

Your puppy will love the use of proper ingredients to fill this food with flavor. It contains apples, spinach, blueberries, and pumpkin. These premium natural ingredients exist not only to produce a great taste but also to fuel your puppy with a whole host of crucial vitamins and minerals.

It should be noted that this formula is not grain-free. Whether a pet food should be grain-free or not is a hotly debated issue, but it should not be a deal-breaker in choosing this specific formula for your puppy.

The use of brown rice in the product might be a problem for some dog's with weaker stomachs, so pay careful attention to your puppy's if you plan on transitioning to this food.

We see no reason why you would need to transition away from this kibble after 12 months other than price. It contains more than enough nutrients to power an adult dog throughout its life.

Overall, we love the attention to detail that the veterinarian's who designed this formula clearly had when they crafted this food from the ground up.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula, therefore, gets our seal of approval as the best dog food for puppies on the market.


Five Foods to Feed Your Dog When He’s Sick

The following five foods are intended for use for dogs with mild stomach upset, including gas, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. As these symptoms are occasionally signs of a more serious problem, always check with your vet before taking treatment into your own hands. Dogs with existing health conditions like diabetes, cancer, allergies, and senior dogs might need additional nutrition to stay healthy.

Chicken and Rice: Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs. All you need are boneless, skinless chicken breasts and rice.

Shredded Chicken: Plain, unseasoned, boiled, shredded chicken is easy to digest and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids, making it a great snack for dogs feeling under the weather.

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is high in fiber, which helps regulate canine digestive systems. Cooked, peeled, unsalted, and unseasoned pumpkin contains vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Bone Broth: Bone broth is a very mild, liquid meal that sits easily in upset canine stomachs. It is also a nutritious and delicious way to add moisture and flavor to dry food and encourage dogs with reduced appetites to eat.

Baby Food: Baby food is very easy to swallow and digest and is a great way to give oral medications. Veterinarians recommend feeding Stage II meat-based baby foods like chicken, lamb, and turkey, as long as the baby food does not contain any garlic or onion powder.

Feeding a sick dog is challenging. Decreased appetite, upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting make caring for a sick dog stressful for both you and your pet. A bland diet can help relieve some of these symptoms while also giving your dog the nutrition he needs to recover.

The following five recipes are intended for use for dogs with mild stomach upset, including gas, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. As these symptoms are occasionally signs of a more serious problem, always check with your vet before taking treatment into your own hands. Only use these recipes once you have ruled out other health risks and discussed your plan with your veterinarian and remember that dogs with existing health conditions like diabetes, cancer, allergies, and senior dogs might need additional nutrition to stay healthy.

Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs. Plus, this bland meal is easy to prepare. All you need are boneless, skinless chicken breasts and rice. White rice is lower in nutritional value than brown rice, but its blandness makes it more suitable for upset stomachs. Oils, butter, and added seasonings can irritate your dog’s stomach and make the problem worse, so stick with plain boiled chicken and rice and save the extra stuff for your own meal. Make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly and cut or shred it into small, bite-sized pieces for your dog, since enthusiastic canines might choke on this unexpected treat.

Shredded Chicken

Shredded chicken is easy on upset stomachs and acts as a huge eating incentive for dogs with decreased appetites. Plain, unseasoned, boiled, shredded chicken is easy to digest and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids, making it a great snack for dogs feeling under the weather. Chicken keeps in the fridge for three-to-four days, or you can freeze it for two-to-six months.

Pumpkin and sweet potato have similar digestive health benefits. Like sweet potatoes, pumpkin is also high in fiber, which helps regulate canine digestive systems. Cooked, peeled, unsalted, and unseasoned pumpkin contains vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese, giving your dog a nutritional boost along with a little digestive help.

Adding pumpkin to your dog’s meal usually helps regulate mild constipation. Veterinarians recommend one to four tablespoons of pumpkin, depending on your dog’s size. Canned pumpkin is a convenient alternative to preparing pumpkin yourself, as long as it is unseasoned. Feeding your dog a can of pumpkin pie filling might end up sending you back to the vet, as the spices and sugars could irritate your dog’s stomach and cause further complications.

Bone broth is a very mild, liquid meal that sits easily in upset canine stomachs. It is also a nutritious and delicious way to add moisture and flavor to dry food and encourage dogs with reduced appetites to eat. To make a bone broth for dogs, fill a crock-pot with beef marrow bones or bones with plenty of joints, like turkey and chicken legs. Cover the bones with 2-3 inches of water, cover, and cook on low for 20-24 hours.

Let the broth cool for 2-to-3 hours in the fridge to let the fat form a hardened layer at the top. Scoop it off and store the jelly-like broth in the refrigerator. If you want to use the broth to add moisture to dry food, microwave the broth just long enough for it to go from a semi-solid jelly to a liquid, but not long enough to get hot, as hot broths can burn your dog’s mouth. Freeze the broth in small containers like an ice cube tray for later use.

While bone broth is full of healthy bone marrow, cooked bones themselves are incredibly dangerous for dogs. Make sure you remove all of the bones from your broth before serving. Save yourself a trip to the emergency room and strain the broth just to make sure no small bones escaped your notice.

Veterinary emergency hospitals often use certain types of baby food to feed the dogs in their care. Baby food is very easy to swallow and digest and is a great way to give oral medications. Veterinarians recommend feeding Stage II meat-based baby foods like chicken, lamb, and turkey, as long as the baby food does not contain any garlic or onion powder.

While none of these recipes should be used as a replacement for proper medical care, feeding a bland diet can alleviate some of your dog’s intestinal discomfort while also providing him with foods he’ll love. These five recipes for dog digestive health also make delicious treats for when your dog starts feeling better, so consider saving some for later to reward your canine patient.


How Does An Elimination-Challenge Diet Work?

Step 1: Eliminating Allergens

You begin implementing an elimination-challenge diet by trying to remove any potential allergens that may be present in your dog’s food.

This generally means switching to a food that features a novel protein source, like:

Kangaroo, bison, pheasant, as well as venison, are generally considered novel protein sources. Few dogs are exposed to these food sources as a matter of practice, so allergies are unlikely to have developed in response to them.

Other recommended hypoallergenic meat protein sources include:​

A good elimination-challenge food usually draws its carbohydrate content from brown rice, sweet potato, or even possibly white potato, which rarely cause allergy problems for dogs the way wheat or corn may.

Additives, artificial flavors, yeast, and other supplements should also be kept to a minimum, to help reduce the chances of overstimulating the immune system.

Hopefully, the restricted diet will cause your dog’s symptoms to disappear (although it may take several weeks before this occurs). This will allow her to get the nutrition she needs, without suffering from a constant allergic reaction. This can help your dog start to feel better and heal!

When practicing an elimination diet, the following requirements must be met:

  • The dog must be fed a unique protein and carbohydrate source that the dog has not been previously exposed to.
  • The dog must be kept on this diet for at least 12 weeks.
  • Only the special diet and water can be consumed – nothing else! This means no rawhides, no chews, no treats, no flavored toothpaste, no flavored medication – nothing!
  • Keep an especially alert eye on your pooch during this time – don’t allow them to sneak into the trash or start chewing up something gross in the backyard, otherwise the process must be reset.
  • Don’t let your pooch in the dining room during meal times! Even a few crumbs dropped by a messy child can force you to restart the elimination diet for your dog.
  • Similarly, make sure to wash the hands and face of any small children, lest your dog go in for a tasty smooch.

You’ll need to be vigilant, but all the work will be worth it when you finally know exactly what ingredients your pup is allergic to, allowing you to pick the best food for their needs and provide a better quality of life.

What if you have other dogs? Ideally, the easiest way to conduct the elimination diet when you own more than one dog is to do the diet with all the dogs! If that’s not an option, feed the special diet dog in a completely separate room from the other dogs.

After several weeks, it’s time for the real magic to happen – the challenge portion of the diet can begin!

Step 2: Reintroduction!

If your dog begins to show a reduction or elimination of allergy symptoms after the 12 weeks, it’s time to reintroduce those problematic foods you suspect of causing your dog’s allergies.

This may seem counter-intuitive since your dog is finally allergy-free. However, the reintroduction of suspected allergy-causing foods ​is required to confirm your suspicions.

During this portion of the treatment, you slowly add back one food item that you suspect might be an allergen. If no change occurs with the first added food item, you can add another, one at a time. When one of the food items cause allergic reactions symptoms flare back up, you know which ingredients are to blame!

Then void those like the plague.

It’s also important to remember that many dogs are allergic to more than one type of protein. This can complicate your efforts to determine the cause of your dog’s allergies. You may need to test several ingredients!

Even with all that work, permanent safety is no guarantee – your dog may eventually develop an allergic reaction to the new protein source after being fed it for a long period of time.

I know – that’s the last thing you want to hear. Still, elimination diets are well worth the effort for your dog’s happiness and ability to enjoy and process their food.​

What About Blood Testing?

Elimination diets are a ton of work, so it’s no wonder owners often look to blood testing as a possible immediate solution to discovering what ails their pup.

Unfortunately, blood testing can’t provide an accurate diagnosis for your dog’s food allergies. Elimination diets are the only option!

The good news is that intradermal skin testing is very helpful for diagnosing atopy / inhalant allergies! If you suspect your dog is suffering from allergies but are not sure what the cause is, intradermal skin testing is a great first step.

Since inhalant allergies are much more common than food allergies, skin testing may solve your issue.


Milli, a 15½-year-old Cocker Spaniel with arthritis

Milli eats twice a day. She&rsquoll have 7 ounces of Allprovide commercial food (either their chicken or turkey), or 8 ounces of Stella & Chewy&rsquos raw rabbit, or 7 to 8 ounces of my homemade Puploaf. I add probiotics and supplements to her food like Naturally Healthy Pets Wellness Formula.

The Puploaf is my own complete, balanced recipe made with a variety of fresh ingredients, including:

+ 90% lean ground beef, beef heart, and liver. Beef is a blood tonic, so it supports circulation and heart health. The heart muscle, specifically, supplies critical amino acids like carnitine and taurine.
+ Chicken gizzards. These add protein, but they&rsquore also a great energy booster.
+ Sardines supply omega-3 fatty acids.
+ Mussels supply trace minerals like zinc and manganese, which are important for tendon/ligament health and immune function.
+ Ginger soothes digestion and decreases joint pain and inflammation.
+ Eggs and their shells. Eggs supply protein and vitamins, while the shells deliver extra calcium.
+ Dark leafy greens and broccoli. Greens support liver and eye health, as well as fiber to feed the good bacteria in the bowel. Broccoli has anti-cancer properties.
+ Mushrooms are also cancer fighters, and decrease swelling and inflammation.
+ Butternut squash provides lutein and beta-carotene for E health.
+ Grapeseed oil provides vitamin E.
+ Cranberries support bladder health.

I rotate these proteins throughout the week&mdashserving poultry, some mammal meat, and some fish to give Milli a balance of amino acids.
&mdashJudy Morgan, DVM, CVA, CVCP, CVFT, author of What&rsquos For Dinner Dexter? Cooking For Your Dog Using Chinese Medicine Theory

Dr. Judy Morgan&rsquos Complete Puploaf Recipe

This recipe can be made with a variety of different protein sources&mdashlike ground lean pork, turkey, chicken, or a combination. In general, dogs need 3 to 4 ounces of food per day per 10 pounds of body weight, depending on how active the dog is.

3 pounds beef (90% lean)
8 ounces beef heart
5 ounces beef liver
20 ounces chicken gizzards
3 cans sardines in water, minus the juice
6 ounces mussels (3 teaspoons kelp could replace the mussels for trace minerals)
2 teaspoons ground fresh ginger
5 eggs with shell
3 ounces red pepper
5 ounces mixed dark leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach)
4 ounces broccoli
6 ounces butternut squash
3 tablespoons flax seed or grape seed oil
4 ounces cranberries
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms

1. Grind and mix all ingredients together. Pour into loaf, casserole, or muffin pans. Bake at 325F for 30 to 60 minutes, should be lightly done (juicy in the center), not overcooked.

2. Refrigerate Puploaf in an airtight container and use within 3 to 5 days. (Freeze extra portions). Serve at room temperature.