If your pet is experiencing signs of a food sensitivity like itchy dry flakey skin, watery eyes or nose, or GI issues like diarrhea, loose stool vomiting, they may have a food sensitivity. There is an easy at home testing you can do, however it is a bit costly, so another option is doing what is called a food trial.
A successful food trial should meet the following considerations:
Should be done with a “novel protein” which means a protein your pet has never been exposed to. Proteins like duck, rabbit, elk, buffalo, kangaroo, alligator, emu, goat, beaver are all great food trial protein options.
Food should contain limited ingredients, and none of the most common allergen offenders; corn, soy, wheat, gluten, dairy, potato, beans, soy, peas, any additives, colorings, artificial or natural flavorings, or any gums of any kind like carrageenan, or guar gum.
Food should be fed for a minimum of 4 weeks to give time for symptoms of the food sensitivity to completely resolve.
During the food trail – NO other foods should be fed during that time which could alter the results. Watch out for treats, or supplements, or medications with any other food ingredients which could trigger a reaction and give a false negative result of the trial.
If the food trial goes well and your pet’s symptoms clear up the KEY is to very slowly add in only ONE additional protein at a time to see if your pet has a reaction giving a period of another 4 weeks for each protein.
Some brands who offer great quality limited ingredient diets for food trials are: Primal, Small Batch, Stella & Chewy’s, Vital Essentials, Rawz, Merrick limited ingredient diets only, and Instinct limited ingredient.
Keep those pets healthy and happy everyone!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., P.M.H.