Dog Food Allergy Elimination Diet

by tessa

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Previously I’ve shared the challenges of Maddie and her rather recent flair up of scratching.

Last week, while I was at the vet for the cat I asked the doctor about food allergies.

Mind you, I’m no rookie when it comes to dogs that can’t stop licking, scratching, creating hot spots, or otherwise making themselves, and me, miserable.

This time out the vet and I spoke about diets that would help to eliminate the causes of food allergies that Maddie might be experiencing.

In the past I was used to switching the overly aggressive scratcher, or a dog who was suffering from gastrointestinal issues, to a diet of only boiled chicken and whole grain rice.

The doctor explained that a true elimination diet would consist of a protein, namely rabbit or venison, and a starch, potato. This limited diet would be fed for 6-8 weeks after which we should be able to determine if the scratching had stopped.

She recommended Royal Canin Limited Ingredient food.

Knowing that the likelihood of Maddie liking this concoction was slim I still bought 6 cans of the rabbit formula. At $2.91 per can I already knew that, even if she adored it, it was a not an affordable alternative for the next 6 weeks – but I committed to giving her a taste.

As I suspected the reception was, well, unenthusiastic.

You know when you feed your dog something and they look at you with expression that says, “That’s it? That’s the best you’ve got?”

I knew it was time to make my own ‘limited ingredient’ batch of food.

Here’s what I made:

  • 2 packages Trader Joe’s frozen chicken breasts (approximately 20 breasts)
  • 2 – 13 oz. cans of Libby’s Pure Pumpkin (note that this is not the garbage filling that you make pumpkin pie out of)
  • 8 medium Russet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (I’m not sure of this was the right amount as I think a bit more would have also been o.k.)

Boil the chicken until cooked. Then, in the same water as the chicken boiled in, boil the potatoes.

It’s important not to boil the potatoes too much. The cut potato should be able to hold a firm ½ inch dicing without crumbling.

The chicken was chopped until fine in a mini Cuisinart food processor.

In the same pot that the ingredients boiled in, after the water has been removed, mix the chicken, potato chunks, olive oil and the two cans of pumpkin together.

As all of this was being cooked Maddie stood by my side trying to control her excitement and the drool.

When I served it to her I thought she was going to eat the bowl that it was served in!

We’re on day three of the diet and it’s clear that I need to make more.

I’ll keep you posted on the results.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne June 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Hi, would love to know if this works. We adopted a Rat Terrier w/ allergies. I can’t afford to have him tested,(I say that after spending tons on allergy related problems,ha), so I’m trying an elimination diet, just chicken, then I’m going to add potatoes. I also have started bathing him in a combo of baking soda,oatmeal,Himalayan salt/Epsom salt and thin rinse with water thoroughly, thin finally rinse with rosemary water. This seems to be working but he was on steroids and antibiotics up until 3 days ago so I’m sure their still in his system. Thanks for the info.

Cheryl September 18, 2015 at 5:09 PM

I would not waste time with an elimination diet… I’ve tried it. Allergy testing is your best bet. One of my dogs is allergic to chicken amongst other things… I had another that was allergic to potatoes. Potatoes are starch that convert into sugar which can feed a yeast infection – common in scratching dogs… One of mine was actually allergic to the yeast infection. Allergy test. It’s the only way to know for sure…

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