Diagnosing Food Allergies

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What are some ways that Veterinarians Diagnose Food Allergies in Dogs?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

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Environmental contaminants, such as dust and mold, can cause allergies in your dog. So can his food, although it takes time to make that diagnosis. Kim Horne, a Veterinary Technician at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, explains: “we usually will put them on a food elimination diet trial.”

That means the dog spends eight to ten weeks on a new diet, eating protein and carbohydrate sources it hasn’t had before. Then it goes back to its original diet, and its responses are monitored. Horne says if the animal is truly allergic to food, there will likely be an increase in clinical signs, such as itching and inflamed skin. If these appear, various foods will be tried until one is found that doesn’t trigger the allergy symptoms. The best dog food for a dog's allergies can vary depending on the specifics of each case.

– Dr. Andrea Looney, DVM