Features April 2011 Issue

Food Elimination Trial: A Valuable Tool (When Done Correctly)

A valid food elimination trial for the purpose of confirming food hypersensitivity consists of three phases: elimination, challenge, and provocation. In the first (elimination) phase, the dog is fed a diet consisting of a single protein source and a single carbohydrate source. Both of these ingredients should be completely “novel” to the dog – foods he’s never eaten before. (Thirty years ago, lamb and rice was the go-to food elimination diet, because those ingredients were not yet widely available in commercial pet foods. Because the diet was novel, few dogs had developed allergies to those ingredients, and “lamb and rice” gained an unearned reputation as a “hypoallergenic” diet.

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