An elimination diet is a very sensible way of determining which food or ingredients are causing food-related irritation and allergy, and subsequently avoiding them. The procedure is lengthy and requires much patience from both owner and vet alike. Step 1 During the first part of the diet, two types of nutrients, one protein and one carbohydrate, are selected and fed to your pet in order to establish a neutral diet that does not cause allergies. Accordingly, there are special conditions which should be followed when selecting and preparing food for your pet's elimination diet. 1. Both the carbohydrate portion and protein portion must be reasonably assumed to be completely tolerated by the animal. 2. It is necessary that this mixture of very basic food is given to the animal without any other foods. 3. The source of protein may be any kind of meat, as well as tofu or milk products alternatively, but they must be chosen for each dog individually. 4. Your dog should not have eaten either the protein or the carbohydrate before. Also, it's important to check that your pet has not already eaten the protein or carbohydrate as part of commercially produced dog food. 5. The source of carbohydrates should preferably be untreated raw rice or potatoes. 6. The portions of carbohydrates and proteins the mixture should be one parts protein and two parts carbohydrate. The first phase of the diet is meant to remove allergic symptoms and should be continued strictly for at least 8 weeks. Once symptoms have waned and/or disappeared, the next step of the diet can begin. Step 2 The second step in the elimination diet is provocation. This is done in order to determine the triggering agent and to diagnose any diet related problems, it is necessary to provoke an allergic reaction in the animal. In order to do this, give your dog a new source of protein each week. Once the irritating protein is introduced into the dog’s diet, it will cause allergic reactions to reappear. Once you determine which protein is causing allergic reaction and irritation, you can avoid this source of protein in the future, by removing it from your dog’s diet. Another solution practitioners often recommend is feeding your dog hypoallergenic dog food. This is usually a specialty item that can be purchased in veterinarian clinics or pet stores. It is generally more expensive than regular dog food, but usually helps in regulating food-allergy related conditions.
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