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Hypoallergenic Food

Guest bernadette

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Guest bernadette

Our vet suggested a hypoallergenic diet for now for our Mickey. What does this mean- grain free? What brands of HA food's are the favorites?

Thank you!

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The only hypoallergenic food that I know is Purina HA. Rocket was on it for a while when they were trying to get to the bottom of his stomach issues. He hated it. It was sort of like puffed styrofoam. I think it was a prescription at the time and pretty expensive as I recall. I could only get it through the vet's office, as none of the mail order places carried it, but that was 4 or 5 years ago. I just did a quick search and saw it on a couple of the usual pet supply websites..


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It's usually a prescription-only food (Science Diet or the like) that has been hyper-processed to take out all the possible allergens. It's very bland and tasteless and smell-less to lessen the chance of nauseau. I've actually never had a dog that would eat it.


Have you done any sort of testing or an elimination diet to discover what your dog is actually allergic to?

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It can depend. True hypoallergenic "vet" kibbles generally have hydrolyzed proteins (usually soy or chicken) in them which are broken down so the dog's body doesn't recognize them as allergens. They do tend to be very pricey though, and I am not a fan of the ingredient lists at all, but they generally work well for a lot of people.


The other type of hypoallergenic diet is simply testing and feeding novel and limited ingredient diets to find out allergy triggers. This can be homemade or I believe there are some commercial foods (Natural Balance comes to mind) that you can buy with limited ingredients and novel proteins.


Depending on what you are feeding now and how severe your dog is, sometimes a simple switch in food can solve the problem. How severe is your pup and why does the vet think it is food related?

Edited by RedHead
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There is no such thing as "hypoallergenic" food - unless you know exactly what the dog is allergic to.


We've had a lot of issues with our Finn - he was super itchy and would lick his bum like mad, and had really runny poo - after having him examined, our vet recommended administering flea treatment and bathing him in a special shampoo (which we did) and then recommended an elimination diet, which I had already started.


Find a food without wheat, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, etc. - it should be limited ingredient and should (ideally) have one protein source. Keep the dog on that food for 8-12 weeks and if you can, only feed them that food. We had to switch a few times to find a protein he could handle (turned out to be pork). I then included one type of treat into his diet - also grain, wheat, corn, soy-free with one protein source (rabbit). These were the only two foods he was allowed. When the treats didn't get him itching and having bathroom issues - we stuck with those.


I recently switched to another food (same brand - Acana) so he wouldn't develop new allergies to the pork. We also added in a different treat (also same brand, just different protein) - so he has two treats we rotate and is now on the second food he can handle.


We've had a lot of luck using the Acana "singles" line (a single protein source). The key really is to keep him on the food for the full 8-12 weeks to see how he does. When we switched Finn to the 2nd in the Acana singles line, he initially started licking him bum again and had runny poo - even though we switched him slowly. He's just sensitive to many foods - it took him into the 2nd bag of food for the symptoms to go away, and now he's doing great.


Also, might want to look at Olewo carrots and/or beets. Not sure what your pup's issues are - but I use the carrots now with our greys and I think it has helped with firmer poo. Many others here on GT swear it helps with itching and digestion issues, as well. Finn stopped itching before I added it - so I can't say it has helped with that - but they both love it and I do think it helps firm things up. :)


Good luck!

Edited by Sundrop
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these vets do love to spend our $$$.

exactly what allergic symptoms are you dealing with? environmental with in the house or area? skin? eyes, etc. how long has your dog been off the track, are you talking about the typical gut that takes a while to clean up?


but as others have said there are plenty of good foods on the market w/ different ingredients. holistic select makes a good duck and oatmeal kibble, prairie does venison, blue seal(farm stores sell it, your in horse country) have a barley and pork combo. holistic select also makes a good fish based food. you need to take into account the symptoms, what can easily be found and what you can indulge in. btw, chicken fat does not process the same way chicken protein does, almost every commercial food has chicken fat.


you can easily start a elimination diet, it will take time and preparation but it will save you a bundle.

start with rice, white rice, NOT BROWN, start w/ just rice and see how your dog does, having a rice cooker is always a plus and i like to use short grain asian rice, better flavor and not as messy.

add one source of protein in for a week or two at a time. start w/ ground beef- boil and add to rice,if there is not an allergic reaction stop the beef and then go on to chicken, turkey(ground), pork if necessary. just one source of protein at a time.

if you are still having an allergic reaction then try wheat as your carb source, pasta is easy enough

getting into other grains can be a pita- oatmeal, barley, etc. if it's not protein or carb related then maybe it's time to look at fabric softeners, pollen, detergents, and the list goes on. this takes time and patience.


a good feed store will usually let you return an opened bag of food if your dog is allergic to it. do give then a week of plain rice in-between trying foods and mix the rice in w/ the new food.

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Guest bernadette

THANK YOU everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. I will be honest with you, I don't know exactly why she suggested HA food...


Since we brought our new boy home, we have been dealing with diarrhea and hookworms. The diarrhea, she said, was due to the hooks. This bug is ALL new to me... we are realizing now how lucky we were with our last grey. Whether or not this is true (and I love my vet, she works with greys regularly) we went with a higher quality food instead of all out HA. After doing some research, we are now feeding AvoDerm and also have some Wellness Core on hand just in case- BUT, I am very happy to say, today (THANKFULLY) Mickey had his best poop in weeks :)

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