FOOD ELIMINATION TRIAL:
A food elimination trial is designed to determine the cause of food related allergies. The idea
behind a food elimination trial is to introduce the pet to a completely novel (new) protein
source and a completely novel carbohydrate source. This must be something that the pet
has never eaten before.
Gluten free pasta
**** Preservative Free ****
If your pet has ever eaten one of these, then it cannot be used in a food trial. Chicken and
beef are some of the most common proteins implicated in food allergies.
After determining the most cost effective foods to feed, the pet is then placed on a diet
consisting of only those 2 foods (1 protein source and 1 carbohydrate source) for 2 months.
No other treats or foods are allowed. If the pet eats them, then the 2 months must start
again. For example, the diet may consist of venison and sweet potato, or emu and gluten
After the pet has completed the 2 months, it is then reintroduced to its original diet. If the
condition reoccurs then this shows that something in the old diet is causing the problem. If
there has been no improvement in the 2 months, then a food allergy is less likely, and other
causes must be investigated.
If the original diet has caused the condition, then we place the pet back onto the trial diet
until the condition settles back down. We then start testing individual foods to determine the
cause of the allergy. A diary is very important to keep throughout this entire process.
Food elimination trials are important for ruling out a food source as a cause of an allergy. It
does take a long time to get to the bottom of the problem, however if the source can be
found and avoided, then the long term wellbeing of the pet is going to be much better. Less
flare-ups of allergies means less medications and less visits to the vet.
Tips for a successful trial:
If more than 1 animal lives in the house and feeding cannot be controlled, then feed all pets the same food.
Remove all other treats from the house to prevent slip-ups
Keep pets on a lead when walking to stop scavenging.
Don’t feed from the table, have a set feeding routine.
Don’t let friends feed your animals.
Feeding raw meat is ok, but carbohydrates often need to be cooked a little.
There are blood tests available that give an indication of what things are the most likely to
cause allergies. These are not 100% accurate, however if unable to do a food trial are a
possible option. Please ask a vet during a visit in regards to this.