As you know, I surf dog related message boards all the time, and I see so many threads about hypoallergenic dog food. One of the disturbing trends I’m seeing on some of the boards is people talking about trying to find a hypoallergenic dog food that works for their pet. Of course, that’s par for the course. The disturbing part is that I’m seeing no mention of a vet.
Finding a Hypoallergenic Dog Food Must Include Your Vet
You need to talk to your vet if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog food. This is especially true if your dog has a sensitive stomach. Hypoallergenic food is a process of trial and error, but with a vet to guide you, it can be a much easier process on both you and your dog. Vets have much more experience with hypoallergenic dog food than any one owner ever could. Use that knowledge to help find the perfect food for your dog sooner rather than later.
Knowledge of Brands
Think about this for a second. You’re trying to find a hypoallergenic dog food that works for your sensitive dog. Your vet has to help clients find hypoallergenic dog food for their clients’ sensitive dogs all the time. They know this stuff inside and out, and they know the brands that are proven to be the best. Consulting with you vet can get you started on the right track immediately.
Knowledge of Ingredients
If your dog has a sensitive GI tract, it’s especially important to make your vet a big part of your search for hypoallergenic dog food. Again, it all comes down to experience. Your vet can examine your dog and go over the symptoms you describe, as well as any ingredients you’ve recorded, to him or her to determine what kind of ingredients might work best for your dog. They can also recommend foods with certain ingredients based on your dog’s breed. Believe it or not, that matters.
Knowledge of Allergies and Food Sensitivities
A vet is also an invaluable source of knowledge concerning your dog’s allergies or sensitivities as well as time tables. On your own, you might give a hypoallergenic dog food a couple of weeks to see if the food you bought works and then move on to another one. However, did you know that it actually takes a minimum of six weeks to see a change in your dog. My vet recommended a full two months on a specific hypoallergenic dog food to see if there was improvement.
Knowledge is Power When Looking for Hypoallergenic Dog Food
So work closely with your vet. If you work with your vet when looking for hypoallergenic dog food, what could be a protracted, uncomfortable game of trial and error for your dog can be minimized to something far more manageable. This will, of course, involve a few visits, but my vet frequently gave free follow up appointments to patients with food allergies or sensitivities while their owners were looking for the right hypoallergenic dog food. So talk to your vet, and make finding the right hypoallergenic dog food an easier, more comfortable experience for your pooch.
Did your vet give you any great advice on finding the right hypoallergenic dog food? Share your tips for talking to your vet and asking the right questions!