When I worked at the vet, I was often asked how long it would take for hypoallergenic dog food to work and if it stopped allergies or prevented them. I’ve talked about hypoallergenic dog food a few times before, but today I’m going to go into more detail on how long it takes to see results and what exactly it does.
How Hypoallergenic Dog Food Works
Hypoallergenic dog food is highly tailored food designed for dogs which are allergic to the standard ingredients in dog food. This food works by using carbohydrate and protein sources which are not normally seen in regular dog food. Ingredients like chicken, beef, eggs, soy, wheat, gluten, and corn are all replaced with ingredients such as potato, sweet potato, brown rice, fish, bison, venison, rabbit, duck, and other unusual ingredients.
By replacing the ingredients that most commonly cause allergic reactions, hypoallergenic dog food can help alleviate allergy symptoms. In the absence of the ingredients that the dog is allergic to, the dog’s symptoms disappear.
How Long Does Hypoallergenic Dog Food Take to Work
It takes time for hypoallergenic dog food to work. Your dog will have to be on hypoallergenic dog food for a minimum of six weeks to determine if you have found the right food for it. That’s because it takes time for the inflammatory response due to eating allergen causing food to resolve itself. Remember, you dog has most likely been eating ingredients it is allergic to for many years. In that time, its body has been in a constant state of allergic and inflammatory response. It will take some time for that response to dissipate.
It takes a minimum of six weeks for your dog to show signs of improvement. If you dog shows some improvement after six weeks, but it doesn’t have complete resolution of symptoms, your vet may recommend an additional two to three weeks on the food to see if improvement continues. If your dog still has symptoms after that time period, your vet will recommend a different type of hypoallergenic dog food. Remember, there’s nothing that says your dog won’t be allergic to certain ingredients in some varieties of hypoallergenic dog food. It’s all a game of trial and error.
Always Consult Your Vet
Finding the right hypoallergenic dog food can be a drawn out process, but in the end, your dog will be much healthier and happier. When choosing a hypoallergenic dog food, always work in conjunction with your vet. He or she can provide you with valuable information and insight into which foods might work best and which foods to try when certain ingredients don’t appear to be working. Remember, you can’t rush the process of finding the right hypoallergenic dog food for your pooch.
Do you have any other questions about hypoallergenic dog food? Ask in the comments.