Elimination or Novel Ingredient Diets
Thank you for considering me to work with your pet to create an elimination diet. Food related allergies and intolerances can be frustrating and stressful, and I would be happy to help guide you through the process.
Below is the general process of working with me for elimination formulations so you can see if I am the best fit for you and your pet.
$150 for 1 complete and balanced recipe
- the most reliable way to determine a pet’s food intolerances or allergies
- uses novel ingredients
- begins with limited (3-5) ingredients and builds up to a complete and balanced recipe
- options available for further testing additional ingredients and building more recipes
What is an Elimination Diet?
An elimination diet is not a single recipe but a process – a series of adjusted recipes to determine whether a food intolerance or allergy is present.
Elimination diets are the most reliable way to determine a pet’s food intolerances or allergies. However, they are quite extensive and should be used after environmental allergies, infections or skin diseases have been ruled out. (Sometimes pets have adverse reactions to ingredients or byproducts in commercial dry foods, such as certain supplemental forms or dust mites, and do not need a true elimination diet. These pets can do well on homemade raw or cooked diets without significant ingredient restrictions.)
There are 3 stages for an elimination diet.
Stage I - Novel Ingredients
During the first stage, I’ll formulate a very simple recipe with 1 animal based protein source, 1 plant based carbohydrate source, and minimal supplements. The protein and carbohydrate sources should be completely novel – something the pet has never had before. This recipe is fed 6-12 weeks to see if the pet improves. If the pet improves, we can move onto the second stage. If the pet does not improve, it is likely that food based allergies are not the main cause of the current symptoms. However, we can try this stage again. At this point, the recipe is not complete and balanced.
Stage II - Balancing the Recipe
If the pet does well on the first stage, we can begin adding ingredients to make the recipe complete and balanced. Changes are introduced slowly, making sure the pet is still tolerating the diet after each change. At the end of the stage, you will have a complete and balanced recipe that can be fed long term.
Stage III - Challenging Previous Diet
Once the pet is doing well on the complete and balanced diet from the end of Stage II, we can consider challenging the pet with the previous diet to see if it triggers a response. This is the only way to determine whether the previous diet was truly an allergic trigger.
However, many owners are not willing to try this stage as they are not willing to risk possible symptom flareups. If you do not feel comfortable challenging the pet’s previous diet, we do not have to do so.
At this stage, we can also try to introduce other previously eaten foods (either part or not part of the previous diet) to see if any of the foods trigger a response. Using this process, we can build a list of “safe” foods for the pet in order to add more variety to the pet’s diet.
Elimination Diets begin at $150. This essentially covers Steps 1-2, which include testing novel based ingredients and recipe adjustments to create a complete and balanced recipe at the end of the process.
At the end of Stage 2, I give each client specific instructions for managing stage 3 (food challenge). If you’d like to create a new recipe based on the safe foods you’ve discovered from stage 3, this would be considered a new (proactive) recipe.