Northland Veterinary Services

8560 Topper Road
Iron River, WI 54847


What is a hypoallergenic diet trial?

We recommend a trial of food made up of proteins and carbohydrates that your dog has never eaten before to see if recurrent medical problems such as ear infections, skin infections, chewing at their feet, and anal gland problems could be caused by a food allergy.

You need to find a food that has potatoes or sweet potatoes as a starch base with proteins from duck (yes, it is different than chicken) or fish, such as salmon, and feed ONLY that for 4-6 weeks.

Foods with lamb, chicken, and rice are NOT the type you want to use for this initial trial.

BE VERY CAREFUL not to feed your dog any other treats, table foods, or flavored medication that may contain other ingredients that your dog may be allergic to. One bite can cause your dog to react for two weeks.

We carry the Science Diet D/D hypoallergenic diet that also comes in canned form and complementary treats. Please note: the ingredient list on the treat bag say they contain “hydrolyzed chicken”. By subjecting the chicken protein to a biochemical process called hydrolyzation, it breaks the protein into such small pieces that the body no longer recognizes it as a chicken protein. We usually recommend using the food from Science Diet because it is guaranteed not to have any other proteins or carbohydrates in it, ever. That way we know for sure if the dog is truly allergic to their food or not.

Now, many premium dog food brands have begun using novel proteins and carbohydrates and these foods can be found in many stores. You just have to be careful about reading the labels. We commonly recommend transitioning to these more reasonably priced alternatives after we know if there really is a food allergy.