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Just kidding. Seriously though, my dog has some sort of allergy and anyone who dealt with dog allergies knows it could literally be anything and testing is expensive and unreliable (so I've heard). He's currently on Acana Pacifica and some recreational meaty bones.

I'd like to start the whole novel protein diet (i.e. introduce a new protein and feed nothing else, then start adding different ingredients to see what makes him flare up). Can anyone recommend a quality food for this? Clearly, Acana is on the higher end of the price scale so price is not really an issue. Any help will be much appreciated!!

I'm really looking for a grain free formula with 1 source of protein (something different - bison, venison, kangaroo meat, whatever) and quality ingredients throughout.

Thanks!!!!
 

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I played the elimination diet game for two years(rawfeeding, not kibble) and my dog still had allergies. So I opted to spend the $300 for allergy testing. Found out it was dust mites, not food. Up to you if you want to go the route of changing diet, but for me it was worth actually knowing what my dog was allergic to. I think most allergy tests are pretty reliable. But dogs can develop new ones, so having a test run may not have the same results a year later.
My dog didn't get hot spots, but chews paws, has chronic ear infections and licks her abdomen. It isn't mental, she was put on predisone and the symptoms stopped.
 

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Thanks for the info! I'm actually seriously considering having him take that allergy test and be done with it. I just keep hearing "unreliable" and "expensive" -- unreliable doesn't bode well with the computer scientist in me and expensive just hurts the student in me :)

Anyway I also hear that elimination of food is a pain and really is a game of chance but I wonder what my options are... He does well with 25mg of hydroxyzine twice daily but I would really prefer if he didn't have to take it his entire life...

I guess I'll look around about those allergy tests
 

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I went with Heska labs, it ran about $320. I also pay $139 every 6 months or so for the serum injections that she gets every few weeks.
 

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You can try Natural Balance. They have sweet potato/venisonn, sweet potato/rabbit, etc. They have cans and treats in the same formula. We put our 8 month old on it for about 4 weeks to see if getting chicken out of her life would make a difference. Not really long enough for an effective food allergy test, vet recommended 12 weeks if we wanted to try. I then cooked a nice doggy stew with chicken, fed the chicken and the pup had diarrhea. Because this formula seemed like too much potato vs. meat, the employee at the food store recommended Solid Gold Large breed puppy, which has bison, barley and millet. Our puppy is still itchy but less than before with no flare ups in ears or paws.

Our previous dog was a German/Australian Shepherd mix. We did the allergy test 7 years ago and it was $200. She had dust/mold and sage allergies. She used to swell up. I thought I had cleaned the house well, but she slept with her head under my bed and who cleans under their bed every week? Thorough cleanings prevented flare ups along with occasional Benadryl. The vet said our now 9 month old is too young for an effective blood test.

Sorry you are going through such a frustrating time. My neighbor's Doberman developed grass allergies at 8 years old and I just met a Golden Retriever with bad hotspots on a diet of kangaroo meat - so changing diet does not always rid the problem. Good Luck. We are adding some Omega 3's to our pup's diet and hope it helps.
 
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