Q:  For dogs with food allergies (we believe chicken and possibly grains) what are good options for food and treats that won’t irritate them?
– Vicki J.

Answer: A hypoallergenic food has a limited number of ingredients, the fewer the ingredients the less chance of a particular ingredient causing an allergy problem. Brands that have limited ingredient foods are: Wellness Simple, Natural Balance L.I.D, and Natures Variety L.I.D.. Pick foods where the ingredients are different from foods you have previously fed your dog, particularly the different meat proteins. If the first food you try doesn’t help it is still worth trying another food with different ingredients. There is no way to know which food may be the better choice. Unless the problem gets worse, give the food 6-8 weeks to see if there is an improvement. If you were to try two or three of these choices without success, other options are L.I.D. wet foods or raw foods. You should also consider trying the Natural Balance Vegetarian food. There are two veterinarian foods; Prescription Diet z/d and Royal Canin Hypoallergenic. These two foods are very similar and contain very purified ingredients which don’t appear too attractive, but if one of helps with the allergy symptom than great, this tells you the problem is related to a food allergy, which is better than not knowing. You now can try adding single ingredients back their diet to give more variety and use this information to help find a prepared food that will be suitable for your dog. A good way to start is to feed single ingredient treats like freeze dried liver, carrots, etc.
– Dr. Dave Summers