Transitioning to range of foods rather than just one - dog with allergies

We’re getting vets advice but it looks like our 5 year-old Cockerpoo with previously identifed allergies to a range of food items has now become allergic/sensitive to the lamb-based food we’d moved her to about 18 months ago. She’s been getting frequent acid reflux especially at night.
We’re just starting to move her to a rabbit based food. But I’m wondering if, assuming that’s successful I should also try to introduce one or two other types of meat flavours (things she’s not had before) for variety.
If people could help with these questions then that would be amazing:

  1. do you think it’s undesirable to feed a dog literally the same food for every meal (as we have done with the lamb one) because it increases the risk of becoming sensitised to it?
  2. to introduce other meat varieties from the same range/brand then is it best to give one meal of each every day, or keep to the same meat over a full day?
  3. is it usually possible to feed different brands (which will of course have more variety of other ingredients) if they are all introduced carefully and slowly so that we can mix meat types a bit more while avoiding the things we know she is allergic to? Or is using different brands often very difficult to do?
    For example, in addition to the rabbit variety of Natures Menu food that we’re introducing we could then introduce the venison and beef (though I know they will be higher fat which may not help) but other varieties contain some additional ingredients she can’t have (fish oil). But I could find another meat type in another brand.
    Overall, we’re trying to avoid the risk (if there is one) of giving her such a limited diet that she becomes allergic to the ‘new’ meat type every year or so until we run out of realistic options.
    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Can you tell me did you have an allergy test for your dog and is it reliable as my vet said they are not so we didnt go down thst root , she felt exclusion of foods would be best then.graduaky introduce foods ect .
I feed my dog on venison and fish i saw you put no fish oils but thst helps with skin issues i thought ?.
Let me know how you get on .

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Fish oils are amazing for dogs skin but all dog are different and can have reactions to all different types of foods.
My puppy dogue-de-bordeaux cant have the fish based diet i him on as he was to hyperactive on it.

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Feeding a dog different flavours can upset their tummy more than just having them on one flavour/brand.
I had all 3 of my dogs on a fish only diet done and they really well until we unfortunately had to move our puppy off it as it was making him too hyperactive but he can’t have poultry so he is on a lamb diet now and is absolutely fine.
If you feel your dog is getting bored of his food, add some fresh or cooked vegetables to his meals its an amazing treat for them and is healthy and won’t make them put loads of weight on.
Hope this helps :slightly_smiling_face:

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We didn’t go for an allergy test as we’d read in various places that they weren’t always reliable. A couple of years ago we just introduced a food with a meat she’d never had before (in this case lamb) and limited other ingredients. After about 2 weeks her signs of food allergy had gone. We then tried reintroducing some things, including salmon oil. They fairly immediately brought on the reaction again so we were pretty sure they were what was affecting her. A pity as she had loved the fish based foods especially before! As our vet pointed out, the risk of this approach could be that if the dog happens to also be allergic to the new meat source then you could spend ages with limited results and try meat after meat. But we were sceptical about the hydrolysed foods and they also seem to contain fish oil!
But of course now we’re wondering if she’s just had too much lamb.
She seems to also have some seasonal allergy and we decided on balance to put her on some medication for that but take her off it as soon as we can.

I hadn’t thought of fish oils effecting them interesting.
Mine has alopecia but they think.its from genetics colour dilution causing it , nothing has helped except apoquel but I take him off it when it’s not so serve re the side effects the drug can cause .

My border terrier was tested for allergies and she is allergic to storage mites which are in dried foods. She used to chew her back paws which I was told was a sure sign of an allergy dog. She also chewed her back down to the flesh. For 10 years now she has been on nutriment raw and only turkey flavour. She is now 13 and still going strong. Hope this helps

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Hi Jon,

Apart from the acid reflux, does she have any other signs or symptoms?

Allergies are usually immune mediated responses such as itching, scratching, hives etc.

whereas a gut mediated intolerance is usually loose stools, vomiting, stomach pains etc.

Allergy symptoms are usually more common this time of year so it’s always worth ruling this out first hand.

I notice that you also mention salmon oil affecting her- it’s worth baring in mind that some salmon oils are inferior. If the oil is rancid, which happens after the oil is oxidised, that can also cause inflammation in the body causing unwanted symptoms that could be mistaken for allergies or intolerances.

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Good to know that could have been the case with the oil.
Previously her food allergies had led to biting legs and back and these symptoms disappeared when we moved her to lamb only food.
She has seasonal allergy which also involves biting herself and more scratching which we treat with Apoquel. She’s been off that now for a month in case that was causing the reflux and we’re hoping the seasonal symptoms have passed. But it hasn’t resolved the reflux and that isn’t a reported side-effect of that medication.
You make a good point about the reflux though. We are just exploring it being a reaction to her lamb based food but part of the reason we’ve gone for rabbit based food is that it’s also lower fat which I understand is better should it be GERD rather than a direct reaction to the food.
We are half way through moving her to the rabbit based food.
Over the past week the frequency of the acid reflux hasn’t changed much but the severity of it (the extent and rapidity of the swallowing and lip licking) has improved.
She’s generally rather constipated.
Any further thoughts you have very welcome.
Thanks ever so much to you and others who have commented.