Have you ever heard of LID? No, I’m not pertaining to a cover or a cap that you use to close a container. Have you ever heard of food sensitivity or food intolerance on dogs? Yes those conditions exist.

LID stands for Limited Ingredient Diet. This is normally suggested to dogs with food intolerance and food sensitivity. I want to go over those two conditions first so that we have a better understanding why LID is applicable to them.

Food sensitivity is different from food intolerance. Food sensitivity is a condition where the dog’s body creates defensive antibodies because it categorizes food as harmful. It triggers symptom like itchy skin, bald patches, ear infection, skin issues, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Food intolerance can be comparable to lactose intolerance to human. It’s basically the body’s inability to digest a certain ingredient. A dog with this condition becomes bloated, gaseous, nauseous, vomits and has diarrhea.

Addressing food sensitivity and food intolerance will require removing ingredients to identify which ingredient is causing the problem. Normally, your vet will ask you to eliminate dairy products, beef, wheat, chicken, soy and pork – these ingredients are known to be triggers of food allergies and intolerance.

Your vet will then suggest for you to give food that will be entirely new to your dog – like turkey and sweet potatoes. Once the symptoms are reduced or no longer present, you start to give your dog some of the old food and observe if any of the symptoms would resurface. Giving the food one at a time will help you determine which food caused the symptoms to come back. If you give all of his food at once, you won’t be able to determine which food he’s sensitive or intolerant to. This process is actually very challenging and meticulously long.

Limited Ingredient Diet or LID actually limits the food type that your dog eats. When your dog is on LID, he will be limited to eating one type of protein and one type of carbohydrates. Although limited, this type of diet actually gives your dog proper nutrition and make him feel full. Often times, your vet will recommend that you stick to LID longer, before restoring old food variants to your dog.  The protein part of the diet will provide majority of the nutrients your dog needs for is muscles. Most commonly used proteins are fish, lamb, and rabbit. The carbohydrate part also helps with the energy and fiber needs of your dog. It’s important to have both protein and carbohydrates so your dog will get a balanced diet.

Before you get excited and start your dog on LID, make sure to contact your vet. Your vet will advise you if LID is applicable to your dog. If after 6-8 weeks there’s no improvement with your dog’s symptoms, you’ll have to let your vet know, he may need to suggest other diet options for your dog.

If you see your dog exhibit any symptoms of food sensitivity or food intolerance, take him to the vet immediately. Food sensitivity or intolerance could be a sign of a much more serious health issue that your vet needs to test for prior to giving any dietary recommendations.

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