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Tummy Troubles? Try a Limited Ingredient Diet

“L.I.D.” and “novel protein” are quickly becoming two popular terms in the world of pet food. These terms are gaining popularity as more and more pet owners realize that a lot of the quirks they see in their pet are actually symptoms of an allergy or sensitivity to what they are being fed. Feeding pets an L.I.D. diet that contain a novel protein as their protein source often alleviate pets of these symptoms.

What Symptoms Should I Look For?

Signs your pet has a food allergy or sensitivity include, but are not limited to: hot spots, itchy or smelly ears, eye infections, frequent paw licking and chewing, hair loss, diarrhea, vomiting and/or flatulence. It is important to note that these symptoms are not always caused by a food allergy or sensitivity and could be a sign something else is wrong, especially if their onset is sudden and their diet has not also suddenly changed. It is always best to consult your veterinarian first to discuss these symptoms rather than diagnosing them yourself.

What does L.I.D. mean?

L.I.D. is an abbreviation that stands for Limited Ingredient Diet, which simply means that an L.I.D. recipe has fewer ingredients than the average recipe. They often have a single source of protein and do not usually include grain or gluten since pets commonly have adverse reactions to them.

What is a Novel Protein?

Novel proteins are protein sources that are not commonly used in pet food recipes, or that are not widely known to trigger allergy and sensitivity symptoms. Allergies and sensitivities are usually triggered by ingredients that a pet has been overexposed to. Since novel proteins are rarely used, it is more likely that your pet has not been overexposed to these proteins.

How Can I Tell if a Product is L.I.D. friendly?

Many food brands will make it easy for you by labeling their product with “L.I.D.” A food doesn’t necessarily need a novel protein for it to be L.I.D.; it could have a single protein source and/or omit grain, gluten and potato from the recipe. Pet foods not made with a novel protein but made without grain or gluten might solve your pet’s sensitivity problems if grain or gluten is the cause of your pet’s symptoms. If it is the protein causing the allergy or sensitivity, look for foods that contain more unique proteins such as kangaroo, duck, venison, turkey, pork, or bison as their exclusive protein source. The Pet Food Specialists at your local Bark & Fitz are also happy to point out which treats and recipes will suit your pet’s unique dietary needs.

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