Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) is a simplified nutrition plan for dogs. Your dog does not necessarily have to be burdened with a condition to be put under a LID plan. The prevailing reason why many dog owners opt for a LID plan is because they want to give the best, all-natural, and quality meals to their dog without the harmful chemicals or artificial ingredients that can lead to sickness and compromised well-being.
With LID, you have to understand the different ingredients that make up dog food so that you know which ingredients to avoid and which to include. However, LID generally equals limiting carbohydrates, using a single source protein, and avoiding grains.
However just because it uses the word “limited” does not mean you only have one main ingredient; it only means that instead of 30 ingredients, LID food brings down this number to half or less than half and deliberately lists down ALL high quality ingredients like sweet potato or duck which you can easily identify or research about. In other words, you won’t find cryptic-named ingredients that only the manufacturer can identify.
The benefits of an LID diet plan include:
- Less risk for allergic reaction especially if your dog is sensitive to certain food groups. Most problems with poor food reactions though is caused by the use of inferior ingredients and although a dog can develop a resistance to food sensitivity, it can cause the dog unnecessary stress. Shifting to an LID diet for at least two weeks can give him valuable time to recover properly.
- Increase in energy levels which comes about because your dog is getting the right nutrition and nutrition mix
- Lower risk of exposure to artificial additives. Artificial food additives are synthetic ingredients used to enhance food. There is widespread use of artificial additives not just in dog food but more so in human food because it is allowed by government agencies and makes food look and taste better as well as last longer. Being man-made, the questions that remain unanswered revolve around the long-term effects after prolonged use.
- Better digestion
- Less chance for upset stomach
- Improved skin and hair – relief from flaking and itching
- Improved immunity because LID food is rich in antioxidants and vitamins
Less is More
Today, there is an increasing number of dogs suffering from food sensitivities. According to experts, it’s not just that they may be sensitive to specific ingredients but also the fact that some dog food formulation are not well –balanced and contain extenders to add weight.
If your dog is prone to scratching, getting bald spots, being lethargic, and suffering from poor bowel movement – the culprit could be the food he is eating.
How to Shop for LID Food
If you think that your dog would benefit from an LID diet plan, the first steps to take to shift to this nutrition plan would be:
- Consult with the vet about the plan to change diet. He or she could recommend a brand or a list of brands to consider
- Try to establish what you want your dog’s main source of protein will be
- Get basic facts about your dog: weight, breed, recommended meal size, number of meals in a day, etc.
- Know the pet food that has been recalled. You can check the FDA website’s Pet Food Recalls and Withdrawals page
- Shop for LID food fir for your dog’s age and breed
- Search for grain-free, zero artificial additives, preservatives, or color
Finally, try to get the LID food that has a balanced Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids because these are the ingredients that will make them look and feel great.