What is a Monoprotic Diet? Benefits, Examples, and Uses

The monoprotic diet is one that will only contain a source of animal proteins. It is a form of food that can offer benefits in certain situations. The most common example is a food allergy. Like people, dogs can suffer allergies to certain foods. In your case, the main sign of this allergy will be itching and/or the appearance of skin rashes. And in these cases, it is always advisable to make a monoprotic diet of exclusion.

What is a monoprotic diet?

When we talk about the monoprotic diet we are referring to a menu that contains proteins from a single source, hence the name. To prepare a diet of this type, we try to find proteins with a low probability of triggering food allergies.
It should be borne in mind that numerous ingredients can cause allergic reactions. The monoprotic diet is also characterized by being made with very few ingredients. In no case can it carry artificial colors, preservatives or flavorings.

What foods are dogs allergic to?

When making a monoprotic diet that serves our dog we must take into account what foods he has consumed in his life. In this way, we will look for a completely new one for him. For the election, it is necessary to know that some ingredients cause more allergic reactions in dogs. They are the following :
Meats in general (cow, pig, horse, ox or chicken) and fish
Milk eggs
Cereals (wheat, corn)
Potatoes
Soy
Any food can trigger an allergic reaction.

What is a monoprotic diet used for?

The first use of these types of diets is the identification and resolution of food allergies. But there are other clinical pictures where you can recommend management with this type of food, to take advantage of its benefits. The following stand out:
Pancreatic insufficiency
Inflammatory bowel disease.
Digestive problems in which the loss of proteins is verified.
Malabsorption.
Gastritis.
Excess blood lipids.

Food Allergy in Dogs

The monoprotic diet is recommended in cases where the dog manifests a food allergy. This type of allergy is very common and affects dogs of any age. Its main sign is pruritus. And it is also accompanied by a rash characterized by the appearance of small lumps, pustules and raised skin. The areas with these injuries are usually the ears, the feet, the back of the legs and the lower part of the body. For the allergy to occur, the dog has had to be exposed to the allergen one or more times. It is more common in dogs that have been eating the same diet for more than two years. To diagnose a food allergy the veterinarian will prescribe a monoprotic diet, which we can also call hypoallergenic. This last name derives from the lower probability that a diet of a single protein causes an allergy. It is also called an exclusion diet.

How does the monoprotic diet work?

As soon as the dog with a food allergy begins to consume the monoprotic menu, the symptoms presented will gradually disappear. We will notice an improvement in a matter of days, although there are dogs that take even weeks. Therefore, these types of diets should be administered for a minimum of 8-12 weeks. This result is what allows to confirm the diagnosis. Having improvement, we could add other foods one by one. If the dog has symptoms again, we will have identified the cause of the allergy. Of course, it is crucial that, outside the prescribed diet, the dog is not given anything at all.

Example of a monoprotic diet

The first step to prepare a monoprotic diet for our dog is to write down, in the most exhaustive way possible, all the ingredients that he has consumed throughout his life. You have to pay special attention to the current diet. The goal is to find those new foods completely. In this way, we are sure that they have not been the triggers of allergy. Therefore, it is worthless to change the diet to a similar one or modify it without attending to the dog's nutritional history. For sale, we can find these types of diets, but we have the option of offering a homemade meal.

The most chosen proteins for the elaboration of these menus are those of salmon, deer, duck or foal, depending on the history of each dog. These products can be combined with rice, pea or potato to offer a complete menu. Of course, quantities and composition must be supervised by the veterinarian.

What is a hydrolyzed diet?

Monoproteic diets can be made from hydrolyzed proteins. They are useful, for example, in cases where it is impossible to obtain a list of all the ingredients consumed by the dog. The hydrolyzed protein is the one that undergoes a hydrolysis process. Its objective is to reduce its size since proteins are large molecules. This makes it difficult for the immune system to identify them as allergens. 

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