Twelve papers giving original data on canine food sensitivity in an acceptable form were reviewed, and the disorder was confirmed in 390 dogs. Most of the papers did not give either the criteria by which dogs were included in a trial, or information about dogs which had undergone a trial with a restricted diet but in which food sensitivity had not been observed. Only one author indicated how the degree of pruritus of the dogs in the study was assessed. The question of owner compliance in conducting a diet trial was not considered in any of the papers. The best available evidence comes from three of the studies covering 534 dogs in total, of which 93 (17 per cent) suffered food sensitivity.