Best Dog Food for Allergies

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  • Updated on: 11/27/2020

If your pet has developed an allergy, or you have discovered some type of digestive troubles with your dog, finding a food that will work for their day to day diet can be troublesome. Working to find the best dog food for dogs with allergies can require extensive research and help from your vet. You may have to try several foods in the process. By narrowing down the type of allergy or symptoms your pet is experiencing, and starting your dog on the ideal food option to start with, you may have greater success in finding a new food that can help with their allergy.

best dog food for allergiesPhoto by Angel Luciano on Unsplash

What is the Best Food for Dogs with Allergies?

Here are some of the top hypoallergenic foods on the market and the types of allergies that they can support the symptoms in for canines.

Image

Product

Buy

Our TOP Pick


canidae grain formula fresh salmon

1. Canidae Grain Formula Fresh Salmon

Grain-Free Pick


acana grain free adult dog food high protein

2. Acana Grain Free Adult Dog Food, High Protein

Best for Limited Ingredient Diet


natural balance limited ingredients

3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredients

For Protein Allergies


purina beyond natural adult dry dog food superfoods blend

4. Purina Beyond Natural Superfood Pumpkin

For Chicken Allergy


earthborn unrefined roasted rabbit and ancient grains

5. Earthborn Unrefined Roasted Rabbit and Ancient Grains

For Ear Problems


royal canin hp hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein

6. Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein 

Best All Natural


wellness simple limited ingredient diet

7. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

Best Canned Food


royal canin hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein can

8. Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Can

Our Favorite Dry Food


purina pro plan veterinary diets en gastroenteric naturals

9. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Naturals

Our Favorite Raw Food


steves real food freeze-dried raw nuggets

10. Steve's Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets

Best Dog Food for Allergies Reviews

Our Top Pick

1. Canidae Grain Formula Fresh Salmon

canidae grain formula fresh salmon

This limited ingredient dog food is designed to assist with pets that have sensitive stomachs. Using a series of whole food recipes and made in a Texas facility, this is a product which is rich in Omega three and six fatty acids and designed to support improved skin and a better coat. This is a wheat, corn and soy-free formula that uses real meat as its first ingredients. No by-products can be found in this mixture and it comes highly recommended by pet owners seeking pure, meat first formulas.

Features:

  • 10 or less ingredients
  • Designed for pets with fussy stomachs
  • Probiotics included
  • Many flavors

Pros

Cons

  • Uses meat first
  • Includes probiotics
  • Vitamin enriched
  • Can dry out in bulk quantities.

When it comes to a food for food allergies the fewer the ingredients that best. This food has less than 10 ingredients. This food also contains fish as its main protein since many dogs are allergic to beef and chicken.

DVM Sara Ochoa

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Grain-Free Pick

2. Acana Grain Free Adult Dog Food, High Protein

acana grain free adult dog food high protein

Acana produces a protein-rich and real meat product which is completely grain-free. The formula that they produce is highly regulated and designed in their kitchens with only the finest ingredients. The fresh regional ingredients that are used in the mixture here are wheat-free and designed to put proteins first. The free-run poultry that is used in the product can make sure that any pets who experience a grain allergy can enjoy better improvements for nourishing food without the skin conditions and digestive trouble.

Features:

  • Protein-Rich formula
  • All sized breeds
  • All stages of life
  • Gluten, potato and tapioca free
  • 60% raw fresh ingredients

Pros

Cons

  • Highly regulated production
  • No gluten, potato or tapioca
  • Fresh and 100% raw
  • Protein Rich
  • With the grain free formula, more of the animal by-products are used to bind food.

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Best for Limited Ingredient Diet

3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredients

natural balance limited ingredients

Natural Balance has produced food which is designed with limited ingredients. The sweet potato and fish formula is a simple dry dog food that comes without grains and a natural fiber that can promote a healthy digestion level. The product contains no fillers and is built with natural vitamins and minerals through a highly balanced set of ingredients.

Features:

  • Grain-Free
  • Natural Fiber
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Made for all breeds

Pros

Cons

  • No fillers
  • Grain-free and grain inclusive options available
  • Products for dogs at different stages of life
  • Bones can sometimes be found in the formula

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For Protein Allergies

4. Purina Beyond Natural Superfood Pumpkin

purina beyond natural adult dry dog food superfoods blend

Purina Beyond Natural Superfood delivers a hearty punch of caloric rich alternatives to traditional proteins. Rather than using primarily chicken or turkey, this is a salmon-rich formula containing natural superfood and pumpkin additives. The beyond natural formula includes some of the best in ingredients and highly balanced formula for dogs of all ages.

Features:

  • Contains nutrient-dense food
  • Uses Real Salmon as the top ingredient
  • A balanced meal without wheat, soy or corn

Pros

Cons

  • Does not contain wheat corn or soy
  • Uses real salmon as the top ingredient
  • Calorie dense ingredients
  • Not ideal for chicken allergies as there are trace amounts of chicken protein

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For Chicken Allergy

5. Earthborn Unrefined Roasted Rabbit and Ancient Grains

earthborn unrefined roasted rabbit and ancient grains

The Roasted Rabbit Superfood Blend with uses a variety of enhanced ingredients to deliver the best alternatives to traditional proteins. If you had difficulty feeding your dog chicken or other types of traditional proteins in the past, switching to this food could give you a welcome relief from various irritations.

Features:

  • Produced using hormone free and cage free rabbits
  • Enhanced with 14 superfoods
  • No lintels, chicken, potatoes or fillers
  • 6 ancient grains

Pros

Cons

  • Includes excellent ingredients from superfoods to ancient grains
  • Uses rabbit protein as an alternative to traditional proteins
  • Great for pets that have had adverse reactions to other dry foods
  • Can be expensive
  • Can lead to overactive digestion with the added fiber

Rabbit is an excellent source of protein for a dog with food allergies. This would be a great diet to try for your dog, who has food allergies.

DVM Sara Ochoa

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For Ear Problems

6. Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein

royal canin hp hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein

Using a pet food containing hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein produced with soy can be the easiest way to combat major irritations like ear problems. The ingredients in this food are hypoallergenic and rice is used as a starch source to keep this food easy to digest. Royal Canin HP Hydrolyzed Protein can give your pet a well-balanced diet while also ditching traditional fillers and proteins commonly found in pet food.

Features:

  • Soy Protein
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Uses rice as starch sources

Pros

Cons

  • Made with soy and designed to help with your dogs digestion
  • Chelated minerals can be easily absorbed for energy
  • Ingredients to promote gut health and reduce problems with the ears and more
  • The soy protein often makes this an expensive choice

Even though this may be a very expensive choice this food works great to help dog who has severe food allergies. These hydrolyzed proteins are already broken down into smaller molecules that are easier for your dog to absorb and will not cause allergy problems.

DVM Sara Ochoa

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Best All Natural

7. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

wellness simple limited ingredient diet

Wellness Simple produces an all natural dog food that also has limited ingredients. This food aims to offer a safer product for digestion and something for pets that tend to overeat. The Limited ingredients and highly dense configuration ensure that this is a pet food that can keep pets well fed and digesting well over time. It is a great option for pets with sensitive stomachs.

Features:

  • Made with lamb and oatmeal
  • Designed for whole body health
  • Made in USA
  • Prebiotics and probiotics support

Pros

Cons

  • Contains prebiotics, Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Non-GMO
  • Improves coat and skin
  • Can dry out quickly in large bags

Back to the chart

Best Canned Food

8. Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Can

royal canin hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein can

Royal Canin produces a hypoallergenic canned dog food as well. Using soy proteins, the company also produces a highly digestible product produced with a complex of antioxidants. The minerals included in the mixture also improved the metabolic utilization of trace elements and digestion. This product stands as one of the best options if your pet is highly allergic to grains or if they’ve had difficulty digesting dry food in the past.

Features:

  • Grain Free
  • HA soy protein
  • Coconut oil
  • Chicken flavor

Pros

Cons

  • Made with soy protein and hypoallergenic ingredients
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Includes Chelated Minerals
  • Soy protein in this form can be very expensive.

Back to the chart

Our Favourite Dry Food

9. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Naturals

purina pro plan veterinary diets en gastroenteric naturals

Purina Pro Plan is a type of dry food that is designed for a veterinary diet. The goal of this food is to assist with gastrointestinal health and to improve digestion. Most of the ingredients used in this product are entirely natural and the dry food is enhanced with mineral supplements to maximize your dog’s health.

Features:

  • Designed for optimal nutrition
  • Chicken is one of the top ingredients
  • Designed with natural ingredients to promote gastrointestinal health

Pros

Cons

  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Produced with natural ingredients
  • Includes many vitamin supplements
  • Can use lower quality meat

Back to the chart

Our Favorite Raw Food

10. Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets

steves real food freeze-dried raw nuggets

If you have a extremely sensitive dog to grains, choosing a heavy protein diet in the form of raw food can give you access to the best option to keep your pet healthy. These Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets can be easy to rehydrate and offer as a topper for dry food or as a main dish. They are produced using hormone free and antibiotic free meat source and they are designed for easy meals for pet owners that want to feed using raw ingredients.

Features:

  • A freeze dried Turkey meal
  • Available in 6 flavors
  • Fortified with goats milk
  • Easy to rehydrate
  • Free range and vegetarian fed meats that are hormone and antibiotic free

Pros

Cons

  • Only high quality meats served in the nuggets
  • Perfect for pets with grain sensitivity
  • Antibiotic and hormone free
  • Can get quite expensive as a pure protein diet can be less filling for pets.
  • Requires more effort at meal time

Back to the chart

What is the Best food for Dogs with Allergies?

We would highly recommend using the Canidae Pure Real Salmon Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food if your pet is experiencing trouble with allergies. This is a food that comes extremely highly rated and with hypoallergenic ingredients. As a dry dog food with 10 key ingredients or less, these are simple pet foods that are produced in the USA with quality ingredients. Making the switch to this high-quality food can often lead to massive improvements with allergies in your pets. 

symptoms of food allergies in dogsPhoto by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Buyer’s Guide on Dog Food for Allergies 

Does your dog have allergies? There are multiple reasons that your dog may have these signs. Food allergies are a very common thing that is seen in dogs. If you think that your dog’s food is causing these allergies, it would be best to see your vet. They can examine your dog and let you know if the signs that you are seeing are because of food allergies or something else. 

Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs

Most of the signs of food allergies in dogs are seen as an allergic reaction to your dog’s skin. You may also notice GI signs such as diarrhea and gas. With a dog who is allergic to their food, there are many different signs that you may see. These are some common symptoms of a dog who has a food allergy.  

Skin Rashes

The most typical physical sign that you will see if your dog has a food allergy is a rash on their skin. A skin reaction is when it becomes red and irritated and sometimes form a mild rash. If your dog has a skin rash, this does not mean that they, for sure, have food allergies. This could also mean it was something they touched or even inhaled that is causing this reaction. In food allergy dogs, the most commonplace to see a skin rash is around the rectum. 

Hair loss

A more severe skin reaction will cause hair loss. Often hair loss can be associated with low-quality food, but it can be a sign of much more severe disease as well. Any time hair loss is observed, it is recommended to have your pet examined by a veterinarian, as some diseases can become life-threatening. 

Ear Infection

Many food allergies cause your dog ears to become inflamed and itch. When your dog itches their ears, they are damaging the surface of the skin. This sets up the perfect place for your dog to develop an ear infection. 

Many times, these ear infections can be very painful. Even though you may have switched their diet to a diet for food allergies, you may still need to see your vet to get medication to treat the ear infection. 

Diarrhea

If your dog has a food allergy, they may also have diarrhea. 

The lining of their intestines becomes inflamed due to the allergen. This will cause the GI tract to move more, leading to diarrhea. Many times, this can easily be correct with a diet change and probiotics. Most dogs with diarrhea due to food allergies will still be a very happy dog but will have a little abdominal discomfort.  

Gas

Dog foods can cause a dog with a food allergy to have gas. This is due to the extra bacteria that form in the GI system with the intestines become inflamed. These dogs will have gas all the time and can even cause a whole room to stink so much that you have to leave. 

Other Causes of Food Allergies

Just like with humans, your pet may develop a runny nose and sneeze frequently. Watery eyes and sometimes itchy or infected ears may occur.

Dog Breed Most Prone to Food Allergies

While almost any dog can have food allergies, there are some breeds that seem to be more prone to food allergies.  

These breeds are:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Dachshunds
  • German Shepherds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Bulldogs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Pugs
  • Pit Bulls
  • Westies
  • Yorkies

READ MORE: Best dog DNA tests

dog dreed most prone to food allergies

11 Common Dietary Allergens Seen in Dogs

There are many things that are commonly found in your dog’s food that they could be allergic to. These are some of the most common things that are seen causing food allergies. 

Artificial Ingredients

This includes any flavoring, chemical preservatives, or colorings. These often cause many allergy-related problems. Eating these can cause:

  • Skin problems like dry, itchy and irritated skin, 
  • Poor hair coat like brittle, dry or poor textured coat and hair growth issues, 
  • Discolored nose, 
  • Digestion problems such as an upset stomach which will lead to decreased appetite, vomiting, nausea, or abnormal-looking stools 

There are even other links between preservatives and dyes and some major health problems, such as neurological issues, organ damage, and cancer. 

Food Dyes

Some dog foods are packed with food dyes. These dyes are often put into your pet’s food to make the food look more attractive. Food dyes do not have any real nutritional value. They will even on occasion end up making your dog have an allergic reaction. Dyes are not a natural substance, and often our pets can have a reaction to it. The most common things seen with food dyes is a rash with hives and even hair loss. By correctly transitioning your pet to dog food that does not contain any dyes, you may correct the food allergy problem.

Fillers

Some dog food brands have fillers in their food. Fillers are a cheap ingredient that is used to bulk up the food. They contain very little to no nutrients. When your pet eats these ingredients, they will feel full, but this will only last for a short period of time. Some of the top fillers seen in dog foods are corn, hulls, husks, seeds, and pulp. These are some of the common things that dogs are allergic to. 

Meat by-products

Meat By-product refers to the part of the animal that is deemed unfit for people to eat. This includes all these parts of the animal – beaks, brains, lungs, spleens, claws, toes, intestines, and undeveloped eggs. This can be almost anything that is not used for human food. These parts are then ground up and put into your dog’s food and called by-products.

Beef

Beef is a very common cause of food allergies. If you are feeding your dog the same food for years, they can develop an intolerance or allergy to something that is in that food. Beef is one of the most common ingredients found in a lot of pet foods. This is the reason it is the most common food allergen seen in a dog. 

Rotating the diets that you feed your dog will help them from developing an intolerance to an ingredient found in that food. 

Dairy

Most dogs have problems digesting lactose. This is actually an intolerance and not an actual food allergy. Lactose intolerance just like in people with cause gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. What is tricky is that a true dairy allergy can also cause these symptoms. It is very hard to know if your dog is suffering from an actual food allergy or an intolerance. One of the best ways to tell the difference is a dairy allergy will be seen as skin itchiness, where lactose intolerance is always digestion related.

Wheat

There are many different views regarding dog foods that have carbohydrates, especially when it comes to grains. It is more common for a dog to have allergies to meat than grains. Some dogs, however, will have an allergic reaction to wheat. 

Eggs

If your dog has an egg allergy, this means that your dog’s system overreacts to the proteins that are in the egg yolk. Eggs are usually very easy to avoid in your dog diet.  

Chicken

This is one of the most common proteins that dogs are allergic too.

Lamb

Most commercial dog foods are made with chicken or beef. Lamb is usually considered a great option for dogs that have food allergies when they eat regular dog food. 

Lamb, however, can also be a source of your dog food allergy. If you think that your dog is having a food allergy and is eating lamb, try venison or rabbit.   

Soy

Some studies showed that if your dog eats soy, it can cause many health issues beyond just allergy. It can affect the reproductive and growth problems, thyroid, and liver disease. 

READ MORE: Do neutered dogs live longer?

how choose the food for your dog with the alergiesBy Uwe Junker from Pixabay

How to Choose the Right Food for your Dog

When looking to get the best dog food for your dog, look at the back of the bag. This will list the ingredients. For an adult dog, you would want to look for a food that contains a good source of protein, carb, and fats.  

  • Protein: Proteins are one of the essential ingredients that you need for your dog. A great source of proteins that you could feed your dog is lamb, chicken, fish, beef, or turkey. The muscles of an animal contain the best protein for your dog. It is best to feed your dog an unprocessed protein source. Many of the processing methods can destroy the proteins.
  • Carbohydrates: All dogs need carbohydrates in their diets. These are some of the most important ingredients in your dog’s diet. When it comes to your dog, you must be very careful because there are many different carbohydrates types. Some dog’s stomachs will have a very hard time processing some of the most common carbs, such as soy and corn. These are usually found in many of the cheaper dog foods. When looking for dog food, try to find a food with carbs that are easier to digest, such as brown rice or sweet potato.
  • Fats: Every dog will need to eat some good fats. These fats will help your dog have a very nice, shiny, and healthy coat. When looking at dog food, fish oils are one of the best ingredients for a healthy coat. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Dog seasonal allergies

Final Thoughts

If your dog is reacting to the food, it is eating, and it is best to switch diets to something that their body can tolerate. There are many great choices of dog foods that you can pick from that will help 

FAQ

🐶 How is Dog food for allergies different from regular food?

Dog food designed for food allergies has different protein sources that most dogs are not allergic to. These include fish, venison, rabbit, buffalo, duck, and many others.  

Some dog is highly allergic to almost all dog food, and some dog food companies have developed a limited ingredient diet where their food only contains just a few different ingredients. Also, some companies have developed a hydrolyzed protein diet. 

This is where the proteins have been broken down, making it easier for your dog to absorb the nutrients without causing any irritation to their GI system. 

🐕 How to test my Dog for food allergies?

A blood test can be done for food allergies; these are not the most accurate test and can be quite expensive. If you do think that your dog has a food allergy, sometimes totally switching their diet to something different will stop all of their problems. 

These food trial should last for at least six weeks before you decide that the food is good to feed your dog or not. 

🐾 How can I help my Dog with Allergies?

If you think that your dog has a food allergy, the best thing to do is take them to your vet. They can discuss all the different options for your dog and help get them started on the proper treatment.  

You can also start a food trial at home. When at the pet store, look for a specific diet for a dog with food allergies or one that has a different protein source than your dog is currently eating. 

🐶 Can probiotics help my Dog ?

Probiotics are great for dog’s with allergies. These can help rebalance the natural bacteria that live in your dog’s digestive system. A dog with food allergies will often have a disturbance of this bacteria, causing gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and diarrhea.

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

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