Hypoallergenic Dog Foods


Hypoallergenic dog foods typically share one of three basic dietary designs:
Dog with Allergies and Scratching

  • Limited ingredient diets
  • Novel ingredient diets
  • Prescription or veterinary diets

First, because they contain fewer components, limited ingredient dog foods can make it easier to pin down the specific allergen to which a pet may be allergic.

Next, novel ingredient dog foods contain components the animal might not have been previously exposed to — so, therefore, less less likely to be sensitive to.

These foods contain obscure ingredients — like buffalo, pheasant, kangaroo or millet.

And finally, prescription or veterinary dog foods are diets that have been designed to contain hypoallergenic ingredients.

And as the names suggest, these products are typically prescribed and sold by veterinarians.

Most Common Allergens

Most hypoallergenic dog foods are designed to avoid the use of ingredients most likely to provoke an allergic reaction.

According to online pet food retailer, Drs. Foster and Smith, the most common canine food allergens include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Yeast

Surprisingly, dogs aren’t naturally allergic to many of these items. It’s just that these are the ingredients most commonly used in dog food recipes.

So, they’re simply the ones dogs are most frequently exposed to.

And many times, it’s not even the ingredients that are the problem. Dogs can also be allergic to what’s in the ingredients, too.

Why Food May Not Be the Cause
of Your Dog’s Allergies

Contrary to popular belief, food isn’t the primary cause of a canine allergies.

According to Drs. Foster and Smith, food allergies account for just 10% of all canine allergies. They’re only the third most common cause — ranked well behind fleas and atopic (non-contact) allergies.

Yet food is the first to be blamed whenever a dog shows any sign of an allergic reaction — like itchy skin.

And that begs the question: Is it really an allergy in the first place?

Food Allergy
or Food Intolerance?

Food allergies and food intolerances are considered two different issues.

A food allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food ingredient as harmful. And then creates defensive antibodies to fight the invading enemy (the food).

A food intolerance is a digestive problem rather than an immune response. An intolerance occurs when a dog’s digestive system is unable to digest a specific ingredient.

For example, lactose intolerance is a common condition in which a dog is unable to break down lactose (a sugar found in milk).

Different Conditions
with Different Symptoms

The symptoms of an allergy can include skin rash, hives, itching, paw biting, obsessive licking and sometimes nausea or vomiting.

The signs of food intolerance include (mainly) digestive distress, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Again, let’s use milk as an example…

A milk intolerance would look more like gastric distress. This can include symptoms like gas, bloating or diarrhea.

However, a true milk allergy would produce an immune reaction (for example, itching or a rash).

The Bottom Line

If you believe your pet is suffering from a food intolerance or a food allergy, you may wish to consider feeding a commercial dog food that’s been specifically designed to help manage these issues.

At the end of this article, you’ll find two lists — one includes a group of hypoallergenic dog foods prescribed by veterinarians and another using limited ingredient recipes.

These lists should not be considered a complete catalog of all hypoallergenic foods available.

In fact, if you know of a specific dog food you believe we should have included on these lists, please feel free to share your suggestions in the Comments section below.

Or if you’re looking for some suggestions yourself, be sure to look through our readers’ comments below to find some good ideas.

Veterinary Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

The following veterinary dog foods are marketed as hypoallergenic. However, readers are encouraged to consult a veterinarian before feeding these products.

Suggested Limited
Ingredient Dog Foods

The following limited ingredient dog foods may be helpful in tracking down specific allergens. However, these products are listed here only because of claims made by each manufacturer.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Please consult a veterinary dermatologist for the best results. I hope you know not to give any supplements, over the counter medications, or apply anything topically to the dog’s skin unless advised to do so by a veterinarian that has examined the dog and knows his history. There is a lot of incorrect information on the internet……..

  • Heather

    Thank you for all the information. I will try all of it and see what works.

  • Susan

    Hi Heather, yes your vet is right your dogs immune system isn’t strong, 70% of our immune system is in our stomach/bowel, so start adding fresh whole foods to your dog kibble, they did a study & just adding 2 tablespoons of fresh veggies & some fresh meat reduces the chances of your dog getting cancer…..
    Do you have” Yakult” in the dairy section at supermarket ? they are a human pink probiotic drink, you get 5 small Yakults that you drink 1 daily, I give my boy 1/2 of my Yakult every morning the first week slowly introduce & give in between meals as treat, best to take probiotics on an empty stomach when the stomach acids are low so in
    between meals is good or first thing in the morning or at bed time, I take around 11am.
    I started giving Patch about 1/4 of the Yakult, then after 7 days I increase to 1/2 a Yakult every day
    …or buy the Purina Forti-Flora a dog probiotic, they tested 10 dog probiotics & out of the 10 dog probiotics only 3 came back with live cultures, Purina Fort-flora was 1 of the good dog probiotics…
    With kibble try & feed a 4-5 star kibble,
    “Canidae” Pure Sea is good for dogs with skin problems, kibbles that have salmon sardines are good for the skin cause they are higher in omega 3 what is needed for the skin & coat….
    Always rotate your kibbles, a different brand & a different protein, this way your strengthen your dogs stomach to eat all types of foods…..When I first rescued my boy he was doing sloppy jelly poos
    always eating grass, gas, bad itchy yeasty skin etc
    he has food sensitivities & skin allergies, now I’ve worked out what foods he can eat, I feed a cooked meal for breakfast & kibble for lunch & dinner, also omega 3 supplement is excellent for the skin or tin sardines in spring water add about 2-3 small sardines to 1 of his meal a day, Sardines have vitamin, A, C, D, B-12, B-6, Calcium, Iron & Magnesium, Aldis have tin sardines in spring water for 59c a tin…..Here’s Canidaes site they have just brought out small breed formulas, have a look at the New Petite Salmon formula & the Pure Sea formula… slowly introduce & only start 1 new thing at a time cause if your dog gets diarrhea you’ll know what is causing it..

  • InkedMarie

    You bred a dog with food allergies?
    Ask your mentor for advice.

  • Jane Mattingley

    Hi I have a french bulldog with food allergies. She is now pregnant after having Artificial Insemination and we need to switch her to a novel protein diet puppy food for enough nutrition for mother and pups. Does anyone have any advice for this please?

  • Sallee Misnik

    Apoquel is actually safe to use for long term. They have had no major side effects with it. My dog is on it through the spring to fall months to control his itching

  • Pitlove

    Hi Heather-

    Demodex is caused by a mite that naturally lives on the dogs skin. Usually these mites are not harmful to our pets, but since yours has a weakened immune system, it’s likely that is why he continues to get flares up.

    Food can not really help control demodex unless his immune system is weak because of food allergies which are rare in dogs.

    You should however talk to your vet about adding a probiotic to his diet to possibly strengthen his gut which in turn will boost the immune system.

  • Heather

    I have a boston terrier that had Demadex mange when I got him. The vet says that he probably has a weak immune system. He continues to get the Demadex and I was wondering if there was a good dog food, that is affordable, that I could give him to boost his immune system.

  • Amateria

    Very late reply I forgot to write back…
    Thanks for the history I hadn’t realised it was so dire, I also wasn’t mean in my comment but I later realised that it sounded a bit mean and that’s on me, I continue to learn to write better and sometimes what sounds ok to you might not be for others.

    You could be laughing your head off and than someone comes along and insults you because no one can see you after all.

  • Mloving

    We have gone through some pretty strict food allergy test and this was the first chicken free, chicken bi-product free (no chicken meal or chicken fat) that we were able to introduce that didn’t cause allergies. Our one also seems to have a sensitive stomach so the grain free takes care of this too. We tend to find chicken fat or chicken something in the salmon blends. We have tried a few other brands which caused licking but not so much of the red stomach so we stuck to what we know works. I may try the TOTW when I get a minute to review the nutritional guide…ingredients look positive.

  • Susan

    Hi, I have a sick dog with IBD, food sensitivities & skin allergies & when you find a kibble & know it has really helped & works for your dog, especially after tying nilly every single kibble in Australia over 3 yr period & I nilly put Patch to sleep, I couldn’t keep watching him suffer & cry after eating foods, even cooked foods caused him pain, I even tried raw diet thru Naturopath Jacqueline Rudan who makes “Natural Animal Solutions” products, then a lady msg me on Face book from one of the groups I’m in & said please give TOTW Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon a try, it’s Grain Free & high in omega 3 fatty acids, what’s needed for his skin & bowel & for the first time in 3 years Patch did a firm poo, I could pick it up & throw it & when it landed it would still be a firm poo, he didn’t whinge or cry & want me to rub his stomach area after eating, he stopped eating grass every single day, then for the first time since I’ve owned him Patch started pooing on grass like all the other dogs in the dog park & not running off & hiding his poos in the bushes….It was like winning the lottery for me, him & his vet, his vet had to ring me cause she hadn’t seen Patch & me in a while, she thought I had put him to sleep & I said no he’s doing really well & he’s being naughty, that’s a good thing when he’s a monster its means he feels good, when he’s sick, he just cries, sleep & follows me around all day, his vet wanted to know what was this miracle food I was feeding him, so I got her some samples for her IBD dog she has..There’s other ladies the same as me from the EPI group love TOTW.. We had to contact TOTW when the Pacific Stream formula had been changed last October 2015 in America & the UK, TOTW had added Garbanzo Beans to their Pacific Stream & so many dogs were having diarrhea & sloppys poos, probably cause the owners never slowly introduced the new formula, so we contacted TOTW & told them we are from Australia with IBD IBS & EPI dogs & they are doing really well on the TOTW Pacific Stream old formula please can it stay the same as we have tried nilly every single kibble in Australia & nothing helps our dogs like TOTW Pacific Stream, back then Patch had just starred eating the Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon formula, then after 1 week I received an email from some manager from TOTW & he wrote they’re leaving the Pacific Stream formula the same & not adding any Garbanzo beans to the Australian & the Europeon countries they sell too… at the moment he’s eating Canidae Life Stages but in 1 month he will get his Pancreas & stomach pain caused by his IBD & he’ll be put back on his TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb again, then I’ll rotate & start him on something new or go back to the Canidae, I love how small the Canidae kibbles are, so if he doesn’t chew all of his kibbles the in chewed kibble will digest real easy cause they’re so small…

  • Amateria

    It’s not like it’s the only chicken free one, I mean there’s what 4000 recipes of dog food now? there’s clearly going to be a lot of chicken free ones, but I guess the biggest problem with a lot of people is the price.

  • Amateria

    You really love Totw don’t you? Haha
    You mention it in every post you make and that’s fine just having a laugh about it is all 😀
    I guess for me it would be Ivory Coat I don’t know why whenever I think dog food I think of that company every time.

  • Susan

    Hi if ever you get stuck & can’t get their kibble look at “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, sold Chewy 30lb bag $44.89, 100% chicken free, also the TOTW Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon is 100% chicken free & $43.99…I rotate between different proteins so he’s not eating the same protein 24/7

  • InkedMarie

    Why do you *have* to feed that food?

  • Mloving

    We have to feed our Pits Blue Buffalo Basic Lamb and potato. If you look at your ingredients most others claim to be chicken free /poultry free but still have Chicken Fat or Chicken Meal. the lamb and potato from Blue Buffalo basic it the one that has worked best for us. Also based on overall nutrition this has been best. $55-$60 for 22lb bag though.

    You will also want to watch the dog treats as a lot of them have chicken in them as well. Our one dog not only starts licking, rash on the stomach, he also gets ear infections from his chicken allergy.

  • Mloving

    We have to feed our Pits Blue Buffalo Basic Lamb and potato. If you look at your ingredients most others claim to be chicken free /poultry free but still have Chicken Fat or Chicken Meal. the lamb and potato from Blue Buffalo basic it the one that has worked best for us. Also based on overall nutrition this has been best. $55-$60 for 22lb bag though

  • jody buttigieg

    Hi I have a 4 yes old Yorkshire terrier and lately I have noticed that he gets a rash along his back pretty much across his spine with big spots . Took him to different vets and one said it’s down to food allergies. I have tried to trial it out to see and I narrowed it down to chicken as it flares when he has it. I currently give him eukanuba but would love to change his food to a fish based kibble rather than chicken. Any reccomandation? Thanks

  • Amateria

    Based off of amazon which sometimes doesn’t have the best prices it’s $60 for 26 pounds, dog chow was like $26 on chewy for its maximum bag it’s currently on special though.

    The price is usually $50 for 42 lb.
    Natural is like $30 for 32 lb.

  • Amateria

    Well I don’t really know much about anything besides food, because that’s all I really researched for 5 years that part is everyone else’s job, I just want to make it clear that everything that’s been mentioned is the same product with a different name at the end of the day.

  • Susan

    Hi when she eats the Aplo does she itch & scratch or have red around her mouth?? look at the ingredients that are in the Aplo & look at he ingredients to the Dog Chow there has to be a better quality kibble then the Aplo & dog chow that is a good price & has better ingredients, look for kibbles with Lamb Meal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, Pit Bulls/Staffys are prone to skin & stomach problems also it can be environment allergies aswell causing the skin problems, make sure you bath weekly to wash off any allergens & pollens on her skin & coat…go & have a look at the 3 star kibbles section & look for a limited ingredient kibble & another kibble for your other dogs then start rotating between the kibbles, it’s not good to just feed 1 brand of low quality kibble, but first find your girl a kibble she can eat & does well on, winter is coming in America the best time to start looking for a kibble environment allergies are worse thru the spring & summer months & when trying new kibbles it can be very confusing cause you think the food is making them itch & scratch & its not, I don’t know if “California Natural” is expensive but California Natural has their Lamb meal & brown rice it has just 3 ingredients, its very good to start with then when she is doing well start introducing foods or another kibble with a different protein & a few different ingredients & see how she does, it will sort of give you an idea if she can eat chicken, peas, potato etc I feed “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, my boy has IBD & Skin allergies & does real well on TOTW Roasted Lamb & its also a good price. Post a post in the Forum section asking for good quality kibbles that have good quality ingredient that are not expensive & have limited ingredients not tooo many ingredients. Milk bones are very high in fat maybe look for a better quality treat I give peeled & no seed apple pieces, foods I eat left overs I give as a treat..or raw meaty bones from a butcher some butchers
    will give off cuts of meaty bones for free if you
    ask & say you rescue dogs you’ll take anything eatable for a dog then freeze…read the ingredients in the kibbles if you cant understand the ingredient then its a crappy ingredient that’s no good..

  • InkedMarie

    You used a newspaper on a dog new to your household who is pregnant (we would not know this information if you did not share it) and you think MY response is ignorant? LOL sure.

    Maybe you need to learn how to train dogs; using newspapers isn’t a positive method. Add the fact she’s new and pregnant…you’re not doing much to help her.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    The quality of the dog food may not be the first priority to consider right now.
    Just saying…
    For example: aggression, other pets in the household, pregnancy, ? of allergies, unknown history.

  • Amateria

    But Alpo and dog chow are like in the same family, the ingredients looks virtually the same to me, even if some names are different.

    I’ve been saving what people have said here so I can use it in the future if need be, however I never saved the foods list that many people have provided and that was a dumb move, I only remember pure balance and 4health yay me…

    Next time I’ll save it so you can check the foods out and see if their within your price range, maybe someone will even do that for me as its 2:40 am and I need to go to sleep.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I agree, there is a difference. I have tried to help/take in a stray here and there, with the best of intentions. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
    There are good rescue organizations out there, it was just offered as an option, imo.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    “I’m looking for FOOD & ALLERGY resolutions, that are affordable”

    Here is the problem, allergies can be serious and effective treatment can be expensive and lifelong. It is what it is.

    My allergy dog does well on a limited ingredient, grain free fish based kibble (in conjunction with treatment from a dermatologist)

    I would proceed with caution, sometimes we take on more than we can handle, that’s how I interpreted IM’s comment.
    Best of luck

  • 5setsofpaws1heart

    Listen I’m here to get insight on food and allergies. And what can be done thats affordable because I do not like giving her Alpo. I’m not mistreating the dog, in anyway. Nor do I deserve to have bitten as ignorant of a response InkedMarie gave. The training has nothing to do with her eating and allergies, she’s treated well and learning, sadly she is still young and not worked with, and mistreated; as I came to find out in the incident I was bitten. I didn’t know, and I told my bf not to make the same mistake I did and to be very considering of her.

    I’m not going to respond anymore if I have to deal with childish replies like, “You deserve to be bitten.” Noone deserves to be bitten, unless you are downright abusing the poor dog. Our dogs are rescued dogs that have been abused. (even broken leg by a drunk man who owned him before us) we don’t abuse our dogs and we don’t strictly use newspapers.

    I’m looking for FOOD & ALLERGY resolutions, that are affordable. That’s it. I’m honestly regretting getting on here to even ask for opinions or help with –food and allergies.

  • 5setsofpaws1heart

    I said in the very first post that they also get expensive and very good canned wet food from the vet’s office, she hasnt eent to the vet but will be soon.As I said we just got this dog (last friday) from an abusive household. We didn’t know the owners were abusive. The newspaper incident is how we found out. And she had every reason to be scolded because her behavior wasnot tolerable. She hasn’t done the same mistake since. AND I specifically told my boyfriend not to scold her for showing her teeth and snarling, but makeup and comfort her quickly. I’m very very knowledgeable in dog behavior. My two dogs out of the 4 we had before this pit, one was adopted from the shelter and it took him forever to learn right from wrong but he’s well behaved now, and my lab is almost a service dog at this point with her training. We all have different ways of training dogs, each dog is receptive in each way, and to each their own. InkedMarie can **** ** *** in the sense of I, noone, deserves to be bitten unless you’re downright abusing the dog. Which I wasnt. Ever Since we’ve gotten her I’ve done nothing but spoil her and make sure she’s welcomed into our family and in good health.

    Which leads me to this.
    ********I’m not here to talk about training. I’m simply wanting ALLERGY and FOOD help. At this point I’m going to stop responding as well.

  • Amateria

    I hope you realise that the natural dog chow is simply free from dyes and digest it seems and some ingredients were moved around, aside from that the ingredients list is literally the same.

    Don’t you have like 4health or pure balance or something over there? Everyone always mentions them as their price is similar or the same as dog chow.

  • InkedMarie

    You’re scolding a pregnant dog, with a newspaper, that you’ve had a week? Lovely. You deserve to get bitten.

  • InkedMarie

    Learn to read. Did I say “dump her at a shelter”? No, I said “find a reputable rescue”.

  • Pitlove

    She is a lucky girl to have ended up with y’all! Pits are simply the best dogs around 🙂

  • 5setsofpaws1heart

    Im not going to listen to the advice of getting rid of her. Infact–We actually just rescued her from an abusive household found that out the hard way and I actually have gotten bitten by her when scolding her. She wouldn’t pass the adoption test, plus she’s full American Pitbull, i know the risks of her going to the shelter. She’s still an amazing and sweet dog and I will for sure give her wet food very soon to help give her nutrients since she’s also been thin. I’ll buy that natural dog chow too! We’ve had her for not even a week and her behavior has gotten better. I’m not one to give up on a dog! She gets along with all 4 of our other dogs as well. She just bites and bares teeth out of fear when confronted with a newspaper and scolded. The pups have a rehoming fee which will be used to spay her! (all our there are fixed as well) we are very responsible and caring for our animals.

  • Pitlove

    Hi 5setsofpaws1heart-

    Thank you for rescueing a pregnant dog. That is a wonderful thing. For the time being until she whelps the pups she can remain on an adult maintenance formula. However once she has the pups she will need to go on a puppy formula. It is important not to put her on a puppy formula until she has whelpped the pups because it can actually create a hormone imbalance which can cause problems.

    Would it be possible to at least move her to Dog Chow Naturals while she is pregnant since it doesn’t have artificial colors? Still something you can find at Walmart and cheap since your feeding so many mouths, but has no artificial stuff, so better for mom.

    It doesn’t sound like you are going to, but please DO NOT take the advice and dump her at a shelter. A shelter is NO place for a pregnant dog let alone pitbull which will probably end up on the short list for euthanasia. Once again thank you so much for rescueing a pitbull, let alone a pregnant one. Don’t forget to spay her when you’re able to! Best of luck!

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t usually do this but I’m going to suggest you find a reputable rescue to take in this dog. A pregnant dog and affordable don’t go together.

    Alpo and Dog Chow are among the worst dog food out there. Anything would be better for the dogs you had but do a very slow transition & prepare for digestive issues which is common for low quality foods. The pregnant dog, if you really have to keep her, needs special dietary needs and I have no idea about that.

  • Nicholas Degen

    I’ve been dealing with this for years now and I agree with you 100%. I have 3 dogs (none related, all rescues) who developed similar skin and allergy issues at the same time and found sugar and carbohydrates to trigger the allergic reactions in all 3. I switched to raw duck, probiotics, raw apple Cider vinegar and garlic – 1 week on, one week off, in Sept 2015 and slowly added the above ingredients while keeping a medium sized notebook recording daily food, treats, exercise and any changes to the food and allergies so I figured out what works and what doesn’t. If they start to itch and scratch we go back to just the raw duck with what works. I had horrible results with Temaril-P which caused 2 of my dogs to loose their coats and the veterinarian couldn’t figure out what was going on. All 3 dogs had staph infections, I did allergy testing and they had similar results as others on here with allergies to trees, grass, pollen and dust mites but I don’t see any difference between the seasons so I don’t believe that’s a part of the problem because my 3 are inside dogs. Dust does seem to cause them to itch more but I would strongly recommend that everyone keep making changes to food and treats to minimize the allergic reactions and hopefully get the dogs off the drugs as soon as you can. We do use Apoquel but we don’t load and I reduce the dosage as much as possible. I currently have one dog on it now at a half a pill a day. Build up the dogs immune system, and pay attention to the ingredients in the food – it’s not always protien that’s the cause. My dogs will destroy their paws and scratch like crazy shortly after eating any carbohydrate or sugars including certain fruits and vegetables.

  • 5setsofpaws1heart

    Hello! We recently adopted a pregnant pitbull, that we were told is allergic to foods and can only eat Alpo. (Which I’ve never had a dog eat that before.) The pit supposedly gets blisters on her chin, like a rash, we havent given her the risk or chance to eat other foods. We have our 4 other dogs on Purina Dog chow (mainly have used that for all my dogs) and they have no issues, we occasionally even buy high-grade wet food from the veterinarian and give it to them as well. (Not this new pregnant pit though)
    Is there any other foods we could give her, relatively affordable? We like buying the 50ib Dog chow because it’s affordable between having 5 inside dogs (2 pits, 1 labrador, two Shiba mixes) and them being fed everyday. 15 pounds of Alpo is nearly as expensive as the 50ib bag. x_x”
    None, including the pregnant pitbull with the allergies are effected by the milkbone treats either. Would love to hear some input.

  • Susan

    Hi Tara yes I wouldn’t give any drug long term, I know a few people have had their dogs on the Apoquel for 2-3 yrs & have blood test every 6months to see that the Apoquel is causing any health problems, their dogs are doing real well, some people believe in quality of life is their priority & say their dogs have been the most comfortable & itch free since being put on Apoquel.. I don’t like giving my boy drugs. his vet wanted me to try Apoquel but I prefer to give weekly baths & use creams..

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    If the environmental allergies or whatever skin condition has been going on for 1 year/4 seasons without any significant response to treatment by the regular veterinarian consider seeing a veterinary dermatologist.
    There are more natural treatments, such as allergen specific immunotherapy. The other medications such as steroids and such are often necessary for brief periods to relieve suffering and prevent infection.
    To diagnose environmental allergies intra-dermal skin testing done by a specialist is the best.
    Go to forums and search “allergies” for more information on the subject.
    PS: Mail-in saliva and hair tests do not count as diagnostic tools.
    If your dog has a serious condition, go to the best and hope for the best.

  • Tara King

    My dog just finished a prescription of Apoquel. It worked great and relieved her itching (which is back now), however I did some reading on it and it’s not something I’d want my dog on for any amount of time.

  • Susan Miltner

    Our Mini Aussie has had allergies ever since we got her 2 years ago. Our Vet thought it was grass allergies so he put her on Apoquel 5.4 mg with little success. This morning I made hamburger cooked in water with some rice added and fed that to her. No itching, body rubbing as of yet, which is usually immediate. Not sure if this is a solution but will monitor her and this maybe our solution, am hopeful!!

  • Amateria

    Funny thing about addiction I was going to write that on pet food reviews, like why we can’t have the NZ version of the food, but in the end I didn’t do it.

  • Susan

    Hi Frank, it could be Apoquel or Atopica.. Apoquel blocks pruritis (itch) but can not resolve inflammation & does not treat yeasty skin secondary Malassezia Dermatitis (Yeast)… Atopica can take a few weeks to start working people say they have better results with Apoquel..

  • Susan

    Hi Kawaii, sounds like your dog has Environment Allergies have you seen a Dermatologist & had her tested for mites & done the Intradermal Skin Test to find out what in the environment she is allergic too? then they slowly inject what allergen she is allergic too under her skin… I don’t think changing from cooked meals to raw meals will help, you can try but she would of improved as soon as you did a cooked elimination diet & work out what foods she was sensitive too & the red paws, itchy ears & skin all go away when the foods they’re sensitive too are removed, are you adding Omega 3 supplement to her diet? Tin sardines in spring water or olive oil are excellent, you add about 3 sardines to 1 of her meals or give 3 sardines as a treat….My boy has Seasonal Environment Allergies & Food Sensitivities…..He vomits, has sloppy poos, itchy skin, red paws, red around his mouth, dragging bum along the carpet & itchy ears from food sensitivities, my vet said with food sensitivities they have reactions above their shoulders & stomach/bowel problems, then thru Winter months Patch has no hive like lumps, no rolling & rubbing his body on my rug, no itchy ears he only becomes itchy & gets red paws, sloppy poos, nausea if I feed him a kibble with ingredients he’s sensitive too, then when Spring comes he gets the hive like lumps, itchy skin, face & body.. Baths are the best thing you can do also I’ve noticed when I walk towards the beach up a certain street he comes home real itchy & has his hives so we must pass & he sniffs a plant he’s allergic too but when I walk towards the park he doesn’t get his hives & itch like a mad man.. each year I work something new out, he’s turning 8yrs old in November …..
    Book & see a Dermatologist & ask about Apoquel it’s a immune suppressant acts within a couple of days Apoquel blocks pruritus (itch) but can not resolve inflammation, Apoquel does not treat yeast secondary Malassezia dermatitis. There’s also Atopica but Atopica can take weeks to work… Have you tried antihistamines?

  • Susan

    Hi Jerina there’s also Australian foods that aren’t added to the list… I think cause it’s an American site then the American foods are listed…. I wish we’d get the NZ Addiction Pet Food, we get the NZ Ziwi Peak, Sunday Pets, K-9 Natural, Black Hawk & there’s a few other NZ made foods that are really good quality foods…

  • Babslynne

    Frank • 25 minutes ago
    Jessica – Our Boston has similar skin issues with chronic licking and itching. Could you share the name of the medication you are using to block the itching sensation. Thank you.

  • Frank

    Jessica – Our Boston has similar skin issues with chronic licking and itching. Could you share the name of the medication you are using to block the itching sensation. Thank you.

  • Courtre

    You need to go to a dermatologist, do a scratch test, and start allergy shots. Sounds like seasonal allergies. My dog was allergic to every grass there is, except for 2 that cannot be grown in my part of the country. We killed the grass, and planted clover. It helped, but we were on allergy shots for 1.5 years. She still licks and bites, but she’s rarely bloody anymore.

  • Paloma Leon


  • Paloma Leon

    Hi jesica!

    I read ur comment and sounds exactly to what we going through with our Jack Russell. Where are u located!? Would love to visit ur new vet.

    Thank u!

  • Surisun

    Kefir cool I will look into it. Thanks!

  • Susan

    Hi Jessica your better of seeing a Dermatologist instead of a vet when you have a dog with skin problems…. Baths are the best thing you can do for an itchy dog that has environment allergies, I bath Patch weekly sometimes twice a week in Malaseb medicated shampoo, Malaseb leaves his skin & coat feeling so soft & silky & Malaseb
    shampoo can be used daily also kills any bacteria on their skin..Bathing washes off any allergens & pollens on their skin & paws relieving them from having itchy dry skin if your using the right
    shampoo..If a dogs skin/coat is dry they are lacking omega 3 fatty acids in their diet, Sardines are excellent source of omega fatty acids vitamins & minerals you buy the tin sardines in spring water or olive oil & give about 3 small sardines a day as treat or with their kibble also raw almonds I give Patch 3 raw almonds a day… Raw almonds are very high in vitamin E, Biotin & monounsaturated fats. will help with his dry flaky skin..
    Best food (Kibbles) with fish as the protein are the best to feed for dogs with skin problems, have a look at “Canidae” you have Canidae in the UK look at their Pure Formulas Pure Sea is excellent for skin problems & very high in omega fatty acids for their skin.. here’s the Canidae site also their kibbles are guaranteed money back..
    the only true way you will know what foods your dog is sensitive too is to do an elimination diet, you feed 1 novel protein a protein he has never eaten
    before & 1 carb like sweet potatoes. You feed this for 6 weeks then if dog is doing well then introduce another food/veggie but I’d say your dog has environment allergies as well as food sensitivities its very hard cause the dog may be having a reaction to a plant, tree, dust mites etc from the environment, normally with food sensitivities the dog or cat will have Intestinal problems, vomiting, sloppy poos, dragging bum on carpet, etc
    my boy has IBD he does really well on “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb kibble its just Lamb no other proteins & sweet potatoes, egg peas & potato in the kibble…. try & rotate & feed different foods & kibbles, build up his immune system give a dog probiotic & feed healthy foods,
    its best to introduce new foods thru winter months when environment allergies aren’t as bad…Keep a diary & over the years you will see a pattern like my boy good thru winter then bad thru spring & summer months..

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    The skin testing (Intra Dermal Testing) is the most important part. My dog receives Allergen Specific Immunotherapy with positive results.

    The steroids and other medications may be necessary for short periods of time to stop the suffering and prevent the constant intense pruritus (itching) that can lead to staph infections and open bloody scabs.

    Once the dog’s condition is under control she will need these meds less and less and hopefully not at all.
    See my posts over here http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/search/allergies/ anon101

  • Susan

    Hi Kellie what does she eat?? sounds like her diet is lacking in omega 3 fatty acids, she needs foods to help stop her skin becoming dry, tin sardines in spring water or olive oil are excellent for their skin & coat, heart, joints, brain ..gave a couple small sardines per day with food or as a treat..

  • Kellie Childress

    I bathe her at least twice a week. I also rub coconut oil on her. She likes to roll in the grass :/ I try to keep her wiped down. She still has VERY dry flakey skin, even with rx leave in conditioners. I am going to Amazon right now to order that shampoo. Thanks for the tip. I can’t take her being pitiful. She wakes me up in the middle of the night to scratch her. She stands on my chest and bops me in the nose with hers until I wake up. (Mini Schnauzer ) <3

  • Kellie Childress

    I’ve been to a veterinary dermatologist a few times. It was determined that she is allergic to fleas. She has not had the skin test for other allergies (that’s next.) Her outbreaks wax and wane but never completely go away. Her skin stays flakey. My vet is new and wants to give her steroids. I’m not comfortable with that.
    What did you end up doing for your dog? If you don’t mind me asking.

  • Pitlove

    Hi, yes I agree. Some of their diets are high in fat depending on the dog. My dog and cat did not care for THK, plus I can not justify the price, so we’ve have not used it again. Don’t think I ever would in the future.

  • Morgan Henry

    Your dog sounds like he’s having many of the same issues that mine is having! I look forward to seeing a response here. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Angela Hirt

    We tried HK and my dog had an immediate allergic reaction to it, wheezing, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity….it was horrible, we found out by elimination he is allergic to spinach. Plus the vet said it is very high in fat.

  • Angela Hirt

    Addiction uses Alfalfa and my dog had a reaction to it. 🙁

  • Angela Hirt

    Hi, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on probiotics. My vet told me just to get lifeway kefir, its lactose free, gluten free, no added sugar. My dog weighs 25 lbs. and I give him a teaspoon 3x’s a day. He loves it. I also give him coconut oil.

  • Jessica

    Hi all,
    I am from the UK so I appreciate that not all of the food stuffs mentioned will be available easily over here but I was just looking for some tips on caring for my dog really. We have had a bit of a nightmare with him (Smithy – a New Zealand Huntaway) and food/allergies.
    About two years ago he developed really itchy, red painful looking skin which he wouldn’t stop scratching and biting at. He also gave off a not very pleasant smell (from his skin). We took him to the vet and they said it was an allergy to something. We spent a fortune on blood tests, skin scrapes, steroids, antibiotics etc all to no avail. The steroids would clear him up for the time he was on them, but as soon as he finished the course it would come back. The vet said all the tests were non-conclusive……
    Eventually we changed vets. The new vet took one look at him and said it was a yeast infection. She explained that his body produced way too much yeast and that this was as a result of his food.
    She prescribed a hypoallergenic food and said she believes he is intolerant to wheat and gluten. She also provided tablets which block the signals in the brain so he doesn’t scratch and lick.
    He has only been on this medication and food for about 4 days but already the change in him is huge!! He is much happier and much more relaxed. His skin has lost all the redness and he has stopped scratching and licking it.
    However, his skin is still very flaky and dry. I wonder if it would be appropriate to buy some coconut oil and massage this into his skin before washing off with his shampoo? I am just looking for advice really on getting his coat back to its normal thick shiny state. He is bald in several spots so I am looking for tips on encouraging hair growth etc especially with winter coming! Also, the hair he does have is quite dry and brittle.
    Any advice would be much appreciated!!
    PS – Any tips on treats would be good too…. given that he is on a hypoallergenic diet and has allergies to wheat and gluten what types of treat would be appropriate? Can he still have animal bones?

  • Susan

    Hi Kellie, Baths are the best, I bath weekly or twice a week if Patch has walked past a bush or a plant he’s allergic too then he starts itching real bad, sometimes he gets hive like lumps on all his white sections of fur…. When you bath them you wash off any pollens & allergens that’s on their skin/body also their paws need washing as well. I use Malaseb Medicated Shampoo, it can be used everyday & the Malaseb leaves Patch feeling so soft & kills any bacteria on their skin as well..

  • Christy Hubbard

    Check out bigbearpet.com
    They’ve saved my little ones!

  • Christy Hubbard

    Poor babies! We did a full analysis through Spectrum Labs. After the first run I did an additional test to check a few novel proteins that weren’t included on the initial test. It’s such a frustrating process & my little guy went through a yo yo period for a little while and now he’s finally stabilized (his stool is firm, his hair has grown back and is soft, he still has some itching though but nothing like before). Hang in there! From what I understand it can even be the toys they play with, bedding, cleaning products, etc. The less obvious stuff, for example mine is crazy allergic to flies- he loves to catch them and sometimes eat them!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Allergen specific immunotherapy is the most natural treatment for environmental allergies, no medications involved except for occasional flare-ups. The initial Intradermal skin testing done by a dermatologist is expensive, but if it works, it’s the best. The maintenance isn’t that bad.

  • Kawaii Kitsune

    Thanks you for the comment, but we are really trying to avoid any further use of medications like steroids, atopica and other sorts of medications. The side effects of them worry me greatly and as our girl is much older I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable putting more strain on her liver.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I would suggest having your dog examined and tested by a board certified veterinary dermatologist.
    That was the only thing that helped my dog (stable X several years).
    If your dog has environmental allergies, the food has nothing to do with it. Environmental allergies tend to wax and wane, they don’t go away and often they require lifelong treatment.

  • Kawaii Kitsune

    I’m so glad you’ve found what works for your furry family member! Reading posts like this gives me optimism on our girls problems, but so far we’re still struggling here. The home cooked meals have stopped her chronic ear infections and her itching slowed for the first week but again she’s overly itchy and it’s frustrating. Our last vet did do a few allergy tests on her and I know what some of her triggers are, but the problem was foods she showed no reaction too in the beginning she began having allergies with after a couple of months. We now have a new vet and a nutritionist who have been a huge help even though our problems still aren’t fully fixed.
    It might be a good idea have our new vet run allergy tests.

  • Kawaii Kitsune

    I’m sorry to hear about your girl! I know it’s very hard and frustrating having a dog with allergies. And so far we’ve made progress but the results are so small I’m not sure it should be considered such. Her constant ear infections have ceased but the tremendous itching is still there. The nutritionist says it may take time for the itching to completely stop but I have my doubts.

  • theBCnut

    Both beef and chicken are common allergens, so not good choices for an elimination diet, but it is also possible that there are environmental allergies at play.

  • Dave Potter

    I have tried a strict ground beef for two week w/o noticeable effects. I then tried strict chicken for two weeks with similar results. My dog loved it.

  • Christy Hubbard

    I’ve recently been through something similar and eventually after trying countless foods (raw, kibble, canned, prescription) I finally switched vets. Mine was convinced it wasn’t a food allergy and I wasn’t willing to refill the steroids. My new vet immediately recommended testing and we discovered allergy levels for animal & carbohydrate proteins (beef, poultry, fowl, lamb, peas, potatoes, barley, and many more). Basically he can only have kangaroo or bison for protein. I give him raw bison (from a small distributor) and mix in a blend of fruits/veggies plus a probiotic. It’s only been six weeks and already all skin lesions are gone and his hair is growing back and is soft and shiny (it started feeling brittle and dry- like an over processed blonde). It’s been life changing. I buy all organic fruits and veggies that I know are safe and dehydrate them, then blend them down even further in a blender creating my own custom varieties (mixed berries & kale; apple, sweet potato, & pumpkin to give you an idea) since he’s so darn picky and won’t eat any of the commercial ones that are available.
    I’m not sure how effective the testing is but there is one called Immune IQ (I recently heard about from the local pet food place where I buy raw bison bones) and it’s on Groupon for under $50. Testing at the vet starts around $200-250 and goes up considerably depending on what you test for. It might be a good starting point. My vet was astonished to see my little guys worst allergy is Rabbit, considered a novel protein by some, followed by Venison. Because of our particular combinations of sensitivity there isn’t a commercial option for bison that I’ve found so I do what I described above. After 90 days I will slowly transition him to a kangaroo option which includes treats/bones.
    Good luck.

  • invalidnametwo

    Do you understand the meaning and proper usage of the word: “novel?” Me thinks not.

  • Kathy Stephens

    Excellent GSDsForever. I couldn’t have said it better. I have been through all of this myself and am home cooking one protein and one carb, all pureed for now. The weekly water rinses, vacuuming, washed bedding, all a must. Dermatologist an absolute must to do skin allergy testing. It is imperative that she start getting some lists of known allergies started and skin allergy testing will give her half the picture. The food is really a trial-by-hope solution. And keep a daily journal of stools, skin condition, etc., to be taken to every appointment. I also have a kiddie pool with about 2 inches of water (I dump and change daily) next to my back door for my dog to walk through, then across a towel inside the door, to keep her feet rinsed of some of the outside allergens. Cudos to your answer for this unfortunate situation and possibly help lots of others.

  • Kathy Stephens

    I too have a dog that has food and environmental allergies. We just spent 6 months recovering from a near-fatal inflammation with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) brought on by her intolerance to some foods. We have gone through food trials, prescription diets, limited ingredient diets and all brands of commercial food, all failures. I am now cooking her food and have her safely eating rabbit meat and oatmeal, with natural supplements. I have an “intregrative” veterinarian/holistic nutritionist that has helped me calm everything down with natural food and supplements. We finally learned that my girl has a leaky gut and a problem with synthetic supplements and is the reason why she cannot eat commercial dogfoods. There are just too many ingredients. We still have some minor itching which I believe is the oatmeal. Lectins are inflammatory to dogs with allergies and IBD. Lectins are grains, legumes, dairy, and nightshade vegetable. When my dog develops an allergic skin reaction, I simply back down her food to just cooked rabbit with natural food supplements until the skin clears up. I use raw organic coconut butter on the hives and rashes until they clear. She also must have a clear water rinse bath once a week to keep allergens from building up on her skin. She is allergic to dust mites so vacuuming is in order once or twice a week, plus her bedding is washed once a week. It is work, but she is worth every minute of my time. At 80 lbs, I cook 20 lbs of rabbit each week.

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Receive lifesaving dog food recall alerts anytime there's a recall event in the U.S. or Canada.

You'll also get our best tips and ideas to help you feed your dog better... and safer.

No spam.  Unsubscribe anytime.

You have Successfully Subscribed!