Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

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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.

Recommended
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 almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

  • Jaye001

    Hope everything works out. Many people claim that they see improvements in as little as a week or two. If you don’t see quick results, stick with it for awhile. It may take a month or two. If that does not work out, try the Kangaroo formula. It is a little pricier, but pretty much guaranteed to work. Best of luck. Jaye

  • Harley My Harley

    Thanks Jaye001. I picked up the sweet potato/venison. He really likes it and I’m hoping it will help. I heard that some dogs are allergic to beef so I wanted to stay away from that. Also heard some are allergic to chicken. Sure hope this works and doesn’t take that long but will keep trying. I’ve also used Neosporin to help heal her ears but now am hearing that isn’t good…
    Glad to hear your Schnauzer is doing well. Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it.

  • Jaye001

    Which Natural Balance formula did you try? Sometimes dogs are allergic to the meats, like lamb, Bison, or even fish as my 7 year-old mini Schnauzer was. Also, it can take anywhere from 2 to 3 months after you have tried a formula that really works before the allergens are completely out of the system and you see results. My dog had suffered with itching, excessive licking, ear infections, and chewing her paws until I put her on Natural Balance Potato and Duck. She was on that formula for several years with all symptoms gone. I recently introduced her to Natural Balance Potato and Kangaroo for a change, and that has been working equally as well. Best wishes.

  • Harley My Harley

    We have a 7 year old cockapoo. He was ok until the past few years, started itching, especially his left ear until it starts to bleed, scratching and chewing on his paws. Took him to the vet and was put on prednisone. Cleared it right up. As soon as he was off of it, started right back up. Changed his diet to grain-free and made in the USA but it continues. About a week ago we changed his diet again to Natural Balance Limited Ingredients and will only give him cooked green beans for a treat. Had been giving him beef bones-raw, but cut that out now too. So far, he’s still itching. Have also tried 1/2 of a Claritin tablet and bathe him with Dermallay oatmeal shampoo from the vet but he still has/gets dry patches or bumps. Nothing seems to help…any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  • Chrissy

    I have a 18 month old white boxer who started having the same symptoms a few months ago. He was also given antibiotics and probiotics but the problem returned. The vet put him on the Hill’s D/D suspecting he may not be good with chicken. I gave it to him that night and it was an instant change. Not only did he love it but it was the first night in months we got to sleep through the night without an emergency potty incident. I’m still searching for a non-prescription food that works for him. But for now he’s ok. I also just did the ImmuneIQ test and learned some interesting things.
    Hope you find an answer.

  • Sara

    I’ve always known them to send them out for analysis after an in office check.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Did the vet send them out for a lab analysis or did he check them in the office?

  • Sara

    Yes, thanks. The first two times he saw the vet, I brought in stool samples and they were free from parasites. (It was a concern of mine, too.)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Did a stool sample get sent out to a lab to check for specific parasites? Giardia and Coccidia can be difficult to detect and treat, sometimes requiring several rounds of treatment. Hookworms have a 3 week cycle and must be treated in several rounds as well. I had a foster that was treated for hookworm, but had to be repeated several times. He was fine for several weeks, but as the worms matured, he developed diarrhea. His fecal was clean at the vet’s test, but was found when it was sent to a lab. Parasites might not be the problem, but might be worth checking it out.

    http://frontiervet.com/2012/07/30/coccidia-and-giardia-the-non-worm-parasites/

    http://bakerinstitute.vet.cornell.edu/animalhealth/page.php?id=1097

    Good luck with it!

  • Sara

    I have a 6 year old boxer that started having diarrhea a couple months ago. The vet thought it was a GI bug from scat, but after 2 weeks of antibiotics and 2 weeks of being normal, it returned. Visited vet again and suspected the GI tract was still irritated. Received another antibiotic and some probiotics. 4 weeks later, the cycle repeated. The vet suspects IBS or pancreatitis and switched the diet to Z/D with no treats, etc. I thought it was going well until yesterday when the diarrhea returned again. I’m waiting for the vet to call to find out what to do. :( Any recommendations on food that’s less expensive than Z/D?

  • sevencritters

    I am going to look into this. Thank You!

  • sevencritters

    Hello. My Golden is going through an allergy issue and we are seeing a specialist dermatologist vet. We are taking her off vegetarian food (vet food, Royal Canin) but I see you didn’t mention that, so maybe your lab can’t tolerate meat? Why not give it a try? Good luck. I’m trying pork and potatoe diet. Also you are not giving your lab bones or cookies that she has a problem with? We’ve had to remove all treats (except for the ones we make — oatmeal (cooked) and carrots, mushed, and baked. You can freeze them, too. But other than that, nothing. My dogs LOVED their pork tonight, though. Lol. Good Luck!

  • Deardra Mitchell

    I just did a sensitivity trigger assessment with Glacier Peak Holistics. Saliva and hair samples. Huge help. My dogs protein options are very limited, but now I know what to feed and not to feed. Probiotics and digestive enzymes might be helpful as well.

  • Pitlove

    Just like a human who has an intolerance to dairy or whatever, they do tell you to reintroduce the offending ingredient after a period of time to see if the intolerance is still present. You could always reintroduce the chicken or beef or whatever is more afforable for you, to see if the intolerance is still there.

  • Jack Miller

    She was on kibble for the first 2-3 years of her life and we don’t think she had any issues. We adopted her around the 2 year mark so we don’t exactly know.

  • Jack Miller

    Hello! I’ve got a 9 year old yellow lab who has suffered from food intolerances for most of her life. We’ve moved from beef to chicken to pork, salmon, tuna, lamb, turkey, and now herring. We’ve tried Royal Canine Hypoallergenic diet before (dry, can’t remember the exact kind) from our vet but it didn’t work. We know it’s an intolerance because she can usually handle it for 6 months to a year before vomiting and diarrhea begin. Switching proteins leads to a complete elimination of the symptoms. My questions are: can intolerances be reversed? Can we ever reintroduce old proteins or will she always be unable to digest it? Other than switching proteins is there anything else we can do? She’s been eating a raw food diet for years. We love her to death and she’s a part of the family but we are getting to the point where the proteins are getting prohibitively expensive. Herring is affordable but she’s shown signs today that she won’t be able to have it anymore. The next option is Venison and it is considerably more expensive. Rabbit, bison, and kangaroo are also available where we live but all of these options are even more expensive than Venison. Any help or suggestions would be incredibly helpful and appreciated. Thank you!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    More than likely the fleas are causing the problems with your dog. You need to take immediate action to alleviate the fleas from you dog and his environment, which will include your house. The eggs can be throughout your home, reinfecting the dog.

    Here are some links to natural alternatives to treating fleas as well as conventional methods. Pitlove is correct that you need to wash down all of his bedding. I use Borax in the laundry on a regular basis for everything, but Diatomaceous Earth works well for fleas in carpeting or floors. You do need to be cautious as it’s edible, but breathing in can irritate the lungs. I use a natural shampoo that contains tea tree and neem oil, but my dogs have not had fleas, only ticks and it does repel. DO NOT USE STRAIGHT TEA TREE OIL. IT WILL BURN THE DOG’S SKIN!!! If you don’t want to do a natural control, you can use a spot on treatment.

    Natural Flea Control:

    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/non-toxic-flea-and-tick-control-dogs/

    Diatomaceous Earth:

    http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/parasites/a/Diatomaceous-Earth-For-Flea-Control.htm

    Information on flea control:

    http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2111&aid=591

    Good luck with it!

  • el doctor

    Hi Pitlove

    You said;

    “Dawn is much more gentle than a lot of the “dog” flea shampoos on the market”

    That may be true, but Dawn get’s a D from the EWG, and if we turned that D into it’s star equivalent, it would be a 2 star product.

    So, based on your logic you could say that it’s OK to use “Purina One SmartBlend”, a 2 star food, because it’s much better than a lot of other dog foods on the market (the ones with 1 star).

    Why not look for a 4 or 5 star equivalent to use instead of the 2 star Dawn, which has artificial colors and other ingredients that are known irritants, especially for skin that is already irritated from flea bites?

  • Pitlove

    I would consider killing off a bad flea infestion as an emergency. I just got done a few weeks ago battling fleas for 3 weeks and I can tell you my dog was the most miserable he’s ever been in his life. Dawn is much more gentle than a lot of the “dog” flea shampoos on the market.

  • el doctor

    Hi Pitlove

    Dawn dishwashing liquid gets a D rating from the Environmental Working Group, and some of it’s ingredients are pretty powerful skin irritants. I might use it in an emergency, but otherwise I would look for a less irritating, and safer alternative to use as a flea shampoo.

    http://www.ewg.org/guides/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=dawn+dishwashing+liquid&x=0&y=0&page=1&per_page=15

    Dawn®
    All Varieties Except
    Bleach Alternative.

    Ingredients Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauramine Oxide, Sodium Chloride, PPG-26, PEG-8 Propylheptyl Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance.

    Colorants
    (Amounts Vary with Product Color)
    Blue 1
    Red 33
    Yellow 5

  • Pitlove

    uh well obvious question, but did this start with the fleas or before then?

    Treat the flea problem first. Wash his bedding with your normal detergent and Borax, bath him with blue Dawn dish soap and let it sit for 10 mins to kill the fleas on him, make sure he’s on a flea preventitive, spray your house, wash your sheets everything you can, spray your yard. You need to get rid of the fleas and then see if the skin calms down.

    If this existed before the fleas, could be an environmental allergy or food intolerance.

  • Marg Muzones

    Hi. I just dont know what to do with my dog. He started to have itching that causes hair lost all over his body. His skin turns red and scratches like forever. He also has flees. What can i do?

  • Crazy4cats

    Nice! Hopefully you got rid of those fleas for good.

  • Maria

    My Dachshund suddenly developed skin allergies due to fleas. He gnawed and scratched
    until his skin was hairless in some areas. He had to wear a cone around his neck. The flea issue basically escalated into skin allergies, and I tried steroid pills etc and nothing worked UNTIL I fed him Kangaroo kibbles! One week on only these quality kibbles, with a bit of organic flax oil, and he was a different dog. The inflamed skin calmed down and my dog is back to pristine health.

  • Britt

    Hi Bobby dog,
    Thank you for your reply, its appreciated. Yes we checked everything with the groomer but were advised that she did not use anything different, products tools etc are all the same. It started when she almost shaved his underbelly last year but has never done that again. Actually I have recently changed groomers and the new one uses only natural products so that’s works for me. Actually BC nut commented on something about Gain detergent and I realized that I started using Gain around the same time frame as all these problems started, of course I have stopped using it and since then only use natural products. Anyway I appreciate all comments as we really want to help our little guy feel better, also looking into switching to maybe a grain free food but will discuss this with our vet first. Again many thanks for your comments as all help for a solution is so much appreciated. Have a great day.

  • theBCnut

    Bobby Dog makes a good point, also I have read several people’s accounts of how their dogs react to Gain laundry detergent, enough for me to know that my sensitive dog won’t be exposed to it.

  • Britt

    Hi again,
    Thanks again for your informative reply, we have been checking into alternatives in the “Food Department” and are looking at the Acana products, the grain free ones. Of course will check with the vet first, it looks like you have a lot of experience as you are also dealing with a pet with a lot of allergies and am sure you have it all figured out. You were correct with the hypo-allergic clarification and I thank you for mention that. Lets hope we get it all figured out and again, many thanks.

  • theBCnut

    OK, your vet sounds much better now. He is totally right about the allergy test. They are know for producing both false negatives and false positives. A strict elimination diet is the standard for determining allergies and other food reactions. As far as the RC goes, if it isn’t hydrolyzed, then any of the ingredients that have protein in them could cause the reaction(In fact, new research is showing that some allergic reactions can even be to fats, which used to be thought safe). As an example, my dog reacts to all grains, flax, and alfalfa, as well as chicken, turkey, and duck. Hypoallergenic just means that the possible allergy producers are less numerous, not eliminated.

    Good luck!!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Britt:
    Just wondering if you ever looked into the products the groomer uses. Maybe they changed the products they were using when his issues started or possibly the products they use to clean the grooming tools and work areas.

  • Britt

    Hi BCNut,

    Thank you for your reply, its much appreciated. I want to clarify that our vet did “not” discourage us from finding out what our dog could be allergic to (he is the second vet and had the similar opinion as the first one), he advised that the very first thing we do was to get him off everything he eats and switch him to the Royal Canin Vegan dry and canned food, also to clean and wash all his surroundings with products that are natural and have no chemicals which of course we have done, but as none seem to make a difference we (ourself) introduced the Beneful treats and a piece of cheese, the vet is not aware of this at all. By all accounts this vet is much more thorough then the previous one but did advise that to start with allergy testing is very costly and there is no guarantee or there have not been any proven results that the tests would give us the answer. The Prednisone was prescribed when our Shih Tzu came back from the groomer last year with the razor burn and to help with the extreme itchiness and sores he prescribed the Prednisone as he was in pain, we did wean him of but had some left over and gave him 1/2 of the pill once a week or so, if anyone is to blame its us, not the vet. We recently had a thorough blood test done on him and it came back that all was fine with the exception that the white blood cells are shifting left and that usually indicates an infection, (he had an ear infection and he gets that often). You mentioned that there could be something in the Vegan Food and that is alarming to us as we did check all the ingredients and believed it to be Hypo-allergic, will definitely check with the vet if that could cause a problem but I have a feeling that its the cheese and Beneful treats that should be thrown to the curb. Just want to mention that all this started the same time that we found out that the Sentinel Flea & Heartworm pills did not work on him (they did before) and he is now on something different. Its just strange that all his problems started the day he came back from the groomer last year. We have not changed anything in our home so we ruled that out. If you have any additional advise then that would be welcome but for sure the 2 culprits will be eliminated. I thank you again for having pointed out that there could be something in the Vegan Hypo food and will call the vet about that although he sells it at his clinic (he does not make any money on it, that I know for sure). Again many thanks and enjoy the weekend.

  • theBCnut

    Please get detailed instructions from a different vet about how to do an elimination diet and stick to it religiously. It is very doable and the ONLY reliable way to figure out what your dog is actually allergic to. Beneful treats are horrible and could be the cause of the allergies, as could the cheese, or any ingredient in the vegan dog food. You need to get to the bottom of what your dog is actually allergic to and get him off the steroids. I can’t believe your vet would discourage you from trying to treat your dog appropriately, well actually I can, but it isn’t the mark of a good vet.

  • Britt

    Hi, I have a question that maybe many of you who are dog owners have, my dog suddenly became allergic to “something” as he started to have very sore spots looking like a razor burn after a grooming session last year. Since then he has continued to scratch himself to the point of bleeding, we have taking him to the vet many times and he seems to think it could be food related, in short we have since switched him over to an all vegan diet (he hates it) we also give him a small dose of prednisone as needed for the itching but basically are at the end of our rope as to what we can do for the little guy (he is 3). We do give him the Beneful treats in the morning and he gets some hypo allergic treat. He continues to have the red sore spots under his front “arm pits” and has always had a problem with his ears, the ear problem seems to get worse when he has an itching bout so I put anti bacterial drops in them. Oh we also give him a small piece of cheese every once in a while. Has any of you have had/has this experience with their pet?, if so let me know what we can do to help our pooch. The vet also said that trying to determine the cause of his allergy is almost impossible and very costly, we like his honesty but even he does not know what to do in our case. Hope to hear from someone who is dealing with something similar. Thank you!

  • Lynsey Brown

    I’ve not had her to the vets yet but we are going to take her this week to get her checked out. I’ll do anything to stop the moulting!! Thanks very much for your help.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Lynsey,

    I’m not part of DFA’s official ratings, but a poster. Have you had the vet check the tummy rash and do a skin scraping on it? One of my dog’s had those same symptoms and after doing a scraping the vet found she had no yeast, but a bacterial infection due to allergies. It was a reaction to the protein in the food I was feeding. When I changed to a different protein, the rash resolved. I would probably switch to a different protein source first and if that doesn’t help, I would choose a different food.

    It appears this food is from the UK. Here’s a rating site that rates it that could possibly help you with this particular food:

    http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-reviews/0051/wainwrights-dry-puppy

    Good luck with it!

  • Lynsey Brown

    Hi – does anyone know if my dog’s severe moulting could be down to her diet please? She’s a 10 month old Victorian Bulldog and has been shedding for about 4 months (maybe a little bit longer). The past 2 weeks have been much more severe. She seems happy enough with her food though. We currently feed her Wainwrights dry puppy kibble which I thought was supposed to be a good brand. She doesn’t have any other problems apart from a small “rash” on her tummy. I actualy thought it was just scratches from running through the long grass but it doesn’t seem to be doing down. Any advice would be greatly appreciated – espeically regarding what food to feed her!!

  • aquariangt

    I think the Go LID are a bit newer, and that review was updated just a few weeks ago. The Hypoallergenic Article may have been written before that

  • Crazy4cats

    You are right. I don’t know, but guessing that it was not left off intentionally. You could scroll ALL the way down to the bottom of the page and click on the “contact us” link and ask! Again, I wouldn’t call it hypoallergenic because it is not hydrolyzed. But, it is a limited ingredient food that hopefully does not contain any ingredients that your dog in particular has any sensitivities to. DogFoodie, whose dog has intolerances to several ingredients has used it and recommends it. She definitely would be a good resource for information.

  • Anita

    Yes not to belabor the point, but the Go! Has a great rating on the regular ratings list. It is there so I wanted to know why it was excluded when the top hypoallergenic foods were chosen for this list. Is there something about it specifically as a food for sensitivities that kept it off this list? Maybe you don’t know the answer to my question but the person who made the list might?

  • Crazy4cats

    I don’t know why, but this may help. I copied and pasted the statement that was made at the bottom of the review. Maybe you can make a suggestion to add this food to the list. Here it is:

    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.

  • DogFoodie

    I’ve used Petcurean products, which includes Go! Sensitivity and Shine, and would recommend them. In fact, I’m considering trying the LID Venision for my sensitive dog currently.

  • Anita

    Yes. Thank you. I was asking specifically about why the Go! shine and Sensitivity food didn’t make the hypoallergenic list. Do you know?

  • Crazy4cats

    The Z/D food you are currently feeding is a hydrolyzed protein diet. Here is some info on that: http://www.vetinfo.com/hydrolyzed-protein-dog-food.html#b
    Most “hypoallergenic” foods will be. Unfortunately to avoid this, you will need to figure out exactly what your dog’s intolerance or allergy is. She isn’t allergic to a brand, but to an ingredient in one of those brands. Take a look at what you have fed and find a food that doesn’t have many of the same ingredients as they contain. Maybe start with a limited ingredient food listed above to make it easier to find the offending ingredient or ingredients. I hope this makes sense. :) Good luck!

  • Anita

    Hi. I don’t know. We had her on wellness core grainfree and then switched to Merricks grainfree. She always seemed to be spitting up. No other symptoms. The vet switched her to Z/D and the spitting up stopped. I wanted to try a good quality hypoallergenic dog food with something better than cornstarch and chicken liver molecules!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Do you know what your dog is sensitive to?

  • http://batman-news.com Kathie Swopes

    I have a 3 year old GSD (from Thinschmidt GSDs) with severe skin problems and perianal fistula among his many health problems. Our dermatologist prescribed Protopic Ointment it is expensive $200 a tube but it healed his perianal fistula condition very nicely. Ask your vet for an RX before resorting to surgery.

  • Anita

    I was thinking of trying Go! sensitivity as it was highly rated on the general list but I notice you don’t recommend it for food sensitivities. Why not?

  • Just_sayin3

    I have a 3 year old GSD with a prrianal fistula. I need to switch her diet. She’s grain-free but we have to at least try something before even considering surgery. Please help.

  • Dawn Carr

    If you read my reply to an earlier comment, I have had really good luck with Canine Caviar Wilderness & Open Range. My dog has severe allergies and cannot tolerate the mixed proteins along with many other ingredients. I called them and they helped me walk through (on many FB messages) the process of eliminating all but two items, protein and rice. They have a 95% protein canned food that I mixed with rice for several days to find the protein he could tolerate, from there we added certain veggies etc… and now he is on a protein rotation of Venison and Buffalo. We have only had a vet visit once in the past 12 months due to allergies and he is back on track now. They are a small company with an onsite Vet. They really are an amazing company with a good and healthy product line. My dogs allergies are extensive so I can only say what has worked for him.

  • Dawn Carr

    Agreed! My dog, unfortunately, seems to be allergic to life. Environmental as well as 53 food allergies. I have had him for two years and in that time I have gone through countless raw, canned, dry, and prescription foods. The hydrolyzed food breaks down the proteins, but does noting to address issues of the additional crap they put in the bags. The best food I have found to this point is Canine Caviar. By far the best customer service and food on the market, in my experience anyway. With their assistance and a bit of time, we were able to eliminate the reintroduce ingredients to identify then address the issues for my dog. Not one prescription food out there has helped my dog, it only costed me additional money to treat the reactions caused by them.

  • Jessica Huff

    Hi, My dogs licking drives me crazy. We cut her licking in half by giving her Acana Lamb and Apple.

  • Jessica Huff

    How is your dog doing on the Apoquel? My 20 lb Chihuahua started it 5 weeks ago. She was doing great the first 3 weeks but now not seeing much difference. The vet said to try it another month. I had her on benedryl twice a day before that and sometimes I think she might have done better. Not sure if she just needs to get more in her system. We have another appt with the vet next week. She was originally perscribed Atopica but I freaked out reading all the stuff about it on the internet and never gave it to her. I would love to know how long your dog has been taking it and more about your experience.

  • Jessica Huff

    Try adding a tiny bit of pumpkin or sweet potato. My dog is crazy for it. Of course, for allergies, we stay away from poultry. Maybe try the lamb. My dog adores it.

  • Jessica Huff

    Not baby food. For dogs with allergies, keep it simple. Add either baked carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes. Vet says stay away from baby food.

  • Jessica Huff

    Similar story for my 20 lb Chihuahua. Moved to Alabama from Ohio about 2 1/2 years ago. Never had allergies or problems until we moved here. Poor girl has been on steroids a lot or getting the shot and gained so much weight. She was on Purina One Lamb and Rice. Then with her weight issues, I changed to Purina Pro Plan and had a free up to 50 lb bag coupon. After 4 days she was a HOT MESS!!! I stopped all food and treats and decided to cook for her. Discovered she’s allergic to Chicken and Turkey!!!! We have a specialty store a half hour away that has different types of foods. I went there to get advice and consulted my vet.

    She is now on Acana Lamb and Okanagan Apple dry dog food. I use a dime size heaping of pumpkin mixed in. She loves it and what a change it has made in her. We still have allergy issues and weight issues, but she’s healthier and at least 50% better. We suspect she’s allergic to Bermuda grass found in Alabama also. Maybe try mixing in a tiny bit of pumpkin for flavor. It’s good for the bowels too.

    The vet suggested Atopica but i read on the internet about all the side effects and panicked took it back and we are now on week 5 of Apoquel. She did great the first 3 weeks, now she’s having some trouble. of course it is now 97 degrees out and dry grass. How does your dog do on the Atopica?

  • Jessica Huff

    My dog uses Acana Lamb and Apple. She is highly allergic to Chicken. Once I cut chicken out of her diet, she’s a whole different dog!!!

  • Babslynne

    a good probiotic will also help control her yeast problem

  • Danielle Coward

    I have a 14 year old lab mix that is very prone to skin irritations. When it first started years ago I took her to the vet and she said she had a yeast infection on her skin, likely caused by allergens. We found she was allergic to fleas and dust mites, so she got a round of antibiotics and flea meds, but she’s continued to have issues off and on. She gets itchy, flaky skin, greasy fur that sheds and falls out in patches, itchy ears susceptible to infection, red, itchy, bumpy skin on her tummy, and an irritated vulva. I finally started to realize that all these conditions were linked to the food I was giving her. I switched her to Purina One Sensitive Systems and it seemed to help quite a bit, but she really didn’t like it so I had to add some chicken broth for her to eat it. Last time I decided to try a “senior” formula from Purina and all of her symptoms are back with a vengeance. So thanks to this article and you lovely people I’ve ordered a bag of Acana Chicken and Burbank Potato formula and I can’t wait to see what the results on her skin look like!

  • Julie

    Try honest kitchen. I give my dog the kindly and preference base mix with cooked chicken or turkey. If you call them, they will help you decide what recipe to try and send samples and coupons. We tried our dog on science diet too and she wouldn’t go near it.

  • starpawz

    Vet food is all garbage product. I know I was unhappily selling it to people for nine years. look at your labels, full of byproduct meals , corn, corn gluten, wheat meddlings etc.

  • http://batman-news.com Sam

    Hi, I have a 10 month old pitbull puppy, and he recently got a rash all over his body, First, the vet said it was a allergy, then put him on antibiotics, it went away for a bit then returned. he went on another round of anitbiotics and i was told it was a bacteria infection. I changed his food now to science diet, he was previously eating origins. But now my puppy wont eat anymore!! he eats only one cup per day. im concerned and the vets won’t tell me why!! any suggestions of food i can try? and i need some good bones he can chew since i threw away all of the chicken based bones he had!!

  • Zac Chernik

    I think this might be an interesting topic to discuss.

    BPA is showing up in an extremely high percentage of all canned foods for humans. If the cans are lined with BPA most likely even the better dog foods will be lined with BPA too.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/06/list-canned-foods-bpa

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    This article was originally published on October 4, 2010.

    My assistant and I are in the process of updating all our prescription dog foods — no small undertaking.

    Once that project has been completed (very soon), this article will be updated with new content and will include a list of prescription dog foods that are made with hydrolyzed protein.

  • http://magnoliasouthc.blogspot.com/ MagnoliaSouth

    Interesting that you never mentioned hydrolyzed dog food, not even once. I don’t know, I used to really trust this site but the more I read canine studies and learn about their diets, the more I find all this questionable. Hydrolyzed dog food has an enormous success rate and yet you failed to even mention it at all. I know you know about, surely. It’s a hot topic. An easy article can be found here: http://www.vetinfo.com/hydrolyzed-protein-dog-food.html

  • Adam Eugenio

    I have a Podengo/Pitbull mix who has severe skin allergies. Shakes her head sometimes, constantly chews and links her paws, and always has a red irritated anus. We’ve had her glands expelled and checked and that was not the issue. I have never tried a different food for her, only Earthborn Holistic Primitive. What would you all suggest? I was thinking a Hypoallergenic or LID food, but I’ve seen many negative reviews on LID foods as most are from poor companies. I want a quality food from a quality company with real meat, and preferably a single protein single carb type food so I can really narrow down what may be causing allergy (though I think it’s likely environmental to a large degree but won’t know til I test this food theory.

  • Brittney

    Thanks everyone for the advice. After about a week since switching his food to the sweet potato and venison his scratching has stopped and his mouth is healing. It was the food he was on that he was allergic to. I plan to switch my other dog to the same food slowly so I don’t upset his belly. Again thank you everyone!!!

  • Buffalo Mom

    “Acana Pacifica” has really helped my dog. She had so many allergy related issues and now she’s perfect. I order from Chewy.com since it’s hard to find. It arrives in 1-2 days and ships free.

  • Buffalo Mom

    This article changed my dogs life. She had so many issues and the vet kept giving her antibiotics and steroids. I found this article and decided to switch her food to “Acana Pacifica”. It fixed everything! She’s perfect and happy now. It’s not easy to find so I order from Chewy.com and it ships for free and arrives in 1-2 days.

  • Bapur Purba

    If you could add some baby food to the Acana she might enjoy it better. There are some that are strictly vegetable with mo additives. Mine gets just a taespoon full mixed in her dry good.

  • Kat Walker

    It could be his teeth. My dog who also has allergies, has some tooth issues and paws at his mouth constantly. The vet x-rayed his teeth and found crowding and one tooth which had somehow been damaged and needs to be removed.

  • Julie

    I would maybe try a limited ingredient food. My dog had a lot of skin allergies when we first got her and she did really well on Natural Balance, both the potato and duck and sweet potato and bison. It cleared it up pretty quick.

    Now we have her on Honest Kitchen base mix, but we are probably switching her back to duck and potato because she is still biting her paws.

  • Quita

    I have a pit bull. We currently feed him Pedigree complete. Since he’s started on this dog food I’ve noticed him scratching more. When he was on Purina he didn’t scratch as much. It’s getting to the point where he’s losing his coat in certain spots. Any suggestions…I’m ready to take him to the vet.

  • LaQuita Woodward

    I have a pit bull. We currently feed him Pedigree complete. Since he’s started on this dog food I’ve noticed him scratching more. When he was on Purina he didn’t scratch as much. It’s getting to the point where he’s losing his coat in certain spots. Any suggestions…I’m ready to take him to the vet.

  • Brittney

    Thanks for the advice! I’m hoping this works!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I think from the food description you are going to try Natural Balance. If it works for your allergy dog, you could slowly switch your other dog to the same food. You need to do it in very small increments so you don’t cause GI upset. You might even find that he does well on this food and, while it’s not the best, it’s a giant step up from what you’re currently feeding. People on this forum are always available to help! Good Luck with it!

  • Julie

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to try switching proteins and I never thought of canned before, so that could be an option. I did think about maybe her reacting to something in Kindly. I think the second ingredient is flaxseed and I know some dogs have issues with that. I will call THK today and see how I go about adding in canned food to make the complete meal.
    Any suggestions for a limited ingredient canned food?

  • Brittney

    I am cautious to switch my other dog to a different food because of his colitis and I don’t want to flare it up. I asked my vet that question and he said to leave my older dog (the one who has colitis) on the little bites so not to upset his system. But if it’s not good for him I don’t want to leave him on it either.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Purina little bites is not a good dog food. Why don’t you switch both dogs to a better food?

  • Crazy4dogs

    You might be able to use some of the “supplemental” cans of pheasant, duck, venison, to the Kindly to make it a complete meal. If that doesn’t work, it could be something in the Kindly formula.

  • Dori

    Thanks C4D. I only use the Zeal (Katie and her food issues, of course) so didn’t know that Kindly was a base mix. Oh, so I don’t know what’s in Kindly but maybe she just has to change whatever protein she’s adding.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Dori, I use THK. Kindly is a base mix that you add the protein to.

  • Dori

    Try a different protein with THK. I would go from THK to Royal Canin. Whatever the protein is in Kindly just switch. Have you given your dog a meal of just the Zeal? If not, I would suggest feeding Zeal for a few days and see if the paw biting issue stops. It may be as simple as that.

  • Julie

    What food is he on?

  • Julie

    I started my dog on honest kitchen kindly with cooked ground turkey or chicken after two years of chronic pancreatitis/IBD and a couple thousand dollars worth of vet bills. After a month, she is doing great. No more tummy issues and stool is normal. The only problem we are having now is that she is biting her paws. Vet said to switch her to a novel protein such as duck, rabbit or kangaroo and suggested royal canin select protein rx food. I hate to put her back on kibble if I don’t have to, but I know I can’t cook those novel proteins myself. I did try raw…I added a teaspoon of honest kitchen zeal to her food, but that made her vomit so now I’m a little hesitant to go that route. Any suggestions?

  • Brittney

    I have a year old corgi who constantly is itching near his mouth to the point where he bleeds. I have had him to the vet numerous times. The first time they said it was an ear infection and put him on an antibiotic and it clear up. The about a month to two months later he started itching again. I thought maybe it was because he was allergic to something at the groomers and when I took him back to the vets they said it probably was an allergy to something at the groomers and again put him on an antibiotic which his scratching stopped and his mouth was healed. I also have not taken him back to the groomers. But yet again his scratching is back. I did what the vet said and gave him Benadryl to help with the itching but it is not working. I am beginning to think he may have a food allergy. Has anyone had this issue before? What do I do? I have a call back to the vet and they will get back to me on Monday but I just feel so bad because my poor little boy just keeps scratching. Does anyone have any ideas for me?

  • Terri Castleberry

    Our cocker spaniel has allergies to all feathered animals like chicken or turkey. He lost one of his ear canals as a result. And we now feed him apples, carrots, pumpkin and Royal Canine Rabbit. He is also allergic to mold and still has some minor skin issues that require consistent bathing and attention. But the major problem with the ears has been fixed with the food.

  • marion

    My dog will not eat any chew dog product I just purchased acana turkey she will not touch this food. I tried several dog food nothing seems to workout.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Sorry I missed this. Dori gave you some good info. I buy it locally at an independent pet store. Several online retailers have it as well. I know Chewy.com and Pet360 carry it. I think Pet Supplies Plus carries it too. They do in my area.

  • Dori

    thehonestkitchen.com

    You can order directly from them at their website (above). Or on their site go to their store locater and put in your address or zip code.

  • Charlotte Dorris

    Where do you buy the THK Preference Base Mix? I’ve never heard of it. I cook for my dog too, ususally ground turkey /w organic veg. mix, but feel he needs something more.
    thanks,
    Toby’s mom

  • Capt Donna

    As an avid reader trying to do what’s best for my furr baby.. lost my big girl in 2013, yet it feels in my heart like today.
    Her bestest buddy still with me Daisey .. since Nov 2014 has had MAJOR yeasty paws << this was something I had NEVER even seen), itchy (corn-cobbing) on her paws, rump, thighs, forelegs and belly (These ear infections/itching previously were only once a year primarily Jan always a Kenalog shot). Which as we know steroids can be as harmful as well as quite frustrating – in this case now only giving relief for 2 to 3 weeks, whereas before it would clear it up until the next Jan

    This past Monday I requested an allergy test. At this time about a week and 1/2 until I get an answer.

    Prior to HomeMade Raw ( recipe found here and a few other places)
    Tried Zignature (All Dry) Trout and Salmon
    ZignatureTurkey (they were out of the Trout and Salmon)

    Prior to this visit I had started her on Home-Made raw
    70/30 hamburger
    boiled eggs (shells included) NO rice as I was concerned grains were part of her allergy)
    Liver (20 oz container at wally-world)
    Fish oil capsules 1200mg f/o 360 omega 3
    White tuna (Albacore)
    Milled flax seed.
    TREATS only consisted of chicken gizzards/hearts, broccoli, cauliflower and frozen green beans
    UNFORTUNATELY it was recommended that I use a supplement
    Yep – I purchased DinOvite ..
    So since starting her on Jan22nd – STILL had a major flair up to the point where I could not longer watch her (baths, benedryl) of course the answer at DinOvite was this was a *PURGE* ok…. SMH
    As of April 6th she has now been tested for allergies. Since my Vet's office has no stock of *APOGUEL*, apparently doesn't KNOW about *RESPIT* .. yes another kenalog shot..
    Mind you she found me (my Daisey)…. so I can only make a guess that she's about 9 years old….
    A note about said Office visit – I was told my Raw Diet was too much protein which could be just as detrimental to her kidneys etc as the kenalog – I don't know I am NOT a Vet hence my need for help and doing whatever I could for her. I have read, read and read some more in these forums (meanwhile since Jan – no walks as even though I can wipe her down after a walk here in West Central FL it's SO hot/humid unless it's after dark.. I had stopped walking her altogether. She used our dog door to do her business in the back yard and is mainly a by my side inside…
    GUESS what this Vet said for me to put her on SD for Sensitive Skin – after just reading a few posts
    *NO WAY*
    So now I am in a full blow conundrum .. continue with say 1/2 of the Raw Homemade (NO I do not cook it) and (insert dry kibble such as Zig Turkey)

    I can tell you when I went to add kibble to her raw she gave me a look like MOM ! WHAT !???

    Many of us "parents" no this helpless feeling…. I'll update after test results. For now.. I have enough Home Made Raw left to add with Zig/Turkey until allergy results.
    FWIW yes, she's on TriFexis with no issues and has been for some time ( home and yard are treated but you can never know about your neighbor = KNOWN allergy to fleas) so baths ..7 to 10 days with a Anti-Fungal/Medicated (MALAPET or VETIQ medicates Shampoo – heck I've even used Neutrogena T-Gel) shampoo..
    If it's out there… I've probably tried it at some point in time….
    Finding a GOOD FOOD is why I come here.

  • Melissa

    Check out small batch…. Great product. It’s a raw based products but they have patties that yiu just thaw out with all good, healthy ingredients.

  • Melissa

    You can purchase yourself even though it asks for your vets information. You don’t have to give them your vets information if you don’t want to.

  • ShaneC

    Is Nutriscan something I can buy or must it be purchased through a vet?

  • TruBlu

    Please google ratings on Royal Canin Pet food in general. It is a disgrace that Vets can sleep soundly selling that product. Simply: Sell substandard pet food and attract middle America by giving it a catchy name that makes you think that professional breeders use this food; not! Multiple recalls in years past.

  • Melissa

    Hi there, have you looked into the Nutriscan test created by Dr.Dodds? It test for food intolerances. We just did this for our rescue dog and have just started changing his food. Some people think this test is bogus but after spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars at the vets trying to fix yeasty ear infections and other skin related issues, I thought it would be worth it.

  • Crazy4dogs

    That is a really good choice theBCnut. :-) I was going to suggest that, but some people don’t want to do any work when preparing their dog’s food. I am about to slow cook a whole chicken for my dogs to add to THK Preference Base Mix.

  • theBCnut

    Look into the Honest Kitchen Zeal.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m sorry I missed the pancreatitis issue, so the NV Instinct is probably too high in fat. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of low fat/limited ingredient diets. In your case I might try Wellness Simple Grain Free Salmon. It is a limited ingredient and low fat formula.

  • Rae

    I suspect that my dog has a ragweed allergy (as well as other environmental allergies). I will not feed her any dog food that contains chicory root or inulin (mostly sourced from chicory). I found out years ago that chicory is related to ragweed. It blows my mind that so many dog foods contain this ingredient, yet no one in the industry
    has put two & two together. If you suspects that your dog is sensitive to ragweed, or any possible outdoor allergens, and your dog has skin issues,excessive itchiness, or gastrointestinal upset, I highly recommend checking their food for this ingredient. I feel that a limited ingredient diet is best for allergic pets as they usually do not contain additives such as this.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Nature’s Variety Instinct has several limited ingredient foods that are basically the protein and peas. There are many foods that contain no potatoes or sweet potatoes and use peas or chickpeas instead. Here’s a DFA link on that topic:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/grain-and-potato-free-dog-foods/

  • Tammi

    Sounds like your Brutus and my Lily suffer from similar issues. Lily was also on antibiotics and steroids many times. Her rashes got better but like Brutus, they came back after finishing each round of meds. The antibiotics had a negative effect on her bowels, and the steroids made her unable to control her bladder and she would pee in the house, something she had never done before. Fortunately, that stopped when she was off steroids. The Atopica worked very well. It’s very expensive and a competitive drug was due to come out early 2015. Another response to my post mentions the drug. I’m going to check into it.

    We moved back to Minnesota and she has had infrequent rashes since the grass was snow covered. The snow is gone for the most part and since then she has started licking her paws non-stop. This is one of her allergy symptoms. She hasn’t developed a skin rash yet. Time will tell.

    Thank you for your response and for Brutus’ story.

  • Paula

    Paula
    Hi
    I have a Golden Doodle called Charley and he has had blood tests and they came back that he was allergic to Lamb Beef Chicken Vension and Rice also Salmon.
    So now he is on a diet of James Wellbeloved Turkey and Vegetable Kibble and Pets at home own wet food Wainwrights Turkey and vegetable.
    He seems to have settled down with his itching but still does now and again.
    Also I have to buy only vegetable treats as all the other treats have meat derivitives in which Cahrley is allergic to.
    P.Robinson
    Bedfordshire

  • Tammi

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate the information you shared. I knew there was a new drug coming out this year that does the same as Atopica, but far less that the $3 per pill that Atopica costs. I’ll look into it.

  • http://InfoCraver.com/ InfoCraver

    Tammy- We have the same problem with our French Bulldog. He is currently on a prescription dog food, Iams KO. It consists of kangaroo and oats and he seems to do well with it. Sweet potatoes are one of the main food allergies that he suffers from, so I understand the battle. You can read more on what we have done for our frenchie here: http://infocraver.com/2012/08/my_frenchie_and_his_allergies/

  • Kathi Crawley

    Try Annamaet Option 24%. Vet recommended this food for my havanese since it has limited ingredients. Have been feeding her the food for over a year and she is doing great!! Do have to wet the food a little since she has a problem chewing it. Good luck!!

  • Justsayin50

    My boxer had pancreatitis and we fed him Ukanuba brand and he did good with it. He also had to be on meds for life with Pig pancreas enzymes. Hope it helps some.

  • Justsayin50

    You may want to try washing the feet weekly with a Chlorhexidine shampoo to relieve the itching and to clean off the allergen. You need to leave it on as long as possible (10 mins) which isn’t easy to do. Its only a relief and not a fix. There’s just an allergen in your area that is irritating the paws. Maybe even try some doggie shoes when she is outside. You can also rinse them whenever she comes in from outdoors so the allergen is not brought into the home.

  • Justsayin50

    Very true. Thyroid and pancreas can look like allergy issues. Poor baby.

  • Justsayin50

    I would get her off of that food asap!! They know when food is not good for them. Try an allergy food with no animal, egg, wheat, dairy, corn or soy in it. My dog eats Live Free brand and it works well. I found it at a holistic pet food store. You can also try coconut oil on her skin for moisture and relief. It may be an environment allergy along with food. The only thing that can help with environmental is an allergy medicine. My baby had red bumps on her stomach and I believe it was from laying in the sun on the deck. She loves the sun but sometimes the sun isn’t so good for them especially if they have white fur. Just light fair skinned humans, they have fair skin where the fur is white and it burns easily. The bully breeds (boxers, pits, staffordshires, boston terriers, bull dog) have notorious allergies. Just be careful of what you feed them. Do your research for common canine allergies.

  • Justsayin50

    Live Free brand is made especially for food allergy issues. I found it at a holistic pet food store. It has worked well for my boxer. She has environmental allergies also but the only thing that helps with that is a new drug called Apoquel. The manufacturer is having a hard time keeping up with demand right now but it should improve by 2016. I have to give it to her every other day instead of daily until there is more available.