Best Dog Foods for Allergies

Dog Scratching Needs Best Dog Food for Allergies

The best dog foods for allergies are typically available in one of 2 basic designs:

  • Limited ingredient dog foods
  • Hypoallergenic dog foods

Limited Ingredient
Dog Foods

Limited ingredient diets contain fewer components.

Which can make it easier to pin down the specific ingredient (also known as an allergen) to which your pet may be allergic.

Limited ingredient dog foods are sold over-the-counter…

Without a visit to the vet.

Hypoallergenic
Dog Foods

Although hypoallergenic dog foods are typically prescribed by veterinarians…

They can also be purchased online directly by pet owners.

Many are made using proteins that have been chemically “split” (hydrolyzed) into their basic amino acid building blocks…

Which can make the original allergen virtually “invisible” to your pet’s immune system.

So…

Your dog is less likely to experience an allergic reaction to the food.

Best Dog Foods for Allergies
October 2019

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best dog foods for allergies for October 2019.


Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Turkey Dog Food

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato

Rating:

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato is one of 6 recipes included in our review of the Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)
  • See all 6 available recipes

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato derives the majority of its animal protein from turkey and turkey meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 14% fat and 49% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

An excellent limited ingredient option for adult dogs.

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Canidae Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato Dog Food

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato

Rating:

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato is one of 11 recipes included in our review of the Canidae Grain-Free Pure dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)
  • See all 11 available recipes

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato derives the bulk of its meat protein from salmon, as well as salmon and menhaden fish meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat and 36% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

A high-quality recipe ideal for adult dogs.

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Canine Caviar Open Meadows Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Open Meadow Dog Food

Rating:

Canine Caviar Open Meadow is one of 7 recipes included in our review of the Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated lamb, pearl millet, lamb fat, coconut, sun-cured alfalfa
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (pearl millet)
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • See all 7 available recipes

Canine Caviar Open Meadow derives most of its animal protein from dehydrated lamb. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor

Rating:

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor is one of 2 recipes included in our review of the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Dog Food dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, coconut oil, powdered cellulose,
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Hypoallergenic
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)
  • See all available recipes

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor derives the majority of its protein from hydrolyzed soy protein isolate. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 20% protein, 11% fat and 61% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

An exceptional selection for sensitive dogs. Highly recommended.

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Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Dog Food

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Turkey Dog Food

Rating:

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Turkey is one of 5 wet dog food recipes included in our review of the Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet canned product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, dried peas, natural flavor
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)
  • See all 5 available recipes

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Turkey derives the bulk of its meat protein from deboned turkey. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 41% protein, 23% fat and 28% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

A great alternative to dry food. Excellent for those seeking a wet food option.

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Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP

Rating:

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP is one of 4 recipes included in our review of the Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brewers rice)
  • Design: Hypoallergenic
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • See all 4 available recipes

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein derives the bulk of its protein from hydrolyzed soy protein. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 21% protein, 19% fat and 52% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 89%.

A solid all life stages option for dogs with allergies.

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Earthborn Holistic Venture Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Meal

Earthborn Holistic Venture Turkey Meal & Butternut Squash

Rating:

Earthborn Holistic Venture Turkey Meal & Butternut Squash is one of 6 recipes included in our review of the Earthborn Holistic Venture Limited Ingredient Diet dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey meal, butternut squash, chickpeas, sunflower oil, flaxseed
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)
  • See all 6 available recipes

Earthborn Holistic Venture Turkey Meal & Butternut Squash derives most of its animal protein from turkey meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 34% protein, 14% fat and 43% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

An excellent limited ingredient product line. Highly recommended.

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Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Lamb Meal and Egg Kibble

Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Lamb Meal and Egg

Rating:

Brothers Complete Lamb Meal and Egg is one of 3 dry recipes included in our review of the Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb meal, whole eggs dried, turkey meal, cassava root, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All adults + puppies
  • See all 3 available recipes

Brothers Complete Lamb Meal and Egg derives the majority of its animal protein from lamb meal, whole dried eggs and turkey meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 16% fat and 38% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

A terrific grain-free all life stages option.

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Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Chicken Meal

Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Chicken Meal Dog Food

Rating:

Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Chicken Meal is one of 3 recipes included in our review of the Tuscan Natural Simply Pure dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, chicken fat,
    olive oil
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice)
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All adults + small or medium breed puppies
  • See all 3 available recipes

Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Chicken Meal derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 15% fat and 47% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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Zignature Turkey Wet Dog Food

Zignature Turkey Formula Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Rating:

Zignature Turkey is one of 13 wet dog food recipes included in our review of the Zignature canned product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, peas, turkey meal
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All adults + puppies
  • See all 13 available recipes

Zignature Salmon derives the bulk of its animal protein from turkey. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 52% protein, 23% fat and 17% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

An exceptional simple ingredient formula.

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The 4 Most Common
Food Allergens?

The most common canine food allergens1 include…

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Egg

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

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

Other Causes
of Canine Allergies

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

Truth is…

Food allergies account for just 10% of all canine allergies.2

They’re only the third most common cause, ranked well behind fleas and environmental allergies.

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

Food Allergy
or Food Intolerance?

Food allergies and food intolerances are 2 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).

On the other hand…

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).

References

  1. Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Deborah E. Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN, Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN, Clinical Nutrition Service, Cummings School, Cummings Veterinary Medical Center, Tufts University
  2. Food Allergies and Food Intolerance, PetCoach.