Best Dog Foods for Allergies

Dog Scratching Needs Best Dog Food for Allergies

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

  • Limited ingredient diets
  • Hypoallergenic dog foods

Limited Ingredient Diets

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 ordered 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.

Editors Choice Best Dog Food for Allergies

Top 10 Best Dog Foods for Allergies
March 2021

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best dog foods for allergies for March 2021.


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 fresh 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.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review



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 12 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 12 available recipes

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato gets the majority of its meat protein from fresh 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.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review



Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Rating:

Prey Angus Beef Recipe is one of 5 dry formulas included in our review of the Taste of the Wild Prey Limited Ingredient product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, lentils, tomato pomace, sunflower oil, natural flavor
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All adults + puppies
  • See all 5 available recipes

Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef receives most of its animal protein from fresh beef. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 17% fat and 45% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Highly recommended.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review


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 gets most 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.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review


Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Brown Rice Canned Dog Food

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Rice Dog Food

Rating:

Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Brown Rice is one of 5 wet recipes included in our review of the Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet canned product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, brown rice, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, oatmeal)
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)
  • See all 5 available recipes

This Merrick Limited Ingredient formula derives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh deboned turkey. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 27% fat and 28% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 75%.

A balanced, wet alternative to dry kibble. A practical option for those seeking to pin down a possible offending ingredient. Plus it’s available in 4 other featured proteins. Highly recommended.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review


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 draws 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.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review


Earthborn Venture Limited Ingredient Diet Smoked Turkey and Butternut Squash

Earthborn Venture Smoked Turkey and Butternut Squash

Rating:

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

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

Earthborn Venture Smoked Turkey and Butternut Squash obtains most of its animal protein from fresh turkey and turkey meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals a recipe containing 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.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review


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

This Lamb Meal and Egg formula gets the majority of its animal protein from lamb meal and whole dried eggs, as well as turkey meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 16% fat and 38% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio (FPE) of about 42%.

A superior, grain-free, all life stages option. Readily recommended.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review



Natural Balance LID Salmon and Brown Rice Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets

Rating:

This Salmon and Brown Rice Formula is one of 25 recipes included in our review of the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, menhaden fish meal, brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, brewers rice)
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)
  • See all 25 available recipes

This Natural Balance Limited Ingredient formula derives most of its animal protein from fresh salmon and fish meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 17% fat and 49% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review


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 extracts the bulk of its meat protein from fresh 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. Recommended with confidence.

Check Price at an Online Retailer

Read Our Full Brand Review



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.