Best Dog Foods for Allergies

Share

Dog with Allergies and Scratching

What’s the Best Dog Food
for Dogs with Allergies?

The best dog foods for allergies are typically sold in stores and online in one of 2 types:

  • 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
December 2018

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best dog foods for allergies for December 2018.

Acana Singles Duck and Pear Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Acana Singles Duck and Pear Singles Formula

Rating: ★★★★★

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned duck, duck meal, whole lentils, whole peas, duck liver
  • Type: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 35%, a fat level of 19% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 38%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 5 stars.

Highly recommended.


Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon and Chickpeas Recipe

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon and Chickpeas

Rating: ★★★★½

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, salmon meal, chickpeas, lentils, peas
  • Type: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 17% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 43%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.


Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hypoallergenic Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

  • First 5 ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, partially hydrogenated canola oil, coconut oil, dicalcium phosphate
  • Type: Veterinary hypoallergenic
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 20%, a fat level of 11% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 61%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product is not rated.

Highly recommended.


Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

Rating: ★★★★☆

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes
  • Type: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 28%, a fat level of 14% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 50%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 4 stars.

Highly recommended.


Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Real Turkey Recipe

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Turkey Recipe

Rating: ★★★★½

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, dried peas, natural flavor
  • Type: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 41%, a fat level of 23% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 28%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.


Canidae Grain-Free Pure Sea Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Limited Ingredient Diet

Rating: ★★★★★

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Type: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 36%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 5 stars.

Highly recommended.


Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Hypoallergenic Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, dried plain beet pulp, natural flavors
  • Type: Veterinary hypoallergenic
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 21%, a fat level of 19% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 52%.

Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product is not rated.

Highly recommended.


Earthborn Holistic Venture Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food

Earthborn Holistic Venture Limited Ingredient Diet for Dogs

Rating: ★★★★★

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey meal, butternut squash, chickpeas, sunflower oil, flaxseed
  • Type: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 34%, a fat level of 14% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 43%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 5 stars.

Highly recommended.


Natu're Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free with Real Turkey

Rating: ★★★★½

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey meal, peas, tapioca, canola oil, turkey
  • Type: Limited ingredient
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 32%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 40%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.


Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Limited Ingredient Diet Allergy

Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Puppy and Adult Dog Food

Rating: ★★★★½

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, salmon meal, chickpeas, chickpea flour, canola oil
  • Type: Limited Ingredient
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Note: Other recipes available

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 39%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Read our brand review to learn why this product earns 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.


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.
Top