The 13 Best Dog Foods for Allergies

Food allergies in dogs are rare, but they can be a nightmare.

Whether its diarrhea or dermatitis, the symptoms are hard to ignore and it is painful to watch your pooch in such distress. The worst part is that it can be caused by a food your dog has enjoyed for years. And it can be an ingredient in that food.

The solution is simple: change their food to one that is created to prevent allergic reactions.

Thankfully, dog food brands are becoming more aware of potential health concerns and almost every brand I trust has a product that is meant for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.

So, let’s take a look at the ones I really like:

The Best Dog Foods for Allergies – My Top 5 Picks

1. Wellness — Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 3,640 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 26%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 5.5%, Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Grain-Free,
  • Gluten-Free

The number one choice for many pet owners with sensitive pooches, Wellness limited Ingredient recipe contains Turkey as the primary source of protein. Turkey is counted as a novel protein source. If your dog loves chicken but has developed and sensitivity to it, turkey would be a great alternative. The other key ingredient is potato, which is an excellent source of easy to digest carbs. So, your dog gets the protein it needs for a healthy body and the carbs to stay pumped up all day. All that without risking a reaction.

What’s more: This formula contains probiotics and prebiotics to aid digestion. It is free of all the baddies i.e. gluten, grains, soy, corn, and other fillers. There are no artificial additives to worry about. There is flaxseed to keep your baby’s coat healthy and shiny. Despite limited ingredients, it can fulfill all the daily dietary requirements of your dog. That is all that makes it my number one.

Buy on Chewy

 

2. Taste Of The Wild — Grain-Free Premium Pacific Stream Adult

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,600 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 3%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas,
  • Grain-free
  • Antioxidants

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is a close contender for the best dog food for allergies. The biggest reason it is on the top of my list is its delicious flavor. Dogs often tend to lose appetite when they have an allergic reaction, but this one will have them running towards the bowl. It contains novel protein sources from the sea including salmon and ocean fish meal. Sweet potatoes and potatoes add a healthy dose of digestible carbs. And that isn’t all.

Other ingredients include real greens and fruits that are a source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This food is actually good for the immune system, as a healthier immune system is crucial for allergy prevention. Overall, Pacific Stream is popular because it is a complete and balanced solution, free of fillers and additives. To top it all, it tastes irresistible.

Buy on Chewy

 

3. Brothers — Complete Advanced Allergy Care

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,640 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 36%, Fat (min.) 16%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Turkey Meal, 2. Whole Eggs Dried, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Cassava/Tapioca, 5. Peas
  • Grain-Free, GMO-Free,
  • High-Protein

Brothers changed the game when they introduced this exclusive allergy care dog food that is also high in protein. It is a grain-free formula that contains turkey meals and dried eggs as the primary sources of protein. It is also one of the best options without potatoes. So, in case the potato is the allergen you want to avoid, this is a great choice. Potatoes are replaced by the cassava plant, which as a low GI source of quality carbs.

What makes it a highly recommended dog food for allergies is the unique formula that focuses on healing just as much as prevention. So, if your pet friend is already suffering from a flare-up. It has digestive enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption during the process. There are powerful antioxidants in the mix that will support the immune system and help your dog recover much faster.

Buy on Chewy

 

4. Blue Buffalo — Natural Adult Salmon

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,592 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 34%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Grain-Free
  • High-Protein

You really don’t have to worry about proteins for your sensitive pooch. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Salmon Dog Food is one of the amazing high-protein recipes that will keep allergies at bay. Deboned salmon and chicken meal fulfill the high protein needs of all breeds including the large and giant ones. There is also a menhaden fish meal in the first five ingredients. It adds a tasty punch of protein and other nutrients. And then you have pea proteins as well.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon recipe also contains the patented LifeSource bits. The bits make it taste closest to the natural diet of your dog’s ancestors; it was the diet that did not trigger allergies that often. So, it is definitely the diet you can choose for your dog as well. This blue buffalo formula is one of the best dog food for allergies.

Buy on Chewy

 

5. Canidae: Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,880 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Menhaden Fish Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas
  • Grain-Free
  • Limited Ingredient Diet

Limited ingredient diet doesn’t mean you need to limit your dog’s right to a savory meal. Canidae proves that you can create a delicious, full of nutrients treat with as less as eight ingredients. This Real Salmon and Sweet Potato dog food is fish-based recipe containing salmon as menhaden as the primary source of protein. Potatoes and peas provide the necessary carbs  It is not a recipe exclusive for the sensitive ones; it is a healthy option for any dog in general.

If you are wondering, there are no fillers or grains to worry about. It is also free of gluten and artificial additives. What it does have is a mix of probiotics that aid digestion and lots of minerals and vitamins to keep your pet sharp and smart. Again, it tastes delicious and even the pickiest pooch cant resist the savory aroma.

Buy on Chewy

 

Related:

FAQs – Dog Food for Allergies 

Before we move on, let’s clear the air and answer some important questions you have on your mind right now:

What are common allergens in dog foods?

Different dogs can be allergic to different ingredients. However, if your dog has a weaker immune system, you should avoid common allergens such as beef, dairy, egg,  lamb, soy, fish, and wheat.

What are the most common types of allergies in dogs?

Dogs can have different types of allergies including food allergies, inhalant allergies, contact allergies. Some allergies are for life while others may be seasonal. Allergies can affect anything from their skin to the respiratory and digestive system.

How common are food allergies in dogs?

Food allergies are the third common type of allergies in dogs. The first two are caused by fleas or other environmental factors. However, some dogs can have very severe allergic reactions to food.

How do I know if my dog has food allergies?

Look for symptoms of allergies: excessive itching, sneezing, breathing difficulties, swelling of face, eyes, or ears, skin inflammations and redness, and diarrhea are common allergies. Change the food to a hypoallergenic option to see if the reaction was triggered by food.

What kind of dog food is best for allergies?

There are two types of food that are most recommended for sensitive dogs: Limited Ingredient Dog Food and Hypoallergenic Dog Food. There are several prescription diet options that require a vet’s authorization.

What is the safest protein for dogs with allergies?

It is rare for dogs to be allergic to all protein sources. Beef, lamb, and chicken are usually common culprits but you can always go for an alternative such as bison, turkey, duck, and egg.

Can dogs be allergic to chicken?

Yes, it is possible for dogs to be allergic to chicken. Any meat can cause allergy, but some dogs who are allergic to chicken aren’t allergic to other poultry products such as duck or turkey.

Can dogs be allergic to meat?

Yes, meat allergies are actually more common than green allergies in dogs. However, it is rare for a dog to be allergic to all kinds of meat. In such a case, fish like salmon can be a safer source of proteins, or you can go for vegetable-only options.

Does high-protein diet trigger allergies?

Meat allergies are more common among dogs than we realize, and that is mainly because of protein. A diet with an extra high amount of protein is never a good idea for sensitive pooches.

What to do when my dog has an allergy?

It is best to see a vet keep the allergy from getting worse. Doctors are most likely prescribe some allergy medicine or tests in case the allergy hasn’t been properly diagnosed before. Keep your dog on a hypoallergenic diet until the results are in.

Are there any natural remedies to treat my dog’s allergies?

Yes, there may be numerous home remedies to help your dog with allergies. This includes adding herbs such as thyme to their food. Coconut oil and aloe vera gel are great for skin allergies. However, nothing works better than a visit to the vet.

Is homemade food better for dogs with allergies?

There is no study to confirm this myth. As a matter of fact, hypoallergenic food from known brands is manufactured under strict policies are much safer than the meat bought from the grocery store.

Can probiotics help my dog with allergies?

Allergies are immune system-related issues. Probiotics may not directly help with allergies, but they do strengthen the digestive system to reduce the severity of stomach or digestion-related symptoms.

Which supplements can help my dog prevent allergies?

Supplements cannot treat allergies but they can prevent them. For instance, omega 3 and omega 6 supplements can prevent skin allergies while vitamin C can defend against seasonal allergies such as flu.

Buyer’s Guide: Dog Food for Allergies 

Now that you know your dog might be allergic to one or more ingredients commonly found in dog food, you need to be very careful when shopping for our dog’s food. This guide will help you make a better buying decision.

Look Out For Common Allergens

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid common allergens. Most dogs are allergic to beef and chicken. Dairy and egg can also trigger a reaction.

It may come as a surprise but usually, dogs develop allergies to ingredients they are most frequently fed. So, it can happen with the food they have been enjoying for years. It can be an ingredient commonly found in many commercial dog foods.

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

Before you start the search for safer dog food, you need to understand whether your baby has an allergy or intolerance. They are different.

  • Intolerance – Intolerance is when your dog’s digestive system is unable to digest an ingredient. Just like us, dogs can have lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance. In case of intolerance, your dog will have a problem every time they eat that ingredient. The reaction is usually indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, and flatulence.
  • Allergies – Allergies are an immune system-related. It happens when the immune system identifies an item has harmful and releases antibodies to deal with it. The symptoms vary from rashes to respiratory disorders.

Symptoms of Food Dog Allergies In Dogs

It is important to know which foods your dog is allergic too. See if your dog develops one or more of the following symptoms after eating a certain dog food.

  • Non-seasonal itching
  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Swelling of face or ears
  • Shortness of breath
  • Digestive irregularities

Ear, paws, and the rear end are the areas where they are most likely to develop rashes or inflammation.

How To Find the Right Food for Dog with Allergies?

The smart thing to do is to find the food that doesn’t contain ingredients your dog is allergic to. The smarter thing to do is to go for hypoallergenic dog food or limited ingredient dog food. Aside from these two terms on the label, here is what you should look for.

  • Novel Proteins – Novel proteins are less common sources of proteins in dog food, and therefore, there is a lower risk of allergies. Novel proteins include bison, lamb, rabbit, venison, and herring.
  • No Dairy Products – Most dogs are intolerant to dairy products and many can get allergies from them. It is best to avoid dairy.
  • No Eggs – I’ll be honest, eggs aren’t the best source of protein for dogs and they are common allergens as well. Avoid eggs, especially in raw or unprocessed form.
  • Grain-free – Grains are most likely to cause an allergic reaction, which is usually in the form of tummy troubles for your furry friend.
  • No Fillers – Soy, husk, corn and other fillers have no nutritional value for your dog. They are often the culprit behind allergies. Avoid them at all cost.

Good thing there are many options out there that fit the description! But you don’t have to stick to the rules. Allergens vary from dog to dog. As long as you are avoiding the ones that bother your dog, your baby will be out of trouble.

Now let’s move forward to the rest of the best on my list.

My alternative picks for the best dog foods for allergies

6. Merrick — Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,640 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 4.5%, Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Lentils, 5. Peas
  • Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Grain-Free, Gluten-Free

Turkey is considered a novel protein, a safer alternative to chicken. Merricks Limited Ingredient Turkey recipe is a grain-free, gluten-free way to keep your dog healthy and active all day. It provides a balanced amount of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs. The fact that it is a single-source protein formula also makes it one of the safest for dogs with other types of sensitivities. You get glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints, and you have a good amount of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a shiny coat.

 

7. Go!— Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon Recipe Grain-Free 

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,048 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. De-Boned Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Tapioca, 4. Peas, 5. Lentils
  • Sensitive Digestion, Limited Ingredient Diet, Gluten-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free

Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Salmon Recipe – it’s a mouthful I know but it says it all. It is all you need to avoid allergies for your sensitive baby. Plus, it has ingredients that can take good care of your dog’s coat and skin. Real salmon is the only protein source here, no by-products. So it can be a good choice for dogs that are allergic to meat proteins in general. It also includes a healthy blend of prebiotics and probiotics to keep the tummy out of trouble for your little one.

 

8. Blue Buffalo — Basics Limited-Ingredient Turkey and Potato

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,503 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Potatoes, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Pea Starch
  • Grain-Free
  • Limited Ingredient Diet

Blue Buffalo’s Basic line is basically a limited ingredient range that claims to minimize sensitivities and maximize nutritional value. The reason I have this one on the list is that it does live up to the claim. It has turkey as the single protein source and potato as the main source of digestible carbs. Then you have pea fiber and pumpkin to further aid digestion and prevent stomach related sensitivities. And what makes this limited ingredient formula truly amazing is how it fulfills all the needs for healthy bones, brain, and coat as well. Not to mention, with all Blue Buffalo products, you get the patented blend of antioxidants called the LifeSource Bits.

 

9. Royal Canin — Hydrolyzed Protein Adult

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,845 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 19%, Fat (min.) 17%, Fiber (max.) 3.1%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Dried Plain Beet Pulp, 5. Natural Flavors,
  • Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Low GI

Protein is the most essential nutrient for any dog, but some dogs can develop a sensitivity to all kinds of meat. In that case, you can avoid animal-based proteins with Hydrolyzed Protein. This HP formula from Royal Canin is exclusively developed for the most sensitive of pooches. It is veterinary approved and even requires a vet’s authorization. Keep in mind that it is only meant to be fed for a short period of time for either identification of an allergen or recovery from a bad case of allergy. It provides a balanced diet with low GI.

 

10. NUTRO — Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,640 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 3.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Dried Potatoes, 5. Dried Sweet Potato,
  • Limited Ingredient Diet
  • GMO-Free, Grain-free

A dog is more likely to develop an allergy from beef and chicken than from lamb. That is why this Lamb formula from Nutro is quite popular among pet owners with sensitive dogs. It is a limited ingredient formula with just ten ingredients in total. The formula features lamb as the single source of protein. It is the pasture-fed lamb that makes for a GMO-free meal for your dog. Nutro’s limited ingredient recipe is loaded with all the essential nutrients as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It is free of gluten, fillers, and artificial additives.

11. Purina — Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,782 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 18%, Fat (min.) 9.5%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Corn Starch, 2. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, 3. Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil Preserved with Tbho, 4. Coconut Oil, 5. Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides

Meat sensitivities don’t mean you have to deprive your precious pooch of all the proteins. Proteins are essential for any dog. And if yours can’t digest meat proteins, Purina Pro Plan HA canine formula is the great alternative. It also contains a single carb source, which is a highly digestible and low allergen. It is a great option for dogs that are already dealing with a bad case of allergies such as dermatitis or gastroenteritis. Keep in mind that it a veterinary diet, which means you need your vet’s approval and authorization.

 

12. Iams — ProActive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Real Chicken & Peas Grain-Free 

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,082 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Peas, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Lentils
  • Grain-Free
  • No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Iams ProActive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach contains real chicken as the primary source of protein, plus peas as a source of digestive fiber. This grain-free formula is good for dogs with sensitive stomachs. There are other vegetables that provide all the essential minerals and vitamins to make it a perfectly balanced meal for your baby. Plus, you get the essential fatty acids and beneficial antioxidants to keep your pooch look and feel healthy. It is free of all the fillers and artificial additives.

 

13. Diamond — Care Sensitive Stomach Grain-Free Formula

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,615 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25%, Fat (min.) 13%, Fiber (max.) 3%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Potatoes, 2. Egg Product, 3. Potato Protein, 4. Tomato Pomace, 5. Chicken Fat
  • Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
  • Limited Ingredient Diet

Diamond has created this delicious and savory recipe for dogs that may be allergic or sensitive to the commonly found ingredients. This grain-free formula features an egg as the main protein source. Potatoes are also utilized as an additional source of proteins and carbs. All the ingredients are gentle on the tummy, but the benefits are further enhanced by a blend of probiotics. You can also check ingredients that help joints, skin, immune system, and the coat. Grain-free, and free of all the baddies – this recipe ensures complete care for your sensitive furbaby.

That ends my list of best dog food for allergies. If you feel your precious pooch doesn’t look too active or healthy after a meal, or any other clear symptom of an allergy, take it to the vet and switch to one of these gentle formulae.

References and resources: