The 13 Best Dog Foods for Allergies

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

This updated guide covers all of the best dog foods for allergies.

Food allergies in dogs are rare, but they can be tough to pin down.

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

A simple solution is to change their food to one formulated to prevent allergic reactions.

Dog food brands are becoming more aware of potential health concerns, and almost every high-quality brand has a product line meant for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.

Here are our top picks:

The Best Dog Foods for Allergies

Top PicksRatingMain Ingredients
1. Wellness — Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato
(Editor’s Pick)
4.9Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
2. Taste Of The Wild — Grain-Free Premium Pacific Stream Adult4.8Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas,
3. Brothers — Complete Advanced Allergy Care4.8Turkey Meal, Whole Eggs Dried, Pea Starch, Cassava/Tapioca, Peas
4. Blue Buffalo — Natural Adult Salmon4.7Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Menhaden Fish Meal
5. Canidae: Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato4.7Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick

How to — Change your pet’s food

Reviews: The 13 Best Dog Foods for Allergies

1. Wellness — Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Dried Ground Potatoes

The number one choice for many pet owners with sensitive pooches, Wellness Simple, is a limited ingredient diet that uses Turkey as the primary source of protein. Because turkey is not a common source of protein in many dog foods, it is considered a novel protein. If your dog loves chicken, but has developed and sensitivity to it, turkey protein may 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 active all day.

What’s more: This formula contains probiotics and prebiotics to aid digestion. It contains no gluten, grains, soy, corn, or other fillers, which are common allergens, and there are no artificial additives. It contains flaxseed to keep your baby’s coat healthy and shiny, and despite limited ingredients, it can fulfill all the daily dietary requirements of your dog. All this makes Wellness Simple a great choice for your allergy suffering dog.


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

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas,

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is a perennial contender for the best dog food for allergies. The delicious flavor alone puts it on the top of many lists. Dogs often lose their appetite when they have an allergic reaction, but this recipe 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 meal is good for the immune system, and a healthier immune system is crucial for combatting allergies. Overall, Pacific Stream is popular because it is a complete and balanced solution, free of fillers and additives. To top it all, it tastes


3. Brothers — Complete Advanced Allergy Care

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Turkey Meal, 2. Whole Eggs Dried, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Cassava/Tapioca, 5. Peas

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 acts 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, this recipe has digestive enzymes to 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.


4. Blue Buffalo — Natural Adult Salmon

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal

Because protein is a usual suspect when it comes to allergies in your dog, many pet parents worry about it. But you don’t have to worry about proteins when it comes to this recipe. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Salmon Dog Food is an amazing high-protein recipe that will keep allergies at bay. Deboned salmon and chicken meal satisfy 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. Add it all up, and that makes this offering from Blue Buffalo, a good choice for your allergy-sensitive dog.


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

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Menhaden Fish Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas

A limited ingredient diet doesn’t have to be low on taste. Canidae proves that you can create a delicious, full of nutrients treat with as few as eight ingredients. This Real Salmon and Sweet Potato dog food is a fish-based recipe containing salmon as menhaden as the primary sources 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.

In case you are wondering, there are no fillers or grains in this recipe, and 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.


6. Merrick — Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Lentils, 5. Peas

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. Because it is a single-source protein formula, 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 Omega-6 fatty acids for a shiny coat.


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

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. De-Boned Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Tapioca, 4. Peas, 5. Lentils

Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Salmon Recipe – it’s a mouthful I know, but it says it all. Real salmon is the only protein source here, with 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 your dog’s tummy out of trouble.


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

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Potatoes, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Pea Starch

Blue Buffalo’s Basic line is a limited ingredient range that tries to minimize sensitivities and maximize nutritional value. We think it’s a good choice for sensitive dogs. 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 that it easily supports all other nutritional needs 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

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Dried Plain Beet Pulp, 5. Natural Flavors,

Protein is a must 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 for the most sensitive of pooches. It is veterinary approved and even requires a vet’s authorization. Keep in mind that it is used as a stop-gap while you’re identifying the source allergen or during recovery. It provides a balanced diet with a low glycemic index.


10. NUTRO — Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Dried Potatoes, 5. Dried Sweet Potato,

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 sole source of protein. It is the pasture-fed lamb that makes for a GMO-free meal for your dog. Nutro’s limited ingredient recipe contains all the essential nutrients, as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It is free of gluten, fillers, and artificial additives.


11. Purina — Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor

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

Meat sensitivities don’t mean you have to deprive your dog of all proteins. Proteins are essential for any dog. And if yours can’t digest meat proteins, Purina Pro Plan HA canine formula is a 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 

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Peas, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Lentils

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. Other vegetables 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

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Potatoes, 2. Egg Product, 3. Potato Protein, 4. Tomato Pomace, 5. Chicken Fat

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 eggs as the main protein source. Potatoes add carbs for energy. All ingredients are gentle on the tummy, and the addition of probiotics helps smooth digestion.

That concludes our list of the thirteen best dog foods for allergies. We hope you find useful information here and that at least one of the foods we listed is a perfect match for your allergy-sensitive dog.


Related:

FAQs – Dog Food for Allergies 

Before we move on, let’s clear the air and answer some important questions you may 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 systems.

How common are food allergies in dogs?

Food allergies are the third most common type of allergies in dogs, and fleas or other environmental factors cause the first two. 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.

What kind of dog food is best for allergies?

The two types of food most often recommended for allergy-sensitive dogs are LID, or limited ingredient diet, and novel foods. Several of these are prescription diets requiring veterinary 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 culprits, but you still have alternatives such as bison, turkey, duck, and egg.

Can dogs be allergic to chicken?

Yes, dogs can 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 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 protein, or you can go for vegetable-only options.

Does a 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 may not be a good idea for sensitive pooches.

What to do when my dog has an allergy?

Consulting with your veterinarian is always the best option. Your veterinarian can prescribe some allergy medicine and tests to diagnose your dog properly.

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

Yes, there may be numerous home remedies to help your dog with allergies. These include 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. Hypoallergenic foods from known brands are manufactured under strict policies and can be 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 caused by allergies.

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 better buying decisions.

Look Out For Common Allergens

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid common allergens. The most common food allergens are beef and chicken, but dairy and egg are also not uncommon.

It may come as a surprise, but dogs develop allergies to ingredients they eat most frequently. So, it can happen with the food they have been enjoying for years, and 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 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 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?

If you know what your dog is allergic to, you can simply switch them to a food that does not contain that ingredient. Otherwise, you need to switch your dog to a new food that doesn’t contain the same ingredients as the current one and wait to see if the allergy clears itself. Often you can shorten the process by switching to a hypoallergenic food or a limited ingredient diet.

  • 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 – Eggs are a good source of protein, but they can cause as well. Avoid raw eggs at all costs.
  • Grain-free – Grains can cause an allergic reaction, 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 cheap ingredients and are often the culprit behind allergies. Avoid them.

There is a huge variety of dog foods to choose from and they all have varying ingredients. Keep trying novel ingredients, and you will find one that your dog both likes and doesn’t produce allergy symptoms.

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

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