The 5 Best Dog Foods for Environmental Allergies

By Kevin Myers | ✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM | 2020 Update

Just like us, dogs are susceptible to allergies, sometimes mild, sometimes acute, and sometimes they can be life-threatening.

Sometimes these allergies are food-related, but more often than not, the allergies are environmental. But no matter what causes the allergy, paying attention to what you feed your dog is essential to making them as happy and as healthy as they can be.

We have researched a whole lot of dog foods and come up with what we think are the best foods for dogs with environmental allergies.

Here are the five best!

The Best Dog Foods for Environmental Allergies

1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets- HA Hydrolyzed Formula Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

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

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3782 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 18%, Fat (min.) 9.5%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. , Corn Starch, 2. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, 3. Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil Preserved with Tbho, 4.Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, 5. Hydrolyzed Chicken
  • Riboflavin Supplement
  • Garlic Oil

The recipe by Purina Pro Plan is specifically formulated for dogs with environmental allergies. Whether your dog is a pup, fully grown, or a senior, they should do well with this nutritious food source. It contains hydrolyzed ingredients, the idea of which is to break down food molecules to such a small size that it becomes very easy for your dog’s digestion.

This recipe does not compromise on taste and is enriched with all the essential nutrients, which is why most dogs transition to this food with ease. It is perfect for dogs who have food allergic gastroenteritis or dermatitis, food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, or pancreatitis. This food requires a prescription from your veterinarian.

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2. Nutro- Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Small Bites Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3635 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 3.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 3. Dried Sweet Potato, Lentils, 4. Potato Starch, 5. Canola Oil
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement
  • Taurine

This limited ingredient diet from Nutro is also grain-free, which makes it an excellent choice for dogs suffering from allergies. It uses deboned lamb for the primary protein and contains absolutely no chicken, a leading source of allergies for many dogs.

The smaller sized kibble makes this appropriate for smaller dogs and the limited ingredients mean there’s less of a chance for tummy upset or allergies. The presence of Omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, and B vitamins ensures good overall health.

This highly-digestible diet contains no GMOs, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives of any kind, which make it a solid pick for those dogs who suffer from environmental allergies.

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3. Blue Buffalo- Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Duck & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

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

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3523 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20%, Fat (min.) 13%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Duck, 2. Pea Starch, 3. Duck Meal (source of Glucosamine), 4. Tapioca Starch, 5. Fish oil
  • Calcium Iodate
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Limited ingredients are a great choice for limiting allergic reactions and upset tummies, and that is what this offering from Blue Buffalo delivers. It grain-free duck as its main protein source, and although it’s a limited ingredient diet, it does not compromise on nutrition or taste. It has all the essentials that your dog needs for good health and a strong internal structure.

It includes glucosamine, calcium, and phosphorus, for healthy teeth and bones, and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Like most high-quality dog foods, it contains no artificial ingredients or fillers, which are common culprits when it comes to allergies and digestive upset.

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4. CANIDAE- Grain-Free PURE Real Lamb & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

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

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3980 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Garbanzo Beans, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal
  • A Source Of Live (Viable) Naturally Occurring Microorganisms
  • Vitamin A Supplement

This simple recipe by Canidae is a good pick if your dog has a sensitive immune system, as well as an easily upset tummy. Prepared with the simplest of ingredients, the main meat sources in this formula are lamb, turkey meal and chicken meal. This combination allows your dog to extract the maximum amount of nutrition from their food. The amino acids not only aid in the building of newer cells but also support a healthy immune system.

What’s more, the omega fatty acids in Menhaden fish meal a great for fighting free radicals. The formula also contains naturally occurring microorganisms, which aid in improving gut bacteria, better digestion, and effective metabolism.

As you would expect, there is no addition of corn, soy, wheat, or other types of artificial allergens. You can feed this recipe to your dog with confidence.

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5. Taste of the Wild- Pacific Stream Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3600 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 27%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Canola Oil, 5. Pea Protein
  • Tomato Pomace
  • Niacin

Puppies are just as susceptible to environmental allergens as adults, perhaps even more so. Taste of the Wild has come up with a recipe specifically for puppies to aid the digestion, and enhance the immune system of your darling pup. You can feed them the formula without having to worry about how they will react to the ingredients.

Real salmon is the main source of protein in this formula. This lean protein not only provides Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, but it also supplies antioxidants as well. Other essential ingredients in the recipe are fruits, vegetables, and the goodness of oils. Since there is no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavor, color, or preservatives added, your puppy will remain a happy dog. Designed for puppies, it is an easy to swallow choice your pup will love.

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Related:

  1. The main guide on the best dog foods
  2. The overall best dog foods for allergies
  3. The top-rated dry dog foods

Frequently Asked Questions 

Dog owners whose pets are allergic to environmental or food allergens are always on the lookout for information about their dog’s allergies and how best to treat them.

We’ve listed several frequently asked questions to help you make all the right food choices for your furry friends.

Can venison be given to dogs with allergies?

Yes, food recipes that contain venison are a good option because it provides a good lean protein along with B vitamins and minerals like zinc, phosphorus, and iron.

It’s a good choice for dogs who are allergic to chicken and beef.

How do I know if my dog has allergies?

Common signs of allergies include itching, sneezing, itchy paws, hot spots, skin rashes, scaly or oily skin, pigmented skin, leathery skin texture, and of course, biting of the affected area. Because allergies can lead to other complications, it’s best to have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian.

What type of protein is best for a dog with allergies?

Foods that contain fish as the primary meat option is a good choice because fish protein is the most easily digested.

What can help reduce my dog’s allergies?

Supplements that contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, along with oils like coconut oil. Opt for food formulas rich in these substances and also contain fish or other seafood sources.

Could my dog be allergic to chicken fat?

Dogs do develop allergies to chicken, but it is not common for them to have allergies to chicken fat. Buying food that is free of chicken but does contain chicken fat should be safe for your dog.

What food is best if my dog is allergic to chicken?

In most cases, the go-to food would be lamb, as the proteins in lamb are less likely to present problems vs. chicken or beef. Other meats that you can try are fish, duck, and venison.

What are natural remedies for dogs with allergies?

Food has the power to heal and if you know that your dog has allergies you can give them oats, aloe vera, thyme, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, mixed in their food. You can also opt for commercial foods that contain these items.

How to find out if my dog is allergic to certain food ingredients?

There are clear signs and symptoms of an allergy reaction in a dog. Food allergies often result in vomiting, flatulence, diarrhea, ear problems, sneezing, coughing, or even wheezing. You will only be able to discover which food by the process of elimination.

Why is dog itching so bad if he does not have fleas?

Even one flea bite can cause a reaction in dogs allergic to them, and fleas can be hard to see. Severe itching is a result of allergies, and if you have already eliminated food allergens, then your dog may have environmental allergies that come from their environment, like pollen or, yes, fleas.

Is lamb safe for dogs who have allergies?

Lamb is generally considered a safe pick for dogs with allergies to chicken or beef. You can also give your dog, fish, venison, or duck if they do not take well to protein sources obtained from chicken.

How to know if a dog is allergic to grains?

When a dog has grain allergies, they develop either gastrointestinal signs like diarrhea or vomiting or dermatological signs like rashes, severe itching, or chronic foot or ear infections.

Are grains bad for dogs with allergies?

If your dog is allergic to them, then yes. If not, no. If you want to be on the safe side, then opt for grain-free dog food formulas.

Can dog allergies go away by eliminating a particular ingredient?

If your dog is suffering from an environmental allergy, then no. But if your dog is allergic to a particular ingredient in its food, then removing that ingredient should allow it to become allergy free. Finding which ingredient your dog is allergic to can only be found through a process of elimination.

How do I feed my protein allergic dog?

The best choice to make in this situation is to give your dog fish proteins. Turkey and duck proteins are also good choices for keeping allergies at bay while providing your dog with sufficient nutrients.

Can allergies be fatal for my dog?

In most cases, they are not, but there are instances where they can be. The problem with most allergies is that they can lead to other problems. For example, a dog that continuously bites at itchy skin can cause the skin to become inflamed and infected.

The Buyer’s Guide: Food For Dogs with Environmental Allergies

Often it can be hard to distinguish whether an allergy is caused by food or environmental factors. So you need to pick out food that is safe from all kinds of additives and allergens.

Picking hypoallergenic foods for dogs can be tricky. You have to keep an eye out for multiple allergies and still ensure that all nutritional needs of your dog are met.

So what are some of the things you have to consider before buying foods for dogs with allergy issues? Here is what I consider important.

Most Common Food Allergies

Allergies mostly take place when your pooch’s immune system is unable to fight off the bacteria or allergen. When this happens, certain symptoms manifest.

According to experts, most common food allergens include:

  • Beef
  • dairy
  • egg
  • wheat
  • chicken
  • fish
  • soy
  • pork
  • lamb
  • rabbit

But these are only the most common ones and do not include allergies that your dog may have developed from their surroundings. It almost all cases, finding out what your dog is allergic to is a process of elimination.

Keep in mind that the more exposure your dog has to the substance they are allergic to, the worse their allergies will be. It is best to get them examined by a veterinarian so that you know for sure what element is working against them and how best to deal with the situation.

Food Allergy Symptoms

Even though individual dogs have individual symptoms for various kinds of allergies, some of the most common signs include:

  • Excessive itching
  • skin rash
  • dry or flaky skin
  • bald patches
  • hives
  • skin infection
  • biting paws
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • chronic flatulence
  • itchy bottom
  • high occurrence of hot spots

How to Choose the Right Foods for Allergy prone Dogs

To choose food products that are beneficial to the health of your allergy-prone pooch, you need to keep a few things in mind. These are:

  • The age, breeds, reproductive status, and activity of your dog. If the dog is a puppy, an adult, or a lactating mother, then you will need to choose food that suits their nutritional needs. The more active dog you have, the higher the calorie content you will need.
  • Read the label of the commercial food product with care. What kinds of allergens are in here? What kinds of protein are used? Is the food grain-free? If not, then what grains are included? These factors will decide how well your dog takes to the new food.
  • Research the manufacturer of the food and then consult with your dog’s vet. They already know what foods work best with which kind of allergies.

If you follow your vet’s treatment plan, there is no reason not to expect a happy outcome for you and your dog. Focus on getting them the best nutrition possible within the limitations of their allergies.

You now have our top five picks for best dog foods for dogs with environmental allergies. We hope you will try the one that works best for your situation. Good luck.

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