Top Pick: Royal Canin
Why We Chose It:
- Supports healthy digestion.
- Supports healthy skin and coat.
- Good for both puppies and adults.
- Weight of 25.3 pounds.
- 332 kcal/cup.
- Good for all breeds.
If your dog has allergies, you already know that feeding him or her can be difficult. You don’t want your dog to get sick every time he or she eats, but finding the right foods, even among the highest recommended dog foods, is harder than it should be. Not only are many dog foods just not terribly allergy-friendly, but it seems that so many foods contain allergy-causing ingredients that they’re impossible to avoid. Fortunately, a little research for the right recipe will help you to find a food that’s perfect for your dog.
That’s where we come in. We’ve already done the research for you, both locating some of the best candidates for the best dog food for allergies and finding out exactly where you can buy those products. If you’re ready to get your pet food that’s going to help him or her lead a long and healthy life, you’ll definitely want to read on and take a look at these products.
Best Dog Foods For Allergies in 2021
The hypoallergenic dog food that works best for one pet owner won’t necessarily work that well for another. Not only is this a matter of finding the right ingredients for your dog’s allergies, but it’s also a matter of finding food that your dog will love. Below are a handful of the best dog foods for allergies out there right now, with descriptions of the factors that make them all stand apart from the crowd.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Dry Dog Food
- Created for dogs with skin and coat issues
- Designed to avoid common immune system reactions to proteins
- Promotes healthy digestion and coat health
- Designed for both younger pooches and adult dogs
Allergies impact dogs in many different ways. Like humans, though, allergic reactions are often expressed through their skin. No dog owner wants to see his or her pet violently scratching itches all day, especially when doing so clearly causes further damage to the dog’s skin. If you know that your dog is suffering from skin and coat issues, it’s generally best to find a dog food that’s going to help with that specific kind of problem. One of the better choices for dealing with this type of allergic reaction is this adult dry dog food from Royal Canin, which gets our vote for today’s best dog food for allergies.
This high-quality dog food is specifically created for dogs who have skin and coat issues. The food’s formulated to avoid the problems that typically occur when allergic dogs try to digest proteins, so it generally won’t trigger the immune system and have the same kind of impact on your dog’s well-being. The food really does work to help dogs stop itching as often and can even go a long way towards helping a dog repair his or her damaged coat. The sense of relief that some dogs get after switching to this food really is palpable, something most dog owners really will appreciate.
Like most dog foods for allergies, this one does more than just focus on good skin and coat health. It is also meant to promote good digestive health, which should help your dog feel healthier and happier after eating. Though you won’t see an immediate change in your dog after just a single bowl, you’ll notice that your dog’s a little less itchy and a lot happier once he or she gets used to the new food. This is a product that can be life-changing for those dogs who tend to have skin problems that are related to their allergies, which is why it tops our list of today’s best dog foods for those pups who suffer from a food allergy.
Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food
- Designed to improve digestion and stool quality
- Improves coat health and reduces skin irritation
- Enriched omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids improve skin health
- Cornstarch is the only carbohydrate source
Food sensitivities can be hard on your dog. It’s important to find foods that aren’t just going to be easy on your dog’s stomach, but that will help him or her feels better after eating rather than feeling worse. The key here is to look for a hypoallergenic dog food that’s going to actually improve your dog’s digestion while it deals with other common food allergy problems. It’s probably not too surprising to most dog owners that Hill’s Prescription Diet has precisely the kind of dog food that will help most dogs who have stomach issues and who tend to express those issues through skin irritation – and probably not surprising either that this blend is a contender amongst today’s best dog foods for pups who suffer from a food allergy.
This dog food really helps out dogs in a few different, important ways. First and foremost, it’s meant to be easy to digest – that means fewer stomach problems for your dog as well as less painful bowel movements. The dog food also has enriched omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – essential fatty acids can help to repair the damage that has already been done to your dog’s skin. This not only means less itching, but it means that your dog will feel more comfortable throughout the day. It’s really a dog food that goes a long way towards relieving the symptoms of skin allergies and improving your dog’s overall quality of life.
As with most products from Hill’s, the food is going to be relatively easy on your dog. It’s only got a single carbohydrate source and the animal protein sources are fairly simple to digest, so it’s very unlikely to trigger any of your dog’s pre-existing allergies. By really simplifying the ingredient list, it’s become one of the best dog foods for dogs with food allergies. If you’re looking for something that’s going to be a simple, easy switch for your dog and that is going to lead to a marked improvement in his or her digestion, this might be the right choice for you.
Brothers Complete Turkey Meal & Egg Formula Advanced Allergy Care Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Grain-free food made with real turkey and cassava root
- Includes 23 amino acids thanks to the inclusion of egg
- Increases nutrient absorption and immune system function
- Probiotics foster good gut health
Getting a mix of the right ingredients is usually a key part of dealing with your dog’s allergies. You don’t just need to make sure that you avoid the things that can harm your dog, but rather you’ll need to make sure that there are plenty of included ingredients that can help your dog to stay healthy. This excellent dog food is a great example of how a few extra ingredients can really go a long way towards ensuring that your dog stays healthy.
As the name of the product suggests, two of the big ingredients in this food are turkey and egg. The turkey is the primary ingredient alongside cassava root and it’s important because turkey tends to play fairly well with a dog’s digestion. Not only is it less likely to cause reactions, but the primary ingredient is less likely to upset a touchy stomach. Egg, while also a fairly inoffensive ingredient, brings a lot to the table in terms of amino acids. The food is also a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Altogether, this makes for an excellent set of ingredients that will help to boost your dog’s overall health without provoking many of the more common reactions.
The dog food also goes a long way towards solving some of the other problems caused by allergies. It includes probiotics to improve your dog’s gut health, which should lead to better bowel movements and less indigestion. The food also works to improve your dog’s immune system, leading to fewer illnesses and a generally happier demeanor. Though this dog food definitely can’t solve every problem for every dog, it does a good job of hitting the high notes. This is one of the great hypoallergenic dog foods to give to your pup if you’re looking for something that can solve multiple issues at once.
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed
- Chicken-flavored and includes hydrolyzed proteins
- Designed to promote optimized nutrient absorption
- Only includes a single source of protein and carbohydrate source
- Designed by a group of nutritionists, vets, and researchers
One of the biggest problems when it comes to dealing with a dog’s allergies is isolating the ingredient that causes the problems. Most dog foods are full of different ingredients, both to fulfill nutritional requirements and to provide the kind of tastes that dogs love. If you’ve found yourself dealing with these traditional foods, though, you know that figuring out which specific ingredient is solving the problem can be very hit or miss. That’s why this Purina Pro Plan dog food really stands out, as it allows dog owners to go down to a very simple recipe in order to help their dogs feel better.
Unlike most dog foods, this food only has one single source of protein and one single source of carbohydrates. That means it’s incredibly easy to figure out why your dog might have an adverse reaction to the food and to avoid those ingredients that have typically caused your pup problems. This food is, in many ways, as close as you’re going to get to just giving your dog a single ingredient dish to eat. It can be overkill for some dogs, of course, but it’s very nice to know that there is an option like this out there.
Beyond just having two major ingredients, this dog food also takes steps to make itself easier for your dog to digest the food. The hydrolyzed proteins are incredibly easy for your dog’s stomach to break down, a huge benefit for those dogs that tend to get sick after eating. The food is also designed to ensure that your dog absorbs as many nutrients as possible when eating the food, allowing your pup to get a lot more from a lot less. This Purina Pro Plan food is one of the great hypoallergenic dog foods for those who are still trying to pinpoint the causes of their dogs’ allergic reactions.
Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Real Salmon and Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
- The main ingredient is Wild Caught Salmon
- Grain-free formula
- Includes essential hypoallergenic ingredients to avoid itchy skin
- Highly digestible and engineered for better gut health
Hypoallergenic is one of those phrases that gets thrown around a lot in marketing. People who tend to buy hypoallergenic products are often very cognizant of the fact that it’s almost impossible to totally eliminate allergens, but that even making the effort can have a big impact. Eliminating common causes of food allergy problems in your dogs is usually a great way to make sure that your dog stays healthy and happy. If you’re looking for something that hypoallergenic but that your dog will still love to eat, you may want to take a look at this unique pet food.
The main ingredient in this dog food is wild-caught salmon, which tends to be fairly easy on dogs’ stomachs and doesn’t tend to provoke the more common types of allergic reactions. It also comes packed with omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6. Perhaps more important, though, is that the food totally eliminates the most common cause of reactions – grains such as corn, wheat, or otherwise. By focusing only on hypoallergenic ingredients, the grain-free dog food makes it much easier for dogs to eat without having any kind of negative reaction to his or her meals. This food really represents one of the most obvious ways to help keep your dog happy and healthy in the face of sensitive skin.
The grain-free formula is more than just hypoallergenic, though. It also goes a long way towards helping your dog’s gut health. This is definitely one of those features that’s common in this type of food, as improved gut health is great for your dog’s quality of life. This highly digestible food is less likely to cause your dog to have an upset stomach and will generally result in productive bowel movements, both things that will make your dog much happier in the long run. If you need dog food that’s going to really stay away from common allergens while still making your dog healthier, this might be the best choice for you.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
- The main ingredient is a real turkey
- No chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or eggs
- Has a special blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Blue Buffalo is one of those brands that many dog owners turn to when they really care about their dogs’ diets. Though not all of the company’s foods can be described as perfect for dogs with food allergies, the truth is that many of the recipes do eliminate a lot of the problem ingredients that tend to lead to an allergic reaction. If you are already a fan of Blue Buffalo, you may want to take a look at the brand’s Limited Ingredient Diet for your dog. Doing so may be the key to helping with his or her allergic reaction.
This Blue Buffalo recipe does help with most allergy-related reactions by significantly limiting the number of ingredients in the dog food. It grain-free, for example, nor does it have chicken, beef, soy, dairy, or even eggs. This is an ideal food for those dogs that tend to have wider-ranging food allergies or for those owners who haven’t quite managed to figure out exactly what is causing their dogs’ allergic reaction quite yet.
The dog food isn’t short on wholesome ingredients, though. It is full of the kind of antioxidants and vitamins that keep your dog healthy, helping you to ensure that your pup avoids allergens without compromising his or her immune system. This is stellar dog food for any dog owner who really wants to keep his or her dog’s diet simple while still making sure that he or she has everything he or she needs to stay healthy.
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets
- Grain-free dog food with a single animal protein source
- Designed to help with digestive health
- Helps to promote a healthy coat
- Balanced nutrition for adult and mature dogs
It can be very rough on both the pet and his or her owner when an older dog starts to develop food allergies. It often seems like this comes out of nowhere, but the food allergy can make it difficult for your dog to keep eating the food that he or she may have loved for years. If you find yourself in this situation, it is vital that you make a switch to a food that’s going to allow you to figure out what’s wrong with your dog while still helping your dog to stay happy and healthy during that search.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets simplifies things significantly in two major ways. First, it gets rid of all of the animal protein sources in the dog food except for duck. As long as you know that duck isn’t an food allergy trigger for your dog, you should be fairly safe with this food. It is also grain-free and rid of other common allergens, again making it likely that your dog will be able to eat this food with no ill effects. Once you can get your dog’s eating experience back to normal with this grain-free food, you can figure out exactly what it was about the old dog food that was causing problems.
This isn’t a typical limited-ingredient food, though. It is very much focused on gut health and help your dog’s coat to stay lustrous and healthy. Both of these are big issues with dogs who have food allergies, as the damage done by allergens can express itself in some fairly uncomfortable ways. Switching over to Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets will allow your dog to more easily digest what he or she eats and should help reduce how itchy he or she feels. This is great dog food for helping to get your dog back to his or her pre-allergy self.
NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- The primary ingredient is salmon
- Grain-free and rid of common irritants
- Made with Non-GMO ingredients
- Only 10 ingredients total
Dealing with your food allergies in dogs isn’t always easy, especially if you haven’t quite nailed down exactly what ingredients your dog is allergic to. The fact that most dog foods are full of fillers and multiple ingredients mean that it’s tougher than most think to limit the intake of potential allergens, a process that unfortunately tends to lead to many dog owners trying multiple types of food in order to figure out the best way to help their dogs. If you’re looking for a good dog food that’s going to help you find an allergen or that will let you avoid some of the more common food allergy problems, you should definitely take a look at this dog food.
Like most of the limited ingredient dog foods for allergies on the market, NUTRO’s product seeks to alleviate food allergies in dogs by limiting the number of potential problems in the food. Again, like most, it does this by getting rid of those ingredients that are most likely to cause dogs problems. This means not only getting rid of the grains that are most commonly used as filler in dog foods, but also getting rid of the common irritants like soy that can cause an adverse allergic in many different types of dogs.
The good news is that getting rid of irritants doesn’t mean that the grain-free food gets rid of the things your dog needs. The primary ingredient here is salmon, an animal protein source that’s not commonly seen on the list of allergens that tend to hurt dogs. The other ingredients on the list are all wholesome and are meant to ensure that your dog gets precisely what he or she needs in terms of nutrition. This is a great grain-free dog food not just for those dogs who have food allergies but also for any pup who needs a well-rounded diet to thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you tell if your dog is allergic to food?
The best way to tell if your dog is allergic to food is to look at his or her reactions after he or she eats. Is your dog itching all the time? Is he or she suddenly getting sick? Is your dog lethargic or otherwise acting strange? These can all be signs that your dog is suffering from some kind of allergy, so pay attention. The best way to determine if this is really the problem is by switching your dog over to an allergy-free food or a limited-ingredient diet to see if his or her symptoms go away. If you don’t know where to start you can try an elimination diet. An elimination diet is when you remove one likely suspect from your dog’s diet at a time and observe whether or not your dog’s condition improves.
Does grain-free dog food help with skin allergies?
Grains are a prime culprit when it comes to food allergies in dogs. Dogs aren’t typically all that well-suited for eating any kind of grain, though it’s not going to cause problems with most dogs. If your dog does develop a grain allergy, though, it’s very likely that this allergy will be expressed on your dog’s skin. This makes a lot of sense when you think about human allergies – there are plenty of human food allergies that cause people to feel itchy or to break out in rashes. Dogs experience the same thing, except they don’t have the ability to understand the link between their food and the cause of the itching on their sensitive skin.
Is Blue Buffalo good for dogs with allergies?
Blue Buffalo is generally a good choice if you are looking for allergy-free foods. It’s not the only choice, of course, but it’s never a bad place to start. Just as with other brands, though, you’re going to really want to pay attention to what is on the back of the bag. While the brand does have some really good limited-ingredient mixes, some of its foods do have some common allergens that can cause your pup problems. Remember, it’s not the brand that matters but rather the specific ingredients in the food.
What kind of protein is best for dogs with allergies?
The type of protein that is generally best for dogs with allergies is going to depend entirely on the allergies of a given dog. Most of the dog foods that focus on allergy relief or prevention make use of some kind of poultry (usually duck or turkey) or some kind of fish (usually salmon). The foods are based on these proteins because they tend to be less likely to cause allergy-related reactions. If you know that your dog doesn’t have any particular protein reactions, though, you can feel safe giving him or her an allergy-free food that contains almost any source of protein.
Hydrolyzed proteins can be helpful for pups with dog food allergies, as they are easier to break down. Alternatively, you can feed your dog a novel protein source. A novel protein is a protein that you know your dog has not been exposed to before. Choosing a high-quality food with either hydrolyzed or novel protein is likely what your vet would recommend – but its always best to check with them to get their expert opinion.
Is dog food for allergies any different than regular dog food?
Yes, dog food for allergies is a little different than regular dog food. This usually has to do not with how the food looks or tastes, but rather what is in the food. Most dog foods for allergies tend to avoid adding in those ingredients that are most likely to cause a dog’s allergy-related reactions, usually soy or grain. There are also many types of dog food that have even more limited ingredients, which can help out those dogs that might have unusual allergies and are restricted to a limited-ingredient diet. If your pup has reactions to food, you’ll generally want to switch over to one of these so that you can help your dog to feel his or her best on their limited-ingredient diet.
Dog Food For Allergies Buying Guide
Let’s be honest – you don’t want the best dog food for allergies for every dog. You want the best food for allergies that works for your dog. While guides are fantastic for helping you see what all the good brands are, you also need to figure out precisely what it is that your dog needs. Before you choose one of the great foods that we’ve discussed, you owe it to both yourself and to your pup to take a look at the factors that can make up excellent dog food.
The big thing that tends to concern dog owners when it comes to the foods meant for allergies in dogs is the ingredient list. Something in your dog’s old food is causing him or her to have allergy-related and it’s natural that you want to fix that problem, and an elimination diet or a limited-ingredient diet is a great place to start. What you’ve got to consider, though, is whether or not you actually know what’s causing your dog’s reactions.
If you do know what’s causing the reactions, that’s great. That means that you just need to find a dog food that leaves out the ingredient that you know is causing the problem. If you know that your dog has a grain allergy, for example, almost any grain-free food is going to be enough. A dog with a specific protein allergy, on the other hand, is just going to require switching to a food that leaves out that protein.
If you don’t know the cause of the problem, though, you’ll want to search out limited-ingredient dog food. These foods are simple enough that they’ll either stop your dog’s reactions or that you’ll be able to immediately pinpoint one of the few ingredients in that dog food as the problem. While grain-free limited ingredient dog food is great for many dogs, it can be especially useful when you’re still trying to figure out exactly what is making your pup sick.
Most foods that are made for allergies don’t just eliminate ingredients. These are usually foods that are meant to help dogs get a little healthier after eating them, usually in order to combat some of the damage that was done by the exposure to the harmful allergens. As a dog owner, it’s always a best to see exactly what these foods are going to be able to do for your dog in order to see if they can alleviate some of your dog’s allergy symptoms.
It’s very common for allergy-free foods to have ingredients that help repair your dog’s skin and bring about a higher level of coat health. Since so many dogs tend to express allergies through itching, this can be a great way to get your dog to feel like his or her old self again. Anti-itching and coat health ingredients are a nice touch even if your dog isn’t allergic to anything, but these ingredients do a lot to help out dogs who are in pain.
Other dog foods tend to focus on gut and immune system health. If your dog is having more serious allergic symptoms, these might be the ingredients on which you want to focus. They help to rebuild your dog’s gut biota and beef up his or her immune system, returning your dog to the level of health that he or she had before he or she developed an allergy. Keep in mind also of your older dogs that may need to transition to a senior dog food.
The next big thing to look at is the type of food that you’re choosing. Is it wet food or dry food? The latter is definitely a lot more common in the world of allergy-free dog foods, but there are a lot of wet foods that have very limited ingredients as well. This really goes to your dog’s preferences as well as your own, as some dog owners really can’t deal with cleaning up the messes that come from a wet recipe.
It’s also best to think about how your dog’s allergies have impacted his or her ability to eat. If your dog has skin damage, it can be difficult for your dog to chew kibble. As such, it might be best to try out a softer dry food or even food with smaller bites. Anything you can do to make your dog feel a little more comfortable will usually help.
What kind of flavors does your dog like? Given that most of these allergy-free dog foods tend to focus on a very limited number of proteins, you’re going to need to look for something that your dog likes. Most of these foods are either poultry-based or fish-based, so be on the lookout for something that your dog has eaten on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to try a few different options, though, as it might not only be the flavor with which your dog has a problem. You need a good combination of flavors and textures to make sure that your dog gets exactly what he or she wants.
Finally, talk to your vet to see if he or she has any recommendations. While many vets have an in-house brand that they are likely to push, other vets will be more than happy to tell you about products that they have seen working for other pet owners. Your vet is just one source of information on which you can rely, but he or she does have access to information that you may not be able to find anywhere else.