10 Best Foods For Dogs With Allergies

Filed in Dog Health, Dog Products on April 4, 2021

Best Foods For Dogs With Allergies

If your dog has allergies, then shopping for the right dog food can be a challenge. Hypoallergenic dog food is available for dogs suffering from allergies related to food.

While there are many options available, you may need some help sorting through your choices. You’ll normally find limited-ingredient formulas, grain-free foods, specially-formulated foods, novel protein source foods, and lastly prescription diets (although this post doesn’t address those).

In this blog post, I’ve put together a list of 10 of the best foods for dogs with allergies to help you make the right choice.

I would recommend speaking with a vet beforehand to rule out causes of your dog’s symptoms and other potential treatments. They may recommend an elimination diet or even an allergy test.

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At A Glance: Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies

1. Best Overall Special Diet for Sensitive Skin and Stomachs: Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula

2. Best Overall Grain-Free Diet for Allergies: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Recipe

3. Best Salmon Grain-Free Diet for Skin Allergies: Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Real Meat Recipe

4. Best Limited Ingredient Diet on a Budget for Allergies: Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6

5. Best Chicken Dog Food Diet for Adult Dogs with Sensitive Skin and Stomachs: Hill’s Science Diet for Sensitive Stomach and Skin

6. Best Lamb Limited-Ingredient and Grain-Free Diet: Canidae PURE Grain Free, Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

7. Best Grain-Free Diet for Senior Dogs with Allergies: Nulo Senior Grain-Free Dog Food

8. Best Duck Limited Ingredient Diet for Adult Dogs: Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

9. Best Grain-Free Diet for Allergies with Variety of Choices for Protein: NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

10. Best Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Formula for Small Dogs: Nulo All Natural Dog Food: Freestyle Limited

My Top 10 Picks for Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Before I give you the list, I did want to briefly review the main types of dog foods to help reduce allergies.

  • Limited-ingredient diets help to reduce the chance of dog allergies by using less ingredients.
  • Grain-free dog food may be helpful for dogs who are specifically allergic to grains such as corn, wheat, or rye. Note that some studies have found that grain-free diets can be harmful and are linked to heart disease. As a result, please speak to your vet beforehand.
  • Specially formulated dog foods for sensitive skin are also available which aren’t necessarily limited-ingredient formulas, but include ingredients that are healthy for a dog’s skin or avoid common allergens like beef and chicken.
  • Novel protein source diets use proteins that your dog hasn’t eaten previously like duck, venison, or salmon, for example.
  • Prescription dog foods are specifically designed by a vet nutritionist to meet the specific needs of your pup.

1. Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula (Best Overall Special Diet for Sensitive Skin and Stomachs)

$44.48
$41.98
7 new from $41.98
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

Does your dog suffer from skin or stomach symptoms caused by allergies? If so, this dog food may be a good option for them. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach dog food seems to get some really great reviews from dog owners.

This specially designed formula has salmon as its first ingredient, which is considered a novel protein source. Their formula keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy and supports good digestion. It’s available for small breeds, large breeds, adults, and puppies.

Important Features:

  • Salmon is the first ingredient.
  • This dog food contains live probiotics, which aids in digestion and increases immune health.
  • It’s made with prebiotic fiber, which makes it easily digestible.

Pros:

  • Promotes joint, skin, and coat health with sunflower and fish oil, which are rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Good reviews from customers about resolving their dog’s skin issues.
  • Available for all breeds.
  • Doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. It also has no corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Purina dog food is made in the United States.

Cons:

  • Higher calories and fat (429 calories per cup and 16% minimum crude fat)

2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Recipe (Best Overall Grain-Free Diet for Allergies)

$51.99
9 new from $51.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe is a good quality dog food with an affordable price tag per lb. It’s perfect for dogs who have grain allergies and thrive on a high protein diet.

The main sources of protein in this food are buffalo and venison, which are considered novel protein sources. Their formula also contains vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

Note: there have been warnings about putting dogs on a grain-free diet, so please do your research and speak to your vet first.

Important Features:

  • Buffalo is the first ingredient.
  • Offered in formulas for adults and puppies.
  • This dog food is specifically made for dogs who do best on a grain-free, high protein diet.
  • This food is well-balanced. The amounts of protein, fat, and carbs are well distributed, so your dog gets all the nutrition they need.

Pros:

  • It has high protein and antioxidants.
  • It helps the GI tract.
  • Taste of the Wild is a family-owned company in the USA.
  • Doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

Cons:

  • May have more protein than needed by your dog.
  • Further research needs to be done on the safety of grain-free foods.

3. Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Real Meat Recipe (Best Salmon Grain-Free Diet for Skin Allergies)

$49.99
$38.99
20 new from $38.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Real Meat Recipe has high-quality ingredients that are great for dogs with uncomfortable skin allergies.

The formula was created with the correct fat and protein levels, which are crucial for a shiny coat and healthy skin. It also contains probiotics to ensure your dog can easily digest the food.

The first ingredient is salmon, which is a novel protein source that can help avoid other meat allergies. Additionally, the vegetables and other superfoods in this formula are great for dogs of all life stages.

Note: this recipe is a grain-free diet which has been cautioned against recently and potentially linked to heart disease.

Important Features:

  • Salmon is the first ingredient.
  • Grain-free.
  • Doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

Pros:

  • Made with wild-caught salmon.
  • Made for dogs of all life stages.
  • Diamond Naturals has a strong focus on food safety.

Cons:

  • Some owners do not like the smell.
  • Further studies need to be done on the safety of grain-free dog food.

4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 (Best Limited Ingredient Diet on a Budget for Allergies)

$17.99
$9.44
5 new from $9.44
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

Rachel Ray Nutrish Just 6 is another one of the best foods for dogs with allergies. It contains six natural ingredients plus vitamins and minerals. It’s low in price but contains quality ingredients. This food can help your dog avoid food allergens with its limited ingredients.

You can get their formula with or without grains, and it’s available in either a turkey or lamb recipe. This food is higher in carbs when compared to other foods, but the fat and protein ingredients are of excellent quality.

Important Features:

  • Limited ingredient diet, great for helping dogs avoid allergens.
  • Turkey meal is the number one ingredient.
  • Does not contain beef or dairy, which are two common allergens.

Pros:

  • Can be bought with or without grains.
  • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Does not contain poultry by-product meal.
  • Some of your purchase goes to the Rachel Ray Foundation helping animals in need.

Cons:

  • Other supplements added to the 6 main natural ingredients.

5. Hill’s Science Diet for Sensitive Stomach and Skin (Best Chicken Dog Food Diet for Adult Dogs with Sensitive Skin and Stomachs)

$71.99
$64.99
9 new from $64.96
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food is another one of the best foods for dogs with allergies. It’s made with optimal digestion in mind and is best for dogs who need to be on a limited ingredient diet due to allergens, but who also have sensitive stomachs. Their formula contains a prebiotic that helps support healthy bacteria to balance out your dog’s microbiome.

Additionally, it offers a high amount of Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E. These promote healthy skin and coat.

Important Features:

  • This dog food was specifically made for dogs with both allergies and sensitive stomachs.
  • It contains beet pulp: this adds prebiotic fiber to the food for good digestion.
  • Can be bought with or without grain.

Pros:

  • The first ingredient is chicken.
  • It’s made with natural ingredients.
  • Hill’s donates food to shelters across the country
  • This food is made in the United States.

Cons:

  • Hill’s Science Diet foods tend to have lower protein levels than other foods.

    6. Canidae PURE Grain Free, Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food (Best Lamb Limited-Ingredient and Grain-Free Diet)

    $64.99
    3 new from $63.99
    Free shipping
    Amazon.com
    as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

    CANIDAE Pure grain-free is a limited ingredient dog food. It offers a single source of protein and a select blend of easily digestible plant ingredients. This dog food has only eight ingredients in total. It has added probiotics that promote digestive health and glucosamine that supports your dog’s joints.

    This food is best for managing your dog’s food allergies plus helping find what allergen is affecting your dog.

    Important Features:

    • This is a limited ingredient diet that includes only eight ingredients in total.
    • Lamb is the number one ingredient.
    • This food has a custom blend of antioxidants and probiotics.

    Pros:

    • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
    • This food is made with whole vegetables.

    Cons:

    • CANIDAE is pricier in comparison to other foods.
    • Grain-free diets have recently been cautioned against due to a potential link to heart disease.

    7. Nulo Senior Grain-Free Dog Food (Best Grain-Free Diet for Senior Dogs with Allergies)

    $50.99
    3 new from $36.99
    Amazon.com
    as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

    Nulo Senior Grain-Free Dog Food is great for senior dogs with allergies. This food offers the same high-quality formula as seen in other food options but has added benefits like glucosamine, chondroitin, and L-Carnitine. These are crucial for your senior dog’s health to keep them happy and healthy.

    Important Features:

    • Deboned trout is the first ingredient.
    • It contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joint and hip health.
    • Grain-free formula.

    Pros:

    • Made with high-quality ingredients.
    • Has satisfactory protein levels for senior dogs.
    • Kibble is small enough for senior dogs of all sizes and breeds.

    Cons:

    • High price per lb
    • Grain-free diets may have a potential link to heart disease.

    8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food (Best Duck Limited Ingredient Diet for Adult Dogs)

    $34.98
    4 new from $34.98
    Free shipping
    Amazon.com
    as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

    This dog food is a limited ingredient formula. It comes in seven different formulas so that you can find the best option for your dog. It’s made with real duck as the first ingredient. Duck provides your dog with amino acids; these help build strong muscles.

    Their is no gluten. Instead, it has whole-grain brown rice, which offers enough fiber to support healthy digestion. This food is great for adult dogs that may be allergic to other foods.

    Important Features:

    • Limited ingredient dog food.
    • This food has one source of protein, duck.
    • Whole grain brown rice to help with digestion.
    • It contains an appropriate amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to help maintain a healthy immune system.

    Pros:

    • Contained limited but premium ingredients.
    • Various of options available so that you can find the best choice for your dog.
    • This food contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
    • No fillers or poultry by-product meals.
    • Produced in the USA.

    Cons:

    • This food has a higher amount of carbs in comparison to other food options.
    • Solely for adult dogs.

    9. NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food (Best Grain-Free Diet for Allergies with Variety of Choices for Protein)

    Amazon.com
    as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

    This Nutro brand dog food is a novel, limited ingredient dog food. Novel proteins are proteins that your dog – most likely – hasn’t eaten before. Novel proteins are great for dogs who suffer from food-related allergies because they greatly reduce your dog’s chance of having a bad reaction. NUTRO formulas contain ten ingredients or less.

    You can choose between four different protein options; lamb, salmon, duck, and venison. These are all considered novel proteins, which is great so that you can find the best fit for your dog.

    Important Features:

    • All formulas contain ten ingredients or less.
    • This food is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
    • This is a grain-free recipe.

    Pros:

    • The first ingredient is always meat.
    • It contains no by-products.
    • Made in the USA.

    Cons:

    • These formulas are the most expensive NUTRO food options.

    10. Nulo All Natural Dog Food: Freestyle Limited (Best Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Formula for Small Dogs)

    $32.99
    3 new from $32.99
    Amazon.com
    as of September 23, 2021 3:43 pm

    Nulo Freestyle Limited is my final pick for best foods for dogs with allergies. It’s high in protein and low in carbs. They formulated this recipe to fit small dogs that need a simplified diet. This dog food is available in turkey.

    Nulo formulas have patented probiotics; they survive the cooking process and make it straight to your dog’s bowl. This aids in keeping their gut healthy! This food also contains salmon oil. Salmon oil prevents and treats skin and coat issues. So if your dog has flaky or dry skin from food allergies, definitely consider this food as an option.

    Important Features:

    • Limited ingredient formula with no chicken, peas, pea protein, white potato, eggs, tapioca, corn, wheat, soy.
    • This dog food is for small breeds with allergies.
    • Has added probiotics that help keep gut bacteria healthy.

    Pros:

    • Has added vitamins and minerals, so your dog gets well-balanced nutrition.
    • This food contains salmon oil which is great for skin and coat health.
    • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

    Cons:

    • Same problems with grain-free foods potentially being linked to heart disease.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Are the Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs?

    The symptoms of allergies in dogs may vary depending on the cause. If your dog has a severe allergy, it could result in them going into anaphylactic shock. Do keep in mind that symptoms can vary greatly; however, the following symptoms are the more commonly seen symptoms:

    • Hives
    • Eye discharge
    • Sneezing/Runny nose
    • Itchiness in the ears, eyes, and skin
    • Ear infections that keep returning
    • Facial swelling
    • Gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea
    • Inflamed/irritated skin
    • Continuous licking or biting, the most common spot is the paws.

    If your dog does have some of these symptoms, it’s important to note it doesn’t always mean allergies. They can be associated with other issues as well. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, see your veterinarian to get an accurate diagnosis.

    What Are the Most Common Ingredients Found in Dog Food That Causes Allergies?

    Proteins are one of the most common dog food allergens. However, you’ll see from the list below that allergies can range from proteins, to grains, to vegetables, and even dairy! The allergens below are listed from most to least common:

    • Beef
    • Dairy
    • Chicken
    • Wheat
    • Soy
    • Lamb
    • Corn
    • Egg
    • Pork
    • Fish
    • Rice

    You may be surprised to know that beef is the top food allergen for dogs. It’s believed that food allergies in dogs stem from feeding your dog the same food for many years. By doing this, the likelihood of your dog gaining an allergy increases. Beef is an ingredient that you find in many dog foods, which may be why it is such a common food allergy.

    Conclusion on Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies

    I hope you enjoyed our list of the 11 best foods for dogs with allergies. These recipes contain ingredients, minerals, vitamins, and supplements that will keep your dog happy and healthy.

    If you’re concerned that your dog might have undiagnosed allergies, see your vet. They can help you put together a treatment plan that is appropriate for your dog.

    I also wrote an article on raw dog food delivery services, where raw dog food has been reported to reduce allergy symptoms as well.

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