Home Reviews Top 15 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Top 15 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

These fifteen best hypoallergenic dog foods are picked based on their limited ingredient formula, veterinarian recommendations and dog food reviews from pet owners with dogs with allergies based on their success rate.

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Usually it's dog food that's always the first to be blamed when a dog shows allergy symptoms. While it's not always an allergic reaction to dog food per se, your veterinarian may ask you to switch your pet's diet onto one of the best hypoallergenic dog food brands, or a limited ingredient dog food formula. Therefore, this isn't a decision that you should make before having an in-depth conversation with your veterinarian.

What makes dog food hypoallergenic?

Top Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods for Dogs with AllergiesAlthough there is no officially defined term that governs laws regarding this part of dog food labels, a dog food is considered hypoallergenic when it:

  • Contains a limited (very small) amount of ingredients
  • Contains novel ingredient(s) that are high quality

Some of the most popular best hypoallergenic dog foods are actually prescription dog food diets that pet owners can get from their vets. However, we've already written about the “scam” of prescription diets and why most pet owners don't really need to pay 3-5 times more for their dog food.

In this article, we'll discuss more about picking the best hypoallergenic dog food for dogs with allergies, as well as cover why these limited ingredient dog food diets are often suggested to pets and how they work. We have fifteen of the best hypoallergenic dog food brands with limited ingredients, including these five:

Hypoallergenic Dog Food Brands Price Quality Rating
PS For Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food $$$ A+ 5 stars
Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Food $$$$ A+ 5 stars
Purina Veterinary Hydrolized $$$ A 4 half stars
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon $ B- 4 stars
Outback Kangaroo Feast $$ B 4 stars

* Click on the best hypoallergenic dog food brand for more information and prices, or scroll down below to read our reviews and notes.

Note that hypoallergenic dog food brands rarely name themselves using this term, but rather opt for a “limited ingredient diet” terminology which makes them more appealing to a wider range of consumers, since not all dog foods with food sensitivities are allergic but may have other issues. These food formulas for dogs with allergies have been developed based on several scientific studies showing allergy sources.

When a dog food is limited ingredient, it'll have under ten ingredients, usually around 5-7 (most common). Some of the best limited ingredient dog food formulas make it easy to pin down allergens (causation). Novel ingredients in these formulas are something a sensitive stomach dog is unlikely to be allergic to, but that is not guaranteed and only testing and/or elimination diet can tell you exactly.

I'll discuss general allergies in dogs, food sensitives and dog food allergies below. Before that, I recommend you read a science-based article on this topic from a veterinarian, and then look through these top five and the rest ten of the best hypoallergenic dog foods as rated high by veterinarians and pet owners who had a high success rate by feeding them to their dogs with allergies (puppy formulas in the links).

What are the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food Brands?
top 5 best limited ingredient hypoallergenic dog foods

1P.S. 100% Hypoallergenic Food

Price to value: $13/lb (very expensive)P.S. 100% Hypoallergenic Food

PS for Dogs offers a 100% hypoallergenic dog food that uses a single source for its high-protein content, which is either lamb or turkey. All of the ingredients are hypoallergenic, low-glycemic and grain-free. It's also the most expensive dog food brand out there.

As the saying goes, dogs are what they eat. Therefore, allergic reactions often need to be treated from within. With this specially-prepared food, dogs get their required high-protein diet without the ingredients that trigger allergies. According to many dog owners, their pets’ issues were actually resolved in just a matter of days after feeding this food.

The skin reactions were significantly reduced, and after a few weeks more, the dog's skin visibly cleared up and hair even showed signs of growing back. Because of the limited number of ingredients, P.S. 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food is great in isolating the cause of allergies. Optimum health and minimum to zero allergic reactions – nothing could make pet owners happier.

best hypoallergenic dog foodBuyers do admit that this product is on the pricey end, but they find great value in it. They say that they have spent so much more on vet visits and medicines just so they and their dogs can live happy, normal lives. The right food heals, and that is the reason why this brand is on our top 5 best hypoallergenic dog food list.

PROS:

  • Uses a single source for its high-protein content (turkey or lamb)
  • All of the ingredients are hypoallergenic, low-glycemic and grain-free
  • 100% money back guarantee if this best hypoallergenic dog food does not work
CONS:

  • More expensive than many of the best hypoallergenic dog food products
  • As with any product on this list, some owners claim that it was not the answer to their pup's allergy problems

best hypoallergenic dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTOS): “Over the past 10 years, my maltese has been to almost every specialist around town. My dog was suffering from severe paw licking. I attached some pictures (its not as bad as it …”

 

2Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Food

Price to value: $2.2/lb (affordable)Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Food

The key is in the ingredients. Fewer ingredients mean fewer components in the food to react to. This dry dog food from Wellness Natural Pet Food contains only natural components, a single protein source, and none of the usual allergens such as wheat, corn, soy and gluten. There are no fillers, meat by-products, eggs, and artificial color or flavor, just high-quality lamb meat and choice carbohydrate sources.

Protein variations include duck, salmon and turkey. This product is made in the USA and comes in packs of 4.5, 10.5, 24, and 26 pounds. Pet owners who purchased this product say the simplicity of the ingredients list suited their dogs, even the ones that were intolerant to most brands of dog food.

Buyers surmise that with just five ingredients to deal with, their pets had fewer bouts of allergy or stomach disturbances, rarely over-ate and had better stools. Their coats turned healthier, too, with much reduced scratching and chewing.

As with all the best hypoallergenic dog food products, there are reviews from buyers who say that this food didn't help their pet. A few reviewers also noted that this food made their pet ill, but that could have been from a drastic change in diet.

PROS:

  • Contains only natural components and a single protein source
  • No fillers, meat by-products, eggs, artificial color or artificial flavors
  • Protein variations include duck, salmon and turkey
  • Made in the USA
CONS:

  • As with all the best hypoallergenic dog food products, there are reviews from buyers who say that this food didn't help their pet
  • A few reviewers also noted that this food made their pet ill

best hypoallergenic dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “Understanding not all skin issues are alike, this food seems to have solved our issues. My labradoodle developed a skin irritation that turned into a nasty infection in late november. She was on…”

 

3Purina Veterinary Diets Canine HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian

Price to value: $5.3/lb (expensive)

Purina Veterinary Diets Canine HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dry FoodDogs are meat-eaters by nature, but due to some genetic factors, there are dogs that are allergic to meat. Some develop rashes that lead to intense itching, while others react with upset stomach when fed with meat. Purina Veterinary Diets has created this vegetarian food that is designed to meet the dietary requirements of this particular group of canines. The main ingredient of this dry dog food is hydrolyzed soy protein.

This best hypoallergenic dog food is enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to ensure proper nutrition and strong immune system. The vegetarian food is not for every dog, though. It was formulated as a therapeutic treatment for dogs with sensitivities to animal protein.

Pet owners say that Purina Veterinary Diets Canine HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food is one of the very few food products their sensitive dogs can take without developing adverse reactions. The vegetable ingredients are definitely easier on their stomachs as was evident from firmer stool. Itching has disappeared and the dogs are noticeably more comfortable.

The dogs love the food, too, and that solves half of the problem. It's difficult to find a poor review of this product, but some buyers did claim that their dog would not eat it. Others said that their dog's condition showed no improvement when switched to this diet.

PROS:

  • Vegetarian diet
  • Main ingredient is hydrolyzed soy protein
  • Enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids
CONS:

  • Some buyers did claim that their dog would not eat it
  • A few negative reviews said that their dog's condition showed no improvement when switched to this diet

best hypoallergenic dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “So I have two puppies (brussels griffons) and one has allergies. He was very scratchy and constantly licking and I had originally thought it was fleas but after checking him …”

 

4Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Price to value: $1.4/lb (very cheap)

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry FoodProbiotics, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants are three of the nutrients that dogs with sensitive skin and tummy need a good dose of in their daily meal. Purina Pro Plan has created Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon and Rice dry dog food to keep the correct balance of these key nutrients in your dog’s daily food intake. The product is available in three bag sizes, including a 5-lb bag for those dogs trying this out for the first time or transitioning to this hypoallergenic diet.

The protein source for this best hypoallergenic dog food is premium-grade real salmon, but a lamb variant can also be had. Problematic dog allergies often mean constant visits to the vet, expensive treatment, and an unhappy dog. Stressed pet owners say they’ve searched every possible solution just to make life easier and more normal for their dogs. Finding this product saved the day for them.

After successfully transitioning to Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, their dogs showed significant improvement and seemed to like the food, which is often the first test on how a new dog food is going to work. Gone were the digestive upsets, skin irritation and infections that constantly hounded their four-legged companion.

best hypoallergenic dog foodMost dog owners don’t particularly approve of the food’s fishy smell but say that they can live with that as long as their dog enjoys the chow and evidently benefits from it. Many long time users of this food have also stated that Purina changed the formula recently and it upset their pet's digestion.

PROS:

  • Includes probiotics, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants
  • Protein source is premium-grade real salmon, and a lamb variant is also available
CONS:

  • This best hypoallergenic dog food has a rather fishy smell that bothered some buyers
  • Many long time users of this food have also stated that Purina changed the formula recently and it upset their pet's digestion

best hypoallergenic dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “Our Great Dane had many problems starting at 6 months old. He was to the Vet twice a month and then on to specialists. His skin condition was just terrible. Lots of infections and …”

 

5Outback Kangaroo Feast

Price to value: $14/lb (very expensive)Outback Kangaroo Feast

If your dog is allergic to the usual protein sources like beef, chicken, fish or lamb, maybe it’s about time to try a totally new kind of dog food – dehydrated raw kangaroo meat. The chunky Outback Kangaroo Feast from Addiction Pet Foods is made from raw kangaroo meat that underwent a special dehydration process to preserve its nutrients and flavor and to protect it from spoilage.

It also contains apples, carrots, canola oil, papayas, potatoes, spinach, and sunflower seeds. This new alternative to the usual dog fare was carefully prepared to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs per AAFCO standards. Dog owners appreciate the convenience that this product offers. It has the advantage of being raw but without the hassle of preparing raw food – previously impossible with traditional raw dog food.

Most dogs have not been exposed to kangaroo meat before, so they’re less likely to have developed allergies to it. Many buyers of Outback Kangaroo Feast have long used this for their dogs, and they recommend it to people with sensitive dogs. They say that this has resolved previous health issues and they now have a dog with a lustrous coat, happy disposition, and evidently healthy condition.

best hypoallergenic dog foodWhile the feed costs more than the above-average best hypoallergenic dog food brands, pet owners just can’t stop buying something that has reliably kept expensive bills and wearying therapy at bay. Some reviewers stated that their dog would not eat this food, and they questioned the amount of meat in it. Unlike other similar types of dog food, they say that it is all powder and there are no chunks of dehydrated meat.

PROS:

  • Made with dehydrated raw kangaroo meat
  • Contains apples, carrots, canola oil, papayas, potatoes, spinach, and sunflower seeds
  • Has the advantage of being raw but without the hassle of preparing raw food
CONS:

  • Buyers question the amount of meat in this best hypoallergenic dog food. They say that unlike other similar types of dog food, they say that it is all powder and there are no chunks of dehydrated meat
  • Some reviewers stated that their dog would not eat this food

best hypoallergenic dog foodMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “I have allergy-prone 2 French Bulldogs. I buy this & combine with: California Natural Grain Free Kangaroo & Red Lentils Formula Adult Dry Dog Food. Kangaroo works because they …”

10 Best Limited Ingredient Hypoallergenic Dog Foods as Alternatives

The above list of five best hypoallergenic dog food brands contains the most popular options as recommended by veterinarians and pet owners alike. Make sure to also read hypoallergenic dog food reviews from other pet owners to compare your own case to something already tested. That said, some of the ingredients in those dog foods may still be an issue for your dog. If that's the case, here are ten more alternatives to find the best limited ingredient dog food brand for your specific dog with food allergies.

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet ($3.2/lb)6. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet ($3.2/lb) – one of the most expensive hypoallergenic dog food brand out there but also one with the highest success rate, Instinct limited ingredient dog food contains only two ingredients – one animal protein and one vegetable source. No other dog food formula offers this. It's one of the best limited ingredient dog food brands due to its simplistic formula with no fillers, grains or otherwise unknown or suspicious ingredients. Its easily digestible protein source makes it perfect for majority of dogs with food allergies and food sensitivities.

CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Land Formula ($2.5/lb)7. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Land Formula ($2.5/lb) – the company are well-known for sourcing unique, high quality ingredients for their dog food formulas. This one contains bison as the main source of protein and six additional ingredients made up of wholegrains. This may not be suitable for every dog with allergies since the number of ingredients is still longer than some other formulas.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Food ($2.1)8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Food ($2.1) – this grain free formula contains premium quality protein and carbohydrate sources (no grains). However, even though Natural Balance is known for their best limited ingredient dog food formulas, this one may not be the top option for a lot of dogs due to comparably higher number of ingredients. Nevertheless, the recipe is very simple and easy to digest.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Food ($1.07/lb)9. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Food ($1.07/lb) – a very similar formula to the above mentioned Canidae, this hypoallergenic dog food may be a good alternative to Natural Balance formula (and vice versa). The recipe is simple with only six ingredients and added vitamins and minerals, no byproducts or fillers, but it does contain grains, ground and brown rice.

BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet ($2.08/lb)10. BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet ($2.08/lb) – another one of the best hypoallergenic dog foods due to its low number of ingredients, high protein source and no grains. While some of the BLUE dog foods have been under heat in the past, their limited ingredient formula is still one of the best hypoallergenic dog food brands you can find, but it may not fit every dog with sensitivities.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient High Protein Food ($2.5/lb)11. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient High Protein Food ($2.5/lb) – this hypoallergenic dog food is a better alternative to the above mentioned Natural Balance limited ingredient dog food due to larger percentage of high quality protein (32% real beef) in it. However, it also comes with hefty price tag when compared to other best hypoallergenic dog food brands. It doesn't contain any grains either.

The Honest Kitchen Hope Dehydrated Minimalist Food ($10/lb)12. The Honest Kitchen Hope Dehydrated Minimalist Food ($10/lb) – the most expensive hypoallergenic dog food brand on this list. The Honest Kitchen company hasn't been very popular among dog owners, which is unjust since their human grade, FDA approved dog foods are actually very high quality, and this formula is easily one of the best hypoallergenic dog foods out there. It's one of the best rated dehydrated foods resembling raw feeding and only contains six quality ingredients.

Merrick 1 Count Limited Ingredient Diet ($2.5/lb)13. Merrick 1 Count Limited Ingredient Diet ($2.5/lb) – one of the best grain free dog foods out there, Merrick is a favorite among pet owners looking for high protein dog food with no grains. Their limited ingredient dog food formula is another winner with 34% real chicken and the rest filled with five quality ingredients. The recipe, however, will not fit a lot of dogs with food sensitivities and allergies.

NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet ($2.5/lb)14. NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet ($2.5/lb) – although NUTRO's dog foods are generally high rated five star brands, they're not known for their limited ingredient formulas or best hypoallergenic dog foods, and this one as well is mostly an alternative if you can't pick any other limited ingredient dog food brand. It contains ten ingredients, no grains and claims to have eliminated popular food sensitivity ingredients.

 SportDogFood Elite Food ($1.9/lb)15. SportDogFood Elite Food ($1.9/lb) – final contender on the list for best hypoallergenic dog food brand is a fairly new company SportDogFood with their Elite formula for advanced allergic reactions in dogs, and contains no grains as well as eliminates most popular allergy causing ingredients for dogs with food sensitivities. On paper this hypoallergenic formula looks good but many pet owners have reported allergic reactions nonetheless.

Have you tried any of these hypoallergenic dog foods? How did you pup react to any of these limited ingredient dog food brands? Share your experience below so more dog owners are aware of any issues.

Dog food allergies and picking the best hypoallergenic dog foods for your pup

Best Hypoallergenic Dog FoodGeneral dog allergies can be triggered by many factors, including what a dog breathes, eats or comes in contact with. Constant licking and chewing, itching, or gastrointestinal disorders are the immediate signs of an allergy onset.

Dog food allergies may trigger some other types of allergies in dogs as well, so vets always prescribe a change in diet for dogs with hypersensitivities.

Spotting allergies on dogs can be easy since they are obvious, and dogs will not hide them; simply pay extra attention. Symptoms of a dog food allergy may include:

  • Excessive flatulence
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Hair loss
  • Inflamed, red skin

Unfortunately, the actual cause of dog food allergies as well as other ones are usually very difficult to pinpoint. Much too often dog owners spend a lot of time performing trial-and-error type experiments to figure out what is causing their pup's allergic reaction.

“In this instance, a veterinarian may recommend an exclusive novel diet (to which the animal has never been exposed) for a period of time in order to determine if food is a component of the signs.” – TAMU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital [source]

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to take Fido to the vet?

Before recommending any best hypoallergenic dog foods, your vet can do a series of tests to figure out what may be bothering your dog, but this is often a lengthy and expensive process. Your vet will likely ask about your dog's diet, and if he thinks it may be a food allergy he'll likely recommend the best hypoallergenic dog food.

Unfortunately, multiple studies have shown that majority of tests for dog food allergies done at vet clinics by veterinarians are useless (including this most recent study). So what's left is mostly guess work and trial and error approach, using elimination diet and tried best hypoallergenic dog foods with limited ingredients.

With that said, it's always better to take your dog to the vet for initial review.

Vet testing dogs for dog food allergiesBut just so that you as a dog owner are aware, educate yourself on what may cause food allergy in your dog, and why best hypoallergenic dog foods may help (because you may not even need them).

Some common food allergens that dogs may be allergic too are:

  • beef
  • chicken
  • fish
  • lamb
  • dairy
  • corn
  • wheat
  • soy

The best hypoallergenic dog food for dogs with allergies is usually made with limited ingredients which is based on the data of most common allergens. Hypoallergenic dog foods will not include any of those. It's common to find commercial dog food brands that don't include one or two of those allergens, but it'll take you a long time to test them.

Many agree that if your dog is allergic to his current dog food diet, recipe or formula, then it's best to start off with one of the best hypoallergenic dog foods that are considered limited ingredient foods and do not include any of the most common allergens for dogs. This way you'll be able to tell quickly if your pet is having an allergic reaction to his food, or something else in his environment, and move from there.


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