Table of Contents
- What Makes Dog Food “Hypoallergenic”?
- Hypoallergenic Dog Food Labels
- Top 5 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food Brands
- 1P.S. 100% Hypoallergenic Food for Dogs price to value: $13/lb (very expensive)
- 2Wellness Natural Limited Ingredient Dog Food price to value: $2.2/lb (affordable)
- 3Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach price to value: $1.4/lb (very cheap)
- 4Outback Kangaroo Feast Hypoallergenic Dog Food price to value: $14/lb dry matter (affordable)
- 5Purina Hydrolyzed Dog Food price to value: $9.3/lb (extremely expensive)
- Best Limited Ingredient Dog Foods as Alternatives
Usually, it's dog food ingredients first to be blamed when a dog shows food allergy symptoms.
While it's not always an allergic reaction to dog food per se, your veterinarian may ask you to switch your pet to a hypoallergenic dog food brand or a limited ingredient dog food formula.
|Ps for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food - No More...||569 Reviews||Check Price|
|Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Limited...||441 Reviews||Check Price|
|Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dog...||17,818 Reviews||Check Price|
|Addiction Outback Kangaroo Feast Grain Free...||166 Reviews||Check Price|
|Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed...||81 Reviews||Check Price|
Signs of a dog's food allergy are typically itchy skin and digestive disorders.
The most common allergens in dog food are proteins: beef, lamb, chicken (and chicken eggs), dairy products as well as soy or gluten.
While food allergies in dogs cannot be eliminated, you can manage them with a hypoallergenic diet.
Fortunately, several good hypoallergenic dog foods are available today that make feeding an allergic dog fairly easy.
They are very effective at what they claim to do. Below we'll discuss such dietary approaches, pick these foods, and do the best hypoallergenic dog food review round-up.
What Makes Dog Food “Hypoallergenic”?
Hypoallergenic dog food is easier for dogs to digest and absorb due to its ingredient composition, which is more rare and unique than some popular brands.
These diets are often more expensive than regular brands (but cheaper than the prescription foods from vet clinics).
Note that not every hypoallergenic dog food formula will work for every pet with food allergies.
That said, they are still likely to be better than your standard brand.
Although no officially defined term governs laws regarding this part of dog food labels, dog food is considered hypoallergenic when it contains:
- A limited (minimal) number of ingredients
- Novel ingredient(s) that are high quality
- Least offending ingredients (less likely to cause allergic reactions)
Most top-rated hypoallergenic dog foods are prescription dog food diets that pet owners can buy from their vets.
However, prescription diets can be very costly, and most pets don't really need to pay 3-5 times more for their dog food because over-the-counter brands will have the same or similar ingredient composition.
Hypoallergenic Dog Food Labels
The term “hypoallergenic” actually has no legal definition in the pet food industry.
Also, hypoallergenic diets rarely name themselves using this term but rather opt for a “limited ingredient diet” terminology, making them more appealing to a wider range of consumers since not all dogs 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 (source).
When a portion of hypoallergenic dog food is limited in ingredients, it will typically have under 10 ingredients, most commonly 5-7 ingredients.
Some of the best-limited ingredient dog foods make it easy to pin down allergens, i.e., causation.
They may also contain a hydrolyzed protein source, which research showed is effective in dog food allergies (source).
Novel ingredients in hypoallergenic pet foods are something a sensitive stomach dog is much less likely to be allergic to, but that is not always guaranteed.
For some dogs with food allergies, sensitive stomach brands can be a good option.
However, only testing and/or an elimination diet can tell you exactly what your dog is allergic to (source).
Top 5 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food Brands
1P.S. 100% Hypoallergenic Food for Dogs
price to value: $13/lb (very expensive)
- Find it on Amazon
- Unavailable on Chewy
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, this dog food actually resolved their pets’ issues in just a matter of days after feeding it.
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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.
Buyers admit that this product is on the pricey end, but they find great value. 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.
2Wellness Natural Limited Ingredient Dog Food
price to value: $2.2/lb (affordable)
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 no 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 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 intolerant to most dog food brands.
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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 pets.
A few reviewers also noted that this food made their pet ill, but that could have been a drastic diet change.
3Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
price to value: $1.4/lb (very cheap)
Probiotics, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants are three 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 your dog can also have a lamb variant.
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 to make life easier and more normal for their dogs. Finding this product saved the day for them.
- One (1) 30 lb. Bag - Purina...
- Oat meal is easily digestible...
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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 new dog food is going to work.
Gone were the digestive upsets, skin irritation, and infections that constantly hounded their four-legged companion.
Most 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.
4Outback Kangaroo Feast Hypoallergenic Dog Food
price to value: $14/lb dry matter (affordable)
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 protect it from spoilage.
It also contains apples, carrots, canola oil, papayas, potatoes, spinach, and sunflower seeds.
The company carefully prepared this new alternative to the usual dog fare 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.
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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.
While the feed costs more than the above-average best hypoallergenic dog food brands, pet owners 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.
5Purina Hydrolyzed Dog Food
price to value: $9.3/lb (extremely expensive)
Dogs are meat-eaters by nature, but some dogs are allergic to meat due to some genetic factors.
Some develop rashes that lead to intense itching, while others react with an 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 a strong immune system.
The vegetarian food is not for every dog, though. It was formulated as a treatment for dogs with sensitivities to animal protein.
- One (1) 25 lb. Bag - Purina...
- Formula contains hydrolyzed...
- Single carbohydrate source
- Highly digestible to promote...
- High-quality protein
Pet owners say that Purina Veterinary Diets Canine HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food is one of the 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 the 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 claimed that their dog would not eat it.
Others said that their dog's condition showed no improvement when switched to this diet.
Best Limited Ingredient Dog Foods as Alternatives
The above list of the five best hypoallergenic dog food brands contains the most popular based on their ingredient composition, but most of them are expensive.
Below are ten cheap limited ingredient dog foods for dogs with food allergies that are more affordable.
6. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet ($3.2/lb) is one of the most expensive hypoallergenic dog food brands and 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 most dogs with food allergies and food sensitivities.
7. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Land Formula ($2.5/lb) is 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 whole grains. This may not suit every dog with allergies since the number of ingredients is still longer than some other formulas.
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 its best-limited ingredient dog food formulas, this one may not be the top option for many dogs due to a comparably higher number of ingredients.
Nevertheless, the recipe is easy to digest.
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 the Natural Balance formula (and vice versa).
The recipe is simple with only six ingredients and added vitamins and minerals, no by-products or fillers, but it does contain grains, ground, and brown rice.
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 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.
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 the larger percentage of high-quality protein (32% real beef) in it.
However, it also comes with a hefty price tag compared to other best hypoallergenic dog food brands. It doesn't contain any grains either.
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 top-rated among dog owners, which is unjust since their human-grade, FDA-approved dog foods are actually very high quality. This formula is easily one of the best hypoallergenic dogs foods out there.
It's one of the best-rated dehydrated foods resembling raw feeding and only contains six quality ingredients.
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.
14. NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet ($2.5/lb) – although NUTRO's dog foods are generally highly rated five-star brands, they're not known for their limited ingredient formulas or best hypoallergenic dog foods. This one 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.
15. SportDogFood Elite Food ($1.9/lb) – final contender on the list for best hypoallergenic dog food brand is a fairly new company SportDogFood.
Their Elite formula for advanced allergic reactions in dogs contains no grains and eliminates the 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 your pup react to any of these limited ingredient dog food brands? Share your experience below, so more dog owners are aware of any issues.
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