Did you know that dogs can develop food allergies just like us? Food allergies contribute to 20% of itching and scratching in dogs.
Dog foods are modified by makers to cater to the needs of allergic dogs by limiting the ingredients by eliminating some of the common allergens or adding new ingredients that the dogs are not exposed to. It is overwhelming to go to a pet store and look at all the different dog food for allergies available.
In this article, we have researched various dog foods for you and provided you a detailed review of the 8 dog foods based on their uniqueness, benefits and lastly the price. Read more to find out about some of the best dog food for allergies and choose which is best for your dog. We also have some great article about homemade dog food recipes if you want to do it yourself.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Allergies?
In order to choose the best dog food for allergies, you must first try to find out if your dog is reacting to a particular food or if it’s an external allergy.
Common symptoms to identify allergies:
You can find out if your dog is having an allergic reaction by looking out for the following symptoms:
- Upset stomach (diarrhea, gassy stomach, vomiting)
- Itchy skin
- Red eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Swollen paws
- Inflamed ears
- If your dog is more than a year old, check if your dog is reacting to common antigens like beef, corn, wheat, soy, eggs, and milk by using JeanDoddsNurtiscan saliva test.
- Excessive shedding, hair loss
- Scratching, hot spots and skin infections
- Check if it is an allergy or yeast and treat it if its yeast
- Sensitive stomach symptoms include excessive belching and bloating
- Some breeds are more likely to develop allergies.
Common allergies in dogs:
A most common cause of allergies in dogs is from the following:
- Protein sources in food like dairy products, beef, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken, eggs, corn, wheat, and soy. This happens because some proteins are more antigenic than others.
- Fleas, pollen, and environmental allergies
- Sensitive stomach is usually caused by recipes with wheat bran, corn, beef, chicken by-product, high salt, corn syrup, and peanut.
- Food intolerance is often mistaken for food allergies. Learn more about food intolerance and how to treat it here.
The best way to find allergies in a dog is by switching their food to limited or non-traditional foods.
Limited Ingredient Dog Foods: These are recipes with minimal ingredients in them. Most recipes have 2-3 ingredients but provide full nutrition. This makes it easy to identify the allergens as each ingredient is usually the only source for protein, carbohydrates.
Non Traditional Dog Foods: Most food use chicken, beef and grains. Overtime dogs develop an intolerance to these ingredients. Non-traditional meals replace these ingredients with alternatives like lamb, salmon which are proven to be rich in amino acids, Omega fats.
Comparison Table: 8 Dog Foods For Allergies
|Dog Food||Image||Ingredients||Our Rating|
|1. PS for Dogs||Check on Amazon|
|2. Natural Balance||Check on Amazon|
|3. Olewo Dehydrated Red Beets||Check on Amazon|
|4. Wellness Simple Natural||Check on Amazon|
|5. Holistic Select Natural||Check on Amazon|
|6. Rachael Ray Nutrish||Check on Amazon|
|7. Merrick Grain Free||Check on Amazon|
|8. Wilderness Blue Buffalo||Check on Amazon|
Reviews of The Best Dog Food For Allergies
1. PS for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
What makes it unique?
They are solely dedicated to solve allergies in canines. It is a hypo-allergic food made for dogs that paw licking allergies. It was created by a former pet store employee with minimum ingredients to help pets who scratch and lick their paws. The formula is air dried.
Packaging: It has a cute white and pink packaging whose contents need to be transferred to an air tight container once opened.
- It is perfect for dogs that suffer from intense paw licking and constant scratching.
- Paw licking is reduced due to its low glycemic food preventing the growth of yeast.
- It caters to dogs with skin irritations like skin itching, bumpiness, bad odor and redness as its human-grade lamb which is grass fed; free range lamb is sourced from New Zealand.
- It is high in protein and very tasty-it is one of the few grain free high protein foods that is ideal for dogs that are gassy and fussy.
- It is one of the fastest growing hypo allergic brands in US from 2016.
- The minimalistic formula works being simple and effective.
- The content they mail you once you sign up for the products are filled with information about how to transition PS to your dog efficiently and reduce skin problems in animals.
- It is a little pricy for the quantity but caters to many skin problems your dog might be dealing with.
2. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
What makes it unique?
It has various baby foods to choose from which expands the options for dog owners.
Packaging: it has a classic packaging of a big dog food box which needs to be stored in a container after it is opened.
- It is made with a list of well harvested protein and carbohydrates and premium protein from a list of L.I.D Limited Ingredient Diet dog food.
- Its unique sweet potato and bison formula.
- It is a grain-free, balanced meal for your pet.
- It is a good recipe for your dog to maintain your dog’s digestive health
- It has more than 20 recipes to choose from so it’s easy to switch out and try more formulas to suit your pet’s taste bud.
- Smells a little strong.
3. Olewo Dehydrated Red Beets Dog Food Supplement
It is a small bag of dog food designed specifically for itchy skin and skin allergies.
What makes it unique?
It is one ingredient, non-GMO product made in Germany.
Packaging: It has a clear tear to open the packaging.
- Made with beets, this recipe controls skin allergies, itching, and scratching.
- Beets have natural detoxifying ingredients. Along with that it also adds vitamins and minerals.
- Its help control weight and metabolism.
- Simple one ingredient product.
- It is an efficient red beet product to help with skin allergies naturally.
- Expensive for a small amount.
4. Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
Wellness brand is recommended by many vets in the past few years.
What makes it unique?
It is a limited natural ingredient dog food that will not have some of the common allergies that cause reactions. With just a few ingredients it is easy to identify which ingredient is the sources if each nutrient in the product.
Packaging: It has a clear tear to open packaging.
- Its limited ingredient diet formulated to be effortlessly edible with less elements for puppies with sustenance sensitivities, hypersensitivities.
- It has a single source of protein genuine, brilliant salmon and blends in effortlessly edible sugars for finish, adjusted sustenance.
- They have five different formulas so you can easily switch between hypo-allergic meals and find the one that works for you.
- All natural with no gluten, wheat, fillers and added flavors and preservatives.
- It is half the price compared to other limited ingredient recipes.
- It doesn’t have the best taste.
5. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food
Holistic Select is a dry dog food designed for dogs more than one-year-old and for big breeds.
What makes it unique?
All recipes from holistic are natural and made in the USA. It is also a plant-based dry dog Food Company, so they source various tested species to increase their protein content unlike animal protein in most brands.
Holistic does not simply utilize grain as filler. It utilizes entire grain to make a total feast that gives fundamental strands and natural miniaturized scale supplements into your puppy’s eating routine.
Packaging: It has a clean simple packaging.
- The product focuses on improving the digestive system of the pet with easily digestible food.
- Its prebiotics and probiotics fight harmful bacteria and promote good bacteria.
- Fiber promotes easy movement of food and improves regularity.
- The enzymes and botanicals help ease the digestive process.
- It is good for big breed dogs and good dog food for chicken allergies (some products have no meat), allergies and sensitive stomach.
- It contains no meat by-products, fillers, wheat gluten, artificial colors and flavors.
- Naturally sourced nutrients without artificially added nutrients
- Easily digestible for big eater dogs like pitbull and English bulldogs
- Its products are not organic or non-GMO, just natural.
6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Dry Dog Food, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe
Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Just 6 is a limited ingredient recipe with the simple source for nutrition in it.
What makes it unique?
It is a simple budget-friendly recipe for medium-sized dogs with no artificially added flavor or preservatives. It has no corn, wheat, soy, gluten, poultry by-product meal or fillers.
Packaging: It has decent packaging for the price and can be stored for long in the bag with a food clipper.
- Lamb meat is the first ingredient which is sourced from Australia and New Zealand. It is easily digestible with essential amino acids and Vitamins.
- Brown Rice is a good source of fiber and carbohydrates.
- Ground Rice for fast movements and energy.
- Beet Pulp helps with easy digestion and probiotics.
- Poultry Fat for a shiny coat and good skin with high Omega-3 and Omega-6 content.
- Natural Chicken Flavor instead of artificial fillers and additives for taste.
- It is a good option for dogs with allergies and itching, corn and grain allergies.
- Simple Recipe with no common allergens.
- Easily digestible.
- May not be suitable for dogs allergic to ground vegetables because of beets.
7. Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe
This grain-free recipe by Merrick is ideal for your pet if they have been gaining some extra pounds without losing the nutrients.
What makes it unique?
All of Merrick’s recipes are made in the US with local produce from family farms and local farmers. None of their products are made or sourced from China.
Packaging: It has a simple tear to open packaging, the contents need to be refrigerated once opened.
- Most of their ingredients are fresh with red meat and vegetables. Each of their formula contains up to 70% meat and the first ingredient is always deboned meat.
- The carbohydrates in their formula are easily digestible like sweet potatoes which sustains energy do your dog can play all day without getting tired. It has significantly good amount of Glucosamine, Omega-6 and Omega-3 which keeps your dog active and its hair shiny.
- This is a great choice for Beagles with weight control and allergies to control their weight. For small breed dogs like Chihuahua there is Merrick’s Lil Plates. These are wet recipes which cater to the need for smaller dogs.
- Sources from local farmers.
- Grain-Free light recipe.
- High Protein levels.
- Could have come with a re-sealable bag considering the high price point.
8. Wilderness Blue Buffalo High Protein Dry Adult Dog Food
What makes it unique?
It is a delicately crafted blend of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. Its patented BLUE’s LifeSource bits are included in it to create a well-balanced meal.
Packaging: It comes in re-sealable packs making it convenient for storage after each use.
- They have products for puppies, adult dogs and small breed dogs making each of its recipes very targeted towards specific breeds or stages.
- The formula is known to develop healthy muscle development with its high-quality chicken, pork, and meat to get strong muscles.
- It has all the essential carbohydrates and proteins to lead an active life.
- It is focused on getting strong bones and teeth and good joint health to your pet due to its high calcium, phosphorus, essential vitamins, and Glucosamine to promote overall mobility.
- Its chelated minerals and antioxidants help your pet maintain a good immune system.
- It is a grain-free formula which is good to begin with most sensitive dogs.
- It is Protein-rich containing real chicken, salmon, beef.
- It has NO chicken, corn, wheat, soy.
- NO artificial preservatives, colors and flavors.
- You can choose from various sources of protein in its recipe meat, salmon or duck. It is also rich in antioxidants which are known to reduce toxins in your body as it is filled with blueberries, cranberries, and carrots.
- Not as affordable as Wellness brand recipes.
Dog Food Allergies Q&A
What breed of dogs are most commonly affected by allergies?
- It depends on a lot of factors, but the common breeds affected are Labradors, German shepherds, dachshunds, cocker spaniels, and Rex Cats.
- Bichon Frise is gentle and easy to play with and don’t usually cause a lot of shedding. Built since they continuously grow they need to be constantly groomed to keep allergies at bay.
- Giant Schnauzer is naturally protective dog breed that is very intelligent. With regular grooming and their clean playroom, most of their allergies can be avoided.
What should I feed my dog if it has sensitive stomach?
- Feed you pooch limited ingredient meals with ingredients like rice, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and sweet potato. It is good to put your dog on an elimination diet. Visit our reviews of best dog food for sensitive stomach for more information.
- Start with one ingredient like those mentioned above and check how your pet is reacting to them. If it is taking it pretty well then add one ingredient daily and see if your pet shows any triggers for the added ingredient. After you have identified what is causing the dog to react so much, you can create a diet specific to your dog.
- If your dog does not show any signs of allergies in the elimination diet, you can put it on a food challenge where you will feed your dog the original meal that caused your dog to have a sensitive reaction. If the signs come back and your dog shows the same symptoms them, you can be certain that something in the meal is causing the reaction.
- Then after consulting the doctor and testing for the trigger that caused the reaction, you can start looking for dog food recipes in the market that cater to your need. Some allergic ingredients have more substitutes than others.
My dog was eating the same dog food for years and suddenly my vet told me he has developed an allergic reaction to the food. How can this happen?
- Yes, it’s possible that your dog has developed allergy in spite of eating similar nourishment for years. Your pet might have developed hypersensitivity towards it. Just like we need to eat diverse food in our diet, dogs need to be given different types of food in their diet. It is important to include foods with different ingredients and alternate between two to three types of food.
Making a smooth transition from one food to another
- Substitute one-eighth of the meal with the new meal and let rest be the old meal. Every next feed, increase the quantity with a little more from the new meal. Within a week you can transition the new meal fully.
- If your dog is a little sick avoid the ingredients that are commonly known to cause reactions like wheat, beef, and grains, dairy and chicken.
- If you sense that your pet is taking to get used to a new meal, try to keep your pet away from snacks and any human food until it gets used to its new food. It may take up to 3 months for a strict eating plan to take effect.
From our hunt to find the best dog food for allergies, we think Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is the best choice for overall allergies in dogs it is out choice for the best budget-friendly dog food for allergies.
Best up and coming Hypoallergenic dog food according to us is PS for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food. It’s simple but unique formula makes it very effective for dogs with paw licking and skin itching.
Knowing what to do when your pooch is moaning in pain because of an allergy, you can help your pet better. They may not change to a new recipe very easily but slowly transition them to eat their new meal. The best way to test these recipes on your canine is to try it over a period of 8-10 weeks. If your dog still shows the same symptoms after switching to these meals, you might want to book an appointment with a local veterinarian.
Catherine Bono is a blogger, who is passionate about dogs and cats. She created Crittersitca.com to shares her experience as she studies to become a qualified vet.