Dog Food For Allergies

The Best Dog Food For Allergies Reviewed

Charles Grisham
By Charles Grisham
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What is the Best Dog Food For Allergies?

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Sensitive Skin Dry Dog Food
  • This adult dry dog food promotes digestive health while nourishing skin
  • Vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids and other nutrients in smaller kibble help nourish skin and promote a lustrous coat
  • This dog food is formulated to be highly digestible for optimal nutrient absorption and easier stool pick-up

What is Dog Food for Allergies?

Dog food for allergies is known as hypoallergenic dog food and is made free from common allergens like dairy, beef, soy, eggs, or wheat gluten. Although these are common allergens, many ingredients can cause an allergic reaction in dogs.

Artificial additives and fillers are common causes of allergy symptoms as well, so hypoallergenic dog food will not contain synthetic additives or common whole food allergens.

Hypoallergenic food will often be labeled as” grain-free” or” limited ingredient dog food” and most often contain only one protein source, as some proteins can trigger allergy symptoms.

How do I Know if My Dog has Food Allergies?

Dogs will exhibit symptoms of allergies such as itching, licking of the paws, chronic ear infections, hot spots, chronic diarrhea, red eyes, or coughing. It is essential to know the difference between allergy symptoms and expected behavior.

For instance, itching at the base of the tail is more often a sign of fleas than allergies. Similarly, a nonproductive cough that worsens with exercise and constant licking of paws that smell like corn chips, rather than normal paw licking, is a tell-tale sign of allergies.

The Best Dog Food For Allergies Reviewed

With so many dog food brands offering hypoallergenic formulas, it can be hard to find the best dog food for allergies.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Sensitive Skin Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Sensitive Skin Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This kibble is specially formulated to be easy on the stomach and nourish the skin and fur. Prebiotic fiber supports a healthy gut biome, while vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat. Made to be highly digestible with probiotics to prevent indigestion and messy stool, this food caters to dogs who are prone to digestive issues brought on by fillers and additives in regular dog food. The rich vitamin profile ensures dogs are receiving all of the necessary nutrients, while real meat adds flavor and texture dogs will enjoy.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $2.79/lb

Pros

  • Prebiotics encourage a healthy gut
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Available in small kibble for small breeds
  • Omega-6 fatty acids help keep a dog’s skin healthy
  • Animal protein is the base of the recipe

Cons

  • Chicken is a fairly common allergen

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken is the first ingredient, and although it is not uncommon for this to cause food sensitivities, it is a great source of protein. Chicken meal, a combination of muscle and organ meats and bone, is the second ingredient, and this helps the food to be more digestible while offering things like glucosamine to support healthy joints. Chicken fat is added to boost the crude fat content, and dried beet pulp, pearled barley, and brown rice add dietary fiber. It is all finished with vitamin and mineral supplements to provide complete nutrition.

Review: Thousands of reviews on Amazon and chewy praised this dry food for its ability to help clear up allergy symptoms. It is common to find a review telling a story about their dog who had suffered from itchy skin and fur loss until introducing this food into the dog’s diet. While the top point of praise was this food’s ability to alleviate allergy symptoms, the most common criticism is that their dog would not eat the food. Although this is not uncommon, those who experienced this declared they would be switching to Canidae or Royal Canin specifically afterward.

Wild Earth Dog Food for Allergies Vegan Dry Dog Food

Wild Earth Dog Food for Allergies Vegan Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This vegan dry dog food is a very high protein food and a source of complete nutrition. It uses plant-based ingredients to avoid food sensitivities brought on by the most common allergens: animal protein sources. It is rich in fatty acids for healthy skin, fur, and heart function while offering a healthy amount of antioxidants and vitamins from superfoods like cranberries and blueberries. It is suitable for dogs of all life stages and low in calories, which makes it great weight management dog food. As a bonus, you can save 50% on the first order and 10% on repeat deliveries with the subscription service on their website.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options:  Rich Umami and Roasted Superfood Recipe

Price: $9.26/lb

Pros

  • You can save money with repeat deliveries
  • High protein keeps dogs feeling full longer
  • Superfoods add antioxidants for immune system support
  • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Free from common allergens like chicken, dairy, and beef

Cons

  • High protein content may upset the stomach
  • Limited accessibility due to expensive price tag

Ingredient Analysis: Dried yeast is the first ingredient, and this is likely for taste as dogs are largely carnivores and may not take to this food otherwise. Chickpeas, peas, and oats follow the yeast and provide carbohydrates and dietary fiber for healthy digestion, while pea protein and potato protein make up the bulk of the protein content in this food. Sweet potato offers vitamins and carbs, and flaxseed meal, canola oil preserved with mixed tocopherols, and sunflower oil boost the crude fat content. It is all finished off with a blend of superfoods and supplements to make this a source of complete nutrition. This is a well-rounded ingredients list, even if it does not offer animal protein sources.

Review: Reviews of this product are mixed, with under 80% of total reviews being 4 or 5-star ratings. While most of the reviews are positive, noting dogs love the food, and it agrees with them, many consumers express concern over the vegan makeup of the food. Reviewers often cite the fact dogs are carnivores and do not do well on a vegan diet, while others are concerned about heart problems brought on by the diet.

AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food For Skin & Coat

AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food For Skin & Coat

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Summary: Using chicken meal as the first ingredient for an easily digestible, protein-rich formula, this hypoallergenic food comes in dry and wet food varieties to fit the needs of almost any adult dog. Omega-rich avocados promote healthy skin and fur while vital nutrients are supplied through plant-based ingredients in this legume-free, by-product meal-free dog food. It is made in the USA with no artificial flavors or preservatives and is formulated for adult dogs with food sensitivities. The affordable price point makes it an accessible food for dog owners who are looking to provide their dogs with a hypoallergenic source of nutrients.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula; Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula

Price: $1.67/lb

Pros

  • Available in dry and wet dog food formulas
  • Chicken meal is the first ingredient for high digestibility
  • Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin
  • Rich in antioxidants for immune system support
  • Very affordable and budget-friendly price tag

Cons

  • Contains an unspecified natural flavor

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken meal is the first ingredient and is a highly digestible source of protein and nutrients from muscle and organ meats and bones. Brown rice, white rice, and oatmeal make up the majority of the carbohydrate and fiber content, while chicken fat adds crude fat into the mix. Avocado oil, herring meal, and flaxseed offer great sources of omega-3 and omega 6-fatty acids. Vitamins and minerals are offered through things like pineapple stem, papaya extract, and rosemary extract in this probiotic-rich source of complete nutrition.

Review: 9/10 ratings of this product are favorable, with the most common point of satisfaction being this food’s effect on their dog’s food sensitivities. Customers mention switching from top brands like Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo in favor of this one and have had no problems since, and they are happy the cost is not out of reach for them. Although critical reviews make up over 5% of total reviews, they are very similar to one another. The two largest complaints were the product arrive damaged, or it had made their dogs ill after eating.

Lucy Pet Formulas for Life, Digestive Health, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food, All Breeds & Life Stages

Lucy Pet Formulas for Life, Digestive Health, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food, All Breeds & Life Stages

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Summary: This is carefully formulated dry dog food made for gut health, digestive health, and sensitive stomachs. The salmon in this formula is wild-caught, and the duck is from France to ensure the highest quality of protein sources are being used. Every formula is designed to contain all vital nutrients a puppy, adult dog, and senior dog requires to live healthily and be happy. It is rich in omega fatty acids and approved for dogs of all life stages. Lucy Pet Food also gives back by donating a portion of its profits to shelters to help dogs and cats across the country.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Salmon, Pumpkin, & Quinoa; Duck, Pumpkin, & Quinoa; Chicken, Brown Rice & Pumpkin; Duck & Potato; Chicken, Brown Rice & Oatmeal

Price: $4.85/lb

Pros

  • Available in variety packs and bundle options
  • Small bite-sized kibble for small breeds
  • All ingredients are responsibly sourced
  • Prebiotic and probiotic blend for gut health
  • Donates for spaying and neutering shelter animals

Cons

  • High in calories

Ingredient Analysis: Real meat, such as wild-caught salmon and French duck, is used as the base of this recipe, providing this food with high-quality, highly bio-available sources of protein and minerals. Chicken meal is added for additional protein and minerals, while dried peas, pea starch, and chicken fat add healthy carbohydrates and fats. Dried pumpkin, quinoa, and miscanthus grass add great sources of dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals are added to make this a complete source of nutrition in a hypoallergenic formula.

Review: Reviews are largely favorable for this food, with some calling it “the best of the best” and even thanking other companies for disagreeing with their dogs so they could find Lucy Pet Food. They were happy to see their dogs look and act satisfied after being introduced to this food, but critics claim their dogs didn’t like it. Some went as far as to wonder if they were receiving the real product from the Amazon seller as their dogs enjoy the food when bought from the store but not from Amazon.

Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This limited ingredient diet dog food is made with novel proteins such as lamb and duck. It comes in a variety of formulas, including weight control and small breed, to fit the needs of almost any dog. A blend of prebiotics and probiotics promote gut health, while the glucosamine and antioxidants in this formula help keep joints healthy and the immune system strong. Made in the USA with no GMOs or fillers, the limited, all-natural ingredients in this food are made for dogs with food intolerances to common allergens. It is available in grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas so dog owners can find the right recipe for them and their dogs.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Salmon & Potato; Lamb & Oatmeal; Turkey & Potato; Salmon & Peas; Duck & Oatmeal

Price: $3.00/lb

Pros

  • Single protein source for easy digestion
  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Rich in prebiotics and probiotics
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Complain about bad batches with Amazon orders

Ingredient Analysis: Real meat such as salmon, lamb, and duck, are the first ingredient in this food. This offers a great source of high-quality protein that is easily digestible. Meat meal, like salmon meal and lamb meal, is the second ingredient and provides more protein and minerals. Ground flaxseed and canola oil make up the rest of the fat content in this food, and vitamins and minerals are supplemented with things like vitamin B12, vitamin A, and zinc sulfate. Overall, this is a great set of ingredients for a limited ingredient food.

Review: Most ratings on this product are 4 and 5-star reviews, with people expressing satisfaction in their dogs’ willingness to eat this food. The most common remarks come from people with picky dogs who eat this food readily. Critical reviews often cite an off smell that some had described as “acrylic” or “paint” coming from the food when they received the bag. Others complained about an apparent change in food, or their dogs had become apparently allergic to it after years of eating it.

AvoDerm Natural Original Recipe Dry Dog Food For Allergy Support

AvoDerm Natural Original Recipe Dry Dog Food For Allergy Support

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Summary: With the use of avocados and meat-based proteins, this food provides all of the necessary nutrients a dog with dog food allergies needs to be happy and healthy. The protein is made of premium meats, and the formula is supplemented with antioxidants for immune system support. It is made in the USA and is soy-free, corn-free, and wheat-free. It uses no artificial flavors or colors and supplies dogs with a complete source of nutrition.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

Price: $1.94/lb

Pros

  • Source of complete nutrition
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Affordable price tag
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Often out of stock on online retailers

Ingredient Analysis: The first ingredient is lamb meal, which is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Ground brown rice, white rice, and oatmeal make up the majority of the complex carbohydrates and fiber to promote healthy digestion. An unspecified natural flavor is added, and the vague description of the ingredient may be off-putting to some dog owners. This food has a very rich profile of vitamins and minerals like ferrous sulfate, copper amino acids, and thiamine mononitrate that all contribute to making this a source of complete nutrition for dogs.

Review: Nearly 90% of ratings on Amazon are 4 and 5 stars. Dogs seem to love it, and according to pet owners’ reviews, it helped senior dogs with their allergies and food sensitivities. Negative reviews were sporadic in their reasoning. Some noted the use of avocado was their reason for low ratings, while others noted the use of sunflower oil in place of avocados was enough to rate this product 1 star.

NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog

NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog

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Summary: Always made with just 10 key ingredients or less and including natural flavors, vitamins, and minerals, this limited ingredient dog food is a source of complete nutrition. Real meat is always the first ingredient of this non-GMO recipe. It is grain-free and is not made with common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy. None of the recipes in this formula contain chicken or beef, only novel proteins that are not known to irritate food sensitivities. It is formulated to be suitable for adult dogs and is sold in a variety of novel flavors.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Lamb; Salmon; Duck; Venison

Price: $4.51/lb

Pros

  • Is a source of complete nutrition
  • Grain and gluten-free formula
  • Not made with chicken or beef
  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Micronutrients from fruits & veggies

Cons

  • Contains sunflower oil

Ingredient Analysis: Real meat and meat meal is the first ingredient, and this gives the food an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Carbohydrates are supplied by lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes, while sunflower oil and beet pulp provide good sources of dietary fiber and omega fatty acids. Riboflavin, vitamin B12, and vitamin D3 are supplemented with niacin and vitamin A to make this a great source of complete nutrition for dogs.

Review: Well over 90% of reviews give this dog food 4 and 5 stars. Satisfied consumers like the high-quality ingredients and the fact that it is made in the USA. They are also happy with the size of the kibble. Owners of small and large dogs claim their dog has no trouble eating the chunks of this food. One-star reviews almost exclusively complain about the possible link between grain-free dog foods and heart problems in dogs.

What Should I Look for in Dog Food for Allergies?

Searching for the best dog food for allergies can be tricky. Here are some factors to consider when looking for the best food for managing dog allergies:

  • Limited Ingredients. Limited ingredient dog food is dog food that is made with only select ingredients that are not known to be common allergens. They will often have a single source of protein to limit the chance for allergy symptoms to arise. Plants will be used to supply the micronutrients, and it is not uncommon for limited ingredient foods to have novel proteins as well.
  • Hydrolyzed Protein. Hydrolyzed protein is a protein that has been partially broken down by the water. The smaller groups of amino acids that are formed during this process provide the necessary protein while not irritating the immune system and causing an allergic response. Hydrolyzed proteins are often, but not always, used in hypoallergenic food.
  • Novel Protein. Some of the most common causes of allergy symptoms are common proteins like beef, chicken, and eggs. A novel protein is an uncommon protein your dog has likely not eaten before, such as venison, duck, or rabbit. Allergies tend to develop over time, and if your dog has not had a chance to ingest a food before, it is less likely to have an allergic reaction to it.
  • No Fillers. Things like by-product meals, corn, wheat, and soy are all cheap additives used to enhance the taste of dog food. The problem is these additives can be allergens or irritants to sensitive dogs. Hypoallergenic dog foods will not contain things like artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. These are all cheap ingredients and should be avoided in most dog food, but especially in hypoallergenic dog food.
  • Organic Ingredients. Organic ingredients are made without the use of synthetic chemicals and are grown or raised in a more natural environment. Not all hypoallergenic dog food has organic ingredients, and it is not always necessary, but it can be a bonus.

Based on these criteria, our top pick as the best dog food for allergies is Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin Small Bites Dry Dog Food.

What Foods Should Dogs With Allergies Avoid?

Certain foods should not be found on the ingredient list of the best dog food for allergies. Here is a list of those ingredients:

  • Common Proteins. Protein sources from beef, chicken, and eggs are very common allergens. A hypoallergenic food may still have these ingredients, however, so it is important to either know what your dog is allergic to or know what they are not allergic to in order to give them the proper nutrition.
  • Cheap Fillers. Ingredients such as corn, wheat, gluten meal, and poultry by-product meals are all examples of cheap fillers. These are inexpensive but highly processed foods that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than whole foods.
  • Artificial Ingredients. This includes things like added colors and unnamed natural flavors. If ingredients are not specifically named and identified, they must be avoided.
  • Multiple Protein Sources: Protein causes allergic reactions. Having multiple protein sources increases the risk of a reaction as it causes exposure to more varied proteins.