So, lately, you have had a conversation with your dog’s vet that none of the dog owners want to have.
Your beloved doggo has been diagnosed with a food allergy. Sad!
It means you have got to do lots of hard work to bring him back to his NORMAL life. And we know that one thing that’s stressing you hard – your dog’s food!
Luckily, there are many dog foods for dogs struggling with allergies.
But before moving ahead, we have to ask you, do you know how EXACTLY the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs work?
Well, they simply make an effort to belittle the allergen exposure and thrive to provide the best nutritious value.
Navigating through a sea of hypoallergenic dog foods can be mind-boggling.
Therefore, we filtered and reviewed the best dog foods for dogs with allergies so that you first know the products and then serve them.
Keep reading to find more about food allergies and the best hypoallergenic dog foods.
Best Dog Food for Dogs With Allergies
- Best Overall (Custom Meals): Raised Right Human-Grade Pet Food
- Runner up: Canidae PURE Grain Free
- Best For Dry Itchy Skin: Taste Of The Wild With Smoked Salmon
- Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food: Natural Balance Dry Dog Food With Grains
- Best Limited Ingredient Grain-Free: Wellness Simple Dry Dog Food
- Best Grain Free Natural Adult: Blue Buffalo Basics
- Best For Sensitive Stomachs And Allergies: Purina Pro Plan Dog Food
What Are Food Allergies?
Food allergies in dogs are their immune system’s reaction triggered by some substance they consumed in their diet.
What happens is, the immune system overreacts and produces antibodies against the favorable part of food, Protein, or Complex Carbohydrates, for instance. Resultantly, there’s a burst of reaction symptoms.
The symptom out-burst may be different with diverse dog breeds, though.
Also, it depends on the source of the allergen.
According to VCA Hospital:
‘Food allergies are one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs.’
Food Allergies in Dogs: Overview
Food allergies in dogs are often misunderstood with food intolerances. But the fact is two of these are different phenomena.
Food allergies are all immune-mediated reactions followed by food intake. Contrarily, food intolerances are non-immune-mediated.
Here is the breakdown of information; you must know about dog food allergies.
Signs & Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs
Pooches that suffer from food allergies might show multiple symptoms. There’s no doubt that food allergies in dogs make life way harder – for the pet and also for his owner.
But there’s good news!
Food allergies are displeasing and irritating, but there are NO life threats hidden.
What’s better? They are all controllable.
Scroll more to learn about some common signs and symptoms of food allergies in dogs:
- Paw-licking and biting
- Long-lasting skin infections
- Chronic ear infections
- Hair loss
There are also some signs that you can probably categorize as not-so-common.
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Tummy troubles like vomiting and diarrhea
- Poor growth in young pups
You can also witness a blend of allergy clues from both lists.
What Are The Most Common Types of Allergies in Dogs?
The three basic and the most common type of allergies in dogs are: environmental allergies, skin allergies, food allergies.
- Environmental Allergies: This is the most common category of the allergies dog experience. It can be further divided into two kinds; Seasonal or Nonseasonal, Outdoor or Indoor.
- Skin Allergies: Skin allergies, also known as Dermatitis, are normally associated with external irritants. The two most prevalent kinds of skin inflammations are Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) and Atopic Dermatitis a.k.a Eczema.
- Food Allergies: Food Allergies have the least share in affecting dogs out of all the allergy types.
Common Causes of Food Allergies in Dogs
Is your dog itching his paws and ears more than habitual? No, it’s not routine scratching.
Chances are he has caught up some kind of allergy. And if you leave it untreated, it can turn severe.
In case you are unaware of the common causes of food allergies in dogs, we’ll assist you in pinpointing some root causes.
Dogs may experience a reaction from Seasonal, Environmental, or Food allergens. But as here we are only focusing on food-related substances, below are some allergy-inducing elements:
- Other dairy products
Food Allergies Solutions: How Can Food Allergies Be Treated?
Just like other forms of allergies in dogs, the cure to food allergies also lies in one word. That’s REMOVE!
Remove what? You might be scratching your head!
By removing, we mean the removal of the allergy-producing substance. Which in case of food allergies, will be some food ingredient, for sure. But don’t forget to identify the culprit first.
Some well-known and outperforming food allergy treatments are:
- Elimination diet method
- Homemade diets formulated with the advice of a vet nutritionist
- Antihistamines and other medications
- Vegan dog food diets
- Dog foods specially formulated to deal with sensitivities
Best Dog Food for Dogs With Allergies – Hypoallergenic Dog Food Reviews
We know you can’t just rely on any edible product without doing your research.
Read on the reviews to know how these selected Pet-food brands stack up!
1. Raised Right Human-Grade Pet Food (Custom Meals for Dogs)
The number one choice of many dog owners – struggling with sensitive tummies – is Raised Right Pet Food.
It’s because the Raised Right Pet Food production brand was born with the mission to provide the same quality of foodstuff for pets as they were providing for humans.
To date, they are true to their commitment. The brand’s confidence in their product made them voluntarily submit a recipe to get tested by Check Your Pet Food.
And guess what? The results were no different than what they claim!
- Vet formulated limited ingredient recipes that are complete and balanced – high in protein and less in carbs (less than 2%)
- A low-temperature cooked food kills pathogens but retains a high level of moisture and nutritional integrity.
- Available in four flavors – Home Cooked Style – Beef, Turkey, Chicken, and Pork!
- The brand never ships any food batch until it’s lab tested
- Strongly believing in transparency, they allow you to have a look at their ingredient sourcing and manufacturing process
- Offer custom meal plans
- No preservatives or high carb fillers
- Contains limited ingredients
- Meets AAFCO AND US FDA standards
- Lab safety tested
- No product recalls
- Their purchase policy requires a purchase of a minimum of eight 2lbs bags or a smaller box of two 2lbs bags – sounds risky!
- Recipes don’t meet individual calorie requirements
- Your pet may not like the texture of the food
2. Canidae PURE Grain Free
Do you want to offer your dog a well-rounded meal, crafted with their overall well-being in mind?
Consider a nutritionally dense food that is choked with wholesome ingredients. That would be a nice choice to give you enough peace of mind. Right?
If you want to improve on your doggo’s food quality, try giving Canidae PURE a shot.
- Features Real meat, fish, or poultry as their no. 1 ingredient
- Contains 8 key ingredients, sometimes 10 – depending on the recipe!
- Available in multiple flavors and different sizing ranges
- Loaded with clean protein and limited ingredients
- Includes probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants
- Manages food sensitivities
- Supports immune system
- Brings glow to skin and coat
- No fillers and additives
- Some buyers had quality concerns
3. Taste of The Wild With Smoked Salmon
Dogs, being wild creatures, always crave meaty flavors. Their intense desire for gobbling at some meaty meal all the time urged Taste of the Wild to come up with food plans helping the canine taste buds to thrive.
This pet food is supplemented with wholesome ingredients and aims to give your pooch a healthy lifestyle.
- Available in three flavors and three sizings; Ancient Grains, Grain Free Adult, Grain Free Puppy – 5, 14, and 28 lbs
- 1 ingredient is real fish that supports healthy bones, joints, and strengthens muscles
- Contains proprietary probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants that aid healthy digestion promotes immunity system, and overall wellness
- Made in the USA from quality ingredients sourced from reliable roots, local and global
- Comes in small kibble form and crunchy texture that’s easy to nibble
- Besides allergies, it takes care of your pet’s overall health
- Without grain, corn, wheat, artificial colors, and flavoring
- Easy to feed
- The product has a recall history
- Some users faced some stomach upsets after using the product
4. Natural Balance Dry Dog Food With Grains
Feeling reluctant while opting for some dog food is normal, especially when your dog has developed allergies!
You might get worried about the food’s taste, its proficiency, or maybe its nutrition balance.
If that is the case, you can probably not go wrong with Natural Balance dog food.
See, as the name says, the brand takes the responsibility of naturally balancing the nutrients and sets you free.
- The dog food formulas are crafted with expert insights and make the brand one of its kind in the market
- All their dog food products meet safety standards, carry the best nutritious value, and are extensively tested
- Comes in six different flavors and varying packaging
- Limited but high-quality ingredients
- Aids minimizing the number of ingredients your dog is exposed to
- Wholesome food
- Endorses healthy skin and coat
- Maintains digestive health
- Some picky eaters might hate the taste
5. Wellness Simple Dry Dog Food
A limited ingredient diet doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the food’s taste. You can have delicious yet nutritionally filled food at the same time. Wellness Simple Dry Dog Food proves that very well.
It provides ALL the necessary nourishment and tastes extremely pleasant.
- Features limited ingredient recipe formulated by experts with a single source of animal protein
- Boosts whole body health with omega fatty acids, glucosamine, antioxidants, probiotics, and taurine for a healthy heart
- Promotes healthy digestive system, strong immunity, and glowing skin and coat
- Full range of foods available to handle your dog’s specific needs; Grained, Grain-free, High- protein recipes, and Limited Ingredient Diet.
- Come in two forms, dried and canned
- Made in the USA from high-quality ingredients
- Contains limited yet expertly balanced ingredients
- Easily digestible
- Nourishes skin and elevates overall health
- No wheat, no gluten
- Users found the ingredient list a bit misleading
- Has strong odor
6. Blue Buffalo Basics
With the mission to downplay the food sensitivities and enhance the dog’s health, in our opinion, Blue Buffalo Basics is an ideal food for dogs suffering from intolerances.
Not only it contains high-quality proteins but is rich in fatty acids. The fatty acids help maintain a glossy coat and brighter skin.
- The premium brand has the finest natural ingredients
- Comes in five flavors and varying sizing
- Features single animal protein source.
- Might contain potatoes, peas, and pumpkin to support gentle digestion
- Enriched with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, carefully picked by vets and animal nutritionists
- Boosts immunity and caters to other life-stage needs of your dog
- Contains no chicken, beef, soy, corn, eggs, and other dairy products
- Free from fillers and preservatives
- Has recall history
7. Purina Pro Plan Dog Food
Dogs with sensitive skins can react to allergens like crazy. Their inflamed skin, itchiness, and sudden hair loss might make you afraid.
But there is a solution.
Purina Pro is a dog food that works very well for sensitive stomachs.
Beat the sensitivity with Purina Pro Plan Dog Food. It might help.
- Comes in FOCUS Sensitive Skin, Stomach Salmon and Rice Formula
- Available in specialized formulas for adults, small breeds, large breeds, and pups
- Features Real SALMON as No 1. ingredient. Other ingredients are oatmeal and sunflower oil filled with omega 6 fatty acid
- Includes prebiotic fiber to promote digestive health
- No poultry by-products, corn, wheat, and soy
- Cares for your dog’s total well-being
- Nourishes your dog’s sensitive systems
- Easy to digest
- Has a strong odor and can give your doggie a bad breath
- Caused gastrointestinal issues in some dogs
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Purchasing Hypoallergenic Dog Food?
Buying hypoallergenic dog food is one of the most important investments you can make for your dog’s good health. So, it makes sense that you take your time to research and then decide what should go inside your pet’s tummy.
These are few things you should consider before you purchase hypoallergenic dog food.
- Consider Limited Ingredient Diet foods or Novel protein dog foods.
A limited ingredient diet is a diet that contains fewer ingredients, ideally, some exotic protein and carbs sources.
Novel protein simply means ‘new’ protein sources that are a less common ingredient of dog foods.
- Buy a food product that doesn’t include the potential allergen. It can happen only when you have figured out the disturbing ingredient.
- Listen to your vet’s advice. Expert recommendations take the guesswork off. Also, you can keep calm without worrying about consequences.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has a Food Allergy or Just a Food Intolerance?
Food allergy and food intolerance are two different conditions a dog may come across. Food allergy is the immune system’s response. While food intolerance is simply a digestive disorder. It has nothing to do with the immune system.
Now, diagnosing between the two seems a confusing task.
But you can identify the condition based on the symptoms your dog displays.
Immune reactions usually appear as rash, hives, itching, and sometimes nausea or vomiting. On the other hand, digestion problems are gastric distress, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
Treating Dog Food Allergies: What Is an Elimination-challenge Diet and How Does It Work?
Elimination-Challenge diet is the gold standard for diagnosing food allergies in pets. Plus, this diet challenge doesn’t only work to confirm that your dog really has messed up with some ingredient in his diet but also works as a treatment.
An elimination diet implies eliminating certain ingredients from your dog’s meals that are commonly notorious for triggering allergies.
Elimination diet works in two lengthy steps and is a ton of work.
Here are the steps that you must follow while pursuing the Elimination-Challenge diet.
Step 1: Eliminate Allergens
When you try to remove potential allergens from your dog’s food, you generally switch your doggo’s diet to some novel protein source.
Say, Bison, Kangaroo, Pheasant, and Venison – a unique protein your dog has never consumed!
For carbohydrate intake, you may go for brown rice, sweet potato, or white potato.
During the restricted diet period – of at least 12 weeks – make sure you don’t feed your pet any treats or flavored medication.
By following the restricted diet plan, your dog will feel better. The allergy symptoms will also start disappearing.
When your dog is done with his diet challenge for the recommended period and is healing. It is time to move onto the next step.
Step 2: Reintroduction
Here reintroduction stands for adding up the dietary element you suspected was the cause of allergy in your pet’s diet. If no reaction appears, add another – next in your suspicion list, but ONLY one at a time.
When you finally determine the main allergen, one or more, exclude them from your pet’s diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Conclusion: Our Top Pick
When it comes to choosing our top pick, we strongly recommend Raised Right Human-Grade Pet Food.
How does this product earn the vote of being our top choice?
We believe in quality, and pets don’t deserve low-grade food at all!
And looks like, Raised Right has made its mark for some good reasons.
The key factors we considered before we announced this brand as our most favorite are not only its handful of rave reviews but its transparency, reliability, choice of ingredients, and natural sourcing.
Talking about its downsides, all we can say is that the product’s advantages outweigh its cons. After all, spending some good bucks for your pet’s well-being is something a true dog lover won’t mind. Will you?