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    Best Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies

    Food allergies in dogs can be quite common. Symptoms include itching and continuous scratching, excessive licking, biting of the paws or other body parts and even a dull, lifeless coat. Finding the best dog food for food allergies can be a lifesaver.



    Our Rating


    PS Hypoallergenic

    Canidae Grain Free

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient

    Nature's Variety Instint

    Taste of the Wild

    What is a Food Allergy

    Allergies are an immune system response to a particular food type. The body accidentally identifies this food as dangerous and responds with a full out attack of antibodies against this perceived harm. A dog can have various severe symptoms that can endanger his or her health.

    Cheaper dog food brands are a good place to start when these concerns come up. Ingredients used to keep the cost down can sometimes be the culprit in these allergies.

    There are many different symptoms that your dog can suffer from, with the majority affecting the digestive system, and skin.

    Some of the symptoms that can indicate a dog’s food allergy include:

    • Itching and continuous scratching
    • Excessive licking
    • Biting of the paws or other body parts
    • Dull, thin or lifeless fur coat
    • Long-term inflammation of the ears

    Dogs also have allergic reactions very similar to the types seen in their human counterparts:

    • Sneezing
    • Itching or an itchy rear end
    • Hives or a rash on the skin
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Continuing gas problems or diarrhea

    If any of these symptoms occur and persist, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. These trained professionals can figure out if they are caused by a food allergy or any other illnesses or diseases a dog can contract.

    Should I Feed my Dog Hypoallergenic Food?

    If your dog shows the common symptoms of food allergies, you might want to experiment by switching to hypoallergenic dog food, which is filled with only a small number of ingredients. By trying out various mixtures of ingredients, you will be able to pinpoint the specific ones among the foods your dog negatively reacts to.

    There are some manufacturers that make dog food using unique ingredients not often found in popular brands. This will expose your dog to alternative ingredients that he might not be allergic to.

    To be exactly sure of the diagnosis, however, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to run allergy tests. This will give you an answer to why your dog is reacting the way it is.

    Is it Allergies, or Simply Dog Food Intolerance?

    These two might sound similar, but they have a clear-cut distinction. Food intolerance, unlike allergies, does not deal with an immune response from the animal. It merely means that the dog cannot properly digest that specific type of food.

    Reactions become more severe with continued exposure to whatever food they are allergic to. What may start as a mild rash or bout of indigestion can be exacerbated if you continue to feed the same food.


    Just because the symptoms appear mild at first does not mean they will stay that way. Dog food allergies can be life-threatening.

    Most dogs with food allergies seem to have a high aversion to chicken, eggs, soy, corn, and wheat. However, since there are definitely other types of food your dog can be allergic to, you should get it tested by a veterinarian.

    • Pet food made especially for dogs with allergies can speed up the process of full recovery.

    A common notion concerning food allergies among dogs is that your dog builds up a resistance to proteins in certain foods due to constant exposure. Another opinion is that a dog’s gut can change and become inflamed if the pet is only fed one type of food.

    Still, food intolerance can also be eased by feeding your dog hypoallergenic foods.

    What are Some of the Most Common Dog Food Allergies?

    Many different ingredients in dog food can result in an allergic reaction but some are more likely to than others. The most common ones include:

    • Meat – beef, pork, chicken, lamb and rabbit
    • Fish and other seafood
    • Eggs-dairy products
    • Grains – corn, wheat, and soybeans
    • Dogs with food allergies frequently have problems with more than one ingredient.

    What is a Dog Elimination Diet?

    dog food allergies

    In order to determine which ingredients should be avoided, a veterinarian will prescribe an elimination diet and then reintroduce possible allergens to test for reaction. For example, the first stage could consist of just ground turkey and sweet potatoes. After making sure no allergic reactions occur, other foods are introduced.

    Each new food is introduced alone for a period of at least a week until symptoms arise. This helps you create the right long-term diet for your furry friend.

    Creating a healthy diet for a dog with food allergies is much simpler than it was in the past. So many more options of food types are available including different combinations of ingredients. Some even include exotics like venison, kangaroo meat, oatmeal and potatoes which are less likely to cause reactions.

    With proper care and testing with an elimination protocol, you can find the right food to maintain your beloved pet’s health and happiness.

    Is There Treatment Available for Food Allergies?

    As of yet, there is no known cure for a food allergy. However, with correct management, and a strict diet - your dog can become symptom-free, and live a long, happy, and healthy life!

    Sure, it might mean that your pooch can’t have store bought treats, but as the parent of a pup with allergies, you’ll be able to find recipes for homemade treats so that they don’t feel left out when their brothers, and sisters are getting goodies!

    confused dog with allergies

    Which Hypoallergenic Dog Food Should I Get?

    The following list will inform you on the most common and popular hypoallergenic dog food brands currently available. However, keep in mind that your dog may have a unique allergy that requires a specific kind of hypoallergenic food.

    Most dog food allergies will present themselves through skin issues. Many pet owners find that feeding their dogs food with a lot of seafood helps alleviate this type of discomfort.

    The great thing about seafood in dog food is that it raises the meal’s omega-3 and fatty acid contents. These two components are essential to healthy skin and coat. Not only will seafood-based dog food achieve this, but you may alleviate your pet’s digestive issues by exposing it to a new hypoallergenic meal.

    Top 5 Best Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies

    This hypoallergenic food got some excellent reviews. Some dog owners use this as a treat for their dogs. It is relatively expensive for a two-pound bag, but some dog owners called it a "miracle food" because of the results they got after starting up with this dog food.

    Several reviewers stated they had tried just about everything with no results until they found PS for dogs.

    The company claims it will reduce paw licking. It's a low glycemic food that will stop yeast growth on your dog's paws which can be the cause of your dog's paw licking.

    What We Like

    • Limited Ingredient
    • Grain-free
    • High Protein
    • Low glycemic: helps with paw licking and biting

    What We Don't Like

    • Pricey
    • Only a two pound bag

    Canidae Limited Ingredient Dog Food

    A quality grain-free dog food with real meat as it's first ingredients. Canidae uses limited ingredients which makes it easier on your dogs digestive system.

    Delivered from an independent family owned business located in Texas. Operating since 1996.

    After cooking, the company adds what it calls, "Healthplus Solutions." Probiotics for digestion, antioxidants to help keep the immune system healthy, and omega 6&3 fatty acids for keeping your dog's coat and skin healthy.

    What We Like

    • Grain-free
    • High in Protein
    • Limited Ingredient
    • Available in puppy and senior formulas

    What We Don't Like

    • Some complaints that food was not fresh
    • Might not work for picky eaters

    Natural Balance is a grain free dog food with natural ingredients created with all dogs in mind. Including the new, and ever popular pea protein, famed for its low-carb and low-fat content.

    It's high in Vitamin D which helps improve your pup's overall skin health and may aid in guarding against congestive heart failure.

    What We like

    • Grain free, limited ingredient dog food
    • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
    • Maximum vitamins and minerals

    What We Don't Like

    • Some dogs can do well initially, and then begin to show allergy symptoms again
    • Pungent aroma

    With a focus on protein, Natures Variety puts an emphasis on meat and protein. Their commitment to grain free and gluten free products also keeps this dog food low in carbohydrates.

    As well as being a potential solution for dogs with allergies, the nutritional content makes it a potentially good fit for dogs with Cushing’s Disease, or Heart Disease.

    MADE WITHOUT - grain, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, sweet potato, potato, chickpeas, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives

    What We Like

    • Made with cage-free turkey
    • Freeze dried for maximum nutrient retention
    • Made in the USA
    • Grain and gluten free

    What We Don't Like

    • Caused some dogs to vomit
    • Some reviews of only working for a short while and symptoms reappear

    Grain free dog food with real roasted lamb as the first ingredient. Other ingredients include peas and sweet potatoes, an exceptional source of energy and nourishment. Added fruits and vegetables, probiotics and vitamins make this just as healthy as it is tasty.

    The company makes a variety of flavors including bison and venison, boar, salmon, and wild fowl.

    What We Like

    • Real roasted lamb is the first ingredient
    • Grain free
    • Healthy formula includes fruits, vegetables, probiotics and vitamins
    • plus-circle
      Omega fatty acid blend

    What We Don't Like

    • Contains egg which can be an allergen
    • Some reviewers claimed the food was not the same as in their local pet store


    With so many potential brands of food to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Allergens are present in the majority of food that we researched. 

    We found two brands that were an excellent choice. Our pick is Nature's Variety Limited Ingredient. It contains only one animal protein (turkey) and one vegetable (sweet potatoes). As with any new dog food, I suggest buying the smallest size to see if your dog will tolerate it.

    Another excellent choice is PS Hypoallergenic. This food gets rave reviews, but the cost is very prohibitive. Especially if you have a large breed dog.

    Because of the high cost, many dog owners use this as a safe treat.

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    About the AuthorAngela Miller

    Hello, my name is Angela Miller. Several years ago, I rescued a little seven-year-old Bichon Frise. I started looking into dog nutrition so I could keep my little love bug for as long as I possibly could. I love my dog too much to feed him unhealthy food. I hope some of the things I've learned along the way will help you and your dog.

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