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In the ever-evolving world of pet nutrition, pet owners are increasingly concerned about finding the best dog food for dogs with allergies. With pet allergies remaining a prevalent issue, dog food manufacturers have responded by introducing a diverse range of specialized formulas tailored to meet the specific dietary needs of allergy-prone canines. In this comprehensive article, the focus is on presenting the 18 best options available in 2023.
By addressing food sensitivities, environmental allergies, or a combination of both, this meticulously curated list aims to serve as a valuable resource for pet owners who wish to provide their dogs with the utmost care. These dog foods have been selected based on their nutritional quality and ability to address various allergic reactions, including hypoallergenic ingredients, limited ingredient diets, grain-free alternatives, and novel protein sources.
By exploring these top contenders in the realm of dog food for allergies, pet owners can make informed decisions and improve the overall well-being of their canine companions.
18 Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies in 2023
Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food
Nulo Freestyle Limited Ingredient All Breed Dog Food
Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dog Food Salmon and Rice Formula
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Merrick Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free Dog Food Recipe
Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Grain Free Dog Food
Hill's Prescription Diet Derm Complete Skin & Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food
Dr. Harvey's Specialty Diet Allergy Turkey Recipe
AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Grain-Free Duck Formula Dog Food
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Dog Food Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food, Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
Ps for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Lucy Pet Formulas for Life Salmon, Pumpkin, & Quinoa Dry Dog Food
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Real Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Ancient Grains
Wild Earth Dog Food for Allergies
Allergies in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from environmental triggers to certain ingredients in their food. Environmental allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and certain chemicals, can lead to allergic reactions in dogs. These allergens are typically inhaled or come into contact with the dog's skin, leading to symptoms like itching, sneezing, and skin irritations.
Additionally, dogs can develop food allergies, which are hypersensitivity reactions to specific ingredients in their diet. Common food allergens for dogs include beef, chicken, dairy products, wheat, soy, and corn. When dogs consume these allergenic ingredients, their immune system may overreact, leading to symptoms like gastrointestinal upset, skin rashes, and chronic itching.
It is worth noting that while environmental allergies are more common in dogs, food allergies can also significantly contribute to a dog's allergic response. Proper identification and management of these allergens are crucial to providing relief and improving the quality of life for dogs with allergies.
1. Pupper Fuel
Pupper Fuel prioritizes the nutritional well-being of dogs by incorporating grain-free, high-quality ingredients into their formula. With a focus on providing a balanced diet, their formula prominently features premium chicken, real vegetables, and a range of nutrient-rich components, ensuring that dogs receive essential nutrients for optimal health. For optimal results, it is recommended to replace 20% of the dog's regular food with Pupper Fuel's topper, allowing dogs to benefit from the carefully selected ingredients.
Among the variants offered, the Chicken Recipe stands out, boasting a carefully crafted blend of 13 active ingredients and 16 inactive ingredients. This thoughtfully curated combination of ingredients works synergistically to create an ideal dietary experience for furry companions, promoting their overall well-being and satisfaction.
2. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is formulated with a carefully selected blend of natural, high-quality ingredients. The recipe features real chicken as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids that are necessary for proper muscle growth and development. A range of nutrient-rich vegetables has also been included in the mix to ensure adequate nutrition for adult dogs.
3. Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food is formulated for adult dogs and features a balanced blend of natural ingredients. This recipe includes real chicken as its primary source of protein, ensuring that essential amino acids are provided in adequate amounts. Additionally, it has been enriched with clinically proven antioxidants to help support strong immune systems and promote overall health. The formula also contains a generous helping of nutrient-dense vegetables for added nutrition.
4. Nulo Freestyle Limited Ingredient All Breed Dog Food
Nulo Freestyle Limited Ingredient All Breed Dog Food is formulated with simple ingredients to ensure that all dogs receive the nutrients they need. The recipe features minimally processed, real chicken as its primary source of protein and provides essential amino acids for optimal muscle growth and development. In addition, this formula contains prebiotic fibers from sweet potatoes, peas, and chickpeas to help support the digestive health of adult dogs. It is also carefully enriched with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ensure complete nutrition.
5. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin
This adult dry dog food, featuring smaller kibble, focuses on promoting digestive health and nourishing the skin. The formulation includes vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients that specifically target skin nourishment and encourage the development of a lustrous coat. Additionally, the dog food is designed to be highly digestible, facilitating optimal nutrient absorption and facilitating easier stool pick-up for pet owners.
With a robust combination of vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids, this dog food is dedicated to enhancing the coat's appearance and promoting healthy skin in adult dogs. It is crafted using natural ingredients, supplemented with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to provide a wholesome and well-rounded diet for furry companions.
6. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dog Food Salmon and Rice Formula
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dog Food Salmon and Rice Formula is specifically formulated to support digestive health in adult dogs. This variant features real salmon as the primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids for optimal muscle growth and development. The formula also contains a carefully selected blend of prebiotic fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ensure complete nutrition and aid in digestive health. Additionally, it is enriched with omega-6 fatty acids to nourish skin and promote a lustrous coat.
7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is designed to provide small breeds with optimal nutrition. The recipe features real salmon as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids that are necessary for proper muscle growth and development.
8. Merrick Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free Dog Food Recipe
With a focus on natural ingredients, this dog food ensures that real deboned chicken is always the first ingredient. The recipe contains a well-balanced blend of 65% protein and healthy fat ingredients, along with 35% produce, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other natural components. Notably, this healthy dog food stands out with 84% of its protein derived from animal sources, providing the ideal combination of protein and healthy fats to support a dog's optimal weight and increased energy levels.
Additionally, the inclusion of omega fatty acids promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat, while the presence of glucosamine and chondroitin supports healthy hips and joints in dogs. This high-protein dog food formula is designed to provide comprehensive nutrition for dogs, ensuring their overall well-being and vitality.
9. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Grain Free Dog Food
Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Grain Free Dog Food is formulated with a unique blend of raw and dry ingredients, resulting in an optimal nutritional experience for dogs. The recipe features real deboned chicken as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids that are necessary for proper muscle growth and development. This variant also contains nutrient-rich vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots for added nutrition. Additionally, it is enriched with omega fatty acids to help promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat in adult dogs.
10. Hill's Prescription Diet Derm Complete Skin & Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food
Hill's Prescription Diet Derm Complete Skin & Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food is specifically formulated for adult dogs with skin and food sensitivities. The recipe features real chicken as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids that are necessary for proper muscle growth and development.
11. Dr. Harvey's Specialty Diet Allergy Turkey Recipe
Designed specifically for dogs with skin, stomach, and environmental sensitivities, the human-grade dog food created for dogs with allergies addresses canine vulnerabilities comprehensively. By incorporating premium and balanced superfoods, this dog food tackles the root causes of allergies from the inside out. The formulation features turkey as the first ingredient, providing an organic and natural solution to combat dog allergies.
This natural nutrition fortified with canine sensitivities strengthens your dog's immune system in a clean and healthy manner, as it includes real turkey and visible, aromatic vegetables. With the convenience of making a homemade meal in minutes, simply adding hot water and Dr. Harvey's Fish Oil creates a complete and nourishing meal for your dog, allowing you to save time without compromising on quality nutrition for your beloved furry companion.
12. AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Grain-Free Duck Formula Dog Food
AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Grain-Free Duck Formula Dog Food is specifically formulated to help support the sensitive stomachs of adult dogs. The recipe features real duck as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids for proper muscle growth and development. Additionally, the formula also includes prebiotic fiber to aid in digestion, and omega-6 fatty acids to nourish skin and promote a lustrous coat. This grain-free dog food also contains avocado, which is packed with antioxidants and provides essential vitamins for optimal nutrition.
13. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Dog Food Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
Merrick presents the Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Dog Food with a delectable Real Lamb and Sweet Potato Recipe. This specialized dog food is carefully crafted for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies, offering a solution that addresses their dietary needs. The dry food prominently features real deboned lamb as the primary ingredient, ensuring a high-quality protein source for your canine companion.
Notably, this natural dog food formulation excludes grain, soy, and gluten ingredients, making it suitable for dogs with specific dietary restrictions. Rest assured that this limited ingredient dog food provides a wholesome and tailored solution for dogs with sensitivities, while still delivering the essential nutrients they need for a balanced diet.
14. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food, Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
The Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food is a tasty and nutritious recipe that is designed for dogs with food sensitivities. The recipe features real deboned salmon as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids for proper muscle growth and development. Additionally, the formulation also includes sweet potatoes which are rich in vitamins and minerals to give your dog the energy and nutrition they need.
15. Ps for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
The low glycemic dog allergy food offered by the company effectively reduces paw licking in dogs, targeting the leading cause of this behavior—yeast growth on the paws. By preventing the proliferation of yeast, dogs are less likely to engage in excessive paw licking and biting.
Moreover, the limited ingredient formula comprises human-grade New Zealand Lamb and other essential hypoallergenic ingredients, specifically chosen to alleviate skin problems such as itching, redness, bumps, and foul odor. This formulation prioritizes the well-being of dogs with food sensitivities, offering a grain-free and high protein diet solution.
16. Lucy Pet Formulas for Life Salmon, Pumpkin, & Quinoa Dry Dog Food
Lucy Pet Formulas for Life Salmon, Pumpkin & Quinoa Dry Dog Food is a grain-free and gluten-free formula that provides complete nutrition to adult dogs with food sensitivities. The recipe features real salmon as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids that are necessary for proper muscle growth and development.
17. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Real Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Ancient Grains
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Real Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Ancient Grains is the perfect solution for adult dogs with food sensitivities. The recipe features real deboned beef as its primary source of protein, providing essential amino acids that are necessary for proper muscle growth and development. The formula includes ancient grains such as quinoa, millet, and chia seeds which are rich in fiber and antioxidants to help support digestive health. Additionally, the recipe also includes omega fatty acids from flaxseed and salmon oil to promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
18. Wild Earth Dog Food for Allergies
The plant-based dog food offered incorporates high-quality, sustainable plant proteins that surpass the protein content found in traditional dog foods when measured by weight. This formulation prioritizes lean plant protein as a key ingredient.
Ensuring complete nutrition, the kibble is free from fillers and instead features real, wholesome ingredients such as chickpeas, oats, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, and more. This junk-free and holistic approach to canine nutrition provides a well-rounded and nutritious diet.
Our Criteria for Ranking the Best Dog Food
Choosing the right dog food is essential for your pet's health and well-being. With the plethora of options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which dog food is best for your furry friend. To simplify this process and help you make an informed decision, we have established a set of criteria for ranking the best dog food products. These criteria are based on scientific research, expert opinions, and the specific nutritional needs of dogs.
Complete and Balanced: The dog food must meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for a complete and balanced diet, ensuring it provides all essential nutrients in the right proportions.
High-Quality Protein: The primary ingredient should be a high-quality animal protein source, such as chicken, beef, or fish, to support your dog's muscle development and overall health.
Whole Grains and Vegetables: Whole grains and vegetables should be included to provide essential carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Absence of Fillers and Artificial Additives:
No Fillers: The best dog food should not contain fillers like corn, soy, or wheat, which offer limited nutritional value and may cause allergies.
No Artificial Additives: It should be free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which can harm your dog's health over time.
Meat Meal vs. Whole Meat:
Preference for Whole Meat: Whole meat sources are preferred over meat meals or by-products, as they are less processed and retain more nutritional value.
Digestibility and Allergen Consideration:
Hypoallergenic Options: For dogs with allergies or sensitivities, hypoallergenic options that avoid common allergens like poultry or grains should be available.
High Digestibility: The dog food should be highly digestible to ensure your pet absorbs the maximum nutrients from each meal.
Life Stage Appropriateness:
Age and Size-Specific Formulations: The best dog food should offer formulations tailored to your dog's life stage (puppy, adult, senior) and size (small, medium, large).
Transparency and Sourcing:
Transparent Labeling: Brands should provide transparent information about ingredient sourcing and processing methods.
Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing: A commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients reflects a brand's responsibility toward animal welfare and the environment.
Health Benefits and Special Considerations:
Support for Special Health Needs: The best dog food may offer formulations to address specific health concerns, such as joint health, dental care, or weight management.
Customer Feedback and Reviews:
Positive User Experiences: Customer feedback and reviews are valuable indicators of a product's performance, safety, and palatability.
Price and Value:
Affordability: The cost of the dog food should be reasonable and commensurate with its quality and ingredients, offering good value for pet owners.
Recall History and Safety:
Safety Record: Brands with a history of recalls or safety issues should be viewed with caution, as the safety of your pet is paramount.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Dog Food
What should I consider when choosing dog food for my pet?
When choosing dog food, consider factors such as your dog's age, size, activity level, any allergies or sensitivities, and consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.
What is the difference between dry and wet dog food?
Dry dog food (kibble) is convenient, has a longer shelf life, and can help with dental health. Wet dog food contains more moisture and can be more palatable for picky eaters. Some owners choose to feed a combination for variety.
Is homemade dog food a good option?
Homemade dog food can be an option but requires careful research and balance to ensure your dog gets all the necessary nutrients. Consulting with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist is recommended.
How can I tell if a dog food is of high quality?
Look for high-quality protein sources, whole grains and vegetables, minimal fillers and additives, and adherence to AAFCO guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition. Checking customer reviews and consulting experts can also help.
Should I choose a dog food based on my dog's breed?
While some breed-specific formulas exist, it's more important to consider your dog's individual needs, age, and size when selecting dog food.
What should I do if my dog has food allergies or sensitivities?
If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, consult your veterinarian for advice. They may recommend hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient dog foods.
Is grain-free dog food a better choice?
Grain-free dog food isn't necessarily better. While some dogs may benefit from grain-free options, it's essential to ensure the food still provides balanced nutrition, as some grain-free diets have been associated with certain health issues.
How often should I feed my dog, and in what portion sizes?
Feeding frequency and portion sizes depend on your dog's age, size, and activity level. Puppies typically require more frequent meals. Follow the feeding guidelines provided on the dog food packaging and adjust based on your dog's needs.
Can I mix different brands or types of dog food?
Mixing different brands or types of dog food can be done, but it should be done gradually to avoid digestive upset. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on the best way to transition your dog to a new diet.
Should I be concerned about recalls when choosing dog food?
Yes, it's important to stay informed about recalls. Check the FDA and manufacturer websites regularly for recall information. Brands with a history of recalls may be worth avoiding.
What is the role of my veterinarian in selecting dog food?
Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance on selecting the right dog food based on your pet's specific needs, health conditions, and dietary requirements.
How can I ensure my dog stays hydrated when feeding dry dog food?
Always provide access to clean, fresh water. Wetting the dry food or incorporating wet food into the diet can also increase moisture intake.
Can I give my dog human food as part of their diet?
While some human foods are safe for dogs, it's essential to know which ones are and to avoid potentially toxic foods. Always consult with your veterinarian before adding human food to your dog's diet.
Remember that each dog is unique, and their dietary needs may vary. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian and open communication about your dog's diet are key to ensuring their health and well-being.