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No Allergens Please: Discovering The Best Dog Food for Allergies

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As a dad to a foodie pup, Dex, I have to constantly keep my eye on what he puts in his mouth. Given Dex’s appetite for anything that smells or looks appetizing, I always worry that he may eat something that will make him sick.

After all, dogs frequently experience food allergies.

Very often, these allergies don’t emerge immediately, and their symptoms may manifest long after your dog has already been exposed to the allergen over a long period.

So, it’s not uncommon for pet parents to be surprised that their pup is allergic to beef or chicken, two of the most common food allergens for dogs.

Unfortunately, we still don’t have reliable testing methods to determine if certain ingredients cause allergic reactions in dogs. So, it’s a matter of trial and error-and it’s important to err on the side of caution and feed your dog food formulated for sensitive digestive systems.

This means a hypoallergenic, limited ingredient, or novel protein diet.

Does this seem like a lot? Well, don’t be overwhelmed. I have done thorough research on the best dog food for allergies, with the help of my buddy Dex, for this guide.

Let’s dig in!

Top Picks

Wild Earth Performance Formula

Wild Earth - Performance Formula

Wild Earth Performance Formula

Wild Earth Performance Formula - Star Rating
  • Reliable and never been recalled
  • Wholesome superfoods and no filler ingredients
  • Designed to improve holistic health

Orijen Allergy Care Six Fish

orijen allergy care

Orijen Allergy Care Six Fish

orijen allergy care - star rating
  • Mimics the natural diet of wolves
  • Very rich in high-quality proteins
  • Reduces inflammation and infection

Hill’s Science Diet Adult

hill’s - science diet tender turkey & rice dog food

Hill’s Science Diet Adult

hill’s science diet - star rating
  • Reasonably priced
  • Turkey as primary protein source
  • Improves gut health and hydration

10 Best Dog Food For Allergies in 2024

Food is one of the leading causes of allergic reactions in dogs. While there is no permanent cure for food-induced allergies, they can be controlled and managed by switching to other ingredients.

Below are the ten best dog foods for skin allergies and other issues to minimize your dog’s discomfort.

Wild Earth Performance Formula Wild Earth Performance Formula - Dollar Sign

Best Vegan Dog Food | Wild Earth Performance Formula - Star Rating
Wild Earth - Performance Formula
  • imageFlavours: Veggie Chick’n Kabob
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 346 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 28%
  • image Recalls: None
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Peanut Butter Superfood Treats

Wild Earth - Peanut Butter Superfood Treats

Peanut Butter Superfood Treats
Wild Earth - Star Rating

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Digestion Dog Supplements

Wild Earth - Immunity & Digestion Dog Supplements

Digestion Dog Supplements
Digestion Dog Supplements

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Strawberry & Beet Superfood Treats

Wild Earth - Strawberry & Beet Superfood Treats

Strawberry & Beet Superfood Treats
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About the Product:

Wild Earth Performance Formula offers a vegan approach to holistic health for dogs. The brand uses plant-based ingredients to make a nutritionally complete formulation that meets AAFCO’s standards for dog food.

It contains 28% crude protein, primarily sourced from dried yeast and potato. Both contain essential amino acids and are easily digestible, making them highly efficient protein sources. That’s why the Performance Formula is an excellent choice for dogs of all ages with beef, chicken, egg, or similar animal-sourced protein allergies.

Although not grain-free, Wild Earth uses millet, barley, and sorghum. These are excellent alternatives to wheat, which is notorious for causing allergies and GI issues in dogs.

Wild Earth Performance Formula comes in a lip-smacking veggie chick’n kabob flavor that even a picky eater like Dex loved to bits.

Pros
  • A high-protein diet that offers complete nutrition
  • Free from harmful additives and fillers
  • Holistic nutrition to meet AAFCO’s standards
Cons
  • Only one flavor
  • Not grain free
  • Relatively expensive compared to traditional kibble

Nom Nom Turkey Fare nom nom - dollar sign

Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food | nom nom - star rating
nom nom turkey fare
  • imageFlavours: Turkey Fare, Pork Potluck, Chicken Cuisine, Beef Mash
  • imageType: Fresh, Wet
  • Calories: 168 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 10%
  • image Recalls: None

About the Product:

Nom Nom is known for its limited-ingredient, fresh recipes that offer all the needed nutrition to your dog without compromising on taste.

The Turkey Fare recipe contains a healthy mix of turkey, brown rice, carrots, spinach, and egg. This adds up to around 10% of crude protein, which is a good amount for sensitive dogs prone to allergies. It ensures that your dog maintains muscle mass and strength, while also enhancing their digestive system.

Additional ingredients such as fish oil is a rich source of EPA and DHA omega fatty acids, and thus improve your dog’s coat, making it dense and shiny. Taurine is an amino acid that improves your dog’s cardiovascular system.

This recipe is also quite rich in vitamins and minerals needed for better overall health.

I recommend Nom Nom’s recipe, especially because it is formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. Plus, they ensured that their fresh meals were personalized to meet Dex’s unique requirements, so I knew they would benefit my pup.

Pros
  • Pre-portioned, fresh, personalized meals
  • Limited, high-quality ingredients
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Requires a subscription
  • Above-average fat content

ACANA Limited Ingredient Diet Pork & Squash ACANA Limited Ingredient Diet Pork & Squash - Dollar Sign

Best Low-Calorie Dog Food | ACANA Limited Ingredient Diet Pork & Squash - Star Rating
ACANA - Limited Ingredient Diet Pork & Squash
  • imageFlavours: Pork and Squash, Beef and Pumpkin, Duck and Pear, Lamb and Apple
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 388 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 31%
  • image Recalls: None

About the Product:

ACANA is known for its sustainable, limited-ingredient dog food, and this particular formulation is my and Dex’s favorite. It contains pork meat, pork liver, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, and cranberries, making a complete, balanced meal.

Easily digestible and highly nutritious, it is also fresh and human-grade to maintain ACANA’s high standards.

Pork is a fantastic protein source as it is less likely to trigger your dog’s allergies than beef or chicken.

Additionally, ACANA has further fortified the formula with some dog-safe fruits and vegetables carefully selected to ensure a low glycemic index. This also maintains a 65-35 percent ratio between the meat and veg in the recipe.

Given how calorie-heavy most special diet foods are, ACANA wins brownie points for being exceptionally well-rounded. Overall, it’s one of the best dry dog foods for allergic dogs, and it’s a fantastic option if your dog tends to gain weight quickly.

Pros
  • Single-source protein
  • Well-balanced with superfoods
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Enhances skin, gut, and coat health
  • Flavorful and tasty recipe
Cons
  • It may be difficult to chew for small breeds
  • Contains whole chickpeas
  • Not appropriate for large active dogs

BLUE Buffalo Basics (Skin & Stomach Care) Turkey & Potato BLUE Buffalo Basics (Skin & Stomach Care) Turkey & Potato - Dollar Sign

Best Dog Food for Aging Dogs | BLUE Buffalo Basics (Skin & Stomach Care) Turkey & Potato - Star Rating
BLUE Buffalo - Basics (Skin & Stomach Care) Turkey & Potato
  • imageFlavours: Turkey and Potato, Salmon and Potato, Lamb and Potato
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 352 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 20%
  • image Recalls: Recalled in 2010 for high levels of vitamin D

About the Product:

Especially beneficial for overweight or obese dogs that are also prone to allergies, the Blue Buffalo Basics diet enables you to manage your dog’s allergies and control their calorie intake.

This limited-ingredient recipe has low calorie and carb content, ensuring your dog maintains a healthy weight. It also enables easy digestion and enhances their overall health.

This high-protein diet contains deboned turkey and turkey meal and all the essential nutrients to make your dog healthy and hearty from the inside out. With a perfect balance of vitamins and minerals, it also helps to improve your dog’s energy levels.

Overall, I think this is an excellent recipe in terms of nutrition value and taste, judging from how Dex licks his bowl clean.

Pros
  • High-quality protein
  • Free from fillers and additives
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Limited ingredients for holistic health
  • Enhances mobility
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Packaging quality is not the best

Canidae Pure Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Canidae Pure Real Salmon & Sweet Potato - Dollar Sign

Best Dog Food for Puppies | Canidae Pure Real Salmon & Sweet Potato - Star Rating
Canidae - Pure Real Salmon & Sweet Potato
  • imageFlavours: Salmon and Sweet Potato, Duck and Sweet Potato, Lamb and Sweet Potato
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 459 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 32%
  • image Recalls: May 2012

About the Product:

Canidae is perhaps the only dog food brand that formulates their recipes with ten or fewer primary ingredients, and the Real Salmon and Sweet Potato kibble is one of my favorites.

Salmon is its primary source of protein, and it only contains seven other ingredients. High-quality salmon makes all the difference in this dry dog food variety. It is also a great alternative for dogs that are allergic to dairy and meat, as it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, and other powerful compounds. Salmon also provides a much-needed immunity boost and reduces inflammation caused by allergies.

Brewers yeast is added as a supplement, which makes for a protein-dense, hypoallergenic diet for allergy-prone dogs. It also contains sweet potatoes, which are rich sources of vitamin A, B6, C, and other nutrients.

This well-balanced option is sure to improve your dog’s overall health and is certainly my top recommendation if you’re looking for the best salmon dog food for allergies.

Pros
  • Only eight main ingredients
  • Nutritionally-balanced and high-quality
  • Great taste
  • Appropriate for pups and adult dogs
  • Contains probiotics to aid digestion
Cons
  • Undisclosed manufacturing location
  • Relatively expensive

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food purina pro plan - dollar sign

Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs | purina pro plan - star rating
purina pro plan adult sensitive skin & stomach
  • imageFlavours: Salmon & Rice, Lamb, Salmon, Turkey, Lamb & Oatmeal, Turkey & Oatmeal
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 449 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 26%
  • image Recalls: None

About the Product:

Formulated without corn, soy, or wheat (often difficult for some dogs to digest), the Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach recipe is great for managing sensitive stomachs and food intolerances.

Packed with premium, high-quality proteins, salmon is the primary source of omega fatty acids. In addition to the fish oil, this is a highly efficient recipe for improving joint health and boosting cardiovascular performance.

What I like most about this recipe is that it is packed with natural prebiotic fibers-they aid digestion by nourishing intestinal bacteria. This improves Dex’s overall gut function and ensures that his coat and skin remain healthy.

The recipe is also free from additives and artificial flavors. It is fortified with sunflower oil that contains immunity-boosting antioxidants to enhance your dog’s well-being on a holistic level.

Overall, it ticks some of the most important boxes as far as gut-friendly, non-allergic food is concerned. It also aids in weight control, making it an all-around effective special diet for dogs like Dex.

Pros
  • Appropriate for all sizes and breeds
  • Made in the United States
  • It contains real salmon as the primary ingredient
  • Rich in nutrition
  • Delicious flavor
Cons
  • Slightly expensive
  • May cause an increase in stool frequency

Hill’s Science Diet Tender Turkey & Rice Dog Food Hill’s Science Diet Tender Turkey & Rice Dog Food - Dollar Sign

Best for Dogs with Chicken or Beef Allergies | hill’s science diet - star rating
Hill’s - Science Diet Tender Turkey & Rice Dog Food
  • imageFlavours: Turkey & Rice
  • imageType: Canned / Wet
  • Calories: 253 kcal/can
  • image Recalls: None

About the Product:

Hill’s Science Diet dog food is one of the most recommended brands by vets, and my personal favorite is this turkey and rice recipe.

Unlike most hypoallergenic or veterinary diet dog foods that have a dry kibble formulation, this particular one is in the form of stew. It has an excellent slurpy consistency and easy-to-chew chunks of turkey and rice.

Turkey is the ideal alternative to chicken, beef, or even dairy, and the addition of rice makes this wet food even more nutritious. It improves metabolism and is an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is very easy to digest and ensures a healthy pH balance to improve your dog’s gut health.

Hill’s Science Diet Tender Turkey & Rice Dog Food is also designed to enable optimal absorption of nutrients in your pet’s body.

Beyond managing allergies, it facilitates better bowel movement and boosts hydration, which is particularly important if your dog doesn’t drink enough water or if you live in a hot region.

Pros
  • Turkey is the primary protein source
  • Affordable
  • Provides hydration
  • Ensures better gut health
  • It contains rice and turkey chunks
Cons
  • Contains grains
  • Relatively low crude protein content
  • Contains poultry by-products
  • Priced relatively high

Orijen Allergy Care Six Fish Dry Dog Food Orijen Allergy Care Six Fish Dry Dog Food - Dollar Sign

Best for Picky Eaters | orijen allergy care - star rating
Orijen - Allergy Care Six Fish Dry Dog Food
  • imageFlavours: Tundra, Six Fish, Regional Red, Original
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 451 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 40%
  • image Recalls: None

About the Product:

Orijen is a renowned dog food brand for good reason-in business for over 25 years, all their products are of premium quality and have never been recalled.

While that is very reassuring, I also love that their recipes are designed to mimic the natural diet of wolves while remaining gentle enough to be easily digestible by our domesticated furry pals.

This Allergy Care mix is an impressive formulation that contains whole herring, monkfish, salmon, redfish, flounder, and whole hake. It is further enhanced with sardine, herring, blue whiting, and pollock meals, which further increase its protein content, ensuring strong muscles and bones.

The best part is that the most nutrient-dense parts of the fish are freeze-dried to preserve their flavor and nutrition content, ensuring a wholesome diet. The fatty acids from the fish also reduce inflammation and prevent ear infections, skin rashes, and bloating that can cause discomfort.

With such novel, clean, and lean proteins, you can rest assured that your pet is consuming some of the best dog food for allergies in the market.

Pros
  • Formulated with fish as the primary protein
  • Protects against inflammation and infections
  • Designed as a natural diet for dogs
  • Hypoallergenic and high-quality
  • Appealing smell for dogs
Cons
  • Relatively high-calorie content
  • Not appropriate for inactive dogs
  • Fishy smell may be unpleasant
  • Very expensive

Merrick Grain Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food merrick grain free - dollar sign

Best Poultry-Free Dog Food | merrick grain free - star rating
merrick grain free real salmon & sweet potato
  • imageFlavours: Salmon and Sweet Potato, Lamb, Duck, Beef and Bison, Rabbit
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 392 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 32%
  • image Recalls: None

About the Product:

With real deboned salmon and whitefish meals as the top ingredients, this Merrick’s grain-free recipe is formulated to fulfill your dog’s daily nutritional requirements. It features a holistic blend that is high in protein and free from grains to provide a balanced meal to your allergy-prone pet. It is also free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it enhances your dog’s digestion. This recipe is also high in omega fatty acids that have visibly enhanced Dex’s coat and skin health. The glucosamine and chondroitin included in the formulation have improved his hip and joint health.

The ingredients ensure holistic wellness for all dogs, especially those prone to allergies.

Pros
  • A balanced meal with fruits and vegetables
  • Rich in fish protein
  • Contains taurine and glucosamine
  • Reasonably priced
  • Free from allergens
Cons
  • Dogs may dislike the smell
  • Contains pork fat
  • Can disrupt bowel movements

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Ultamino Dry Dog Food Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Ultamino Dry Dog Food - Dollar Sign

Best for Dogs With Extreme Allergies | Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Ultamino Dry Dog Food - Star Rating
Royal Canin - Veterinary Diet Adult Ultamino Dry Dog Food
  • imageFlavours: Single Flavor
  • imageType: Dry
  • Calories: 323 kcal/cup
  • Crude Protein: 16.5%
  • image Recalls: None

About the Product:

Royal Canin Ultamino Dry Dog Food is specifically designed for dogs with extreme food sensitivities and is offered as a vet-exclusive kibble.

It contains hydrolyzed poultry by-products and cornstarch, and the proteins for this specialty diet are broken into extremely small, unrecognizable oligopeptides. Your dog’s digestive system will be unable to recognize these as a protein source so that it won’t trigger an allergic reaction. This is what makes this kibble stand out amongst other special diet foods.

It is also packed with Vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential amino acids-nutrients that combine to reduce allergy-induced skin issues and improve your dog’s coat health.

The major caveat of this kibble is that you will need your vet’s approval to give to your dog. You must always keep fresh water handy as it will make your dog extremely thirsty.

Aside from that, this is undoubtedly the best dog food for yeast infections and allergies.

Pros
  • Hydrolyzed ingredients
  • Vet-approved and clinically tested formula
  • Improve digestive health
  • Enhances skin and coat
Cons
  • Not as nutrition-dense as regular kibble
  • Expensive
  • Not appetizing
  • It may cause bad breath

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dog Food Allergies Genetic?

Some dog food allergies can have precursors that result from genetic errors in metabolism. For example, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds are more predisposed to food allergies than other breeds.

Dogs whose parents have allergies are also more likely to develop some. Although incurable, allergic reactions can be controlled with a prescription diet.

Can Hypoallergenic Dog Food Cause Allergies?

While hypoallergenic food is much less likely to trigger an allergic reaction in dogs, it is still not a foolproof solution.

Your dog might still develop an allergy to one or more of the ingredients, even in a limited-ingredient diet. In this case, the best you can do is cut out the ingredients causing the allergies.

Can Dog Food Allergies Cause Hair Loss?

All kinds of allergies, including food, can trigger hair loss in dogs. Also, allergic reactions make a dog’s skin so itchy and irritable that they end up excessively scratching, biting, or licking the area, leading to hair loss in patches.

A simple diet change coupled with topical or oral medication could help.

What Dog Breeds are Most Prone to Food Allergies?

The breeds most prone to developing food allergies include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Boxers, French Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-peis, Lhasa Apsos, and most terriers.

What Ingredients in Dog Food Causes Food Allergies?

Although any ingredient can trigger allergies in dogs, the most common allergens include proteins like beef, egg, and chicken. Other allergen sources are dairy, wheat gluten, and soy products.

Because commercially available kibble always contain these ingredients, they are highly likely to trigger allergic reactions in dogs.

The Verdict

Food allergies are very unpredictable. As responsible pet parents, we must do our due diligence and research.

Beef, chicken, dairy, soy, and wheat are common allergens, and it is always best to avoid kibble that contains these ingredients.

I personally really like the Wild Earth Performance Formula, as vegan dog foods can be highly beneficial for sensitive dogs. It provides holistic nutrition despite the lack of meat-based protein.

The brand’s unorthodox ingredients meet AAFCO’s standards for nutrition despite the fact that they are all plant-based. The recipe contains 28% crude protein, primarily from potatoes and dried yeast. These are also rich in essential amino acids and most importantly, easy to digest.

While it’s not grain-free, the recipe contains barley, millet, and sorghum-great alternatives for wheat. It is also a delicious recipe that had Dex licking his bowl clean.

author-image

Meet Sheryl, a dedicated pet mom with over 20 years of hands-on experience as a pet mom to various dog breeds, from German Shepherds to Shih Tzus. Join her on her pet-centric journey as she aims to empower pet owners with practical tips and guidance. With her experience and passion for pets, she strives to make a positive impact in the lives of pets and their devoted owners.