The 10 best dog foods for allergies [2021 reviewed]

Dogs can have allergies just like humans can. And often, those allergies are caused by a common ingredient in the food they eat. Thus, if your dog is having unusual reactions to their food, it might be time to switch to the best dog food for allergies. Luckily, there are lots of brands that cater to sensitive pups.

Our Top picks for Dog Food for dogs with allergies

Product
Best Budget
Zignature Small Bites
Best Value for Money
Lucy Pet Formulas for Life
Best Premium
Nulo Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
Image
Zignature Turkey Formula Grain-Free Small Bites Dry Dog Food 4lb
Lucy Pet Products Lucy Pet Formulas for Life - Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food, All Breeds & Life Stages – Duck & Potato, 850657006470, 4.5 lb
Nulo All Natural Dog Food: Freestyle Limited Plus Grain Free Puppy & Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food - Limited Ingredient Diet for Digestive Health - Allergy Sensitive Non GMO Turkey Recipe - 4 lb Bag
Verdict
Not only is it free of all common allergens and filled with quality ingredients, but it’s also reasonably priced
Despite being a less popular brand, it’s a quality limited ingredient formula with everything your dog needs to thrive
It might be the most expensive, but it also has the most quality protein in it while still being perfect for dogs with allergies
Delivery
-
Best Budget
Product
Zignature Small Bites
Image
Zignature Turkey Formula Grain-Free Small Bites Dry Dog Food 4lb
Verdict
Not only is it free of all common allergens and filled with quality ingredients, but it’s also reasonably priced
Delivery
Where To Buy
Best Value for Money
Product
Lucy Pet Formulas for Life
Image
Lucy Pet Products Lucy Pet Formulas for Life - Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food, All Breeds & Life Stages – Duck & Potato, 850657006470, 4.5 lb
Verdict
Despite being a less popular brand, it’s a quality limited ingredient formula with everything your dog needs to thrive
Delivery
Where To Buy
Best Premium
Product
Nulo Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
Image
Nulo All Natural Dog Food: Freestyle Limited Plus Grain Free Puppy & Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food - Limited Ingredient Diet for Digestive Health - Allergy Sensitive Non GMO Turkey Recipe - 4 lb Bag
Verdict
It might be the most expensive, but it also has the most quality protein in it while still being perfect for dogs with allergies
Delivery
-
Where To Buy

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Dog Food for Allergies Reviews

When it comes to dog food, the amount of options can be intimidating. So, I’ve selected ten of the best dog food options for dogs with allergies to help you narrow down your search.

Nulo All Natural Dog Food: Freestyle Limited Plus Grain Free Puppy & Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food - Limited Ingredient Diet for Digestive Health - Allergy Sensitive Non GMO Turkey Recipe - 4 lb Bag

Nulo All Natural Dog Food: Freestyle Limited Plus Grain Free Puppy & Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food - Limited Ingredient Diet for Digestive Health - Allergy Sensitive Non GMO Turkey Recipe - 4 lb Bag

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This Nulo recipe is a limited ingredient formula, meaning it’s perfect for dogs with allergies. Turkey is the only animal protein source and it’s made without common allergens like chicken, corn, wheat, soy, eggs, peas, and white potato. The first two ingredients in this food are deboned turkey and turkey meal. It also has a total of 30% protein and 17% fat.

Just because there are limited ingredients in this food doesn’t mean there are less nutrients. The food is high in protein, which is great for dogs, but it’s low in carbs to remove any unnecessary allergens. It also has probiotics to promote healthy digestion and antioxidants to benefit your dog’s immune system. It’s available in three different sizes: 4 pounds, 10 pounds, and 14 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It lists animal protein for the first two ingredients.
  • It’s low in carbs.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It’s available in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It can cause digestion problems without proper transition.
  • It’s made for small breeds only.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Grain-Free Recipe with Smoked Salmon Adult Dry Dog Food, Vitamins and Antioxidants 5lb

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Grain-Free Recipe with Smoked Salmon Adult Dry Dog Food, Vitamins and Antioxidants 5lb

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While this isn’t a limited ingredient formula, it still avoids all the common allergens, including chicken and beef. Instead, it uses fish for the primary animal protein. The first two ingredients are salmon and ocean fish meal, and it has a total of 25% protein and 15% fat.

Taste of the Wild is always packed with allergy-friendly nutrients that your dog needs to thrive. This includes omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat, probiotics for digestion, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system. Since fish is the primary protein, your dog’s coat will be extra healthy. This food is also grain-free and egg-free, which is great for dogs with allergies. This formula is available in 5-pound, 14-pound, and 28-pound bags.

Pros:

  • It’s free of common allergens.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • Some dogs might still be sensitive to it.
  • It might have a strong odor.
  • It could cause an upset stomach if not properly transitioned.

NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food Duck & Lentils Recipe Dog Kibble, 22 lb. Bag

NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food Duck & Lentils Recipe Dog Kibble, 22 lb. Bag

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This is a limited ingredient formula with duck as the sole protein. There are also lamb, salmon, and venison options available. Duck and duck meal are the first ingredients listed. The food contains a total of 22% protein and 14% fat. It comes in two different sizes: 4 pounds and 22 pounds.

Nutro’s limited ingredient formulas are always made from 10 key ingredients or less to ensure that your dog doesn’t eat anything they don’t need. This formula includes duck, chickpeas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, canola oil, sunflower oil, and beets. Some of these could still be allergens for some dogs though. Yet, it avoids the most common allergens like chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, and dairy. The food also uses omega fatty acids to nourish your dog’s skin and coat. 

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients.
  • It only includes 10 key ingredients.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It comes in two sizes.

Cons:

  • It still has some allergens in it.
  • Picky dogs might not eat it.
  • It’s low in protein.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe with Healthy Grains - 22.0 lb Bag

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe with Healthy Grains - 22.0 lb Bag

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This is another limited ingredient formula, but it includes healthy grains. Thus, it’s only suitable for dogs who aren’t sensitive to grains. However, there are grain-free options available, along with other protein formulas, such as lamb and chicken. The sole animal protein in this formula is salmon, and the first two ingredients are deboned salmon and salmon meal. In total, this food contains 21% protein and 14% fat.

Merrick’s limited ingredient formulas only focus on 9 key ingredients. It avoids all the foods that commonly cause allergies like corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. It contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints, along with omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. This formula comes in three different sizes: 4 pounds, 12 pounds, and 22 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It lists animal protein for the first two ingredients.
  • It only includes 9 key ingredients.
  • It promotes healthy joints.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s not suitable for dogs with grain allergies.
  • It might have a strong odor.
  • It’s low in protein.

Lucy Pet Products Lucy Pet Formulas for Life - Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food, All Breeds & Life Stages – Duck & Potato, 850657006470, 4.5 lb

Lucy Pet Products Lucy Pet Formulas for Life - Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food, All Breeds & Life Stages – Duck & Potato, 850657006470, 4.5 lb

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Lucy Pet Products are a lesser known dog food brand, but it’s another one of the best dog food options for allergies. This formula is the duck and potato recipe. Duck is the first ingredient listed, followed by dried potatoes, which could be an allergy for some dogs. In total, it has 25% protein and 14% fat. It’s also a grain-free option for dogs with grain sensitivities.

This brand only uses high-quality ingredients to ensure that your dog maintains healthy muscles and a healthy coat. It also has plenty of probiotics to aid digestion even for sensitive pups. It has lots of healthy antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system as well. In fact, this company gives back by donating some proceeds to support free spay and neuter clinics in low income areas. This bag comes in three different sizes: 4.5 pounds, 12 pounds, and 25 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It promotes healthy muscles.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • Some profits are donated to charity.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It still has some common allergens in it.
  • It only lists animal protein as the first ingredient.
  • Picky dogs might not like it.

Venture Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Venture Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Dog Food

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Venture is a line of dog food by Earthborn Holistic that has limited ingredient formulas for sensitive dogs. This is the turkey formula, and it’s grain-free. The first two ingredients listed are turkey and turkey meal. It has a total of 25% protein and 13% fat in it.

This brand is proud to advertise that they have everything your dog needs in their formulas and none of what they don’t. This means no grain, gluten, potatoes, eggs, fillers, colorants, by-products, or artificial preservatives. The food is packed with fiber and antioxidants to promote healthy digestion and immune systems. It also contains other beneficial nutrients like manganese, magnesium, and potassium. It comes in 4-pound, 12.5-pound, and 25-pound bags, all of which are recyclable and made with 30% plant-based plastics.

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It’s packed with beneficial nutrients.
  • The bag is recyclable.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • The quality could vary.
  • Picky dogs might not like it.
  • Food could arrive expired.

Zignature Turkey Formula Grain-Free Small Bites Dry Dog Food 4lb

Zignature Turkey Formula Grain-Free Small Bites Dry Dog Food 4lb

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Zignature is a brand that specializes in only limited ingredient formulas. This is the turkey formula, but there are other options, including lamb, fish, and kangaroo. The first two ingredients are turkey and turkey meal. It has 32% protein and 15% fat, which are considered high compared to other limited ingredient formulas.

In order to cater to sensitive dogs, Zignature food never includes grains, chicken, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, or meat by-products. Turkey is rich in natural antioxidants, which can help boost your pup’s immune system. It also has omega fatty acids, which can keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. This is the small bites formula, so it’s geared toward puppies and small breeds. However, there are regular formulas available too. It comes in two different sizes: 4 pounds and 12.5 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It’s affordable.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It lists animal protein for the first two ingredients.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It comes in two sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s geared toward small breeds only.
  • The bag could arrive damaged.
  • The quality could vary.

Solid Gold - Wolf King Bison and Brown Rice Recipe with Sweet Potatoes - Natural Adult Dry Dog Food - 24 lb bag

Solid Gold - Wolf King Bison and Brown Rice Recipe with Sweet Potatoes - Natural Adult Dry Dog Food - 24 lb bag

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This Solid Gold formula is great for large breed dogs, but it’s also ideal for dogs with allergies. That’s because bison is the primary protein, which is higher quality and less likely to cause allergies than chicken or beef. The first two ingredients are bison and ocean fish meal. However, it only has 22% protein and 9% fat, which is lower than most large breed formulas.

It features a blend of 20 excellent superfoods to boost your dog’s immune system and other health aspects. It’s also rich in probiotics to benefit your dog’s digestion, along with omega fatty acids to benefit your dog’s skin and coat. The kibble pieces are also larger to cater to medium to large breeds. You can purchase it in three different sizes: 4 pounds, 12 pounds, and 24 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s free of common allergens.
  • It lists animal protein as the first two ingredients.
  • It has a blend of 20 superfoods.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s geared toward large breeds only.
  • It’s low in protein.
  • It might still cause allergies for some dogs.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Turkey & Potato

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Turkey & Potato

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Blue Buffalo is one of the most common dog food brands, and this is one of their limited ingredient formulas. Turkey is the sole protein in this food, and deboned turkey is the first ingredient listed. In total, it has 22% protein and 15% fat. This is a small breed formula, which means the kibble pieces are smaller than normal.

Since this food is made for dogs with allergies, it has no chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives. However, it does have some other common allergens, such as potatoes. This formula contains pumpkin to aid digestion and it has omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. It also has “LifeSource Bits”, which are a healthy blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It comes in two different sizes: 4 pounds and 11 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • It comes in two sizes.

Cons:

  • It still has some common allergens.
  • It’s made for small dogs only.
  • This brand has had lots of recalls.
  • It’s low in protein.
  • It only lists protein as the first ingredient.

Taste of the Wild PREY Real Meat High Protein Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food Grain-Free Recipe Made with Premium Real Ingredients that Provide High Amounts of Protein Antioxidants and Probiotics 25lb

Taste of the Wild PREY Real Meat High Protein Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food Grain-Free Recipe Made with Premium Real Ingredients that Provide High Amounts of Protein Antioxidants and Probiotics 25lb

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This Taste of the Wild is a limited ingredient formula that’s still high in protein. This is the angus beef flavor, but there are also trout and turkey options available. Beef is only listed as the first ingredient, followed by a few items that could be considered lower quality. In total, this food has 27% protein and 15% fat.

All the meat in this formula is fresh meat, no meat meals or meat by-products. The selected ingredients are used to make the food easier for your pup to digest. It also has plenty of omega fatty acids, which will give your dog healthy skin and a healthy coat. It also has no grains to benefit dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities. It comes in two different sizes: 8 pounds and 25 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s a limited ingredient formula.
  • It only uses fresh meat.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It comes in two sizes.

Cons:

  • It has some controversial ingredients.
  • It only lists animal protein as the first ingredient.
  • Picky dogs might not like it.

Best Dog Food for Allergies Summary

If your dog seems to be itching, scratching, and sneezing, they might be having an allergic reaction. While some dogs get seasonal allergies, the most common type of allergies for dogs is food allergies.

Symptoms of Dog Food Allergies

If your dog has a food allergy, you might notice some unusual behaviors, even if they’ve been eating the same food for a long time.

Allergies will most commonly develop if your dog switches to a new food with unfamiliar ingredients, but they could develop new allergies the more they eat the same food too. Allergies can also develop at any age.

Here are some symptoms of dog food allergies:

  • Itchy skin, particularly around ears, paws, stomach, and butt
  • Skin irritation like hives
  • Excessive itching, scratching, and biting
  • Red spots
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive gas
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling near mouth, eyes, or ears

If you notice one or more of these symptoms develop, it’s time to reconsider what your dog is eating. It can be difficult to tell exactly what your dog is allergic to in their food, but you can consult a dog nutritionist for advice. Switching to a limited ingredient formula is also an easy way to remove unnecessary ingredients.

Most Common Dog Food Allergies

You might be surprised to find out that many popular dog food ingredients are also common allergens for dogs. A food that your dog once loved could be the cause of their new discomfort. So, if your dog is experiencing allergic reactions, there are some ingredients you might want to avoid just to be safe.

Common dog food allergies:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Grain
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Lamb

Luckily, most limited ingredient formulas specifically avoid these items to cater to sensitive dogs. If you can’t figure out your dog’s specific allergies, using less ingredients is the best approach to take.

Less ingredients means less fillers and less chances for allergies. Plus, if your dog is still having reactions, it will be easier to narrow down what’s causing them.

What Does the Best Dog Food for Allergies Include?

The best dog food for allergies will be an option with limited ingredients. Limited ingredient formulas typically have a single protein source and no filler ingredients. Most kibble brands are packed with carbs and other fillers, which have no health benefits for your dog. They’re only used because they’re cheap and have a long shelf life.

Foods with too many fillers are the most likely to cause allergies. So, the best dog food for allergies will remove any potential allergens, especially all those unnecessary items. They try to include as little as possible in their recipes while still having all the ingredients needed to give your dog a healthy diet.

Some of the best dog foods for allergies also avoid common proteins like chicken and beef. Instead, they used higher quality proteins that are less likely to cause a reaction, such as venison and bison.

So, as long as a limited ingredient diet still contains everything your dog needs to thrive, it’s the best choice for dogs with allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions on dog food for allergies

Before you choose the perfect food for your sensitive pup, you might have some questions you want answered. Here are some questions dog parents commonly wonder.

Can Dogs Develop New Allergies?

Yes, dogs can develop new allergies. Most allergies occur after 6 months of age, and many even develop after a dog is two years or older. So, even if your dog has been eating the same type of food their entire life, it’s still possible for them to develop new allergies.

Is it Safe to Change Your Dog’s Food?

Yes, it’s safe to change your dog’s food. But it’s always recommended that you slowly transition the food, especially if you’re switching to a higher quality brand.

Start by serving your dog 25% of their new food with 75% of their old food at meals. Then, after a few days, switch it to 50% of each. Then, after a few more days, you can give them 75% new food and 25% old food. Finally, you’ll be ready to serve your dog 100% new food, hopefully with no complications.

Conclusion on best limited ingredient dog food

Every dog has different needs, so the best dog food for your dog might not be the best dog food for another dog. So, how do you decide what the best dog food for allergies is? Here are some of my favorite picks.

The best budget pick is Zignature Limited Ingredient Turkey. Not only is it free of all common allergens and filled with quality ingredients, but it’s also reasonably priced.

The best value for money is Lucy Limited Ingredient Duck. Despite being a less popular brand, it’s a quality limited ingredient formula with everything your dog needs to thrive.

The best premium is Nulo Limited Ingredient Turkey. It might be the most expensive, but it also has the most quality protein in it while still being perfect for dogs with allergies.

Consider your budget and your dog’s needs to choose the best food possible for them. Dogs love to eat, but it can be much less fun with allergies. So, give them a food that can keep them both happy and safe!

Looking for more information on dog foods? Check out our articles on legume free dog food, high calorie dog food and low carb dog food.

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Peter Schoeman