The 15 Best Dog Foods for Allergies (2021 Reviews)

As responsible pet owners, we all want our pets to live their happiest and healthiest lives. If your dog has food allergies, a specialized diet can help control or eliminate their allergic reactions.

Luckily, there are foods available that are formulated specifically for dogs with allergies. As many of these brands are made with higher quality ingredients, they’re often quite a bit pricier. To ensure you’re choosing the right food for your dog’s specific needs, at the right price, we’ve put together this helpful buying guide. We researched hundreds of products and thousands of verified reviews to find the 15 best dog foods for allergies available now. Here’s our list:

Our Picks for the Best Dog Food for Allergies

1. CANIDAE Pure Dog Food – Lamb, Goat & Venison

canidae pure dog food lamb and goat

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PetListed Verdict:

CANIDAE Pure is a limited ingredient dog food that’s made with only 8 total ingredients. While there are several varieties, the lamb, goat, and venison recipe contains novel proteins that are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Added probiotics promote digestive health, while glucosamine supports your dog’s joints.

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredient diet that includes only 8 total ingredients
  • Made with lamb, goat, and venison — proteins most dogs aren’t sensitized to
  • No corn, soy,  wheat

Pros:

  • Available in multiple recipes including bison, salmon, wild boar, duck, and chicken
  • Supports joint health with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat
  • Includes probiotics and antioxidants

Cons:

  • While most Canidae recipes are safe for allergies, some – including the chicken flavors, may not be as effective

2. Brothers Complete Allergy Care Dog Food – Goat & Egg

brothers complete allergy care dog food

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PetListed Verdict:

Brothers Complete Allergy Care avoids the majority of ingredients known to cause allergies, and includes goat as the main protein. As this is a novel meat for dogs, many haven’t developed a sensitivity to it. The brand also promotes healthy weight and balanced nutrition along with included probiotics for gut health.

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredient, grain-free dog food
  • Made with goat meal and turkey
  • Includes eggs, which have all 23 amino acids, including the 9 “essential” amino acids
  • Includes probiotics and prebiotics for healthy gut flora

Pros:

  • No grains, potatoes, soy, sweet potatoes, or sugar
  • Goat is a novel protein that many dogs haven’t eaten before, and don’t have an allergy to
  • High in amino acids
  • Made in the USA from only American sourced ingredients

Cons:

  • Still includes eggs, which is a common allergen for dogs
  • Grain-free may not work for some pet parents
  • Quality comes at a price; more expensive than other food options

3. Nulo Small Breed Freestyle Limited

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PetListed Verdict:

Featuring a single protein, Nulo small breed freestyle is available in either a turkey or salmon recipe, and is made without most common allergens. The brand also boasts a patented probiotic to promote digestive health. Multiple bag sizes are available if you’d like to test out the food before making an investment.

Key Features:

  • Small breed dog food suitable for allergies
  • Made with a single protein – either turkey or salmon
  • No chicken, corn, wheat, soy, eggs, peas, potatoes, and tapioca (common allergens)
  • Also available in an adult and puppy formula

Pros:

  • Includes a patented probiotic for gut health
  • Bags have a ziplock top to keep food fresh
  • Available in multiple bag sizes, from 4 to 24 pounds
  • No artificial preservatives or colors
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  •  Pricier than regular dog food kibble

4. P.S. Grain Free Complete Dog Food

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PetListed Verdict:

The founder of P.S. dog food created his own line of food based on personal experiences with dog allergies. Each purchase is accompanied by several emails that give more details about transitioning your dog to a new food, as well as tips and practices to help dogs who suffer from allergies. As an added bonus, the company offers a satisfaction guarantee; if you’re not happy with your purchase, you can return it for a full refund.

Key Features:

  • Dog food made exclusively for allergy care
  • Grass fed New Zealand lamb is the single source of protein
  • Informational emails about dog food allergies are included with purchase
  • Satisfaction guaranteed

Pros:

  • Money back guarantee
  • Ingredients include essential vitamins and minerals
  • Added information about dog allergies included
  • Suitable for dogs of all life stages

Cons: 

  • Very expensive. At only 2 pounds of food per bag, some customers are saying this brand is better as a treat rather than a full meal (or should be used for small dogs)

5. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet

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PetListed Verdict:

This Blue Buffalo Basics limited ingredient food has salmon as the sole protein, and potatoes as the main carbohydrate. The food also contains patented “LifeSource Bits” – a blend of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that support a healthy immune system.

 Key Features:

  • Grain-free, limited ingredient dog food
  • Gluten free carbohydrates
  • Additional antioxidants, vitamins and minerals included which support immune system health
  • Salmon is the single protein source

Pros:

  • No corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Also available in duck and lamb recipes
  • Fortified with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin

Cons:

  • Grain-free may not work for some pet parents

6. Lucy Pet Formula Limited Ingredient Food – Duck & Potato

lucy limited ingredient dog food

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PetListed Verdict:

Lucy Limited Ingredient dog food is made using duck, a novel protein source for dog food. Since most dogs haven’t developed a sensitivity to this meat, Lucy is a great choice for ensuring your dog’s food has fewer allergens. Even better, a portion of each sale goes to the Lucy Pet Foundation.

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredient dog food, with duck as the single protein
  • Antioxidants included to support a healthy immune system
  • Suitable for dogs of all breeds and life stages
  • Flaxseed and salmon oil provide natural Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

Pros:

  • No corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavorings or preservatives
  • Available in three sizes: 4.5, 12, and 25 pound bags
  • Your purchase helps animals through the Lucy Pet Foundation
  • Duck is sourced from the USA and France

7. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Dog Food

wellness simple dog food

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PetListed Verdict:

Wellness Simple dog food, is just that, simple! This limited ingredient food contains all-natural ingredients and is made in the USA. It has either turkey or duck as the only protein, alongside easily digestible carbohydrates. Wellness also contains prebiotics and probiotics to promote a healthy digestive system.

Key Features:

  • Single source protein, in either turkey or duck recipe
  • Easily digestible formula with added probiotics and prebiotics
  • No gluten, wheat, corn, soy, dairy, or eggs

Pros:

  • Made in the USA by a family owned company
  • Contains flaxseed for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Non-GMO ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Comes with a satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • A grain-free diet may not work for some pet parents

8. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach

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PetListed Verdict:

With salmon as the main source of protein in this food, Purina Pro Plan Focus also contains easily digestible carbohydrates, making it a good choice for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Prebiotic fiber and fish oil promote healthy gut bacteria as well as nourish your dog’s joints.

Key Features:

  • Dog food made for sensitive stomachs, with salmon as the first ingredient
  • Highly digestible formula with prebiotic fiber
  • Recipe contains grains

Pros:

  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Antioxidants maintain your dog’s immune system health
  • Includes Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Made without corn, wheat, or soy

Cons:

  • Food is not fully made or sourced from the USA

9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient – Potato and Duck

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PetListed Verdict:

This Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Formula is a grain-free, limited ingredient formula made with farm raised duck as the first ingredient. The company tests each batch of dog food 9 times and posts the results on their website to ensure your pet gets the quality food it deserves.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free, limited ingredient dog food
  • Duck is the first ingredient, and only protein source
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • No artificial ingredients, flavors, or colors

Pros:

  • Food is vigorously tested to assure quality
  • Includes vitamins and essential minerals
  • Flaxseed for natural Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Duck is a protein many dogs haven’t been exposed to before, making it a solid option for sensitive or allergic dogs

Cons:

  • Made in the USA, but with globally sourced ingredients

10. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food

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PetListed Verdict:

The Nutro brand creates limited ingredient dog foods with 10 ingredients or less. This particular variety is made with duck, a novel protein, and includes no corn, wheat, or soy in its recipe.

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredient dog food with 10 ingredients or less, depending on recipe
  • No corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or beef
  • Available in lamb, salmon, or duck varieties
  • Includes essential vitamins and minerals for overall health
  • Grain free recipe

Pros:

  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
  • Ingredients support healthy skin and coat
  • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Cons:

  • Grain-free may not work for some pet parents

*Before you continue: the following 5 foods are recommended for dogs with a “Food Intolerance”, and not necessarily food allergies.* Some of these recipes contain chicken, which can be a common culprit for some allergic reactions.

11. Purina ONE SmartBlend Sensitive Systems Formula

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PetListed Verdict:

Purina ONE Sensitive Systems is made for dogs with food sensitivities and intolerances. It includes salmon as the main protein, and contains ingredients that are easier to digest for a dog’s stomach. Note that this product does contain chicken and beef in smaller quantities; keep this in mind if your dog is allergic to these proteins.

Key Features:

  • Single source of protein from salmon
  • Antioxidant blend to help support a strong immune system
  • Glucosamine to support optimal joint health

Pros:

  • Included prebiotic helps your dog’s digestive system more efficiently absorb nutrients
  • Contains Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E for skin and coat health
  • Suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes

Cons:

  • Limited ingredient diet that’s made for dogs with food sensitivities, and not necessarily allergies. Compare the ingredient list with any potential allergens your dog has.
  • Contains chicken and beef products

12. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Dog Food

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PetListed Verdict:

Rachel Ray’s Just 6 provides a limited ingredient diet with just 6 total ingredients: turkey, peas, pea starch, beet, chicken fat, and pork flavor. With a celebrity chef founder, you can be sure the food is tasty and you’ll feel good knowing part of your purchase goes to The Rachel Ray Foundation to help animals in need. It’s available in either a turkey or lamb recipe.

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredient diet, with a choice of lamb or turkey as the single protein
  • Gluten free and grain free recipe
  • Includes essential vitamins and minerals

Pros:

  • Made without dairy, eggs, beef, or potatoes
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • A portion of your purchase goes to the Rachel Ray Foundation, which helps animals

Cons:

  • Includes chicken fat, and pork flavor in its ingredients. If your dog has these allergies, try a different option on our list.

13. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin Dog Food

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PetListed Verdict:

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin includes prebiotic fiber for healthy gut bacteria. The added vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids promote a shiny, healthy coat as well as nourishing skin. 

Key Features: 

  • Limited ingredient dog food made for sensitive stomachs
  • Prebiotic fiber supports a balanced gut microbiome 
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA 
  • Contains grains

Pros:

  • Your purchase supports Hill’s Food Shelter and Love Program, which benefits shelter dogs
  • Hill’s Science employs over 220 vets, PhD’s, scientists that help formulate the perfect nutritional balance for each of the company’s dog food products

Cons:

  • The main protein is chicken, a common dog food allergy. Choose another option if your dog has issues with this meat.

14. Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Formula 

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PetListed Verdict:

This grain-free, gluten-free dog food includes proprietary probiotics guaranteed to survive in your dog’s GI tract and encourage a healthy digestive system. Antioxidants have also been included to support a strong immune system. As an added bonus, Diamond Care is family owned in the USA.

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredient dog food
  • Made without corn, wheat, gluten, or fillers
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Fortified with antioxidants and probiotics

Pros:

  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Suitable for dogs of all life stages
  • Family owned and made in the USA

Cons:

  • Includes both chicken and eggs included for protein, which are allergens for some dogs

15. AvoDerm Natural Chicken Formula Dog Food

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PetListed Verdict:

AvoDerm Natural Dog Food is a protein rich dog food featuring avocados as an essential ingredient for coat and skin health. The kibble is pressure cooked in order to make it more easily digestible, and is made with all-natural ingredients. A heads up that this food contains chicken, which is a food allergen for some dogs.

Key Features:

  • Includes California avocados for healthy skin, coat, and immune system function
  • High in protein
  • Ingredients are all-natural
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Recipe contains grain

Pros:

  • Contains avocado for healthy skin and coat
  • Available in four bag sizes, ranging from 4 pounds to 30 pounds
  • Pressure cooked for easy digestion
  • Suitable for dogs of all life stages
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Food is made with chicken as the protein, a common dog food allergen. Dogs with this allergy should eat a different option.
  • Not gluten free

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Buying Guide for Hypoallergenic Dog Food

If you’ve ever experienced allergies you know how difficult they can make everyday life. But did you know that just like people, dogs can be allergic to a variety of substances? Dogs can experience skin or food allergies that can lead to many unpleasant symptoms.

Thankfully there are a number of options made specifically for dogs with allergies. Many of these brands have either novel protein or limited ingredient formulas, which remove the most common allergens known to affect dogs. In this guide, we’ll review these types of foods, as well as allergy symptoms, typical foods to avoid, and the proper course of action to get your dog on an allergy free diet.

How common is it for dogs to have food allergies?

According to WebMD, approximately 10% of dogs experience allergies to one or more ingredients in their dog food. Allergic symptoms are caused when a protein from your dog’s diet is mistakenly flagged by their immune system as an invader (instead of nutritional content), and their body creates an immune response. A true allergy can cause symptoms all over the body, such as skin, ear, or eye infections, as well as digestive trouble.

There are also dogs who have “food intolerances”. These dogs are more sensitive to certain ingredients in dog food and will experience an upset stomach or bowel issues. Food intolerance is different than allergies, as it only can cause tummy trouble, rather than the skin and other symptoms seen in true allergic reactions.

In either case, changing your dog’s diet can greatly relieve their symptoms and lead to a happier, healthier pet.

How can I tell if my dog has a food allergy or just a food intolerance?

Unfortunately there’s not a definitive test that can determine if your dog has a food allergy. Many of the symptoms overlap with food intolerance or with other ailments. In general, a food intolerance only involves tummy upset, whereas an allergy will also cause skin issues.

The good news is that both can be effectively treated with the right dog food. As with all concerns though, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis before you take any steps for treatment.

What are symptoms of food allergies in dogs?

If your dog is experiencing a food allergy, they may exhibit any of the most common symptoms:

  • Hives 
  • Itchy skin, ears, or eyes
  • Facial swelling including the ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
  • Inflamed, irritated, red skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Runny or goopy eyes
  • Impulsive licking of irritated areas
  • Chronic ear infections (treating the underlying allergy is most important, but can also be prevented with dog ear cleaners)

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be associated with other issues and may not be caused by allergies. Always see your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

How are food allergies triggered?

Food allergies are passed on genetically and are activated by exposure. The more ingredients your dog has eaten in their food, the more they’ve been exposed to things that may trigger an allergy.

After they’ve been exposed to various ingredients, dogs with allergies will have a hyperactive immune response. This reaction causes inflammatory substances, such as histamine, to be released that cause the allergy symptoms.

What are the most common ingredients in dog food that cause allergies?

beef steak

Most dog food allergies are in reaction to a protein. The most common protein allergens include:

  • Beef 
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Egg
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Soy
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Fish

How can food allergies be treated?

The best way to treat a food allergy is to make sure you don’t feed your dog the ingredient they’re allergic to. Since it can be hard to pin down exactly which component of the food your dog is reacting to, many owners opt for feeding their dogs a food which has completely new ingredients that they’ve never eaten before. This may be hard to accomplish since dog foods often contain a number of common ingredients that you’ll find in any commercially produced food. 

If you don’t want to commit to feeding your dog a homemade, or totally raw or freeze dried dog food, another option is to implement a limited ingredient diet. With fewer components that go into the dog food, it’s easier to identify which item is causing your dog’s reaction and then avoid it moving forward. This is where limited ingredient dog foods provide a great option for your pooch.

How will I know which food is best for my dog?

Finding the best food for your dog is really a matter of trial and error. There’s no “one fits all” answer for this question. A food that works for one dog may not be good for the next one.

Factors to consider in choosing a food include the cost, your vet’s recommendations, and your pet’s reaction to the food. A good starting place is to find a food with totally different ingredients than the food your dog was eating when the issue started.

If you’re unable to do that, the next best thing is to select a food with a new protein and a limited number of ingredients. That way, if your dog continues to have issues, it becomes easier to compare the few new ingredients to those in the previous food. If you find any ingredients are in both, you’ll then have your suspect list for which item(s) your dog is reacting to. You can also buy food formulated for certain breeds, such as dog food for golden retrievers.

It may also be a good idea to evaluate the treats you’re giving your dog. Sometimes “all natural” dog treats still can have ingredients you wouldn’t necessarily want to give your dog. Finding treats specifically made for dogs with allergies or other healthy dog treat options are a good starting point.

Why is dog food designed for pets with allergies so expensive?

Keep in mind that food created for the specific purpose of preventing allergies involves more effort on the part of the manufacturer. There are research and development costs in order to find formulas that contain all the necessary nutrients your dog needs, as well as sourcing higher quality ingredients than are found in regular dog foods. In other words, the manufacturer spends more money making the food, and that cost is reflected in the price. 

There’s a wide range of prices that can be found when purchasing limited ingredient or hypoallergenic food so it’s likely you can find one that fits your budget and also keeps your dog allergy free. However, when you take into consideration the vet bills you end up paying when your dog experiences severe allergies, it can actually end up being more cost effective to proactively invest in a high quality dog food. Not only does it make your dog feel better, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your best friend is feeling good.