Importance of Good Dog Food
Some dogs have special dietary needs, if your dog has allergies or sensitivities, you’re probably looking for the best dog food for allergies. When you feed your pet, you don’t just fuel them for the day, but you create the basic building blocks for their overall health.
Sadly, even when you provide the best nutrition, some dogs still suffer from allergies, irritation, and sensitivity to certain foods. If you don’t provide them with the proper food to counteract this, it can result in scratching, digestive upset, or worse.
Some primary concerns when you’re looking for the best dog food for allergies is the protein source. Many dogs have allergies to your “basic” ingredients, like chicken, corn, soy, or beef. For this reason, I prefer foods with “exotic” proteins like salmon, venison, rabbit, and foods with whole grains or grain-free diets.
Five Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies
In my years as a certified dog trainer, I have come across many different dogs and many different dog foods. Pet owners often discuss their dog food successes and complaints. I’ve used that experience to provide you with an all-encompassing guide to the best dog food for allergies.
Each of these foods has a certain scenario or feature that sets it apart from the rest: taste, all-around use, value, etc. It is difficult to provide an all-encompassing choice of which is the absolute best dog food for allergies, but we have ranked them in terms of quality, price, versatility, and more.
Here is our unbiased review of the top 5 best allergy-friendly dog foods available!
All-Around Favorite Allergy-Friendly Food
“… [My dog] usually hates dry kibble by itself… With this kibble he sometimes goes back 3-4 times a day for more. The ingriedients look great and we have had no issues switching him from his original kibble to this one… I’m amazed at how fast he goes through this kibble! …”
“… First off my dog only gets the best… Vet said it is good food and my dog should do well on it, he also likes it and Amazon just drops it off at my doorstep. …”
“… My [dog] was recently diagnosed with Cushings Disease… I did some research and found Cushings could be managed through diet and exercise… my dog is doing so much better. I am very grateful I found this, she seems so much happier and healthier….”
If you’ve perused any of our other Dog Food Articles, you’ll notice a bit of a trend here. Wag is a great quality food for a surprising value. It is also grain-free, as many allergies and sensitivities revolve around added grains.
- Comes in Salmon, Turkey, and Lamb flavors.
- Made with real protein as the first two ingredients.
- Has a 35% protein content.
- Doesn’t contain any added grains, corn, or wheat.
Regardless of the allergy or sensitivity, the majority of the time you want to choose a dog food with a high protein content. This food allows you to choose from several different types of protein sources to avoid any potential chicken or beef allergy. If your dog doesn’t do well on one, you have several to choose from.
I love this as an all-around choice because it offers great value. You can find some seriously high-quality dog foods out there, but they often cost an arm and a leg. This food’s price per pound is a great value compared to similar competitors. Recommended for: Dachshunds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Shih-Tzus, Labrador Retrievers, and more.
Best All-Natural Food for Dogs with Allergies
“… both of my dogs love it! I love that you can actually see the sheen of fish oil on the kibble when you feed it. …”
“… [We’ve] noticed a huge difference in terms of reduced shedding, and softer/shinier coat. She seems a bit happier too. I love solid gold food for my pets, but in particular this salmon and vegetable product seems to be really beneficial for my pet! …”
“… [My dog] had his head in the bag eating before we could even transfer it to the Tupperware storage! He’s got so many allergies and is usually neutral when we open a fresh bag of food, but he couldn’t wait tonight. Very excited about this! …”
Solid Gold revolves around a holistic approach to feeding your dog. Though the term sounds a little out there, holistic dog foods focus on your dog’s health as a whole rather than providing the bare minimum of protein, carbs, fats, and nutrients. This quality food contains wholesome, all-natural ingredients to fuel your dog.
- Grain-free formula, but other flavors come with whole grains if preferred.
- Made with real, all-natural salmon as the first ingredient.
- Contains both prebiotics and probiotics to promote healthy gut function.
- Salmon naturally provides omega fatty acids for healthy skin and fur.
This formula uses a combination of all-natural, easy-to-digest salmon, prebiotics, and probiotics to help ease the digestive system of even the most sensitive dogs. If your pet suffers from allergies, skin conditions, digestive upset, or other ailments, this food is a great choice.
With all-natural ingredients and a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, this food provides your dog with well-rounded nutrition. One of the best parts about Solid Gold is that they guarantee that you’ll love their product so much that they offer a satisfaction guarantee. Recommended for: German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Pitbulls, Labrador Retrievers, Pointers, and more.
Best Value Food for Dogs with Allergies
“… My dog Zeus is very picky when it comes to food, especially healthier foods, but he loves this one. It also seems to be helping with his skin and coat. I also like the fact that the price for this Grain-Free dog food is significantly lower than most other brands …”
“… I have 2 [dogs] with crazy allergies… none of the girls scratch, itch or chew on themselves anymore. WE ALL THANK YOU!!! …”
“… Our dog was suffering terribly from skin allergies until we found this food!! It is such a relief knowing we have found a food he likes and doesn’t cause any skin issues!!! …”
Can you tell that I love salmon as a protein source for sensitive dogs, because I do. In most cases, salmon is quite easy to digest, and it helps encourage healthy skin and coat. This food has one of the best values for the quality that you receive, and the first two ingredients are real protein!
- Made with hypoallergenic ingredients for sensitive dogs.
- Real salmon is the first ingredient.
- Grain-free formula without corn, wheat, or any fillers.
This dog food is one of the best when it comes to value. Your dog receives high-quality food from sustainable sources, and you don’t have to pay top dollar. The food also contains probiotics to aid in digestion, and numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Diamond is another brand that takes a holistic approach to canine nutrition. Your dog not only receives everything that they need for their daily caloric intake, but they also get balanced nutrition that helps them live a long and happy life. Recommended for: Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and more.
Best Food for Small Breeds with Allergies
“… [Our dog] loves this food, which is great for her allergies, the size of it is easy for a small dog to eat and digest, and her stools are always firm and no longer smell. …”
“… My boys love this food and my older dog is running around again, he’s not having hip trouble anymore! The vet recommended it for his upset tummy and skin rash which also went away!!! …”
“… The biggest difference was that she no longer seemed to suffer from itching and irritation that required periodic cortisone shots from the vet. Her fur seemed to get softer and shinier …”
If you have a small breed dog with allergies, the more unnecessary ingredients their food has, the more likely they will have a reaction to something. That’s where Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets come in.
- Made without any grains, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
- Formulated specifically for small breed dogs with high energy needs.
- Fiber blend helps regulate digestive health and bowel movements.
This food provides your small breed dog with special nutrition tailored just for their high energy needs. It is made with duck as its primary protein source, but you can also choose fish or lamb meal for your dog.
Another great thing about this food is that all of the protein comes from a single animal-based source, duck. It doesn’t sneak any chicken by-product or meal in to help fill out the protein content. This limited ingredient diet should be easy for even the most sensitive dogs to digest. Recommended for: Dachshunds, Shih-Tzus, Maltese, Yorkies, and more.
Best Food for Large Breeds with Allergies
“…Our dog has food allergies to chicken products… We got tricked a couple times from some brands that claimed “No chicken” but then looking at the ingredients they would have “chicken product” or “chicken fat”. Our dogs skin has improved dramatically since putting her on the food. …”
“… One of my dogs has food sensitivities, and Natural Balance has helped her to have normally formed poops. It is significantly less expensive than prescription limited ingredient diet formulas. Delicious and all we see are wagging tails! …”
“… This stuff is THE food for our Great Dane. It contains the right amount of protein/fat ratio’s needed for our fast-growing beast dog. Very healthy & high quality. …”
We like the small breed version, so let’s throw the large breed into the mix as well. With limited ingredients, your dog is much less likely to react poorly to this food. It also contains brown rice for added fiber to encourage healthy digestion.
- Made with real, high-quality lamb meal.
- Formulated using a limited number of ingredients to reduce reactions.
- Added vitamins and minerals for healthy skin and coat.
Large breeds need a specific ratio of protein to fat and carbs. With food provides the perfect nutrition and helps keep your dog lean and trim. By using brown rice as a carb source, they also increase the fiber content, and your dog’s digestive system will thank you for switching.
By reducing the number of filler ingredients, you can ensure a dog food is less likely to cause allergic reactions in your dog. They use high-quality ingredients to fuel your dog, and a single protein source to avoid irritation or digestive issues. Recommended for: Labrador Retrievers, Pitbulls, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, and more.