Up to 33% of dogs have food allergies. Finding the best dog food for allergies can be a daunting task. Even if your dog has shown no signs of allergies before, he can develop symptoms at any age. While certain breeds of dogs are more prone to developing allergies, all breeds are vulnerable.
Many dog allergies develop during puppyhood, but even elderly dogs can suddenly become intolerant to their favorite food. Allergies in dogs can lead to distressing symptoms that can affect the whole family. As a dog parent, watching your best friend suffer is not an option.
Fortunately, dog foods companies have heard the call of allergy stricken pups and there are all kinds of allergy-friendly dog foods on the market today. In fact, there are so many that it can be difficult to separate the good from the bad.
Keep reading to learn more about dog allergies and for our list of the best dog food for skin allergies in 2021.
Does Your Dog Have Allergies?
Allergies are a common and miserable condition that can affect both us and our canine companions.
Just like with humans, when our dogs are exposed to allergens they develop an immune response. This leads to unpleasant symptoms like itching, sneezing, and digestive issues.
Visit Your Vet
If you suspect your dog might have allergies, a trip to the vet is in order. Your vet can help nail down what exactly your dog is allergic to.
For example, your dog might have seasonal allergies or he might have food allergies. While allergy treatments for dogs do exist, they won’t eliminate the problem. Your pup will suffer from allergy symptoms as long as he is exposed to the allergen.
If your dog has food allergies or even skin allergies, he will likely benefit from eating a food designed for dogs like him.
Best Dog Food for Allergies: Types of Diets
There are two main types of foods for dogs with allergies: Grain-Free and Limited Ingredient Diets.
Depending on whether or not you are shopping for the best dog food for skin allergies or stomach allergies could make a difference on which type of diet fits best.
Grain-free dog food is intended for dogs that are allergic to grains or gluten, both common dog allergens. These food formulas avoid soy, wheat, corn, and other common allergens as well.
The best grain free dog food for skin allergies will always be labeled as “grain free”. We have a lot of options for you in our product roundup below.
These dog food formulas are not necessarily grain-free. However, if you want to avoid grains and gluten, you’ll have no trouble finding a formula that avoids these as well.
Limited-ingredients diets contain just one protein source. This protein is usually something like duck, salmon, or bison because chicken and beef are common allergens.
Besides the protein, they also contain a single carbohydrate source. These diets are great because you know exactly what your dog is and isn’t eating.
Top 10: Best Dog Food for Dogs With Allergies
If you suspect or know your dog has allergies, you might consider switching his food.
Thankfully, since dog allergies are as common as people allergies, there are a variety of options out there. Let’s take a look at some of the top dog foods for dogs with allergies.
Taste of the Wild premium dog food is primarily made with salmon in this particular recipe. This provides a rich and natural flavor your dog will love.
This dog food is highly digestible while stile being full of nutrients. It’s packed with protein and amino acids to help your dog build strong and lean muscles.
It also has added vitamins, minerals, fruits, veggies, antioxidants, and a blend of fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat. It contains no fillers, grain, corn, or wheat, but does contain healthy probiotics.
Wellness Simple dry dog food offers simply a few ingredients that are easy to digest. If your dog has allergies, sensitivities, or food intolerances, you might be looking for a limited ingredient formula. This formula offers all the nutrients your dog needs without adding anything he doesn’t.
The formula simply contains real salmon and potatoes, which are easy for dogs to digest. Both prebiotics and probiotics are added to help support your dog’s digestive system.
Blue Buffalo makes an entire line of limited ingredient dog food called Blue Basics. There are many different flavors, all of which contain the nutrients your dog needs.
Hopefully, you know what your dog is allergic to. Then, you can choose an ingredient combination that you know won’t contain his allergens.
The Blue Basics line is free of eggs, soy, wheat, and corn and features only foods that help with digestion like pea fiber and pumpkin.
This brand of dog food is designed to give your best friend all of the nutrients he needs in as few ingredients as possible. It’s also designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies. There are only 7 total ingredients.
These are whole foods including lamb, bison, and sweet potato. The simple recipe adds only probiotics, vitamins, and minerals to boost your dog’s digestion.
Hill’s Science Diet dog food is highly recommended by vets. It’s similar to the prescription version that is available at most vet’s offices, but it can achieve the same effects at a more reasonable price.
The downside? The ingredients aren’t exactly premium and include chicken meal and barley recipe.
But if your dog doesn’t have severe allergies, this could work well for you. Vitamins C and E are added and there are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Blue Buffalo is a popular choice for many pet parents because real meat is the number one ingredient. Salmon is a great protein for dogs with allergies and tastes great. However, this formula is also made with chicken meal and fish meal.
If your dog has allergies to any of these ingredients, this food won’t work for you. Blue Buffalo’s Blue Basics might be a better bet. Blue Buffalo definitely makes some of the best dry dog food for allergies that will fit in your budget.
This formula is targeted to reduce food allergies by promoting healthy digestion and preventing GI distress.
But the reviews of this product are raving and its customers swear by its ability to improve skin allergies as well.
The Brother’s Complete Advanced Allergy Care formula features protein that is 90% sourced from animals, probiotics, and avoids potatoes, grains, and GMOs.
This dog food is designed to avoid the most common allergens by using lamb protein. But, it does contain rice so it’s not grain-free.
It has added probiotics and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote skin health. It also features vitamin E and selenium to promote your dog’s overall health. You can rest easy knowing you won’t find soy, corn, or wheat in this dog food.
Dogswell Nutrisca dog food is great for the most health-conscious dogs. It’s made of lamb and chickpeas and is free of antibiotics. Salmon oil is added to the food to reduce inflammation and promote heart health. Since the food is grain-free and potato-free, it has a low glycemic index.
You may have noticed this list doesn’t contain much beef. If your dog is only allergic to grains, you’ll have more options when it comes to choosing a protein source. Solid Gold products have a new look but the truth is they’ve been around since the 70s and have built a solid fan base.
The Barking at the Moon formula does contain superfoods, beef, eggs, and peas but it’s completely grain and gluten-free.
Choosing the Right Food
If you and your vet are able to rule out seasonal allergies, then your dog probably has a food allergy.
Allergy testing for dogs can be out of the question for pet parents on a budget. Fortunately, there’s a way to figure out your dog’s allergens without breaking the bank.
Putting your dog on an elimination diet is an easy way to sniff out his triggers.
- Usually, you’ll use a limited-ingredient diet to conduct a food trial.
- Be sure to stick to only the ingredients in the formula. That means no table scraps during the trial period.
- Many of the manufacturers listed above also sell matching treats with the same ingredients as your dog’s main food source.
- You’ll monitor your dog for symptoms of allergies while they are on each food.
It can take time and patience, but if done right, can give you a pretty good idea of what your dog is allergic to.
Trial and Error
Keep in mind that just like people, all dogs are different. What works for one dog might not work for another. For many pet parents, finding the best dog food for food allergies is a process of trial and error.
We recommend talking to your veterinarian and reading dog food reviews online to help you make a decision.