Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

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A dog is man’s best friend and a best friend deserves the best.  Not all dogs can digest the big name dog food brands.  It can cause them discomfort or other symptoms that aren’t good for them.  The solution to foods that hurt your dog in some way may be taking a look at hypoallergenic dog foods.

Hypoallergenic dog foods are meant to be better for you dog’s natural digestion system and help to address a food allergy if there is one.  Hypoallergenic food is designed to have one of three things: limited ingredients, novel ingredients, or a veterinary diet.

Limited ingredient foods allow you to find the exact allergen that your dog may be allergic to.  For example, you may find your dog is allergic to lamb, rice, wheat, or some other ingredient in dog food.

Novel ingredient foods are made with ingredients that your dog may have not eaten before so they are less likely to be sensitive to the food.

Veterinary diet foods are designed to have hypoallergenic ingredients.  These are normally recommended by the vet because this is what will be best for your dog.

Whichever option you choose hypoallergenic food is meant to help your dog’s digestive system.  A dog’s digestive system is designed to break down raw proteins and some vegetables.  Big name dog food brands, both wet and dry, sometimes forget that and fill their foods with ingredients that may disrupt the digestive system.

These kind of ingredients can include corn, wheat, dairy, soy, and other grains.  The ingredients are hard for a dog to digest.  So what we perceive as an allergy is nothing more than a reaction to not being able to digest large amounts of a certain ingredient that is found in their food.

Rather than using ingredients that dogs find it hard to digest hypoallergenic dog foods use other sources.  For protein it is typical to use venison, duck, rabbit, and salmon rather than chicken, lamb, or pork.  Brown rice is also used rather than corn, wheat, dairy, and soy.

It is important to note that hypoallergenic dog foods is a type of diet for dogs.  it is no to be confused with organic or natural dog foods.  Those can be made from the same ingredients like chicken, lamb, corn, wheat.  Instead those ingredients are natural or organic.

So why are dogs allergic to their food?  To start there is a difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance.  These can be distinguished by the dog’s symptoms.

Food allergies are caused by an immune system response.  When a certain ingredient enters the body the immune thinks that ingredient is harmful even when it’s not.  In response, the immune system creates antibodies to fight the harmful enemy, or the food.

The immune system response can be physically expressed through skin rashes, hives, itching, paw biting, or obsessive licking.  Sometimes nausea and vomiting can happen, but that is more common with a food intolerance.

A food intolerance effects the digestive system.  Rather than triggering the immune system the digestive system is triggered.  The dog is unable to digest a certain ingredient and it can cause discomfort.

The signs for food intolerance is digestive distress.  The dog may experience bloating, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Hypoallergenic Dog Food Brands

Limited and Novel Ingredients

Nutro Adult Small Bites Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb and Rice Recipe


Small kibble pieces make it easier for dogs to chew.  Made with Australian and New Zealand lamb and whole brown rice it can help to reduce the chance of food sensitivity and digestive problems.  Nutro is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants to help get a healthy coat and a better immune system.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

merrick real chicken

Merrick contains real chicken for important amino acids and protein.  Merrick does not contain grain, corn, soy, or gluten which are common allergen ingredients.  This formula provides a complete and balanced nutrition.

Zignature Whitefish Formula


Zignature provides the best whitefish formula for your dog and their sensitive digestive system.  The whitefish formula is low sodium and an amazing source of protein.  It also has heart-friendly Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamins B6 and B12, and many other important nutrients for your dog.

Natural Balance L.I.D Dog Food, Lamb Meal and Brown Rice Formula


Formulated for large breed dogs from their puppy days to their adult time.  Kibble are larger pieces to help dogs eat slower and properly chew their foods.  Not only that, but the design of the kibble helps to clean your dog’s teeth and help to promote healthy gums.  There is no artificial flavors or colors.  None of the ingredients are bleached and you can expect to see a healthy coat and skin on your dog.

Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood Wild Feast

only natural pet canine

Only Natural uses the most essential natural ingredients in your dog’s food.  Ingredients such as high quality meats, low glycemic carbohydrates, healthy oils, and real fruit and vegetables.  There is no added grains.

Veterinary Diet

Hill’s Prescription Diet: z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dog Food

Hills Perscription Diet

Hill’s Prescription diet alleviates allergic reactions to food.  It can help to eliminate the causes of itching and scratching.  The main ingredients include allergen-free hydrolyzed proteins and fatty acids.  The results are healthy skin and coat and a healthy immune system.

Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Dog Food, Dry, Gastrointestinal Health


I/D is filled with optimal nutrients to ensure healthy digestion.  It is highly digestible to enhance the absorption of nutrients and contains mixed fiber to help gastrointestinal health.  It is also formulated to meat the unique nutritional needs of puppies.

Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d Dog Food, Canine Skin Support, Potato and Duck Formula

D/D can help to sooth itchy and scratchy skin.  It is filled with high levels of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids that help the immune system.  Fish oil is added to eliminate a need for supplementing.  The single animal protein and single carbohydrate help to avoid common food allergens.

Iams Veterinary Adult Intestinal Plus Low-Residue Dry Dog Food


Iams Formula provides a blend of high quality fiber, protein, and fat sources to help strengthen the intestine and make digestion easier.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Satiety Support Dry Dog Food


Royal Canin helps in healthy weight loss for dogs.  Feeding your dog less of what they normally eat can sometimes lead to deficiencies.  Royal Canin takes that risk away by providing a healthy, balanced, calorie controlled diet.  It is high in fiber and protein.  It has been used as a part of a vet’s supervised weight reduction program.

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