Before we look at the best hypoallergenic dog food available on the market, you need to understand what exactly hypoallergenic dog food is.
According to Wikipedia the term Hypoallergenic means “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic and is a term used to describe certain items (that may include dog food ingredients) which are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Hypoallergenic dog food are foods designed and formulated with “below normal” ingredients, also referred to as novel ingredients which the dog very likely may not have been exposed to in the past to cause an allergic reaction.
A term often used among certain dog breeders is Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds, but prominent allergen researchers have claimed that there is no basis to the claims that there are certain hypoallergenic dog breeds.
Though allergen levels between various dog breeds vary, there is no specific connection to the specific breed.
Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food
This may not sound too serious, but put into context, only 7 (2.5%) dogs were determined to have an allergic reaction to corn and pork, only 6 (2.2%) to fish and only 5 (1.8%) to rice.
Amazingly, 95 dogs were allergic to beef. That is a whopping 34.2%!
Veterinarians now recommend that dog food diets containing large amounts of beef or lamb rather not be fed to potentially food-allergic dogs but that a limited ingredients diet rather be sourced.
These types of food contain other protein and carbohydrate sources not commonly known, such as duck, venison and sweet potato. These specially formulated dog food types are also commonly known as Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein dog food.
This simply means that the protein contents of the food is split into such tiny bits, that the dog’s immune system does barely recognize an allergic threat.
The types of carbohydrate sources and other ingredients within these types of hypoallergenic dog food brands are very unlikely to cause any allergic reactions.
Grains & Carbohydrates
Wheat and corn are grains which can often cause allergic reactions in dogs. Grains are cheap sources of carbohydrate that companies include in food types and unfortunately these are also difficult to digest for dogs and puppies.
Specifically formulated dog foods identifiable by “Grain-Free” for allergies contain vegetable- and fruit sources for carbohydrate instead, which is without a doubt a much better option.
The #1 Guide of the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Protein in dog food is needed – no getting around. Although this specially formulated food type’s protein source is limited and the carbohydrate content grain-free, it can not be pre-determined which source is causing your dog’s allergic reaction with absolute certainty, without narrowing it down to the culprit.
The only way to achieve this is to pick a brand and try it out. Your dog may only have an allergic reaction to one of these sources, which means he is safe to use all the others on a long term basis.
Below we have put together the ultimate guide of what we regard as the top 30, most recommended by veterinary- and nutritional experts, Hypoallergenic limited ingredient, grain-free and hydrolyzed protein dog food formulas on the market.
Picking one of these and trying it out with extreme caution and guidance by your local veterinarian could absolutely help you to narrow down what exact ingredient it is that your dog is allergic to.
|Image||Brand Name||Type||Sizes||Price||Ave. Amazon|
|Image||Brand Name||Type||Sizes||Price||Ave. Amazon|
|Acana Duck & Bartlett Pear - 28.6 lb||Limited Ingredient, Dry||28.6-lb||$$||Read our Full, In-Depth Review!|
|Holistic Select Adult Health Dry Dog Food, Lamb Meal Recipe, 30-Pound Bag||Single Protein Source, Adult, Dry||30-lb||$$||4.7 (176)|
|Wellness Simple Lamb and Oatmeal Formula, 26-Pound Bag||Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient, Dry||26-lb||$$||4.2 (38)|
|Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Hypoallergenic Dog Food (25.3 lb)||Hydrolyzed Protein, Limited Ingredient, Dry||25.3-lb||$$||5.0 (2)|
|Wellness Simple Salmon and Potato Formula, 24-Pound Bag||Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient, Dry||24-lb||$$||4.7 (59)|
If you are a bookworm who likes to stick your nose into a good book, then you may be interested in this Kindle book called Hypoallergenic Dog Food Guide by Jamie Quinn! It promises to give you an extra edge over the Hypoallergenic food brands.
The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
Dog treats are common supplements to normal wet and dry dog food. See it like dessert for dogs if you will – we all like to spoil our pooches with a nice treat every now and again, especially during training.
But what do you do with dogs prone to common allergies? You can’t give them normal “ice cream and chocolate sauce”, right?
Well, fortunately some pet food manufacturers have thought about this and developed specially formulated hypoallergenic dog treats for dogs of all breeds and sizes having allergic reactions to most other foods.
Hill’s® Prescription Diet® Hypo-Treats
- Hydrolyzed protein sources to alleviate adverse reactions to food
- Increased omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including EPA, help to nourish the skin and coat (decreases itching and scratching)
- Added antioxidants to help support skin barrier function
- The treat itself is a little large for smaller dog breeds to grab and chew at one grab. However, being easily broken into smaller pieces, this means you don’t have to give a whole treat all at once but break into multiple smaller treats, making your supply last a little longer.
Why we highly recommend this brand: Although Hill’s Prescription Diet Hypo-Treats are perfect for dogs with but not limited to inflammatory issues, it is available without prescription even directly from online stores such Amazon.
Purina Veterinary Diets Gentle Snackers Dog Treats (8 oz)
- Low molecular weight
- Single hydrolyzed protein source
- Easily digested
- Exceptionally palatable
- In general, corn is considered to be a rather unfavored filler ingredient of some cheaper dog food brands. However, you need to understand that this specifically formulated hypoallergenic dog treat is designed for dogs suffering from protein allergies and allergic reactions towards meat in particular. In this case, corn is the perfect ingredient to supplement all other ingredients.
Why we highly recommend this brand: Other than the fact that 44 out of the 52 reviews on Amazon for the Purina Gentle Snackers Treats are full-blown 5 stars with overwhelmingly positive feedback from owners of dogs with all kinds of conditions and allergies, it is also highly endorsed by most veterinarians.
If nothing else, it just adds that little extra peace of mind that your pooch is well looked after with this treat.
- Dr. Jennifer Coates, PetMD
- The Daily Puppy