bowl with hypoallergenic dog food

How to Choose The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food in 2017

It’s not easy being a pet parent at all. Your pooch can only communicate in so many ways that you have to understand. Happiness is easier to convey with the customary wag of the tail and of course by smothering you with licks.

But how does the little one communicate discomfort? Especially, when it is something annoying, but has the most ubiquitously common symptoms, like food allergies for example.

Food allergies in dogs often go undetected because their symptoms are so similar to other conditions. Dogs can scratch their skin incessantly for hours making pet parents assume that it’s because of fleas or a nasty tick hidden somewhere in the fur is to blame. Tick removal procedures follow but the itching doesn’t wane.

The second most commonly seen symptom is digestive problems. Once again, a given in a dog parents life that makes them want to suspect a hundred other things before they even think of the food. Doggies have an uncanny knack to pick up the worst of the microbial world with their curious-joe attitude. An allergy to an ingredient in their favorite dog food, is often the last thing on a dog parent’s mind.

If you suspect that your fur ball may be suffering from food allergies, then here are a couple of signs to watch out for.

  • Excessive itching
  • Non-seasonal itching
  • Chronic skin infections that are localized mainly to the ear and feet
  • Gastric problems like flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If you ticked more than one of the above in the affirmative, then it probably means that one of the ingredients in your doggy’s chow is not agreeing with their system.

Quick Comparison: Top Hypoallergenic Dog Foods in 2017

Dog FoodQualityOur Rating
Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Dog FoodA
Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog FoodA-
PS for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog FoodB+
FirstMate Pet Foods Pacific Ocean Fish OriginalA
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog FoodA-

* click on the product name to be taken to Amazon where you can check the current price and read customer reviews.

Below you’ll find in-depth reviews of each of the above products.

sick dog

What Are Food Allergies in Dogs?

When a dog eats a food with an ingredient that it is allergic to, its body triggers an immunologic reaction. In simpler terms, the body considers that ingredient to be a foreign invader and starts to attack it.

Something similar to what happens if Gluten intolerant people eat any food item with gluten in it. The only difference is that in dogs, the symptoms start to manifest immediately.

One of the best ways to find out if it is indeed a food allergy is to try the elimination technique as recommended by experts. Start off by completely overhauling the dog’s diet with a hypoallergenic dog food.

Watch if any of the symptoms start to show up. If it doesn’t for a couple of weeks, then slowly reintroduce the old foods one at a time to see what triggers the symptoms. It’s easy and helps you narrow down on the precise food that is causing the allergy.

What Can Be a Probable Cause of Allergy in Dogs?

It is difficult to point out. But in most cases, the culprit is proteins. The proteins in a dog food can be sourced from animal or plant sources. The most typical ones are chicken, dairy, beef and wheat. Other probably allergens can include wheat, soy, yeast, lamb and corn.

As we said earlier, the best way would be to try the elimination diet to know what the probable allergen is. Check the food label of the dog food that you currently give your dog. Note down the ingredients and watch out for the protein source. Now switch over to a hypoallergenic dog food.

What is a Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

Hypoallergenic dog foods are an anti-allergic dog food that usually contains a new source of protein that the dog has not previously been exposed to, along with a single source of carbohydrates, which is again a new one. There are many varieties of hypoallergenic dog foods like pea and duck, lamb and rice, venison with potato and so on.

These new protein sources are not recognized by the dog’s immune systems as foreign invaders and hence, the immunologic reaction is not triggered.

Editor’s Choice – Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food

If you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog food for your pet, then here are some recommendations. These are a list of some of the most popular ones that are frequently used by pet parents and have been handpicked on the basis of their ingredients, their benefits and their popularity.

#1 – Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Royal Canin is one of the globally recognized names in dog foods with an elaborate range of high protein and breed specific dry foods. However, the hypoallergenic dog food is a recent addition to their range and it has been extremely successful in breeds of all sizes.

Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Using a single source of protein in hydrolyzed soy, it gives immediate respite from some of the most aggravated skin and digestive problems in dogs. The carbohydrate source is rice, which is again, extremely easy to digest.

However, the protein source is not the sole nutritional requirement for the pet. To ensure that the other equally important nutritional requirements are met, it contains boosted omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for the coat and the heart. Also, it contains chelated minerals which are easier to absorb.

Do I need a prescription from my vet to buy this?

When the Royal Canin HP hypoallergenic dog food was first launched in the market, it was sold as a prescription only dog food. However, this requirement has now been modified. You only need to provide them with your vet’s contact details to be able to order this.

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Is this a good choice for my pet?

Yes, it is. It is a vet recommended hypoallergenic dog food which uses minimal ingredients but ensures that the dog does meet their everyday nutritional requirements.

#2 – Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Wellness Dog Foods are quite popular in the pet community due to their simple ingredients and great quality which has helped alleviate even the most stubborn skin infections. To top it off, they have a wide range of hypoallergenic dog foods with different protein-carb sources that you can choose from.

Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Some of the choices are duck and oatmeal, salmon and peas, lamb and oatmeal, salmon and potato, salmon and potato for smaller breeds and turkey and potato. All of these foods are completely hypoallergenic and have been specially formulated so that they can easily be digested by pets with chronic digestive problems.

The protein sources are carefully selected to avoid any residual contamination from meat leftovers while the carbohydrate sources are carefully picked to prevent gluten contamination.

Do I need a prescription to buy this?

No, you don’t. Wellness is one of the most popular dog food brands that is sold over the counter. You can order online to get better rates though.

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Do we recommend this?

With so many single-source protein choices, Wellness Simple Natural Ingredients is one of the best options you have in hypoallergenic dog foods. If one of these don’t work, you can always try the other one from Wellness. They have a near flawless customer rating and a great customer support team as well.

#3 – PS for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food – No More Paw Licking & Skin Scratching

Created by a former pet store employee with his own tailor-made minimal ingredient recipes, PS for Dogs has quickly become one of the most successful hypoallergenic dog food brands. The reason for the sudden popularity? It is effective. As simple as that.

PS for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food - No More Paw Licking & Skin Scratching

Unlike typical dry food formulations, PS for Dogs uses a ‘raw food’ quality air dried jerky which contains a single source protein in 90% grass fed, free range lamb from New Zealand.

Secondary ingredients include essential vitamins and minerals. PS for dogs has a very personalized approach towards their customers. After buying their formulas, you receive a series of emails from the founder which guide you on how to introduce the food to your dogs and also a series of best practices that can be used to avoid triggering further allergies.

Do I need a prescription to buy this?

No you don’t. PS for dogs is sold over the counter.

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Do we recommend this?

Absolutely. This is backed by a 100% money back guarantee. If the dog food does not work for your pet, then you can always claim a full refund back. This shows that they are confident about their product. Also, PS for dogs is one of the few hypoallergenic dog foods that have a 100% positive customer rating.

#4 – FirstMate Pet Foods Pacific Ocean Fish Original, 14.5 Pound

Being a dog parent for years, I have dealt with my fair share of pooch allergies. What always seems to work with skin allergies is a fish based diet. I have seen dogs with dry and flaky coats, go to lush and shiny in a span of just weeks with a fish based diet.

FirstMate Pet Foods Pacific Ocean Fish Original

So, my next pick is a fish based hypoallergenic food called FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Original. This is a very popular and vet recommended hypoallergenic food that uses a blend of fish sourced from oceans in Canada, as their protein source.

This can be a mix of Wild Herring, wild anchovy or wild sardine. To make it more nutritious and palatable for the dogs, it also contains tomato pomace, chicken fat and a blend of other essential vitamins and minerals.

That’s loaded with Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s that your dog’s skin just loves. Also, it is completely grain-free reducing chances of any allergic reaction.

You can either serve it dry or you can moisten it a little by adding water. Dogs are not very fussy about this and you shouldn’t have a problem getting your dog used to it. However, in the rare event that you do, just start off by slowly replacing a portion of your regular food with this and then increase it over a period of time.

The FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish based hypoallergenic dog food is hands down one of the most effective ones for breeds of all sizes. Pet parents have used it for Akitas, Shiba Inus, German Shepherds and Chihuahuas to great effect. Reduces paw licking, flaky skin, constant itching and digestive problems.

Do I need a prescription to buy this?

No you don’t. FirstMate is sold over the counter.

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Do we recommend this?

If you would like to try a fish based hypoallergenic dog food, then this is one of the most popular and recommended ones.

#5 – Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Last but not the least, we have the #1 selling hypoallergenic dog food – the Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food. This will tingle the taste buds for sure. It is designed to mimic the kind of balanced and nutritious food the dog would get if they were to be living in the wild, rather than being domesticated.

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Marketing gimmicks apart, here’s what you need to know. The protein sources are extremely diverse and veer towards the exotic. You can choose from roasted bison & roasted venison, pacific stream canine with smoked salmon, wetlands canine with roasted fowl and rocky mountain feline with roasted venison & smoked salmon.

To increase the nutritional value and to ensure that it doesn’t taste like a roasted chunk of meat, there are a blend of fruits and vegetables added to the recipe.

100% grain free dog food.

Taste of the Wild is immensely popular among pet owners because dogs take an instant liking to the taste. Maybe it is indeed in the formula. Also, these novel protein sources completely eliminate most common types of allergies.

With the added fruits, veggies, probiotics and minerals, you can be rest assured that you are not compromising on any nutritional requirements either.

Do I need a prescription to buy this?

No you don’t. It is sold over the counter.

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON

Do we recommend this?

Customer ratings certainly do. Also, the reviews speak for themselves. But if a recommendation from us helps, then yes, we do recommend this. This is hands down, the best grain-free hypoallergenic that you can buy. Period.

Customers have used it for Labs, Terriers, Greyhounds, Alsatians, Pitbull, Wolf hybrids, Pomeranians and even Pugs. That sums it up. If the label gives you an impression that this is meant for large sized breeds, you are mistaken.

Conclusion

There you have it. A list of some of the best hypoallergenic dog foods that you can try for your pet. We have included foods with some of the most diverse protein sources also to cater to our reader base. Any hypoallergenic food must be tried for at least 8-10 weeks to understand whether it is indeed effective for your pet.

Other Types of Dog Food

If you’d like to know a bit more about dog food be sure to read some of our other articles: