The Best Dog Food for Allergies in 2024
If your dog has food allergies, it can be a difficult balancing act to find a food that they like that won’t make their allergies worse. However, we’ve done the research and picked out six high-quality dog foods that have limited ingredients and avoid a lot of the common allergens.
We’ve also included a buying guide that will outline what you want to see in your dog food as well as why it’s important to buy this food for your dog. You can use what you learn in this buyer’s guide to compare our picks side by side to make the best choice for your furry family member.
Our Top 6 List
Last update on 2024-01-31 at 05:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Food
This food comes in chicken, duck, or salmon flavors in three different sizes, and it uses sweet potatoes and peas for the carbohydrates instead of grains or corn to reduce the chances of allergies. There are fatty acids for coat health, LifeSource Bits packed with antioxidants to boost energy levels, and it has natural ingredients. There is no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives in the formula.
- Carbohydrate Source – Peas and Sweet Potato
- Flavor – Chicken, Duck, or Salmon
- Sizes – Three
- Contains LifeSource Bits with nutrients and antioxidants
- Meat is the first ingredient on the label
- Fatty acids support coat and skin health
- Is 100% grain free
- Can leave a greasy residue
2. Blue Buffalo Basics Dry Food
This limited ingredient food comes with sweet potato and turkey, salmon, lamb, or duck for the protein source with a grain-free formula. Real meat is the first ingredient on the label, and pumpkin, sweet potato, and peas follow closely for a healthy formula. Your dog will get natural ingredients with no corn, soy, wheat, meat meals, or unhealthy by-products.
- Carbohydrate Source – Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and peas
- Flavor – Sweet potato with salmon, lamb, duck, or turkey
- Sizes – Four
- Each serving has LifeSource Bits
- Holistic veterinarians pick the nutrients and vitamins
- Has no beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, or wheat
- Cold formed to preserve nutrients
- Can cause thirst
- May cause mild digestive upset in very sensitive dogs
3. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Food
This food has a limited ingredient list with a natural formula that is easier for your dog to digest while reducing the chances of an allergy outbreak. A single high-quality protein source mixes with several highly digestible carbohydrates for balanced nutrition. This food comes from ingredients sourced and made in the United States, and you get a wellness guarantee with each purchase.
- Carbohydrate Source – Sweet potato and peas
- Flavor – Salmon
- Sizes – One
- Enriched with fatty acids from the salmon
- No wheat, gluten, fillers, or artificial additives
- Has a smaller kibble size that’s great for all breeds
- Very limited ingredients help to avoid allergens
- Can have a strong smell when you first open the bag
- Expensive to feed to a large dog breed
4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Diet Food
Lamb or turkey make up the protein source for this food, and they’re the first ingredient on the label to ensure that the food has a large amount of it. Beet pulp and chicken fat add flavor to this formula, and they also improve your dog’s digestion each time they eat it. Ground brown rice makes up the carbohydrate content, and there are no grains, gluten, corn, soy, or wheat.
- Carbohydrate Source – Ground brown rice
- Flavor – Turkey or lamb
- Sizes – Six
- Features lean lamb or turkey for the protein
- Has six main ingredients to improve digestion and calm allergies
- No dairy, potato, or egg ingredients
- Available in several sizes with two flavors
- Kibble can get hard very quickly
- Can cause loose stools in sensitive dogs
5. Blue Buffalo Basics Food
This food comes with an optimal blend of fatty acids that help to boost your dog’s immune system while helping nourish their skin and coat. You can choose from duck, lamb, turkey, or whitefish with this dog food, and the protein your choose will be the only source for this food. There is no dairy, eggs, corn, wheat, or soy, and this makes this dog food better for allergies.
- Carbohydrate Source – Potatoes
- Flavor – Whitefish, turkey, lamb,or duck
- Sizes – 12.5 ounce can
- Comes in a pack of 12 per order
- Potatoes and pumpkin aid in digestion
- No chicken or beef in the formula
- Comes with the True Blue Promise attached to each order
- Doesn’t come with gravy
- Doesn’t stay fresh long after you open it
6. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Recipe
This food has a formula that is specifically designed to meet an adult dog’s nutritional requirements without adding grains or filler. The LifeSource Bits have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to give your dog energy and support them both internally and externally. The natural ingredients make this a great option for dogs with severe allergies, and it comes packed with fruits and vegetables.
- Carbohydrate Source – Peas and sweet potatoes
- Flavor – Beef, lamb, or chicken
- Sizes – Three
- Suitable for all life stages
- Has carrots, blueberries, cranberries, and flaxseed
- Contains no chicken or poultry by-products or meals
- Helps build lean muscles
- Can feel greasy
- Expensive for the amount of food you get
Top 6 Verdict
Our pick for the best allergy food is the one from Blue Buffalo because it comes with several healthy protein sources with peas and sweet potatoes to round out the formula. The LifeSource Bits were another point that we liked because they have a high dose of antioxidants to support immune health.
Blue Buffalo’s food works well for dogs of all ages, and this ensured that we wouldn’t have to transition them to another brand as they age. Finally, the food has no corn, wheat, or soy, and these are known allergens in thousands of dogs.
If your dog has any type of sensitivity or allergies to certain ingredients in their food, you’re going to want to consider a specialized food to help them. Switching to an allergen-friendly food can prevent your dog from getting sick, clear up any discomfort or gas, and help with skin and coat issues. You do want to ask a veterinarian first if you notice your dog isn’t acting like themselves, but it’s usually food if your dog has allergies.
If your dog scratches or has skin and coat issues, a food switch can help control their inflammation and itching. In turn, this can help heal their skin and bring their coat back to a healthy and shiny state. But what do you look for in your dog’s food? We’ll outline it below.
Common Allergens in Dog Food
Some food could make allergies worse without you even realizing it, and this is why it’s so important to pay attention to common items that are known to cause allergic reactions. While your dog can be allergic to dozens of things, the biggest culprits are:
To avoid these allergen triggers, many dog foods that are targeted for dogs with allergies cut these things out of their formula. They substitute healthier alternatives like lamb, duck, salmon, sweet potatoes, or peas to fill out the dog food formula. In turn, your dog gets all of the necessary nutrients they need to stay healthy without breaking out.
Since a lot of dog food for allergies has limited ingredients; there are a few things you want to keep in mind. The most important buying considerations include:
If your dog has a lot of skin irritation or digestive issues, finding food with the right additives can help soothe these issues. Omega-3 fatty acids can help nourish your dog’s skin and coat to improve any itching or flaking, and antioxidants or probiotics can help with digestion by regulating their system. Look for foods with blueberries, fish, cranberries, or fatty acids.
Wolves never ate grains, but a lot of dog food companies use different grains for filler agents in their dog food that doesn’t add a lot of nutritional value for your pet. A grain-free food cuts out the corn, wheat, soy, and gluten while adding in healthy carbohydrates in the form of peas or sweet potatoes. Grains are also harder for your dog to digest, so picking out a grain-free food can help soothe any digestive upset they may have.
The fewer ingredients your dog’s food has, the fewer chances there is of triggering an allergic reaction. You may never know what your dog’s exact allergen trigger is, but you can make life easier for both of you by limiting the number of ingredients in the dog food. These foods don’t contain any unnecessary fillers or ingredients, and this makes it easier to feed your dog a balanced diet while keeping them comfortable.
Whole Meat vs. Meal
Your dog’s food should have a whole meat source listed as the first ingredient on the label. If your dog is allergic to a specific type of meat, it may be in your dog’s food as a meat meal instead of whole meat. Meat meal or bone meal can be big allergens for dogs, and these terms refer to a process in which the manufacturer cook the bone and meat by defatting, sterilizing, grounding, and sifting it. This is a lot of extra processing steps, and it leaves the food open to allergy triggers.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!