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Best dog food for allergies: Simple ingredients for a healthy hound

A bulldog scratching because he needs the best dog food for allergies
(Image credit: Getty)

The best dog food for allergies is well worth considering if your precious pooch suffers from food sensitivities or digestive issues. Gentle on the stomach and made using minimal and high-quality ingredients, a product that’s been specially formulated for dogs with allergies can help make mealtimes more enjoyable again.

While many of the wet and dry food options in our guide to the best dog food are suitable for dogs with allergies, all the products in this guide are proven safe and effective for canine’s who regularly suffer from stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin conditions. Minimally processed and excluding many of the ingredients known to trigger allergic reactions, most contain a single protein source and easy to digest fruits and vegetables.

We’ve included a mix of the best wet dog food and best dry dog food for allergies, so you can choose a formula that suits your canine companion’s preferences. When deciding which product to select, consider your dog’s unique health needs. Dry skin is well suited to formulas that are high in omega-3, while digestive issues can improve on diets that are grain-free and use a single source of protein.

When it comes to the best dog food for allergies, we’ve carefully selected the top picks available right now based on scientific research and user reviews. If you’re unsure about which option is best for your canine companion, speak to your vet who will be able to offer advice and guidance that’s tailored to your pup’s specific health needs.  

PetsRadar's pick of the best dog food for allergies

  • Best overall dog food for allergies: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat 
  • Best budget dog food for allergies: Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Best science-backed dog food for allergies: Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin And Stomach Salmon And Rice Formula 
  • Best premium dog food for allergies: ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog Food
  • Best grain-free dog food for allergies: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 
  • Best vet-approved dog food for allergies:  Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food Sensitive Stomach and Skin
  • Best easy-to-digest dog food for allergies: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein

PetsRadar's pick of the best dog food for allergies

(Image credit: Royal Canin)

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat

Best overall dog food for allergies

Item form: Wet | Age range: Adult | Key nutritional inclusions: Omega-3, prebiotics, antioxidant blend

Highly digestible proteins
Promotes healthy skin and coat
Antioxidants for a strong immune system
Contains grains and pork by-products

Dogs that love wet food but suffer from a sensitive stomach are often forced to miss out on their favorite fare due to the high-fat content. Thankfully, it’s Royal Canin to the rescue with this veterinarian-approved low-fat formula which is both tasty and gentle on the tummy.

Hailed as a lifesaver brand by many a pooch parent, Royal Canin has an outstanding reputation for delivering high-quality nutrition that you can trust and this offering is no exception. 

If your dog is prone to an easily upset stomach and bouts of vomiting and diarrhea then this is a great choice. Packed full of prebiotics to support the growth of good gut bacteria, dietary fibers for healthy digestion and Omega-3 fish oils to soothe the GI tract, this highly digestible formula is bound to get two paws up from your pooch.

Not only is this a great choice for supporting the stomach but it’s also a fantastic option if your dog suffers from frequent urinary tract issues as the formula works to prevent crystals from forming in the bladder. If you have an older dog that’s becoming more sedentary, you’ll love that the high-fiber and low-fat content boosts energy levels and prevents weight gain. 

The one drawback to this product is the choice to include grains and pork by-products. Grains can be hard to digest for dogs with more severe allergies and pork by-products do lower the overall quality of what is otherwise a great ingredient list. Those small issues aside though, and this is still the standout choice when it comes to the best dog food for allergies. 

(Image credit: Rachael Ray)

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best budget dog food for allergies

Item form: Dry | Age range: All life stages | Key nutritional inclusions: Free from poultry by-products, fillers and wheat

Uses 100% farm-raised chicken
Made without poultry by-products
Free from gluten, artificial colors and preservatives
Contains ground corn as a filler

If you’ve ever watched Rachael Ray cooking up a storm then you know how mouth-wateringly good her dishes can be and guess what? Now your pampered pooch can get in on the action too. 

Available in a variety of different sizes, the 40lb bag offers great value for money compared to others on the market, especially given it’s chock full of high-quality ingredients.

With 100% farm-raised chicken taking out the number one spot, the list is rounded out by wholesome vegetables, like peas and crisp carrots, and high-fiber brown rice and beet pulp to aid digestion and provide a healthy dose of prebiotics for gut health. 

Food is love for this chef and that’s exactly the feeling your dog is going to get when they chow into this hearty and rich-tasting formula. The inclusion of plenty of poultry fat will give your fur baby a shiny coat and healthy skin and the omission of gluten and other known allergens makes this the perfect product for sensitive dogs.

The one thing worth noting is that corn is used as a filler in this formula. For most dogs that won’t be an issue and it’s certainly preferable to using animal by-products or some of the more common allergens but if corn is problematic for your pup then you may wish to look elsewhere. 

We love that a portion of the proceeds from every sale goes to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need. It’s a pretty great feeling to know that while you’re helping your dog, you’re also helping other animals receive the food, medical supplies and treatments that they need. Now that’s what we call a win-win. 

(Image credit: Purina )

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin And Stomach Salmon And Rice Formula

Best science-backed dog food for allergies

Item form: Dry | Age range: Adult | Key nutritional inclusions: Omega-3 and 6, zinc, calcium, glucosamine

Includes easy to digest carbohydrates
Omega-6 fatty acids and zinc for healthy skin
Nutrient-rich salmon is the first ingredient
Aimed at adult dogs

Purina is world renowned for good reason, and with the creation of this sensitive formula it has hit the mark again. 

Salmon is a great choice as the primary ingredient, with its high combination of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, which are gentle on the stomach and help to keep your dogs skin and coat in premium condition, being highly positive inclusions. They’re also great  for joint health and mobility so it’s a good choice whether your dog is young and energetic, or old and a possible arthritis sufferer. 

The inclusion of easy to digest carbohydrates like rice and oatmeal, which are kind to sensitive tummies and nourish the beneficial intestinal bacteria, also gets our seal of approval. Oatmeal is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and maintains blood sugar levels while contributing long-lasting energy. 

Moreover, we like the presence of live probiotics and natural prebiotic fibers, which both promote good digestion and aid a healthy immune system. For better value, you also have the option of purchasing this in a variety of different sized bags, with the 5lb size being something we would choose if you would like to give this a trial before committing. 

This formula is primarily focused on adult dogs, so if yours is a youngster then you might want to leave this now. This aside, this a great product that is definitely worth your time should your pup fit the right age demographic.

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog FoodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog Food

Best premium dog food for allergies

Item form: Pellets | Age range: All life stages | Key nutritional inclusions: No grains or fillers, all-natural, ethical and sustainable

Ethical and sustainable ingredients

With limited ingredients and a single-protein formula, these high-quality air-dried lamb pellets contain 96% meat and organs for a rich and meaty taste your pooch is sure to love. The slow and gentle air-drying process locks in all the vital vitamins and minerals for a nutritious dish that contains everything your dog needs and none of what they don’t.

Using ethical and sustainable New Zealand ingredients that are raised without added hormones or antibiotics, these lamb morsels also contain green-lipped mussels, a potent source of chondroitin, glucosamine, and omega-3 for healthy and strong joints. 

Free from grains and unnecessary cheap fillers that are high in carbohydrates, such as peas and potatoes, this formula is a great choice for those with sensitive stomachs and food allergies. Suitable for all breeds and life stages and available in a range of different sizes and flavors, ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog Food is gently nourishing and full of nutrition and tail-wagging goodness.

(Image credit: Taste of the Wild)

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best grain-free dog food for allergies

Item form: Dry | Age range: 4.7 | Key nutritional inclusions: Antioxidants, prebiotics, Omega-3 and 6

Sustainably sourced salmon
Powerful antioxidants from fruit and vegetables
More expensive than other brands

If you’re looking to treat your furry friend to one of the most premium products on the market then this offering from Taste of the Wild is sure to impress.

The ingredient list for this formula reads like a health lover's dream with red salmon leading the pack, a novel protein that’s great for dogs with allergies as it’s easy to digest. Sweet potato provides energy that is slowly released into the bloodstream and the antioxidants from the tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries help support the immune system and overall health and wellbeing. 

We love that this grain-free formula steers away from common allergens and instead chooses to go with fiber-rich alternatives like lentils, which are gentle on the digestive tract. The recipe also omits eggs, another common trigger for dogs with sensitivities, and the inclusion of chelated minerals help maximize the absorption of valuable nutrients.

This high-quality product uses chicory root as a prebiotic to support healthy digestion and comes packed with Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin E and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, all of which will keep your mutts mane looking its best. The addition of Taurine is great for eye and heart health and also stimulates bile acid in the stomach to help break down and metabolize fat.

While more expensive than other brands, if ethical and sustainable food practices and quality of ingredients are an important consideration for you, then this is definitely a brand worth considering. Made in the USA by a family-owned and run company, Taste of the Wild has a standout reputation for ensuring their ingredients come from trusted and sustainable sources so you can rest assured you're giving your dog the best nutrition money can buy.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food Sensitive Stomach and Skin

(Image credit: Amazon)

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food Sensitive Stomach and Skin

Best vet-approved dog food for allergies

Item form: Kibble | Age range: Adult | Key nutritional inclusions: Prebiotics, vitamin E, Omega-6 fatty acids

High in prebiotics
Gentle on the digestive system
Vitamin E and Omega-6 for skin and coat health
Contains grains

Gentle on the stomach while nourishing the skin, this kibble has been formulated for optimal nutrient absorption and easier stool pick-up. Packed full of vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids, this blend promotes a lustrous coat and healthy skin.

We love the addition of beet pulp in this recipe, a potent source of prebiotic fiber that fuels gut bacteria and supports a balanced microbiome. The smaller kibble size is ideal for all dog breeds and a grain-free version is also available if your furkid needs an even gentler formula.

Backed by vets and using only real meats and the highest quality ingredients, this kibble is free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and packs a hefty vitamin and mineral punch. 

Pets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Royal Canin)

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein

Best easy to digest dog food for allergies

Item form: Soy protein | Age range: Adult | Key nutritional inclusions: Omega 3, B vitamins, amino acids

Great for skin, coat and digestive issues
Suitable for puppies and adults
Supports a healthy weight

Royal Canin takes out another spot on our list thanks to their innovative hydrolyzed protein pieces, which break down into small morsels upon chewing, making them easily absorbed and less likely to trigger an immune reaction.

If your precious pup has food sensitivities that cause tummy troubles, itchy skin, hair loss or bouts of diarrhea, then this super gentle formula could be just the remedy you’ve been looking for. As well as being easy to digest, this highly palatable food contains a blend of B vitamins, amino acids and Omega-3 fatty acids to support your dog’s skin and coat. 

You’ll love that this dry dog food is suitable for both puppies and adults so if your little one shows early signs of food sensitivities, allergies or intolerances, you can rest easy knowing you can keep them on this product over the course of their life without having to worry about getting them used to something new.

And as an added bonus, the kibble also acts as a toothbrush of sorts, sweeping your dog's teeth clean as they chew, reducing tartar buildup, and keeping their pearly whites sparkling. This is definitely a winning formula when it comes to looking after all your dog’s needs.

Right now you’re probably thinking this all sounds a bit too good to be true and there must be a catch, right? Well, yes, there is a drawback and as you’ve likely guessed, it’s the price. This is definitely an expensive purchase and it does require your vet’s authorization but if it helps keep your precious pooch happy and healthy then you may find it’s well worth the investment.

How to choose the best dog food for allergies

If your dog seems more interested in pawing at his ears or scratching her skin than hanging out with you and you’ve ruled out other causes, then it could be time to consider experimenting with their diet. 

But with as many free-from foods on the market for dogs as there is for people, knowing where to start can be daunting. Thankfully, we’ve come up with a few simple guidelines that will help point you in the right direction.

Look for products that have short ingredient lists, generally with one form of protein and one form of carbohydrate which makes it easier to identify the potential allergen. While there are both risks and benefits, raw dog food is another option worth looking into. With few ingredients and zero additives, our guide to the best raw dog food is a great resource if you’re not sure where to start. 

Novel proteins and other ingredients can work well for a lot of dogs as they won’t have been over-exposed to them in the past. Think venison, rabbit, kangaroo, pheasant and bison, and gluten-free ancient grains and seeds like quinoa, millet, and chia.

Look for added vitamins, minerals, prebiotics and probiotics. Vitamins C and E and probiotic strains like lactobacillus and acidophilus are great for soothing the GI tract and ensuring good digestive health. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and Omega-3 fatty acids are also great additions. 

Finally, if you’re noticing your dog displaying any of the symptoms of a possible allergic reaction be sure to consult your vet who will be able to help identify the cause and recommend the best course of treatment.