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6+ Best Dog Food for Allergies (Plus a Dog Food Allergy Guide)

6+ Best Dog Food for Allergies (Plus a Dog Food Allergy Guide)

Navigating dog food allergies can be challenging for pet parents since identifying the culprits and selecting the right diet is crucial for their furry friend's health and well-being. Because food allergies have similar symptoms to many other conditions, such as IBD, dog anxiety, and other issues, they can be difficult to diagnose. 

This comprehensive guide will explore the most common dog food allergies, signs to watch for, and the best dietary options to alleviate allergic reactions. 

Discover how to support your dog's nutritional needs and promote a happier, healthier life.


The Most Common Dog Food Allergies

Duck Dog Food: Limited Ingredient Diet Duck Entrée for Dogs
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Limited Ingredient Diet Beef Entrée for Dogs
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The most common dog food allergies include: 

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Potatoes
  • Artificial additives (e.g., preservatives, colors, flavors)
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

It's important to note that dogs can develop allergies to any ingredient–even if they never showed a reaction in the past.


Signs Your Dog Might Have a Food Allergy


Diagnosing food allergies is helpful in ruling out more serious conditions, like IBD or IBS. Here are some common signs that your dog might have a food allergy:


Stomach Upset

Stomach upset is a common sign of both IBD in dogs and food allergies.  

Expect symptoms such as excessive salivation, gastrointestinal noises, loss of appetite, and abdominal discomfort. 


Ear Infections

Ear infections are another potential indication that your dog might have a food allergy. While not always directly linked, ear infections can sometimes be a result of underlying allergic reactions to certain food ingredients.  

Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb Entrée for Dogs
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Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Entrée for Dogs
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These infections may manifest as redness, itching, swelling, or discomfort in the ears, often accompanied by odor or discharge. Additionally, frequent shaking of the head or scratching at the ears could signal an underlying issue.


Skin Rashes

Skin rashes, ranging from mild irritation to more severe dermatological issues, can signify food allergies. 

Allergic reactions to certain food ingredients can trigger inflammatory responses in the skin, leading to redness, itching, swelling, and discomfort, with rashes often appearing as raised bumps or welts, causing intense itching and scratching.



Diarrhea is a prevalent symptom of food allergies in dogs and often serves as a key indicator of gastrointestinal distress. 

Dogs with food allergies may experience diarrhea characterized by loose, watery stools, sometimes containing mucus or blood. The diarrhea may be acute, occurring suddenly and resolving within a short period, or it may become chronic, persisting over an extended duration.  

Constipation in dogs, and other stool changes, can also indicate food allergies.



Vomiting, an early sign of gastrointestinal distress due to food allergies, ranges from occasional to persistent occurrences.  

Dogs may vomit shortly after eating or experience delayed episodes, leading to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies if chronic.


Hair Loss

Hair loss, linked to dermatological issues triggered by food allergies, manifests as patchy loss, thinning coat, or generalized shedding.  

Chronic scratching or licking exacerbates the condition, potentially leading to secondary infections.


Burping or Excessive Flatulence

Burping or flatulence, common signs of food allergies, result from the ineffective processing of allergenic food ingredients in the digestive tract.  

Excess gas production leads to discomfort, often accompanied by bloating, abdominal discomfort, or changes in stool consistency.


What to Know About Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies

Now that you have a picture of the symptoms associated with dog food allergies, let’s investigate which foods help or cause further irritation.


What Type of Dog Food is Best for Dogs with Allergies

The best type of dog food for dogs with allergies is often a limited ingredient diet (LID) or hypoallergenic diet specifically formulated to minimize potential allergens and reduce the risk of triggering allergic reactions.  

These diets feature a simplified ingredient list with a single novel protein source and limited carbohydrate sources, avoiding common allergens.


What to Avoid in Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies

When selecting dog food for dogs with allergies, it's important to avoid ingredients that commonly trigger allergic reactions or sensitivities. Here are some key ingredients to avoid:

  • Common Allergens: Exclude soy, corn, dairy, and more common proteins like beef and chicken. 
  • Artificial Additives: Steer clear of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.
  • Fillers: Avoid fillers and low-quality ingredients with limited nutritional value, such as by-products and other filler ingredients. 
  • Chemical Additives: Check for chemical additives, such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, which may be used as preservatives in certain dog foods.

    Wet Dog Food Vs Dry Dog Food for Allergies

    When considering wet vs. dry dog food for allergies, both options have their pros and cons.  

    Wet dog food offers several advantages that can be particularly beneficial for dogs with allergies: 

    • High moisture: Helps keep dogs hydrated, crucial for immunity and organ function.
    • Enhanced palatability: Many dogs prefer the rich flavor, useful for picky eaters or those with reduced appetite due to allergies.
    • Soft texture: This makes wet food easier to digest and is better for sensitive gums or dental issues.


    Best Dog Food for Allergies

    Discover our list of the top choices for the best dog food for allergies, meticulously curated to cater to your pet's specific dietary needs.


    1. KOHA Limited Ingredient Diet

    KOHA’s Limited Ingredient Dog Food caters to dogs with extreme food sensitivities or stomach issues. Each recipe features just one meat source, ensuring easy digestion and minimal risk of triggering allergies. 

    Made with novel protein choices like duck, lamb, salmon, and pork, these meals are free from fillers and full of simple, clean ingredients is the best choice for avoiding food allergies and ingredients that can trigger them.

    Koha food


    • One meat per recipe ensures minimal allergen exposure
    • Easily digestible formulation ideal for dogs with extreme food sensitivities
    • Novel protein choices to minimize the risk of allergic reactions
    • Carb-free recipes avoid common allergens like potatoes, wheat, and soy
    • The high protein content supports muscle health and provides essential amino acids for overall vitality

    Shop KOHA Limited Ingredient Diet dog food.


    2. KOHA Minimal Ingredient Stew

    KOHA's Minimal Ingredient Stew offers a delectable solution for dogs with sensitive tummies, providing tasty cuts of meat in savory gravy without any junky fillers. With a focus on single meat options and minimal ingredients, these carefully crafted stews help avoid digestive issues and support overall well-being.

    Koha stew



    • Ideal for food sensitivities as these recipes features single meat options and minimal ingredients, minimizing the risk of triggering food sensitivities
    • The rich, savory gravy and high-quality meat cuts make these stews highly palatable
    • Because they’re highly palatable, it's easy to control meal calories and prevent overfeeding by leaving dry food out for “free feeding,” a common cause of weight gain in dogs
    • The moisture-rich, high-protein recipes with no unnecessary fillers and low carbohydrates promote easy digestion
    • With a variety of protein options like rabbit, beef, turkey, duck, pork, and chicken, KOHA's Minimal Ingredient Stew offers novel protein choices that are less likely to trigger allergies
    • Enriched with New Zealand Green Mussel, these stews help support joint health, promoting mobility and comfort for dogs of all ages and activity levels.

    Treat your dog to a delicious and nutritious meal with KOHA's Minimal Ingredient Stew. 


    3. KOHA Limited Ingredient Bland Diet

    KOHA's Limited Ingredient Bland Dog Food offers a gentle and convenient solution for dogs struggling with loose stool or upset stomachs. Available in both Beef & White Rice and Chicken & White Rice recipes, this specially formulated dog food is cooked and ready to serve, providing quick relief for digestive issues. 

    Each recipe contains just one meat source for easy digestion, along with white rice and pumpkin to support healthy stools and regularity.

    Koha Bland diet


    • The pumpkin and white rice in each recipe helps support digestive health by promoting healthy stools and regular bowel movements
    • Ensures easy digestion and minimizes the risk of allergic reactions with only one meat source per recipe
    • These bland diet recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs, providing essential nutrients for overall health and well-being through complete and balanced everyday feeding
    • Offers a gentle feeding solution without the need for cooking, making it ideal for times when your dog experiences unexpected digestive flare-ups
    • The soft texture makes it easy to chew and digest, suitable for senior dogs or those with dental issues

    Soothe your pup's tummy with KOHA’s Limited Ingredient Bland dog food.


    4. KOHA Pure Shreds

    KOHA's Pure Shreds offers a tantalizing variety of shredded recipes in a savory broth, ideal for picky eaters, dogs with sensitive stomachs, and those requiring weight control. Whether it's the savory Beef, succulent Duck, or tender Chicken Breast, each Pure Shreds entrée promises a meal experience that leaves tails wagging for more. 

    Plus, with a superfood veggie blend of pumpkin, carrots, and spinach, these meals provide a nutritious boost to support digestive health and immune function.

     KOHA Pure Shreds


    • Enticing, even for the pickiest eaters
    • Low-fat options ensure a calorie-conscious diet without compromising on flavor, helping your dog maintain a healthy weight without carb-heavy fillers like potatoes 
    • Moisture-rich and easily digestible, these high-protein meals are gentle on the stomach, making them suitable for dogs with digestive sensitivities
    • Dogs love the shredded meat texture
    • Crafted with minimal ingredients, these recipes avoid unnecessary fillers
    • Infused with a blend of pumpkin, carrots, and spinach, these meals offer added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support overall health and vitality  

    Treat your furry friend to the delightful Pure Shreds experience from KOHA


    5. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food

    Each Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet formulation contains less than ten ingredients. Among the seven offerings in the range, some are grain-free formulations and some recipes include grains. However, all recipes are free from chickpeas and lentils and contain added supplements.

    Merrick diet food



    • Single-source animal protein
    • Meat, fish, or poultry (deboned) is the #1 ingredient
    • Added glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint health
    • Added omega-3 and omega-6 for skin and coat
    • None of the recipes contain artificial flavors or colors


    6. Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Skin & Food Sensitivities

    Hill’s Prescription Z/D dog food is a hypoallergenic formulation made with hydrolyzed protein. This product results from the breakdown of a protein source into individual amino acids. The dog’s immune system doesn't detect these smaller components, hopefully preventing an allergic reaction. 

    The Z/D offering comes in wet or dry formulations.   

    hill's dog food


    • Improves skin and coat in 30 days
    • Normalizes the stool
    • Their proprietary S+OXSHIELD formulation promotes a healthy urinary tract environment
    • Supports the immune system
    • Promotes healthy skin
    • Single carbohydrate source

    7. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet

    blue buffalo logo

    Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Diet is a wet or dry food offering for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. Their formulations feature turkey, duck, salmon, whitefish, or lamb as single protein sources. Along with easily digestible carbohydrates, their recipes include their proprietary mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, called LifeSource Bits.   

    blue buffalo basics


    • Novel protein sources
    • Single protein formulations
    • Contains antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins
    • Easily digestible
    • These recipes don’t contain corn, soy, eggs, or dairy
    • They don’t use chicken or beef in these recipes

    Learn More About Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies

    You may have more questions about your dog’s specific needs. We’ve pulled together some other questions people ask about dog food for allergies. 


    What is the best food to feed a dog with itchy skin?

    For dogs with itchy skin, shoot for foods free of allergens (like the ones listed above!)


    What is the number one food allergy in dogs?

    The most common food allergen for dogs is beef. While it’s considered a healthy staple for dogs, regularly feeding your dog only beef could lead to the development of an allergy if your pup is prone to it. Vets usually recommend feeding your dog a variety of proteins, in rotation, to avoid allergic reactions to any one protein.


    Is salmon or turkey better for dogs with allergies?

    Both turkey and salmon can be good options for dogs with allergies, particularly if they are a novel protein for your dog (your dog has never had them before). 


    Pick the Best Dog Food For Allergies

    Understanding and addressing your dog's food allergies is essential for their overall health and happiness. By recognizing the signs of allergies and selecting the right diet, you can provide relief and improve their quality of life. 

    Whether you opt for KOHA's Limited Ingredient Diet, Minimal Ingredient Stew, or Pure Shreds, rest assured that you're choosing high-quality options designed to cater to your dog's unique dietary requirements. 

    Treat your furry companion to the best dog food for allergies and watch them thrive.



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