Free Shipping on orders over $69
10+ Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food [2023]

10+ Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food [2023]

As a pet owner, you want the best for your furry friend. Your pup is an important member of your family–and you want them to have the best health possible. 

But did you know the food you’re feeding your dog could actually be hurting them? Some mainstream dog food brands include harmful additives that give your pet an upset stomach or trigger their allergies. 

The ASPCA offers different nutrition guides you can read for best practices about how to feed your dog. However, one of the simplest approaches you can take is to buy limited ingredient dog food. Below, you’ll learn what qualifies as limited ingredient dog food and some of the best brands you can buy.

What are limited ingredient dog foods? 

Limited Ingredient Dog Foods are specially formulated diets designed with fewer components to help minimize pet food allergies. They typically include a single source of quality protein and a minimal list of fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates. This streamlined approach helps reduce the risk of triggering allergic reactions and digestive issues. 

Ingredients in limited ingredient dog foods

Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) foods focus on high-quality proteins like duck, lamb, fish, and others. Alongside protein, you will find a variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, such as pumpkin, blueberries, and broccoli that provide essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

While some brands may include carbohydrates like potatoes or peas in their limited ingredient diet, they are not ideal for continued feeding as they’re generally unnecessary fillers that may cause upset stomach or weight gain.

What’s not in limited ingredient dog foods?

As “limited ingredient” suggests, these dog foods avoid any potential allergenic triggers. You often won't find wheat, soy, or corn in these foods. Most manufacturers also exclude artificial additives to further minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

LID dog food vs grain-free dog food

LID dog foods can come in grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes; however, not all grain-free dog foods can be considered limited ingredient. All grain-free dog foods eliminate the use of grains, but some of these grain-free recipes contain other ingredients that could cause allergies or sensitivities in some dogs.

Why use limited ingredient dog food? 

Limited ingredient dog food is often used for dogs with food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances. By minimizing the number of ingredients, it reduces the chance of a dog having an adverse reaction to something in the food. It also makes it easier to pinpoint any specific ingredients that may be causing issues. 

Limited ingredient dog food often contains higher quality, natural ingredients which can be beneficial for a dog's overall health.

Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Let's take a look at some of the best limited ingredient dog foods available today.

1. KOHA Limited Ingredient Dog Food

KOHA’s Limited Ingredient Dog Food is gently formulated to be digestible and gentle on your pet’s system. Each unique recipe features just one meat source, making it the prime choice for dogs with severe food sensitivities or digestive issues. With irresistibly delicious flavors, including duck, beef, lamb, turkey, salmon, and pork, your dog will eagerly anticipate mealtime again. 

Free from junky fillers such as potatoes, wheat, corn, soy, and carrageenan, you can feel confident feeding your dog and not worry about upsetting their sensitive stomach.

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Minimal Ingredient Stew: Chunks of meat in a rich savory gravy
  • Pure Shreds for Dogs: Tender, shredded meat in a delectable broth
  • Slow Cooked Stews: Home-style cooking delivered through tender meat cuts in a tempting gravy
  • Freeze-Dried Raw Bites: Bite-sized freeze-dried raw meat designed for treating, topping or serving as a complete meal
  • Freeze-Dried Raw Toppers: Crumbled freeze-dried raw meat, perfect for enhancing any meal
  • Dehydrated Mixes: Superfood supplements to promote healthy digestion
  • Treats: Delicious and nutritious single-ingredient dog treats your pet will love


  • Emphasizes a single meat per recipe for less potential for allergies
  • Offers high meat content–a whopping 90%–to support lean muscle mass 
  • Avoids junky fillers to help manage weight and avoid food sensitivities
  • Doesn’t include preservatives or artificial additives for a more natural diet
  • Incorporates New Zealand Green Mussels in the recipes to support joint health 


  • Currently only ships to the US 

Say goodbye to your pup’s tummy troubles! 

Explore KOHA Limited Ingredient Dog Food 

2. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food

Natural Balance aims to deliver balanced nutrition for all dogs, both with and without food sensitivities. Their limited ingredient recipes focus on single-source animal proteins and carbohydrates. Pet owners choose from wet or dry meals, treats, toppers, and biscuits. 

Additional Dog Food Products:

  • Original Ultra Dry Dog food in a variety of flavors, including grain-free
  • Freeze-dried toppers are limited-ingredient and come in two flavors
  • Wet food that also includes Fat Dogs for overweight pups, Platefuls which cook in bone broth, and Delectable Delights to serve as a meal or a topper
  • Dog treats that include Crunchy Biscuits, Mini Rewards for training, and Jumpin’ Stix


  • Single protein options
  • Various meals for breed sizes and ages
  • Emphasizes research-backed recipes


  • Includes filler ingredients like potato and oats 
  • Some products may not be suitable for pets with specific protein allergies.

3. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet (Skin & Stomach Care)

Blue Buffalo offers a range of pet foods designed with food sensitivities in mind. They formulated their BLUE Basics line with the aim of promoting gentle digestion. Their offerings come in dry or wet form and vary based on breeds, age, and dietary needs. Owners can choose from flavors like salmon in gravy, duck & potato, turkey & potato, whitefish & potato, and more.

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Blue Life Protection formula
  • Blue Wilderness
  • Blue True Solutions
  • Blue Freedom
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet 
  • Baby Blue


  • Formulations specific to adult, small breed, large breed, senior and puppy dogs
  • Single protein source recipe
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives


  • All of their limited ingredient recipes contain potato
  • Their ingredients list includes filler-type ingredients like oats
  • Some recipes include controversial ingredients, like pea fiber, pea protein, and dried yeast.

4. Hill's Science Diet Small Bites Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Owned by Colgate-Palmolive, Hill’s Science has the manufacturing power of a large corporation to produce a wide variety of food options. This dry food formulation purports to be easy-to-digest, with its key point of difference being its smaller kibble size. 

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Science Diet (a variety of dry and wet treats and foods) 
  • Prescription Diet (available only by veterinary prescription)


  • Contains Omega 6s and Vitamin E
  • Includes fiber to aid in the digestive process
  • Protein (chicken) is the first ingredient on their list


  • Not soy or grain free
  • Contains filler ingredients including barley, wheat, corn, and sorghum

5. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food for Small Breeds

Natural Balance adds to their limited diet selection with special formulations for small breeds. These options include grain-free salmon & sweet potato, grain-free chicken & sweet potato, lamb & brown rice, vegetarian with vegetable broth, grain-free duck & potato, and more. 

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Original Ultra Dry Dog food in a variety of flavors, including grain-free
  • Freeze-dried toppers are limited-ingredient and come in two flavors
  • Wet food that also includes Fat Dogs for overweight pups, Platefuls which cook in bone broth, and Delectable Delights to serve as a meal or a topper
  • Dog treats that include Crunchy Biscuits, Mini Rewards for training, and Jumpin’ Stix


  • Different protein offerings
  • Little jaws and teeth won’t have trouble eating this kibble
  • Most recipes are single meat


  • All recipes include potatoes, a filler ingredient
  • Chicken meal products may have adverse effects in dogs with sensitivity issues

6. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe

Instinct is a raw food brand that provides minimally processed, high protein, and uncooked offerings. Their menu offerings range from 100% raw frozen or freeze-dried meals to 20% raw kibble and toppings, to raw-inspired wet food. options. Flavor profiles include chicken, beef, rabbit, lamb, beef & cod, and pollock. 

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Frozen Raw Meals
  • Freeze Dried Raw Meals 
  • Raw Kibble
  • Raw Toppers
  • Raw Coated Kibble 


  • One animal protein and one vegetable
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, corn, dairy, eggs, potato, soy or wheat


  • Contains peas and pea protein, which provide no nutritional value
  • Salmon recipe is not single meat - contains cod

7. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein

Royal Canin started in France over 50 years ago, when a veterinarian developed his “yellow soup” for dogs. Today it is a division of the MARS food manufacturing corporation. They manufacture a large menu of dog foods available around the world.

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Retail Range 
  • Mature Dogs
  • Vet Range
  • Breeder Range


  • Developed by veterinarians as a therapeutic diet
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids
  • Focused on regulating intestinal transit and healthy digestive flora


  • Protein is not the first ingredient listed
  • Controversial ingredient, hydrolyzed soy protein, may cause adverse effects

8. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets

The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets range helps vets manage pets with health conditions. The Purina team of nutritionists, scientists, and veterinarians develops each diet with specific nutrient profiles. 

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Critical Nutrition
  • Gastroenteric Formula 
  • Kidney Function canine Formula 
  • Overweight Management Canine Formula
  • Veterinary Supplements Canine Calming Care 
  • Veterinary Supplements Canine Fortiflora 


  • Formulated by nutritionists, scientists, and veterinarians
  • Only one carbohydrate on the ingredient list
  • Highly digestible formulation should help nutrient absorption


  • Only available with a veterinarian prescription
  • Doesn’t contain any meat-based protein
  • Consists mostly of corn starch which might cause weight gain over time

9. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin and Stomach Adult

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin and Stomach Adult caters to all breed sizes, in both wet and dry options. It aims to nourish skin and provide a lustrous coat. With a focus on optimal digestive health, the formulations emphasize protein and fiber.

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Science Diet (a variety of dry and wet treats and foods) 
  • Prescription Diet (available only by veterinary prescription)


  • Available in multiple sizes for smaller and larger dogs
  • Contains skin-healthy vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Chicken is the first ingredient on the list


10. Acana Wholesome Grains Lamb & Pumpkin

Acana formulations offer cooked and raw options, with at least 50% animal ingredients. They purport to balance their recipes with fruit, vegetables and nutrients. Choose from flavors like lamb with apple, pork with squash, duck with pear, and others.

Additional Dog Food Products

  • Grain-free options
  • Products organize by breed size and age
  • Grain-inclusive dry dog food
  • Health condition-specific foods for weight management, sensitive tummies, high protein, and poultry-free


  • High percentage of animal protein
  • Novel protein options including lamb and duck


  • Contains oat groats, oats, sorghum, and sunflower oil, all filler ingredients
  • Dry food is not as easily digestible for most dogs compared to wet food

More About the Best Limited Ingredient Dog Foods

Beyond the mere avoidance of allergenic ingredients, there are specific areas to consider when choosing limited ingredient dog foods for your pet − such as wet dog food, food for allergy-specific requirements, and food designed for small breeds.

Limited Ingredient Wet Dog Food

Feeding with wet foods provides several benefits, including:

  • Increased hydration
  • Improved satiety
  • More aromatic and flavorful
  • Easier to chew 

KOHA’s Limited Ingredient Dog Foods are wet dog foods that are moisture-rich, providing excellent hydration alongside a top-quality nutritional profile. It's a fantastic choice for owners looking to keep their pets hydrated and healthy. 

Limited Ingredient Dog Food for Allergies

For dogs experiencing inflammatory bowel disease, a food sensitivity, or other issues, vets often manage their conditions through their food.

KOHA's Limited Ingredient Dog Food for Allergies is ideal for these pets as it incorporates only allergy-friendly components to aid digestion, and minimize allergic reactions. 

Limited Ingredient Dog Food for Small Breeds

Small breeds have their own unique nutritional needs–and for them we recommend KOHA's Limited Ingredient Diet. It offers a well-balanced diet designed for their respective dietary requirements. 

Choose the Best Limited Ingredient Dog Foods

Choosing the right limited ingredient dog food can significantly enhance your pet's quality of life, particularly for dogs with sensitivities or allergies.

With a streamlined ingredient list and an emphasis on high-quality, natural components, KOHA's limited ingredient dog food offerings ensure that even dogs with the most sensitive stomachs or severe allergies can have a worry-free, nutritious meal.

So why wait? Make the switch to KOHA's limited ingredient dog foods today and watch your pet thrive!

Table of Contents