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14+ Best Novel Protein Dog Food [2024]

The pet food industry has witnessed a surge in demand for novel protein dog foods in recent years. 

Dog owners showed a preference for alternative and unique protein sources due to concerns over pet food allergies and intolerances and the desire for high-protein, limited-ingredient options. These diets are often free from artificial colors and preservatives and prioritize hypoallergenic ingredients, ensuring optimal nutritional performance. 

This guide delves into some of the top novel protein dog foods this year to provide insights to dog owners who are keen on introducing these unique options to their pets.

What are Novel Protein Dog Foods?

Novel protein dog foods are a specialized category of canine diets that feature unique or alternative protein sources not commonly found in traditional pet food. The term "novel" indicates unique proteins a dog hasn’t been exposed to. This helps reduce the risk of allergies or intolerance. 

Minimal Ingredient Rabbit Stew for Dogs
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Duck Dog Food: Limited Ingredient Diet Duck Entrée for Dogs
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These diets often emphasize limited-ingredient recipes that exclude common allergens, artificial colors, and unnecessary preservatives. Since common ingredients can cause stomach upset in dogs, introducing a novel protein provides a hypoallergenic option. 

What are Novel Proteins?

Novel proteins are alternative protein sources not commonly found in standard diets. They are often introduced to dogs who may exhibit intolerance or allergies to more conventional proteins. 

Emphasizing limited-ingredient and hypoallergenic properties, these proteins are introduced to offer a fresh protein that their system hasn't previously encountered; hence the term “novel!” 

Novel Protein Dog Foods Recipes

Here are some common novel proteins used in dog food recipes: 

  • Rabbit
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Goat
  • Wild Boar
  • Quail
  • Certain types of fish
  • Ostrich
  • Venison
  • Alligator
  • Kangaroo

Best Novel Protein Dog Food Brands

Navigating the world of novel protein dog foods can be daunting with many options available. To simplify your search for the best brands, we’ve curated this list, keeping in mind limited-ingredient, hypoallergenic formulas free from artificial colors and preservatives. 

Dive in to discover high-quality, alternative protein sources tailored to your canine's nutritional needs.

1. KOHA Dog Food

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KOHA Dog Food is the perfect choice for canine companions with food sensitivities, digestive challenges, or just picky eaters. KOHA offers a wide variety of novel meat options, such as rabbit, lamb, and duck, ensuring that your pup gets only high-quality protein sources.

Beyond its hypoallergenic nature, KOHA Dog Food enhances hydration in dogs, especially with their Limited Ingredient Diet recipes. The minimal ingredient recipe also ensures that there aren’t any corn, potatoes, peas, or soy that can potentially cause digestive problems. 

Lastly, these recipes include New Zealand green mussel for your canine friend’s joint health and pumpkin to further promote healthy digestion. With KOHA Dog Food, you can ensure that your dog’s holistic health is in good hands!

Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb Entrée for Dogs
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Freeze-Dried Raw Topper Elk & Venison Recipe for Dogs and Cats 8oz Bag
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Koha in can

KOHA’s Novel Protein Dog Foods: 

  • Limited Ingredient Diet: Most sensitive recipe to keep your canine’s tummy happy
  • Pure Shreds: Shredded meat with a savory broth
  • Minimal Ingredient Stew: Tasty cuts of novel meat in a rich gravy—no cheap fillers!
  • Slow Cooked Stews: Moist, tasty meat cuts and veggies in a delicious gravy
  • Freeze-Dried Raw Toppers: Freeze-dried raw novel meat toppers

Choose nutrition-packed, novel protein meals that prioritize your dog's well-being. 

Shop KOHA Dog Food

2. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Dry Dog Food

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Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Dog Food is made to manage gastrointestinal diseases and inflammatory skin in dogs with food allergies. This certain variant features deboned alligator meat, which offers an alternative for dogs who are sensitive to red meat and poultry. 

Alligator meat is also low in fat and cholesterol, so it can help maintain your dog’s weight. This formula is also free from corn, soy, wheat, and artificial flavors and preservatives. It is only available to purchase through a veterinarian.

Primary ingredients: Alligator, pumpkin, potatoes, fish oil, canola oil, and flaxseed

3. We Feed Raw’s Raw Venison Patty

We Feed Raw’s Raw Venison Patty combines venison muscle meat with beef liver, heart, neck, and kidney, making it a good protein source for your pup. This frozen raw dog food is also packed with various vitamins and minerals, including iron and omega-3 fatty acids. Just keep it in the freezer and thaw it out overnight to prepare for feeding. 

Primary ingredients: Venison, beef heart, beef liver, beef kidney, beef necks with bone, and flaxseed

4. Earthborn Holistic Unrefined Roasted Rabbit

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Earthborn Holistic Unrefined Roasted Rabbit is a grain-inclusive novel protein dog food that features meat from cage-free, hormone-free rabbits. It also includes ancient grains like buckwheat, oatmeal, and quinoa for protein and fiber and superfoods like blueberries and salmon meal. Lastly, this formula doesn’t include chicken, peas, lentils, and legumes. 

Primary ingredients: Rabbit, butternut squash, barley, oatmeal, lamb meal, and dried eggs

5. Royal Canin Selected Protein Adult PR Dry Dog Food

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Royal Canin Selected Protein Adult PR Dry Dog Food is a veterinary-exclusive novel protein dog food that includes rabbit, potato, and hydrolyzed soy for pups with food allergies. Rabbit is a great protein source that rarely causes allergic reactions among dogs. It includes omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are taken from fish oil, to improve your pup's coat and skin.

Primary ingredients: Potato, rabbit meal, coconut oil, vegetable oil, fish oil, and rosemary extract

6. Raw Wild’s Signature Blend Pet Food Goat Recipe

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The Raw Wild’s Signature Blend Pet Food Goat Recipe consists of 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ, mimicking your pet's ancestral food. The meat is sourced from Indiana, and they're raised without hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. You can serve these 1-pound rolls whole or cut them into quarters or halves. 

Primary ingredients: Goat meat, goat heart, goat tongue, goat bone, goat liver, goat kidney, and goat spleen.

7. Inception® Dry Dog Food Fish Recipe

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This Inception® Dry Dog Food Fish Recipe includes two types of fish: catfish and whitefish. Offered in both dry and wet formulas, this fish recipe is enriched with vitamins and minerals for the overall health of your furry friend. The whitefish from this recipe is taken from the fresh waters of Washington, while the catfish come from the rivers of Georgia. 

Primary ingredients: Whitefish, catfish meal, milo, oat, and millet

8. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison

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The Taste of the Wild High Prairie Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison features 32% protein to provide energy for active dogs. Meanwhile, it includes fruits, legumes, and vegetables to meet the nutritional needs of your adult dog. It is available in three sizes: 5 lbs, 14 lbs, and 28 lbs. 

Primary ingredients: Water buffalo, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas

9. Natural Balance Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe

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The main ingredient of this Natural Balance Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe is the omega-rich salmon. However, it also includes fiber from brewer’s rice and whole-grain brown rice to improve your dog's digestion. 

Primary ingredients: Omega-rich salmon, brewer’s rice, and whole-grain brown rice

10. I and Love and you Nude Super Food Red Meat Medley

I and love and you Nude Super Food Red Meat Medley is a novel protein dog food blend that offers 34% protein from beef and pasture-raised bison. This kibble incorporates superfoods, such as pumpkin, coconut oil, and turmeric, and is supplemented with digestive enzymes and pre and probiotics for optimized digestion.

Primary ingredients: Beef, bison, beef meal, menhaden fish meal, dried peas, and dried chickpeas

11. Addiction Viva La Venison

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Addiction Viva La Venison is formulated for dogs with skin and digestive sensitivities. It uses free-range New Zealand Venison as its primary protein. Venison is low in cholesterol and rich in protein to address your dog’s dietary needs without including common allergens like chicken, wheat, or gluten. This formula also supports a healthier, shinier coat with essential amino acids.

Primary ingredients: Venison, venison meal, green peas, tapioca, and yellow peas

12. Zignature Goat Formula Dog Food

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Zignature Goat Formula Dog Food offers an alternative with goat as its primary protein. Containing less fat than beef and fewer saturated fats than chicken, this formula is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, making it a balanced choice for dogs. It comes in three size varieties: 4 lbs, 12.5 lbs, and 25 lbs. 

Primary ingredients: Goat, goat meal, peas, chickpeas, sunflower oil, and flaxseed

13. Walk About Pet Wild Boar Canine Exotics Recipe

Walk About Pet Wild Boar Canine Exotics Recipe is a grain-free novel protein dog food formulated with single meat protein from slow-cooked wild boar. This blend offers an alternative to common proteins and includes air-dried fruits and veggies. It comes in three flavors: kangaroo, quail, and wild boar. 

Primary ingredients: Wild boar, peas, sweet potato, lentils, flaxseed meal, carrots, green beans, apples, and blueberries

14. ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food Venison Recipe

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food Venison Recipe sources its main ingredient from New Zealand's free-range, grass-fed venison, nurtured in lush native pastures. This single-protein food, enhanced by a 96% PeakPrey meat ratio, offers an alternative for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It's free from grains, potatoes, and additives, ensuring a wholesome meal or topper for your pet.

Primary ingredients: Venison, venison tripe, venison heart, venison lung, venison liver, venison kidney, and New Zealand green mussel 

Benefits of Novel Protein Diets

When it comes to canine nutrition, novel protein dog foods have carved a niche, offering a multitude of health advantages. Let’s explore the many benefits of these limited-ingredient, hypoallergenic formulations.

Allergy Management

One of the main reasons pet owners turn to novel protein diets is to manage food allergies and intolerance in their dogs. By introducing a new protein source that the dog's system hasn't previously encountered, the risk of triggering an allergic reaction significantly diminishes. 

This ultimately provides relief from itching, inflammation, and digestive upset.

Digestive Health Support

Novel protein diets often emphasize limited-ingredient formulations, reducing the number of potential irritants in the dog's food. This can be especially beneficial for canines with sensitive stomachs or those with chronic digestive issues like IBS and IBD. 

The shorter ingredient list promotes easier digestion and absorption to ensure optimal gastrointestinal health.

Diverse Nutrients & Fats

Switching to alternative proteins not only offers a fresh taste but also introduces a spectrum of different nutrients and fats. Whether it's the omega fatty acids from fish or the unique nutrient profile of freeze-dried insects, these diverse protein sources can enrich a dog's diet with vital vitamins, minerals, and beneficial fats.

Less Processed Meats

Many novel protein dog foods prioritize natural, often free-range, protein sources that undergo minimal processing. This translates to a diet closer to a dog's ancestral food to reduce exposure to the potential adverse effects of heavily processed meats and ensure a cleaner, more nutritional intake for your pet.

More About Novel Protein Dog Foods

Delving deeper into novel protein dog foods, these limited-ingredient, hypoallergenic offerings come in various formulations—from high-protein to grain-inclusive!

Novel Protein Dog Food for IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be a challenging condition for dogs. Novel protein dog foods are one of the best foods for dogs with IBD because they provide relief and are less likely to trigger flare-ups, promote digestive health, and ease symptoms.

With its minimal ingredient novel protein dog food options, KOHA Dog Food provides a variety of meats to choose from—rabbit, lamb, salmon, and duck. Other dog foods that made it to the list include We Feed Raw’s Raw Venison Patty and Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Novel Protein Dry Dog Food.

Novel Protein Dog Food with Grain

While grain-free diets can work, many dogs thrive on grain-inclusive diets as well. Combining novel proteins with certain easily digestible grains, such as rice, can offer the benefits of dietary fiber. Whether you choose to feed grain-free or grain-inclusive is dependent on your dog’s unique nutritional needs.

Low Fat Novel Protein Dog Food

For dogs that require reduced fat intake due to health conditions, low-fat novel protein diets present a suitable option. By using lean meats like kangaroo, rabbit, whitefish, or venison, these formulations balance the benefits of alternative proteins with a lower fat content. This helps ensure that your canine friends receive the nutritional essentials without compromising their specific dietary needs.

KOHA’s Minimal Ingredient Pork Stew is a great low-fat novel protein option. With meat as the first ingredient and no carb-loaded fillers like grains, peas, potatoes, or corn that can lead to digestive issues, KOHA minimal ingredient stews are ideal for dogs with food sensitivities.

pork stew

Kangaroo Novel Protein Dog Foods

Kangaroo, as a novel protein, has gained popularity for its lean meat profile and hypoallergenic properties. Being a free-range source, kangaroo offers a unique blend of nutrients. It's notably high in iron, zinc, and B vitamins, which play crucial roles in energy production, immune function, and overall cellular health.

Novel Protein Dog Food for Allergies

Allergic reactions in dogs can often be linked to their diet. Novel protein dog foods offer a fresh start, introducing proteins your dog hasn’t tried before. This approach can significantly reduce the risk of food-related allergies, allowing our furry friends to live a happier and itch-free life.

KOHA dog food products were designed to provide relief for food intolerances and allergies. With one novel protein per recipe, easy digestion thanks to its high moisture content, and no junky fillers such as potatoes, wheat, corn, soy, or carrageenan–it’s perfect for pups with extreme food sensitivities, sensitive stomachs, and digestive issues.

Novel Protein Raw Dog Food

For those who advocate a more ancestral approach to canine feeding, novel protein raw dog foods are on the rise. Raw dog food can support better health and minimize allergy triggers. 

KOHA Freeze-Dried Raw Topper Elk & Venison Recipe is 96% meat and bone. It’s perfect for sprinkling over the top of your dog (or cat’s) food to make every meal delicious! 

Choose the Best Novel Protein Dog Food For Your Pup

Picking the best novel protein dog food is an important decision you have to make for your canine friend, especially if they suffer from allergies, digestive issues, or are picky eaters. These diets prioritize unique sources of protein to reduce allergies and intolerances while providing the nutrients and minerals your pup needs to maintain a healthy life. 

When it comes to quality, hypoallergenic properties, and the many benefits of limited-ingredient formulas, KOHA Dog Food is an excellent option. Their dedication to producing high-protein, digestible meals without junky fillers or artificial preservatives ensures your furry friend receives the right nutrition.

So, as you embark on the journey of introducing your dog to the world of novel protein options, let KOHA be your trusted companion—where quality meets care. Embrace a healthier tomorrow for your pup.

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