Is Your Dog Allergic To Everything? 5 Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Seasonal allergies and food intolerances aren’t just a problem humans have to deal with. Dogs can be allergic to things, too, and their allergy symptoms can be just as disruptive to their lives. 

If your dog gets abnormally itchy, licks their paws obsessively, has hot spots or yeast infections on their skin, or has frequent digestive issues like diarrhea and gas, they might suffer from allergies. 

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Both environmental and food allergies can cause allergic reactions in dogs though the symptoms can look different depending on the source of the allergens. Either way, a dog’s diet can improve or worsen their symptoms. If you can find the right pet food that has all the right ingredients with none of the ones that will set off or worsen your dog’s allergies, you can help alleviate their symptoms and make their life a little more comfortable. 

Here, I’ll explain how diet affects your dog’s allergies, share a few hypoallergenic and allergen-sensitive dog food brands, and answer your questions about how to choose the best dog food for allergies. 

How Does Diet Affect Dogs With Allergies?

If your dog is eating an ingredient they are allergic to, the effects can be subtle but still very uncomfortable. Choosing the right food for your dog isn’t just about making sure they get a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs—you need to pay attention to ingredients, too. Some dogs simply can’t eat certain foods, and eliminating them from their diet can be essential for their overall health. 

Similarly, some foods can enhance or support your dog’s health, and may even reduce symptoms of environmental allergies when combined with other treatments. 

Common Canine Food Intolerances

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

You may be surprised to learn that the most common proteins used in pet foods are also the most common canine food allergens. I’ve included a list of the foods dogs are most commonly allergic to in rough order of prevalence. These rankings are based on the results of a 2016 publication from BMC Veterinary Research that mirrors the findings of countless other peer-reviewed studies on food allergies in companion animals. 

10 Most Common Canine Food Allergens

  1. Beef
  2. Dairy
  3. Chicken
  4. Wheat
  5. Lamb
  6. Soy
  7. Corn
  8. Eggs
  9. Pork
  10. Fish

The most common symptom of food allergies in dogs is gastrointestinal upset—vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and signs of abdominal pain or discomfort. These symptoms usually present shortly after feeding your dog, but long-term exposure to food allergens can create more extensive issues. Food allergies can cause skin irritation, hair loss, lethargy, unwanted weight loss, etc. Some food allergies can even look a little like environmental allergies. 

Environmental Allergies in Dogs

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Although I’ll be talking primarily about food sensitivity in this article, environmental allergies are the most common cause of allergy-related skin conditions and are more prevalent than food allergies. If your dog has environmental allergies, they often also have food intolerances. 

Some of the most common symptoms of environmental allergies in dogs include: 

  • Ear infections
  • Skin infections
  • Yeast infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Red skin
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Hot spots
  • Trouble breathing

Most veterinarians will suggest a diet change—in addition to direct treatment options—for dogs with environmental allergies to reduce artificial additives and common canine food allergens. Let’s look at some common ingredients vets recommend eliminating from your dog’s diet if they have environmental allergies. 

Foods To Avoid For Dogs With Environmental Allergies
IngredientReason To Avoid
BeefThe most common canine food allergen—can increase itchiness and skin irritation.  
ChickenChicken is a common food allergen for dogs, and often occurs in dogs with environmental allergies and can cause or worsen hot spots and skin irritation. 
DairyDairy is tolerable for most dogs but has been linked to inflammatory skin issues like itching and rash. 
SoyLike other proteins, dogs can be allergic to soy, and soy allergies can worsen symptoms of environmental allergies. 
WheatA common canine food intolerance—can cause inflammation and irregular yeast growth in the inner ear. Environmental allergens cause similar ear issues, so it’s best to eliminate ingredients that can worsen these symptoms. 

Additionally, some veterinarians may recommend adding an omega-3 supplement or fish oil to your dog’s diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for many symptoms related to environmental (and food) sensitivities including itchy skin, hair loss, ear infections, inflammation, and overall skin and coat health. 

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

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The Best Dog Food for Allergies in Every Category

I can’t include every allergy a dog could have in my list, so I’ve chosen five of the most common dog allergies to cater to. Here you’ll find dog foods that are suitable for dogs who are allergic to chicken, beef, fish, and even environmental allergens that cause itchy skin and irritation. 

1. Best Fresh Food For Skin Allergies: Pork Potluck from Nom Nom 

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies
Source: @NomNom

Quick Facts:

  • First 5 Ingredients: Pork, potatoes, green beans, squash, kale
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 7% Protein — 5% Fat — 2% Fiber — 75% Moisture
  • Food Type: Fresh, frozen
  • Price: Determined by your pet’s nutritional needs

Nom Nom’s Pork Potluck recipe easily ranks among the best dog food for skin allergies since it doesn’t contain beef, chicken, dairy, wheat, or soy, and features a salmon oil supplement for a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

All Nom Nom dog food recipes are made from fresh, human-grade ingredients so it’s almost like feeding your dog a home-cooked meal. Because Nom Nom dog food is fresh, it’s also high in moisture and great for keeping a dog experiencing inflammatory allergy symptoms hydrated. 

This dog food formula also includes pieces of russet potatoes and green beans which are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to support a healthy immune response in dogs and is a known natural antihistamine and can help to reduce symptoms of environmental allergies like itchy skin. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps to protect against free radicals and inflammation. 

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2. Best Dry Dog Food for Skin Allergies: Butcher’s Favorites Wild-Caught Salmon from Acana

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Quick Facts:

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, herring meal, pollock meal, whole chickpeas, whole peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis (crude): 36% Protein — 17% Fat — 4% Fiber — 12% Moisture
  • Food: Dry, kibble
  • Price: $26.99–$93.99 per bag

If your furry friend has skin allergies, one of the best ingredients you can add to their diet is fish. In particular, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for your dog’s skin and coat health. Enriching, anti-inflammatory, and excellent for dogs with itchy skin, this formula includes bits of protein-rich kibble and delectable pieces of salmon jerky to encourage even the pickiest dogs to eat. 

Easily the best salmon dog food for allergies if you are feeding a dry diet, Acana also makes feeding your dog high-quality food relatively affordable and can be found in most major pet stores. As pet owners, accessibility is really important, especially for those days when you run out of food. Being able to run to your local store to pick up your dog’s dinner isn’t something you can do with subscription dog foods, so consider convenience when you’re choosing a brand. 

Buy Dog Food From Acana 

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3. Best Dog Food for Beef Allergy: Pork Recipe from The Farmer’s Dog

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies
Source: @Dukie_and_Bruno

Quick Facts:

  • First 5 Ingredients: Pork, Sweet Potato, Potato, Green Beans, Cauliflower
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 9% Protein — 7% Fat — 1.5% Fiber — 75% Moisture
  • Food Type: Fresh, frozen
  • Price: Determined by your pet’s nutritional needs

The Farmer’s Dog primarily uses common proteins in their recipes like chicken, turkey, and beef, but they do have one recipe that could be safe for a dog with a beef allergy. Made with fresh pork and antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes and green beans, the pork recipe from The Farmer’s Dog works well for dogs with beef (or poultry) allergies, but not for dogs who need novel proteins. 

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4. Best Dog Food for Chicken Allergy: Beef Recipe from Sundays Food For Dogs

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies
Source: @SundaysForDogs

Quick Facts:

  • First 5 Ingredients: USDA beef, beef heart, beef liver, beef bone, quinoa
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 35% Protein — 25% Fat — 3% Fiber — 15% Moisture
  • Food Type: Dry, air-dried
  • Price: $69–$249 per month

If your dog hates every kibble you give them, but feeding them a dry diet is what’s best at the moment for you as a pet parent, try an air-dried dog food like Sundays Food For Dogs. Made to look and taste a little like jerky treats, Sundays offers three simple formulas including a completely chicken-free beef recipe that we recommend for dogs with chicken or poultry allergies. 

One of the major downsides of most commercial dry dog foods is a lack of protein—not so with Sundays! With a whopping 35% protein, I think this is definitely a contender for the best food for dogs with allergies to chicken if you feed them dry food. 

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5. Best Dog Food for Allergies to Fish: Venison Recipe from We Feed Raw

Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Allergies

Quick Facts:

  • First 5 Ingredients: Venison, beef heart, beef liver, beef kidney, beef necks
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 13% Protein — 10.7% Fat — 1% Fiber — 69.4% Moisture
  • Food Type: Raw, frozen
  • Price: $49.99 for 5 lbs 

When you’re choosing the best dog food for food allergies, it’s important to read ingredient labels closely. I’ve only listed the first five ingredients here, and many dog food brands will do the same. Before you buy, read the full list of ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain anything your dog is allergic or intolerant to. 

We Feed Raw’s venison recipe is a fabulous option for dogs with lots of different types of allergies, but notably, it contains no fish or fish byproducts. To try to make the best dog food for dogs with skin allergies, canine nutritionists will often add fish oil as an omega-3 supplement. We Feed Raw uses flax seeds instead of fish oil as a source of omega-3s in their venison recipe, so dogs with fish allergies can still enjoy the benefits of this essential nutrient! 

All this combined makes this my pick for the best dog food for allergies and yeast infections or other skin issues. 

If you own large breeds, feeding them raw dog food can become quite expensive. If you can’t afford a brand like this one, I recommend checking your local pet stores for other raw food options. 

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Best Dog Food for Allergies FAQ

I love meeting pet owners who want to know every possible detail about their dog’s health. In an effort to give you some more clarity on feeding your dog with allergies, I’ve gathered and answered some of the most common questions about the best dog food for dogs with allergies. 

What is an elimination diet, and does my dog need one? 

An elimination diet involves removing the vast majority of foods from a dog’s diet, then slowly adding them back in to see if they have an allergic reaction. This process helps to identify which foods are an issue for your dog. Do not perform an elimination diet on your dog unless specifically instructed to do so and supervised by a veterinarian. 

What is the best dog food for Pitbulls with allergies? 

Whether you’re looking for the best dog food for pitbulls with skin allergies, food intolerances, or environmental allergies, you’re sure to find a good option above. You can also check out our full guide to the best dog food for Pitbulls

What is the best dog food for dogs prone to yeast infections? 

A high-protein diet is the best option for a dog prone to yeast infections. Starches and carbohydrates can help to feed yeast infections, so the more meat and animal protein in their food the better. 

What is the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies? 

German Shepherds with skin allergies might benefit from a dog food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon dog food. Many GSD owners report that their German Shepherds do well on a raw diet, which is also known to help soothe skin itchiness and allergies. 

What is the best dog food for Labs with allergies? 

Check out the dog foods I’ve listed above to see if any could work for your Lab, or check out this guide to the best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers

What is the best dog food for French Bulldog allergies? 

French Bulldogs are notorious for having allergies and often do well on a novel protein diet like venison. We Feed Raw makes an excellent venison recipe, but there are plenty of high-quality dog foods for French Bulldogs available on the market. 

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