It can be hard to figure out what is the best hypoallergenic dog food to feed your pet. There are several brands that use only the highest quality ingredients and process the food in such a way as to preserve the most nutrients that your pup so desperately needs.
And if your baby does have dog food allergies, then you want a food that not only is free of the offending ingredient, but you also want the healthiest pet food to help build up and strengthen their immune system.
If your four-legged friend has non-food allergies, a special diet is still invaluable. The quality of the food and the nutrition your baby will be getting from these types of food will help them immensely in their allergy fight. A healthy body and immune system will enable your dog to fight off internal problems better as well as make them more unattractive to parasites, such as fleas and mites.
All About Dog Food For Allergies
Dog food allergies are definitely on the rise. Dogs, like humans, can have an allergic reaction to just about any ingredient. The most common culprits, in no particular order, are:
- wheat (gluten)
Why The Increase In Dog Food Allergies?
Some people think it is because in some pet food there are very low quality components and by-products. Another commonly thought reason is that these foods are overfed to our dogs. Whatever the reason, your pup is miserable from it.
Common food allergy symptoms in canines include
- skin issues
- severe itching
- hot spots
- constant licking
- dry skin
- digestive problems
- excessive gas
- recurring ear infections.
However, there is another category that we tend to overlook that probably causes as much allergy symptoms as proteins and grains – and that is the artificial ingredients. By this I mean artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives, hormones, and pesticides. All of these can wreak as much havoc to your dog’s immune system as any allergen.
What Makes For The Best Hypoallergenic
Firstly, you will not find any of the above listed elements in it. Most hypoallergenic pet food use protein sources that are not common, such as duck, venison, elk, bison, rabbit, and salmon. They also do not use common grains like corn, wheat, or soy, but instead you will find ingredients like potatoes, sweet potatoes, barley, oatmeal, brown rice, and millet.
They are a special type of feed that uses both limited and uncommon elements. They are commonly called a hypoallergenic dog food, allergy, minimal or limited ingredient dog food. They are all basically the same. These use very high quality, minimal ingredients that are packed with nutrients your dog needs to thrive.
The best will be at least all-natural, which means they do not use any artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives. They will also be organic, using free-range animal meats and pesticide-free grains, fruits, and vegetables.
On the other side of the dog food spectrum, a low quality, or economy, or cheap dog food contains lots of grains and grain by-products as well meat by-products that provide very little nutrients for your dog. This tends to leave your their immune system in overdrive, in a hyper sensitive state, making him have a reaction to just about anything.
If your dog has food allergies, you might want to switch your dog food, hypoallergenic (that has completely new protein and carbohydrate sources) might be all your dog needs. Not only will this more than likely not include the offending components, but the quality of the food is much higher, giving your baby a much more nutrient-dense dinner.
Giving them better quality food sources will help strengthen his immune system, which will help him battle his allergies and food intolerance easier.
So the best hypoallergenic dog foods will have:
- a limited number of quality ingredients,
- different types of ingredients than your dog is used to,
- nothing artificial.
There are basically two types of food for a canine with allergies: pre-mixes and complete.
Pre-Mix – You Add Your Own Meat
These types are actually my favorites. The pre-mixes are so convenient and easy to use. You just add whatever protein source you want (I go by what is on sale at the grocery store).
I am a big supporter of a raw diet – especially in the meat department, as amino acids are destroyed by high heat. As a side note – I have never had any problem with either of my dogs eating raw. See my article on Is Raw Meat Dangerous for more information. However, you provide the meat in whichever way (raw or cooked) is comfortable for you and your pup. Either way, your dog will be getting a good protein source.
If you want to try this method, reviews from pet owners give the highest ratings to Sojo’s and Honest Kitchen
The most commercially popular hypoallergenic dog foods are the complete ones – where the meat is included. Quite simply, this is just easier than ensuring you have fresh meat to add to each meal. These foods also tend to add in digestive enzymes, probiotics, vitamin supplements, and essential fatty acids (omega 3 & 6) for complete overall health.
The best dog food for allergies have components that range from common sources (such as chicken -but in this case free-range, organic) to uncommon sources, like bison, venison, salmon, whitefish, lamb, and turkey (among more).
The best hypoallergenic dog food brands include Addiction Raw, Natural Balance LID, Sojos Complete, and Wellness. Start feeding your best friend one of these limited ingredient dog foods and watch their allergy symptoms disappear.
Technically Not Hypoallergenic, But Still One Of The Best
What makes for a hypoallergenic dog food? Mainly limited, quality ingredients. Why limited – to reduce the number of possible offending ingredients.
This next pet food is considered to be one of the BEST: Natura Karma. It is 95% organic and, although it uses chicken (a common meat source), their chicken is organic (free-range, hormone free, antibiotic free).
It is also holistically formulated, which means it is aimed at keeping the body, as a whole, healthy with extra vitamin, minerals, and nutrients you won’t find in common dog foods. If you want a top rated food, Natura Karma is my vote!
Whichever route you take, the best hypoallergenic dog food will create a healthier dog who is better able to fight off disease and parasites, as well as give relief to your dog’s allergies. Try one of these top rated brands and see if you don’t see a difference in your dog.