How often does your dog get an upset stomach? If it happens regularly then it could be they have food intolerance or an allergy.
Indeed if they have an itchy skin this can be another clue and it’s wise to try feeding a hypoallergenic dry dog food.
There is a subtle difference between the two conditions because “intolerance” implies the dog has difficulty digesting the food, whereas an “allergy” triggers an inflammatory reaction in the bowel and skin. If by giving dry food for dogs with allergies the symptoms go away then it is likely your dog has either an intolerance to some foods or a full-on dietary allergy.
The good news is there’s never been a better time to have a dog with a sensitive stomach because with plenty of choices available it’s easy to feed a dry dog food for allergies.
1. Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food
Purina HA is a truly hypoallergenic dry dog food.
It is made so that the protein molecules are ‘hydrolyzed’ or broken down to a size that is too small to bridge the receptor in the gut wall that switches on the allergic reaction.
This makes it the best dog food for skin allergies for a number of reasons.
Firstly, you can use this diet to work out if your dog actually has a food allergy, and secondly it will ease the symptoms such as itchy skin or an upset tummy.
As with any hypoallergenic food, it can take up to eight weeks on the new regime before you see an improvement.
This is because it can be around two months before the previous allergens clear the system and the symptoms settle.
As an added bonus is this formulation is suitable for vegetarians, so if you prefer your dog not to eat meat then Purina HA Vegetarian dog food is ideal.
2. Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food
This is a best dry dog food for dogs with allergies having been tested with scientific rigor and under the supervision of veterinary nutritionists.
It is made with real chicken listed first on the label, which means chicken is the main ingredient.
Hill’s Science Diet for sensitive stomachs is rich in antioxidants which aid bowel repair and promote good skin condition.
It is formulated to be easy to digest and gentle on the stomach of dogs with a sensitive constitution.
This formula is considered the best dry dog food for itchy skin because the ingredients are good quality and it doesn’t contain artificial flavors, preservatives or colors.
However, it is not a true hypoallergenic diet as it contains a range of ingredients, rather than a single protein or carbohydrate source. But if you are looking for an affordable, good quality diet to suit a sensitive stomach then this could be it.
3. Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Dog Food
If you’re looking for the best dry food for dogs with allergies then Purina Pro Plan Focus is definitely worth considering.
It is made with salmon as the main ingredient.
This may well be a protein your dog has not previously eaten and fits the bill as a ‘novel’ protein source, making it suitable for dogs with food allergies.
The food does not contain corn, wheat, or soy, all of which are common allergens that trigger allergic skin reactions in dogs, and it uses oats and rice as the main carbohydrate source, which are considered as weak allergens, less likely to trigger reactions.
This product may not be cheap but the price is justified by the quality ingredients and thought that has gone into its formulation.
4. Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food
Canidae dry dog food contains high-quality ingredients with lamb as the main ingredient.
Importantly for a best dry dog food for dogs with allergies, it is wheat free and uses healthy options such as sweet potato, chickpeas, and peas as a carbohydrate source.
The significance of this is they are less potent allergens than wheat and less likely to upset a sensitive tummy or skin.
To promote healthy digestion it contains probiotics and has good levels of omega 3 and omega 6 oils to improve skin health and promote a glossy coat.
Canidae also makes other flavors to the same high standard, including unusual protein sources such as bison, which is a good option if you suspect your dog has food allergies and wish to try feeding a flavor they haven’t eaten before, making it a best dry dog food allergies.
5. Nutro Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food
Whilst this food does not meet the strict criteria that would make it appropriate for an exclusion diet to see if your dog has allergies (For this the Purina HA is advisable) it is a good, high standard food that has a restricted range of proteins and non-wheat based carbohydrates.
The main ingredient is venison meal – the keyword here being ‘meal’ as it is the by-products of venison rather than the pure meat.
The carbohydrate is supplied by brown rice and oatmeal, which are both healthy and nutritious.
If you’re looking for dry dog food for allergies then this diet does have limitations but no more so than other competitor diets, and Canidae is worth considering.
And finally, when selecting a food for your dog with a sensitive stomach or food allergies look for a food that lists a pure meat (rather than meat meal) as number one ingredient and a source of carbohydrates that is not derived from wheat, but from alternative sources such as sweet potato, brown rice, or oatmeal.
This combination of pure meet and a non-wheat carbohydrate is a good starting point for the best dry dog food for dogs with allergies.