Having a dog that suffers from allergies1 can be difficult. Scratching their skin incessantly until it’s red and inflamed or having an upset stomach is uncomfortable for them and stressful for you to watch. A diet change might be necessary to bring them relief. Some allergies in dogs can develop over time, so something that they have eaten for years with no issue may now turn into something that they can’t tolerate.
In this article, we made a list of the best dog foods for small dogs with allergies, along with reviews, to help you choose the right one. We included both dry and canned foods so you have options. When you find the one that you like, be sure to speak to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
A Quick Glance at Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Ollie Fresh Chicken Recipe||
||Click Here to Save 50%|
|Best Value||Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Dog Food||
|Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Smoke-Flavored Salmon With Ancient Gr||
|other||Canidae PURE Dry Puppy Food||
|Hill’s Science Diet Canned Dog Food||
The 10 Best Dog Foods for Small Dogs With Allergies
1. Ollie Fresh Chicken Recipe — Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, carrots, peas, rice, chicken liver|
|Calories:||590 per pound|
Ollie Fresh Chicken With Carrots Recipe is one of the recipes that you can choose from Ollie. This is a dog food delivery service founded in 2015. The food is made using nutrient-dense, high-quality ingredients to form packages of dog food that are perfectly portioned for your dog’s meals. The chicken dish is a suitable choice for dogs with allergies because it’s made using ingredients that are gentle on digestion. While there isn’t a recipe that is specifically for dogs with allergies, each recipe uses a single source of protein. This reduces the risk of allergic reactions, making it the best overall food for small dogs with allergies.
The food is minimally processed and doesn’t include fillers or wheat. If your dog is allergic to poultry, you can choose a different protein source.
The chicken recipe uses carrots, blueberries, and spinach to provide vitamins and minerals. There is also fish oil in the food for a boost of omega fatty acids to keep coats shiny and healthy.
When the food is delivered to your door, it will need to be stored in the freezer and thawed before use. This can be difficult to do if you don’t have much freezer space.
2. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Dog Food – Best Value
If you’re looking for a diet that’s great for food allergies, then Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Dog Food is your best option for the money. Turkey is a novel protein that can help eliminate some issues, and with a limited-ingredient formula, it’s less likely to cause your pet’s allergies to flare up.
Merrick makes all their food in the United States, which helps with quality control. And since it’s wet food, it’s easier for your dog to digest. However, while wet food can be an affordable option for smaller dogs, it can get quite expensive if you try to solely feed a larger dog wet food.
3. Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Smoke-Flavored Salmon With Ancient Grains – Premium Pick
Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream is another dog food that can help with allergies. Salmon is a protein that few dogs have allergies to, and overall, every ingredient in this recipe is high quality.
It’s a little more expensive than some other dry dog foods, but overall, it’s a great mix of price and quality. Taste of the Wild makes all their recipes in the United States, ensuring you get the highest-quality recipes every time. It’s not going to eliminate all food allergies, but it certainly helps with most.
4. Canidae PURE Dry Puppy Food – Best for Puppies
It’s not just older dogs that suffer from food allergies, and if you have a puppy that suffers from food allergies, then Canidae PURE Dry Puppy Food is a great choice. It’s another limited-ingredient diet that can help with many food allergies.
Not only that but it has salmon as the protein source, which fewer pets have allergies to compared to ingredients like chicken. It’s nothing but the highest-quality ingredients, and there are multiple sizes to pick from, but it is a bit more expensive per pound compared to other dry dog foods. But since it’s a puppy-specific recipe, this usually isn’t as big of a deal.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Food – Vet’s Choice
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin is another great dog food if your pup suffers from food allergies. Not only does it help with allergies but it’s also great for sensitive skin and stomachs. Hill’s Science Diet makes all their recipes in the United States, which helps with quality control, and turkey is a good novel protein for food allergies.
Overall, it’s a high-quality diet, but as a wet food, it’s a far more expensive option than dry dog food. This isn’t a huge deal for smaller dogs, but for big dogs, it can drive your dog food costs through the roof.
6. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Lamb, lamb broth, lamb liver, oatmeal, ground flaxseed|
|Calories:||469 per can|
The Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Dog Food is made by veterinarians and nutritionists. It has all-natural ingredients without any artificial fillers or flavors. Each recipe uses a single protein source. This lamb and oatmeal formula promotes easy digestion and includes no poultry if you’re looking for a chicken-free option. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may find relief with these simple ingredients.
The carbohydrates in this food are digested easily and combined with omega fatty acids for coat health.
The consistency of the food is mushy and wet. Some dog owners have reported that it’s \ runny. It doesn’t firm up in the refrigerator, and some dogs don’t like the taste of it.
7. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Turkey, oatmeal, barley, fish meal, canola meal|
|Calories:||439 per cup|
The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food is made with oatmeal to support easy and healthy digestion. In the turkey and oatmeal flavor, turkey is the main ingredient and protein source. Fish oil adds omega fatty acids, combined with sunflower oil for coat health. Glucosamine is added for healthy joints.
The recipe includes live probiotics to keep the gut feeling good. Natural prebiotic fiber helps promote good intestinal bacteria and health. This protein-rich food doesn’t include any common allergens that trigger reactions. Antioxidants are included for immune support and overall health.
After their dogs ate this food, some dog owners reported that it made their dogs smell like fish. Some dogs experienced excessive gas while eating this food.
8. Zignature Select Cuts Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Lamb, lamb meal, oats, millet, sunflower meal|
|Calories:||380 per cup|
The Zignature Select Cuts Dry Dog Food is an expensive option. It uses lamb and lamb meal, two real meat sources, as the first two ingredients and the single protein source. It’s a good poultry-free option if your dog can’t eat chicken.
The lamb is sourced from the hills of New Zealand. Millet and oats combine to deliver fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog’s digestion. Cold-pressed sunflower oil is added for coat and skin health. The minimal ingredients limit allergic reactions.
The kibble is small enough for small dogs to eat comfortably but can also be enjoyed by large dogs. If you have multiple dogs in the home but only one has allergies, it’s possible to feed them all this food, saving you time and money.
9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Salmon, menhaden fish meal, brown rice, brewers rice, oat groats|
|Calories:||340 per cup|
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food has protein-rich salmon and fish meal for muscle health and omega fatty acids for coat health. There are no common allergens in the food, like artificial flavors or colors. Dogs with sensitive stomachs can digest this easily without upset stomachs, skin irritations, or allergic reactions.
Brown rice adds fiber for a feeling of fullness and healthy digestion. This limited-ingredient diet includes no poultry, so you can safely feed it to your dog if they have chicken sensitivities.
The kibble pieces are roughly the size of a dime, so small dogs can eat them easily. There is a fishy odor to the food that some dog owners don’t like, but it’s made with salmon and fish meal, so this smell makes sense.
10. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned salmon, oatmeal, brown rice, salmon meal, peas|
|Calories:||362 per cup|
Salmon is the first ingredient and single protein source in Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Dog Food. The salmon also provides omega fatty acids for healthy coats and skin. Potatoes, pumpkin, and peas are added for a boost of fiber and to promote easy, healthy digestion.
This limited-ingredient diet is ideal for dogs with allergies because it includes no eggs, dairy, beef, chicken, corn, or wheat — common allergens that some dogs must avoid. Immune system health is supported by added antioxidants, along with vitamins and minerals for overall health.
Some dog owners claim that the recipe has changed recently, and now their dogs won’t eat the food anymore. It also has a fishy odor due to the salmon. Some dogs don’t like it the smell.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food for Small Dogs With Allergies
We know that choosing the right dog food for your small dog with allergies can be difficult. You want to make sure you’re giving your dog the best nutrition possible without triggering any allergic reactions. Here are a few things to remember to help make your decision easier.
Causes of Food Allergies
Allergies can develop in dogs at any age. It’s possible that a dog that has experienced no allergies for many years can suddenly become allergic to something that they’ve eaten their entire life.
A few of the most common allergens in dog foods are corn, dairy, beef, and wheat, although many dogs can develop allergies to poultry too.
Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
Knowing whether your dog has a food allergy or intolerance will help you decide which food is best for them. Intolerance means your dog can’t digest a certain ingredient in the food. This is similar to lactose intolerance in humans. People who can’t digest dairy products can feel sick after consuming them, and dogs can also feel sick after eating something that they cannot tolerate. Symptoms of an intolerance are vomiting, excessive flatulence, and diarrhea.
Allergies occur when the immune system recognizes an ordinary ingredient as harmful and uses antibodies to fight it. If a dog is allergic to beef, for example, eating beef will cause the immune system to release antibodies to try to protect the body. This usually results in skin rashes, itchiness, inflammation, and respiratory changes.
How Are Food Allergies Diagnosed?
The first step is to stop feeding your dog their regular food and start an elimination diet. This means your dog eats nothing except prescription food. No treats, snacks, table food, or anything else aside from the prescription diet are allowed.
This specialized food should relieve your dog of their symptoms. Once the symptoms clear up, you can feed your dog their regular food again. If the symptoms return once more, your vet can verify that they are allergic to an ingredient in that food and compare the ingredients in it to the ones in the prescription diet to find the culprit.
Once you’ve determined what your dog is allergic to, you can easily avoid having that ingredient in their food by browsing food labels.
Types of Food for Dogs With Allergies
If your dog has a grain allergy, a grain-free diet will be recommended. Be sure to speak with your vet about whether a grain-free diet is necessary or if you can just avoid a certain grain. In dog food, grains can provide nutrients that your dog needs, and some dogs should not avoid all grains. Talk to your vet about which food is right for your dog.
Limited-ingredient foods use just one protein and one carbohydrate source to limit allergic reactions. Since the ingredient list is small, you can easily browse it to see if it includes anything that your dog can’t eat. It’s also best to look for the Association of American Feed Control label and any food that says that it offers complete and balanced nutrition.
Uncommon protein sources have been used to offer dogs a tasty food without the protein that they are allergic to. Kangaroo, rabbit, venison, goat, and duck are a few examples. If your dog hasn’t had the protein before, they may not be allergic to it. Struggling to find a protein that won’t affect your dog can be difficult, so try to branch out and get something new if you’re having a problem with more common protein sources.
Prescription foods may be recommended by your vet. These diets are expensive and can only be purchased with your vet’s approval. In some cases, you may be able to purchase them from your vet’s office. These diets are usually recommended in cases of severe allergies.
Don’t Forget About Treats
Once you’ve selected the right food for your dog with allergies, it’s important to remember that they aren’t just allergic to the allergens in their regular food. If you’re feeding your dog treats with the allergens in them, they can still have allergic reactions.
For example, if your dog is allergic to chicken, they can’t eat chicken in treats or from your plate. They must avoid the allergen in everything that they consume to remain healthy and feel good.
The Ollie Fresh Chicken With Carrots Recipe is a dog food delivery service that uses fresh ingredients with low risks of allergens. It will need to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Dog Food is a good value choice, but the consistency can be mushy. It uses a single protein source. Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Care Dry Dog Food won’t spike blood sugar and has a high protein content from multiple sources. Canidae PURE Dry Puppy Food supports healthy puppy development with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin. The Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Dog Food is our vet’s pick and supports dogs with stomach issues and allergies by using a highly digestible recipe.
We hope that these reviews have helped you decide on the best food for your small dog with allergies today.