What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

Hypoallergenic dog food is dog food for dogs that are allergic to certain foods. Eating certain foods that dogs are allergic to can cause physical pain or other unwanted symptoms

Types of dog food allergies

First of all, it is important to note that food allergies and food intolerances are different. This is obvious for a human with either symptom, but many do not know the difference. Intolerance generally lead to less serious problems, often linked to digestive issues; vomiting and diarrhoea. An allergy on the other hand can be more severe of life-threatening.

Remember to always consult your vet if you are concerned about your dog. This blog post is not intended to give medical advice. If you think that your dog has an allergy, your vet can diagnose this.

There are 7 common food allergens that can cause problems for dogs.

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Soy


Beef is the most common allergen for dogs. However, this may be because it is the most common ingredient in dog food.


Just like humans, dogs can have difficulty digesting milk, cheese and ice cream – because apparently people feed ice cream to dogs? Who knew!


Wheat is a common ingredient in cheaper types of dog food. If you think your dog is allergic to wheat, be prepared for a slight jump in dog food expenses as meat based diets tend to be more expensive.


Lots of artificial flavourings and baking products contain yolk. This can mean certain baked dog biscuits are off the menu if your dog develops an allergy to egg.


Chicken is commonly found in wet foods and kibbles. Like any other allergen, your dog can develop an allergic reaction to a protein an trigger an immune response.


Lamb is an interesting allergy. Lamb was traditionally used as the go to hypoallergenic dog food. However, like any food, feeding your dog lamb over a long period of time can develop a lamb allergy.


Soy is found in dog food with the following ingredients:

  • Soybean meal
  • Soybean germ meal
  • Soy flour
  • Soy grits
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Soy isoflavones

Reading the contents on your dog food can identify which products contain soy.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has an Allergy

Your best bet if you think your dog may have an allergy is to visit your vet as soon as possible. Some common allergic responses can be:

  • Itching and scratching
  • Red eyes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hair loss
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Poor coat quality
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Hot spots or rashes from scratching
  • Scaly skin
  • Oily skin
  • Skin pigmentations
  • Leathery sin
  • Eye discharge

Best Types of Dog Food For Dogs With Allergies

There are hundreds of different brands for dogs with allergies. We won’t discuss individual brands here.

The two main types of dog foods to consider are:

  • Hypoallergenic dog food
  • Limited ingredient dog food

Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Hypoallergenic dog food is food that has been chemically altered, making the allergen less pronounced to the dog’s immune system.

This type of dog food is prescribed by a vet or bought over the coutner.

Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Limited ingredient dog food contain fewer ingredients. This helps you isolate certain ingredients as the cause of an allergy and buy dog food that does not contain the specific allergen your dog is reacting to.

This type of dog food is sold over the counter.