A Pet Parent’s Guide to Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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corgi with bowl of the best dog food for allergies

As a pet parent, one of the most significant investments that you could make into your furbaby’s life is the choice of diet for them. Nutrition can make a massive impact on their lives. So when it comes to considering an allergy or intolerance, your pet’s life is in your hands. Enter limited ingredient dog food.

A lot of the time, the solution can be a simple change in their dry dog food. Limited ingredient and grain-free dog food offer a natural balance of simple ingredients, without missing out on any vitamins, nutrients, or minerals. Put an end to food allergies once and for all.

A Look at the Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food Brands

“Limited” should not mean insufficient. When choosing grain free or limited ingredient dog food for your furbaby, you want their new diet to provide the necessary natural probiotics, vitamins and minerals. Natural, easily digestible ingredients should be given all the glory in these packages. 

Here is our favorite selection of limited ingredient dog food that you’ll find on the market:

Natural Balance Dog Food

Natural Balance has focused on wet and dry dog food for adult dogs that contains a single animal protein and a source of fiber, such as potatoes or sweet potatoes. Choose between their grain-free options or go for the meals that include brown rice, the grain that is least likely to cause allergies.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food$69.99
Formulated with a limited list of premium protein and carbohydrate sources, our L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets dog food can help you to systematically specify your dog’s sources of protein and carbohydrates.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Blue Buffalo‘s Basics range has steered clear of the proteins that are most likely to cause digestive issues in your pet, namely chicken and beef. They also avoid corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or eggs, making it a good option for dogs with food sensitivities. Single protein options include salmon, deboned turkey, duck, and lamb. This really is a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet$54.99
Using only one high-quality protein such as real turkey, salmon, duck or lamb, is the foundation of a limited-ingredient diet and can help dogs avoid adverse food reactions.

dog on scale needing the best limited ingredient dog food

Nutro Dog Food

“Ten ingredients or less,” that is the promise of Nutro. Non-GMO ingredients are carefully sourced from trusted farmers and suppliers to fill your dog’s bowl with the best of nature’s variety. They choose key ingredients to transform your dog’s dry and flakey skin to be soft and hydrated. If your pooch needs a makeover, then Nutro will do just that.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food$57.99
Crafted to avoid ingredients that commonly cause food sensitivities: no chicken, beef, or dairy protein, no corn, wheat, or soy protein, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Instinct Dog Food

This one-of-a-kind brand believes that food in its purest form is the best for your pet’s health. Raw food is untainted by heat and the cooking process. While you may be wondering how dry dog food can be “raw,” Instinct has achieved this through their unique method of freeze-drying raw pieces of meat.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe Natural Dog Food & Toppers$59.99
The ingredient list is purposefully simple for pets with food sensitivities. It focuses on one animal protein and one vegetable — versus the mix of each you'll find in most pet foods.

They have selected animal proteins that are easily digestible and provide all of the essential amino acids to thrive. The uncompromised nutrition and flavor will keep Fido coming back for more. 

Rachael Ray Dog Food

Needing a simple diet for your pup, but not able to fork out for expensive options? Racheal Ray Nutrish offers the best value for money with their Just 6 range of limited ingredient dry kibble.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food$8.49
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Grain Free Turkey Meal & Pea Recipe is made with just six simple, natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals. Turkey Meal is the #1 ingredient, followed by five other wholesome ingredients. This grain free recipe never contains any corn, wheat, soy or gluten ingredients. And there's never any poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors, colors or artificial preservatives.

Choose between the grain-free turkey meal or delicious lamb. As the name would imply, six natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals form this high-quality dog food. Wholesome vegetable fibers, carbohydrates, and natural fats and flavoring enrich the meal to make it appealing for even the fussiest of dogs. 

Purina Dog Food

If you want variety, then Purina Dog Food’s Beyond Brand is the one for your furry family member. They offer canned dog food or dry grain-free food to keep your furbaby completely satisfied. And if that’s not enough, they’ve also put some treats on the market so that you avoid spoiling your pup with biscuits that might compromise their digestive health.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Dry Dog Food$36.90
Offer your dog a grain-free option at mealtime with Purina Beyond Grain Free White Meat Chicken & Egg Recipe adult dry dog food. This recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals to provide a complete and balanced meal for your adult dog. With real chicken as the first ingredient, this dry dog food recipe features tender, protein-rich shreds for a great taste and wholesome goodness. Go beyond natural pet food to serve him a meal made without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

A specially sourced protein is the main ingredient in their food, and they’ve successfully avoided anything that would aggravate a food intolerance.

AvoDerm Dog Food

AvoDerm encourages variety in your furball’s diet. By feeding your pup AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu, your pet is less likely to develop an intolerance to one specific ingredient. Feed your dog some duck today and lamb tomorrow without worrying about any nasty allergy symptoms. While one protein is the hero, their meals also praise omega-rich avocados. This superfood’s fatty acids will transform your dog’s dull and dry coat into luscious locks.

Rated 4.00/5.00 by Certapet
AvoDerm Natural Duck Recipe$49.99
Just like humans, dogs want variety too! Serve up some protein variety with AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu duck recipe adult dry dog food without worrying about upsetting your dog's stomach. AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu dog food was created especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs. When your dog has food sensitivities or a potential food allergy, knowing exactly what’s in their food is important. Luckily, our limited ingredient diet adult dog food recipes make it simple to know you're feeding your dog all natural premium ingredients. We keep our list of ingredients short to ensure only high quality proteins and essential vitamins and minerals are provided in your dog's diet.

beagle with dog allergies scratching

Wellness Dog Food

Wellness is committed to making a difference in the world and also in your pet’s food bowl. As with other dog food brands, Wellness has a Simple Range for pets that need a simpler diet. They offer grain-free foods with a unique protein source as their first ingredient. By avoiding the commonly used chicken and beef, your sensitive dog will be exposed to animal proteins that are less irritable on their digestive systems. Flaxseeds and canola oil provide omega fatty acids for a transformed skin and coat.

Rated 4.50/5.00 by Certapet
Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Dry Limited Ingredient Dog Food$61.89
Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is healthy, natural limited ingredient diet dog food formulated for allergy prone adult dogs or adult dogs with food sensitivities, allergies or ingredient intolerances. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet dog food formulas keep it simple with a balance of single source of protein and easily digestible carbohydrates, without extra fillers or additives, including no meat by products, wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.

Which Dogs Need Hypoallergenic Dog Food

A dog of any breed or age could develop an allergy or intolerance to something in their diet. Large dog breeds are more susceptible to digestive problems, and a hypoallergenic diet could help ease any stomach issues. Irish Setters have been known to suffer from a congenital disease that results in glucose intolerance. West Highland White terriers and Cocker Spaniels are also more likely to develop food allergies and could benefit from hypoallergic dog food.

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy and is struggling with the related symptoms, speak to your vet. 

What the Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food Brands Have in Common

Out with the bad and in with the good! When looking at the limited ingredient dog foods on the market, the common thread is that they contain only one, rarely used, high-quality protein source. Generally, they avoid offending ingredients like wheat, corn, soy, dairy, eggs, artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives.

Limited Ingredient Dog Food: The Best Dog Food for Allergies

Uncovering the irritant that causes allergies in your pooch can be a tedious task. There are so many possible causes – parasites, fleas, environmental conditions, and even your cat! Food is the culprit for only 10 to 15 percent of dog allergies. Visit your veterinarian and get your furbaby tested through an elimination trial. From there, you can decide what diet is best for them.

Four Other Health Problems a Limited Dog Diet is Good For

  • Gastrointestinal tract issues
  • Pancreatitis – low fat and bland diets are best for treating the inflamed pancreas
  • Skin issues
  • Diarrhea, loose stools, sensitive stomachs.

spaniel sitting at table with bowl of hypoallergenic dog food

You Can Try Some Homemade Dog Food Recipes!

If you fail to trust commercial dog foods and the possible presence of artificial flavors or filler grains, then grab your chef hat and get cooking. Homemade dog food is easier to prepare than you’d think, and making a meal for your furry family members will take away the guesswork of what they are consuming. It’s a labor of love that will reward you with fewer veterinary bills.

If you choose to go this route, speak to your vet about your dog’s diet and what ingredients to include for balanced nutrition. Consulting your vet should be the first port of call when your dog’s health is a concern. Find a veterinarian near you and book an appointment. Make mealtime a tail-wagging event!

Common Questions on Limited Ingredient Dog Food

What can cause an allergic reaction in my pet?

How is a limited ingredient dog food better than others?

Are there any limited ingredient treats for my dog?

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