Best Dog Food for Sensitive Skin & Allergies in Puppies

Let’s face it, finding a meal that is sure to satisfy your dog is challenging. Imagine the amount of stress involved in finding the best dog food for allergies or sensitive skin that can also satisfy your dog.  

Just like humans, dogs can have allergies or even sensitive skin that can cause rashes, itching, and swelling. It is just as uncomfortable and painful to puppies and dogs as it is to humans.

If your dog has any type of allergic reaction, the first thing you need to do is take it to your veterinarian so the right diagnosis can be made.

Allergies are almost impossible to figure out on your own, so don’t hesitate to enlist the help of your veterinarian so that together, you can come up with the right meal plan for your furry family member.

In a hurry? Click the links below leading to for 10 of the best dog food for puppies and adult dogs with allergies or sensitive skin that we always recommend to our daily readers.

Types of Dog Food for Sensitive Skin

Dogs can be allergic to almost anything, including foods, which is why there are numerous companies that make special dog food for dogs with allergies to any type of food. More often than not, dog food for sensitive skin and allergies comes in one of two types:

  • Dog food that has fewer or limited ingredients. In other words, because there are fewer ingredients in the food, it is much easier to pinpoint what the dog may be allergic to. Dog food with limited ingredients can be purchased over the counter without a need for a prescription or a visit to the vet.
  • Hypoallergenic dog food. This is a specialized type of dog food that is usually prescribed by a veterinarian. Sometimes, pet parents can order this food themselves by going directly online. Usually, this type of dog food is made by using proteins that are chemically “split” so that they are in basic amino acid form. They are not complex and, therefore, they are essentially “invisible” to the dog’s immune system.

When you shop and purchase dog food made for dogs who have allergies, the manufacturer will usually tell you which type of food it is.

You should still speak to your vet about what he or she recommends for your dog in particular, since all dogs are different and deserve to have a personalized diet plan.

By talking to your vet, you’ll know for sure which type of dog food is right for your pet.

How can you tell if your dog is allergic to food?

dog food for sensitive skin & allergies
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If you’re unsure if your dog has any type of food allergies, check to see if it has the following symptoms after eating their food:

  • Shaking its head or pawing at its ears
  • Obsessive licking, scratching, or biting at the skin and paws
  • Any type of rashes or hives
  • Frequent infections, especially around the ear area
  • Any itching experienced outside of season
  • Hair on the back, stomach, paws, or bottom that is all chewed up

Your dog may also vomit and have belly problems such as gas, diarrhea, or nausea.

There are many types of allergies, including food, non-food, and environmental, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell which allergy is affecting your dog.

Once again, this is why a visit to the vet’s office is so important, because he or she will let you know for certain which type of allergy your dog has.

Allergies are essentially intolerances to certain plant and animal substances.

More often than not, the substances are proteins. For one reason or another, the dog’s body considers the protein a threat of some type and automatically reacts as such.

Rarely, both dogs and humans can have allergies that are so bad they result in damage to internal organs, severe illness, and even death.

If you’re curious which breeds of dogs have the most food allergies, that “honor” goes to American bulldogs, bull terriers, Cocker spaniels, French bulldogs, German Shepherds, and Labradors.

It doesn’t mean that every dog of these breeds is going to have allergies, but it’s wise to keep track of their diet if you have one of these breeds to make sure it doesn’t have an allergy of some type.

What to Look for in Your Dog Food

There are also certain ingredients that are most likely to cause allergic reactions in pets, and they include the following:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Gluten
  • Pork
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Yeast

There are other potential allergens as well, including rice, potatoes, rye, and a variety of grains.

If you decide to switch your dog to a limited ingredient dog food or hypoallergenic dog food, feed it to your dog for 8 to 12 weeks and watch carefully to see if it has any reactions.

In four to six weeks, you should see at least a reduction in symptoms. During this time frame, it’s best not to introduce any new foods or even give the dog supplements, because that may make it difficult to tell if the dog is allergic to something in the dog food or some ingredient in the supplements.

After the dog’s symptoms disappear, you can gradually reintroduce one food at a time that was previously eliminated, then wait for two weeks to see if any symptoms reappear.

If the symptoms do not reappear, it’s likely that that particular protein wasn’t to blame for your dog’s symptoms.

Just make sure that when introducing any new food, you introduce it alone and with no other food, and that you give it a few weeks to see how the dog reacts to it.

The Best Dog Food for Sensitive Skin & Allergies in Puppies

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If you’re looking for the best dog food for sensitive skin and allergies, it’s good to be familiar with a few of them. Below is a list of 10 dog foods that will likely help your dog eliminate any allergic reactions it’s having now.

1. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon and Potato

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Available in both 10.5- and 24-lb. sizes, this dog food is made for puppies, adult dogs, and all breeds. It is gluten-free, all-natural, grain-free, and contains a single source of animal protein along with healthy carbs and absolutely no fillers.

With this dog food, you won’t need any other supplemental foods because Wellness Simple provides everything your dog needs to stay healthy and strong for a lifetime.

In addition to salmon and potato, this food comes in flavors that include turkey and potato, lamb and oatmeal, salmon and peas (for a healthy weight), duck and oatmeal, and whitefish and potato.

It also has the perfect balance of carbs, fat, and protein to provide your dog with excellent nutrition day after day.

Best of all, this brand of dog food consists of both grained and grain-free options, so even if your dog has no allergies, you can still offer it top-notch nutrition every time.

Yet another reason to purchase the Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient dog food is that it is all made in the USA in a state-of-the-art facility using ingredients that have each been chosen for their nutritional value.

It is also a non-GMO food, providing you with the nutrition all pet owners want for their dogs.

2. Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Alkaline Holistic Dog Food

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This dog food comes in bags of three different sizes and is available in chicken and brown rice, chicken and pearl millet, chicken for puppies, lamb and pearl millet, venison and split pea, duck and chickpea, chicken and split pea, and herring and split pea.

With this much variety, you are bound to find one that your dog will love, and because it is made with the perfect ratio of protein, fat, and carbs, your dog will get expert nutrition every time you feed it.

This holistic dry dog food is free of gluten, wheat, potatoes, tapioca, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs, and it is a non-GMO food to boot.

You can feed it to all breeds of dogs and there are no fillers nor anything artificial that your dog simply doesn’t need.

In addition, Canine Caviar dog food is easy to digest and has tons of nutrients in the perfect balance to keep your dog healthy and strong for the rest of its life.

This is not only a limited ingredient dog food, but also a hypoallergenic one.

The bags come in 4.4-, 11-, and 22-lb. sizes that will accommodate dogs with all nutritional needs, and it is suitable for puppies all the way up to older dogs.

3. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

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You can get a case of 12 cans of this wet dog food for around $35, so it is both a nutritious and an economical way to provide your dog with the best nutrition possible.

It comes in five different flavors that include duck, chicken, beef, lamb, and turkey, and it is formulated for dogs with allergies or just sensitive stomachs.

It is a potato-free food that also contains neither soy nor any type of grains.

Cooked in the USA and packaged in a state-of-the-art facility in Texas, Merrick Limited Ingredient dog foods come in pull-tab cans for easy opening and even easier storage, and the balanced nutrition provided in each can guarantees your dog will receive expert nutrition without any fillers or preservatives.

Made without any unnecessary ingredients, Merrick wet dog foods have the perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

The single-source proteins mean easier digestion for your dog regardless of its age or breed, so you can always feel good about giving your dog this food.

4. Earthborn Venture Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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Earthborn Venture dry dog food comes in flavors such as Alaska Pollock meal and pumpkin, smoked wild boar and butternut squash, rabbit meal and pumpkin, smoked turkey and butternut squash, squid and chickpeas, and duck meal and pumpkin.

In fact, the list of ingredients it doesn’t have is much larger than the list of ingredients it has, but even though the ingredients are limited, each of them is filled with the vitamins and minerals your dog thrives on.

This dog food has no grains, potatoes, eggs, gluten, fillers, colorants, byproducts, or artificial preservatives.

The vitamins and minerals include manganese, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants, as well as vitamins C, A, and E.

More than 95% of the protein in these dog foods comes from the main ingredients, and even the bags are good for you because they are both BPA-free and recyclable.

This dog food even comes with taurine for your dog’s heart health and the meat sources are always manufactured in USA family-owned plants throughout the Midwest.

It also comes in the perfect proportions of protein, fat, and fiber to meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs.

5. Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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Not only is this a nutritious and tasty dog food, it is also made for all breeds and for dogs of all sizes and ages.

It comes in four flavors – chicken meal, lamb meal, turkey, and turkey and chicken – and it has a fat-to-protein ratio of around 50%. It also has the perfect combination of fat, protein, and carbs, and it includes olive oil for heart health and canola oil for healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

Made for all breeds and all ages of dogs, the Tuscan Natural Simply Pure dog food has grain in it in the form of nutritious brown rice, and it is consistently given a minimum of four stars in reviews from real-life customers on sites such as Amazon and others.

The chelated minerals make the dog food super easy to absorb, and it is also “enthusiastically recommended” and rated very high by both the experts and customers alike.

If you want a super-nutritious, yummy-tasting dog food for your puppy or adult dog who has sensitivity and allergy issues, this is a great option for you.

It is made with only high-quality ingredients for the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and the “meals” in this dog food are concentrated with far more protein than regular meat sources.

6. Canidae Grain-Free Pure Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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This is a great dog food for sensitive skin that is grain-free and made for adult dogs only. It comes in a total of 11 different flavors, one of which is made for puppies even though the others are only for adult dogs.

The flavors include chicken for puppies, bison, chicken, salmon, lamb, duck, wild boar, chicken for seniors, chicken for weight management, chicken for small breeds, and a lamb/goat/venison combination.

This dog food, in our opinion, is the best dry dog food for sensitive skin.

This is a dry dog food with no buckwheat or other grains and is available in four bag sizes, offering bags from 4 lbs. to 24 lbs. in size.

It is a whole-food product that has the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to give your pet the perfect combination so it can grow and thrive for many years to come.

Made with only 7 to 10 ingredients per bag, this truly is a limited ingredient dog food that can immediately eliminate any type of tummy problems your dog is having due to sensitivity issues.

With Canidae Pure dog food, feeding your sensitive pet just got a lot easier for both your dog and its owner, providing both of you with the peace of mind you deserve.

7. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Dog Food

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How can you go wrong with a dog food made by Purina?

The Pro Plan Veterinary Diets dog food is a hypoallergenic dog food that you can get without a prescription.

For dogs that have allergies and sensitive stomachs, this dog food gets the majority of its protein from hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, and its grain-free ingredients provide the perfect combination of fats, protein, and carbs to keep your dog’s tummy feeling better and giving it the nutrition it needs to grow and thrive.

This dog food comes in around 18 different types, some of which include gastroenteric, joint mobility, overweight management, neuro care, and kidney function.

It is easy to digest and has a simple low-allergen carbohydrate source that greatly reduces the possibility of your dog being sensitive to it and getting a reaction to it. It has vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and zinc for heart health, skin health, and a whole lot more.

Feeding your sensitive or allergy-ridden dog doesn’t have to be complicated. Once again, Purina has shown its high regard for top-notch dog foods made to meet the unique needs of dogs that have shown reactions to allergies in the past.

8. Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

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The hydrolyzed soy protein in the Royal Canin Veterinary Diets dog food ensures there will be no sensitivity to it once your dog eats it, and there are several basic blends to choose from, including food for adult dogs, small breed dogs, gastrointestinal help, and extra fiber, among others.

There are additional Omega-3 fatty acids added for heart health, and the chelated minerals make it super easy and fast for your pet to absorb.

The Royal Canin dry dog food has rice as a simple starch source for added nutrition and an easier digestive process, as well as ingredients to improve your dog’s skin, coat, and digestive system.

It also has the right combination of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to help your dog grow and thrive for many years to come and stay healthy and strong the entire time.

Best of all, this dog food is great for all breeds and dogs of all ages, and the protein, fats, and carbs are perfectly balanced to give your sensitive pet just what it needs to stay healthy and none of the things it doesn’t need.

9. Brothers Complete Advanced Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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The Brothers Complete Advanced dry dog food comes in flavors that include turkey meal and egg, lamb meal and egg, goat meal and egg, chicken meal and egg, and venison meal and egg, so as you can see, there is an awful lot of protein in this product.

It is both grain-free and potato-free and it is non-GMO to boot.

It has digestive enzymes to make it easy to digest, as well as several probiotics for the prevention of certain illnesses.

With this dog food, over 90% of the protein comes from animal sources, and it is made for all breeds of dogs and for dogs of all ages.

The fat-to-protein ratio is roughly 42%, and the whole dried eggs, peas, and cassava root give it a boost of specialized nutrition that all pets need to thrive.

This dog food consistently gets five stars from customers on sites such as Amazon, and when it comes to dog food for sensitive skin and allergies, this is priceless.

If you have a dog that is sensitive or even allergic to certain foods, it’ll love the Brothers Complete dry dog food because it has tons of vitamins and minerals but nothing that can harm it or which it doesn’t need.

10. Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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This canned wet dog food is made for all breeds of dogs and dogs of all ages, from puppies to older adult dogs.

It is available in a total of 13 different flavors and has the perfect combination of fats, protein, and carbs so your dog will grow and thrive. Not only is this a grain-free dog food but it is also free of ingredients such as soy, dairy, corn, wheat, chicken, chicken eggs, and chicken byproducts.

If you want your dog to stay active, energetic, and healthy for many years to come, it needs the right nutrition, and this is especially true when your dog is sensitive to certain foods.

This isn’t just a high-protein dog food but one that is easy to serve and easy for your dog to digest.

It is never made with fillers or unnecessary ingredients, and it is a hypoallergenic food as well as a limited ingredient food.

The Zignature line of limited ingredient dog foods come in flavors such as turkey, goat, venison, trout and salmon, duck, pork, lamb, catfish, and even unique flavors that include kangaroo and guinea fowl.

It is an exceptional dog food that will help your dog stay strong and healthy for the rest of its life.


Each of these brands has its own pros and cons, but there is something out there for every dog with an allergy or a sensitive stomach.

If you do your research, you can come up with the right one for your dog, thanks in part to the number of products now available to pet parents.

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