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What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

on August 27, 2021

We have put everything you need to know about hypoallergenic foods for dogs all in one place.

Hypoallergenic dog food so what it is? Hypoallergenic dog food is a diet formulated food for dogs that are allergic to normal dog food and is made with limited ingredients. It is made using a nutritious and whole ingredients that you may not always find in standard dog food. A hypoallergenic diet avoid any ingredients that are commonly linked to an allergy.

Hypoallergenic dog food is a diet that generally made with no artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives.

There are no set rules for specific ingredients that can or cannot to be included in hypoallergenic dog food but they should have a high level of natural sourced protein of meat or fish. This type of diet usually only has a single source of carbohydrates as even plants contain protein!

Before deciding to make major changes to your dogs diet, it maybe worth discussing with your local vet.

Food intolerances in dogs

The most common food allergy in dogs is protein.




The main proteins that are known to cause common food allergen in a dog include:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Chicken eggs
  • Soy or gluten (wheat)
  • Dairy products

Benefits of feeding a hypoallergenic dog food

  • Reduce the risk of your dog suffering from an allergy.
  • Feeding a good quality hypoallergenic dog food can help to minimise the risk of long term heath problems such as heart disease, digestive problems, itchy and dry skin or dermatitis, obesity, ear infections, arthritis, blocked anal glands, kidney ailments and more.
  • Save £ in the long run as the most common dog ailments tend to relate to the diet and vet bills are high.

Is there a difference between an allergy and intolerance?

Allergy is something that your dog will have had since being a puppy.

Intolerance is something that has developed however you could try a variation of the same recipe with a couple of differences in the ingredients such as if they were eating fish, perhaps try chicken.

How do I know if my dog needs hypoallergenic food?

The signs of an food allergy or sensitivity in a dog can vary however the most common signs of a dog showing signs of a food allergy include:

  • Poor / Itchy skin or coat - including rashes, swelling, tenderness
  • Digestive disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Aggression
  • Hyperactivity

Is hypoallergenic dog food the same as grain free?

The simple answer is no, as there are hypoallergenic food for dogs that contain grains in the ingredients. Grain free dog food should not contain grains in the ingredient list however it could still contain another ingredient that may cause a dog to suffer an allergic reaction. A grain free dog food can minimise the risk if they suffer from a food allergy however they usually cannot be considered to be completely hypoallergenic. To find out more about grain free, see our article all about grain-free pet food

 Tips for a hypoallergenic dog food

  • A fish based diet is usually best for dogs that suffer from itchy or dry skin as they are full of nutrients that support due to the natural fish oils.
  • It takes time to find the right dog food that suits your dog.
  • Using a single protein ingredient based food can help to isolate and identity the ingredient that your dog is allergic to.

Alternatives to hypoallergenic dog food

Every dog has different needs and whilst some dogs may encounter sensitive skin, digestive problems or another health condition not every brand of dog food will suit every dog. That's why we offer a variety of difference ranges of dog foods so that you can find one that is best suited for you and your dogs requirements. The difference ranges include grain free dog food and wheat free dog food.

What ingredients make hypoallergenic dog food?

Usually, the formula will be limited to:

  • One protein source
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fat

Will usually have nutrients such as:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin A & E
  • Zinc
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibre

Generally, a hypoallergenic dog food is free from:

  • Wheat
  • Maize
  • Dairy Products
  • Soya
  • Artificial Additives

Despite the ingredients being limited in a dog diet being hypoallergenic, they should still provide all the necessary nutrients to meet a dogs requirements.


Choosing a dog food

Your dog deserves the best food available and it is really down to personal choice to suit. Ultimately, its important that your dog enjoys their food, gets good nutrition for a healthy and happy dog life. Feeding guides in the quantity you need to feed your dog do vary by manufacturer so its important to always check the recommendations and adjust accordingly. Also, if you choose to feed both a wet and dry dog food diet, remember to check the manufacturers feeding guide.

There are different types of dog food available including dry or wet.

Dry dog food usually come in the forms of kibbles, biscuit or pellet.

Wet dog food may come in a gravy sauce or contain chunks of jelly.

 The main points to consider include:

  • High quality ingredients
  • Limited ingredient list with a high meat content
  • Consider your dogs age, breed and activity level
  • Check whether it is a complete or complementary. A complete one can meet your dogs needs on its own whereas a complementary food needs to be supplemented with another food.
  • Cheaper foods tend to have lower quality ingredients that are not as easy to digest which means you may end up feeding more food
  • Consider whether they require a special diet such as hypoallergenic or grain free options


Switching to a hypoallergenic dog food

When you are changing over from your original dog food, it is important to do introduce this process gradually. We would usually recommend that you introducing a new dog food gradually over a period of approx a week. Its important to check the daily feeding guide from the manufacturer as every brand and food can be slightly different.

How long does it take for food allergy to go away?

If your dog is suffering from a food related allergic reaction, by making sure your dog does not eat food that contains the problem ingredient, a reductions in the signs of reaction such as scratching should reduce by approx 50% within the first four weeks however it may take up to 12 weeks.

Here at My Pets Supply, we offer a wide range of hypoallergenic dog food brands, grain free food for dogs, gluten free dog food. To see what dog food that is available on the menu for dinner, click here.

1 comment
by Patricia Hughes on March 30, 2023

Thank you, a clear and concise explanation, to help me understand what is causing my dogs stomach problems.

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