Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food Reviews for 2018

While for most dog owners picking out a premium dog food that has limited ingredients might sound counter-intuitive, there are some very good reasons why you would want to avoid some elements that are often found in both dry kibble and wet dog food. These ingredients are generally not harmful to most dogs, but if your dog has an intolerance or even an allergy, to some substances it can be detrimental for them to ingest even a small amount.

In the case that your furry companion has developed a protein allergy, or is allergic to some other ingredient, you will need to find products that don’t contain that whatsoever. As to make this type of diet as accessible to every budget as possible, dog food manufacturers have created products that have very simple ingredients lists. These products usually contain only the basic necessities that a dog can have with as little supplements and additional substances, while still having the appropriate nutritional value so that they can provide enough energy for your canine friend.

There are as many options on the market as there are types of allergies, some products rise above the rest. These are the ones that have the high-quality protein that is uncommon in regular dog food and contains no grains such as wheat, soy, or corn. Additionally, some dog foods include herbs and supplements that add to the taste and texture of the food, which are avoided in limited ingredient dog food.

Simple, safe, and satisfying is the goal of this type of dog food, and you should ensure that your precious puppy still gets to play and enjoy good quality food even if they have allergies and intolerances.

What are Canine Allergies?

Dog allergies are quite similar to human allergies and are caused in exactly the same way. An allergy is a severe response of the immune system to a substance that is generally not harmful to the organism in any way. An allergy can be caused in two ways, which usually come in different life stages, one being underexposure, the other being overexposure.

An allergic response that comes from underexposure is something that usually stricken adult dogs and senior dogs when they come into contact with new types of food that they haven’t seen before and can come from dry food such as kibble and wet pet food alike. When your dog eats something they have never ingested previously, there is a chance that the immune system confuses the meal with something unwanted, reacting violently. This can happen with both animal protein and other ingredients, as food allergies are not solely reliant to either genetics or general health, but rather to the environment that the dog has grown up in.

Triggering an allergic response that is due to overexposure usually happens to puppies and younger dogs, as it is possible for them to ingest a substance that they have yet to develop a tolerance. This means that even a small amount of something really common such as ground beef can trigger a reaction if it is given before the puppy is ready to eat such food. Additionally, as dogs are not nearly as omnivorous as humans, they already have an intolerance to most products consumed by us. This means that most dogs will develop multiple allergies where you will need to find foods that have none of the ingredients that can harm their system.

Finally, there is a genetic component to the immune system, and there is a slight chance that a problem would exist even if you have fed your four-legged friend with the best possible products and with the utmost care.

If you suspect that your dog has allergies, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible and have the dog tested. A simple prick test would determine exactly to which substances the dog is allergic to and provide you with better insight into what to look for when searching for pet supplies.

The Difference between Allergies and Intolerance

Although these two issues are commonly mixed in together due to both having a lot to do with nutrition, result wise they are nothing alike. Allergies are a response, and often a very violent one at that, from the immune system that can have severe consequences on the body. Even a small amount of substances a dog is allergic to can cause issues such as rashes, itching, nausea, diarrhea, or even asphyxiation.

Food intolerance is a much milder problem, as this only suggests that the digestive system of the canine is unable to process the food and draw any nutrients from it. As dogs are carnivores, this intolerance includes most grains such as soy, corn, or wheat, as the dog lacks the proper enzymes to dissolve some simple carbohydrates into any molecules that can build adenosine triphosphate, and would usually just excrete the food in the same way they would ingest it, with a net loss in energy. Eating foods that they are unable to digest would usually make the dog have less energy, be generally drowsy, as well as gaseous. As adenosine triphosphate is the fuel that powers all heterotrophic living beings (those which eat other living beings to survive) any lack of this substance will just starve the organism.

In the end, while food intolerances are generally not good for the dog, it is not directly detrimental to the dog’s health in the same way as an allergy is. If you are able to find a product that contains something that your dog might be intolerant to, such as peas or sweet potatoes, you may still feed it to your four-legged friend if there are enough of other ingredients that they can consume. If there is an ingredient in the product that your dog is allergic to, you should avoid that product completely.

Common Dog Allergies

As the most common foods we give to our dogs are also very common in human cuisine, it is not strange that we share most of our food allergies. Primarily this encompasses dairy, especially cow milk, as well as eggs and fish. Additionally, many dogs don’t only have food intolerances but are actually allergic to wheat and soy and can have very violent reactions to any pet foods that contain these products.

Lastly, some dogs can develop an allergy to animal protein, which can easily include high-quality meat such as ground beef or rabbit, and in these cases, pet owners will need to find some new protein sources to feed their dogs properly. In these cases finding a product that has a novel protein as not only the main ingredient but as the only source of protein is the only option if you want to ensure the longevity of your furry friend.

What is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

Hypoallergenic dog food is aimed to provide ample nutrition to the dog while excluding ingredients that they might be allergic to. This type of pet food comes in two varieties, the first being formulae that omit a specific component, such as chicken or beef, but still has all the vitamins and minerals found in many other products. This can be a good option if your dog has only a single allergy, and you know exactly which allergy it is.

The second type is a much more common limited ingredient dog food that focuses on a small list of nutrition sources, as to reduce the risk of a reaction. This option for thedog’s diet is usually less expensive and much safer overall but would need some supplements eventually, as it would lack those essential minerals and oligo-elements that are only found in a wide variety diet.

The 5 Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food

While there are some canned food options for dogs with allergies, these usually need some additional ingredients to preserve the texture of the food, meaning that dry food such as kibble is often a much safer option.

Additionally, it is important for the dry food to have natural ingredients and to be completely grain free. High-quality dog food is also expected to retain significant nutritional value and to keep the dog in tip-top condition as well as not to harm their immune system.

1. Blue Buffalo Basics

Sale
BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Grain Free Turkey & Potato Dry Dog Food 24-lb
  • Packaging May Vary
  • Contains one (1) 24-lb bag of BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Turkey & Potato

Last update on 2018-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Blue Buffalo is known as a pet food manufacturer that has a wide range of options when it comes to specialized high-quality dog food. This formula contains a very short list of ingredients including solely deboned turkey as the source of animal protein, as well as pumpkin and peas to ease digestion and provide a source of fiber. The product also contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, as well as vitamins C and E.

The Basics formula from Blue Buffalo doesn’t contain any: Chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives.

Intended for: Adult Dogs

Pros:

  • A very short list of ingredients
  • A good source of fiber
  • A good choice for novel protein
  • Highly nutritional

Cons:

  • Turkey might not be a novel protein for many dogs
  • Free range turkey can contain high amounts of iron and lead

 

2. AvoDerm Natural Dog Food

AvoDerm Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula, 30-Pounds
  • One (1) 30 Pound Bag: AvoDerm Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula
  • PROMOTES HEALTHY SKIN & COAT: Premium dry dog food made with California avocados to promote healthy skin, coat, immune system and overall health

Last update on 2018-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If a protein can be considered novel is determined more by region than by anything else. While southwestern states such as Georgia or Alabama might see poultry as the most common meat, places like Oklahoma usually consume much more beef than anything else, and this diet usually falls down to dogs as well. AvoDerm focused their formula on chicken meal and brown rice while adding any additional protein in a truly unique way, by using avocado.

This makes this product not only an excellent source of protein but also quite rich in fiber and vitamins, while using only natural ingredients in their dry food.

Intended for:Adult Dogs

Pros:

  • Good source of protein
  • Contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Avocados are a good source of vitamins and minerals

Cons:

  • Chicken is not a novel protein for most dogs
  • Some dogs, especially in FCI 1 (such as German Shepherds) can be intolerant to avocados

 

3. Addiction Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Addiction Wild Kangaroo & Apples Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 20 lb.
  • PET FOOD'S BEST KEPT SECRET - The freshest kangaroo on the market comes from Australia and is processed in nearby New Zealand. This is quality dog food at its...
  • WHOLESOME GOODNESS - Made from Australias' Wild Kangaroo with the sweet tang of apples that boost immune system for improved overall health and vitality of...

Last update on 2018-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Although we can assume that this wouldn’t be a novel protein for a dingo, for us in the United States, you can hardly find a more exotic ingredient than the kangaroo. This type of meat is totally uncommon in both human and animal food, and it would be virtually impossible that your dog has tried kangaroo meat without you knowing.

Additionally, this formula relies more on berries and fruits to up the nutritional value, as it includes mango, papaya blueberries, cranberries, and a healthy dose of apples.

In this case, an apple a day keeps the veterinary doctor away.

Intended for: Dogs of all ages

Pros:

  • One of the most novel proteins available
  • Excellent source of vitamins
  • Good source of fiber from peas

Cons:

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Doesn’t contain any omega 3 fatty acids

 

4. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food

Sale
Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Deboned Turkey & Lentils Recipe, 24-Pound Bag
  • GRAIN FREE: grain free, complete and balanced everyday nutrition for your dog.
  • QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Nutritious and delicious recipe, made with quality ingredients and premium protein from real turkey.

Last update on 2018-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While it is uncommon to refer to something as ‘’a safe option” in a positive way, when it comes to food that is intended not to trigger a reaction this is just the thing you are looking for. Made from deboned turkey as the main ingredient, this product aims to improve your dog’s health and wellbeing as much as safeguard it. With probiotics, oligo-elements and a healthy dose of vitamins to assist the very short list of ingredients, this is a good option for most dogs and most dog owners.

Intended for:Adult dogs

Pros:

  • Contains just turkey as the animal protein
  • Contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains natural probiotics to help the dog’s immune system
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Turkey is a common protein for some dogs
  • Contains dried Bacillus Licheniformis, which some dogs are allergic to

 

5. Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Sale
Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Dry Limited Ingredient Dog Food, Turkey & Potato, 10.5-Pound Bag
  • LIMITED INGREDIENT DIET: Formulated to be easily digestible with fewer ingredients for dogs with food sensitivities, allergies or ingredient intolerances
  • SINGLE PROTEIN: Starts with a single source protein from real, high quality turkey and mixes in easily digestible carbohydrates for complete, balanced nutrition

Last update on 2018-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The key word in this product is ‘’simple”, as it mostly contains deboned turkey and potatoes, with a little flaxseed on the side to add omega 3 fatty acids and improve digestion. The formula from Wellness focuses on the single protein source with simple carbohydrates to add to the overall nutritional value. It contains chicory root as well, which can be very beneficial to the digestive system as a probiotic and is almost never an allergen itself.

Intended for: Adult dogs

Pros:

  • Very simple formula
  • Good source of fiber
  • Easily digestible

Cons:

  • Turkey as a sole protein
  • Not as protein-rich as some other formulas

 

Conclusion

Being an owner of a dog with allergies is not an easy task. As with any household member, you will need to understand their medical issues and approach them in the right way as to ensure the health and well-being of your canine companion. Using a limited ingredient dog food is the best option in this case, but you will still need to know the exact substances that your dog is allergic to as to avoid them, as well as to consider all the possible supplements that you would need to add to the dog’s diet. It is always recommended to ask your vet about the best possible option and the pathways you can take to let your dog live a long and fulfilling life even with their condition.

Study the options carefully and consider which of the products would be best for your dog, and make sure to observe the dog carefully while you are changing their diet, as to be well prepared for all outcomes.