What Should I Look For When Buying Dog Food
If you want to know if a dog food is nutritionally complete, with a healthy balance of protein, fat, and fiber, look for an Association of American Feed Control Officials statement on the packages reading label or on the brands website. AAFCO is not a regulatory body, but they set recommendations for nutrient content for dog food creators to use as a guideline to make sure the food has everything a dog would need, Dr. Kimmselstiel explains.
In addition to protein, fat, and fiber, a healthy, high-quality dog food should also contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, Lori Prantil, MPS, DVM, DACVIM, with VCA South Shore Animal Hospital, tells SELF: These components are needed to build and maintain tissue and carry out biological reactions, and the necessary amounts can vary somewhat with the dog’s stage of life. If you want to know those correct amounts, again, get in touch with your trusty vet.
Limited Ingredient Dog Foods Faqs
It is not possible to cover everything about limited ingredient dog foods in one blog post. Therefore, you may still have questions to ask. So, the following are some questions that appear on almost every dog forum.
What is the Best Dog Food for Dogs with Allergies?
The best dog food for allergies depends on the type of allergy your dog has. Food allergies in dogs are hard to identify. The symptoms of food allergies are pretty similar to indigestion which may not be the work of an allergy.So, before you start looking for hypoallergenic food for your dog, you need to pinpoint the source of this allergy. Of course, there are many alternative foods on the market that dont have common allergens. But even if these allergens arent present on the label, although, in minute quantities, they may still be in the end product.As a result, even if you were to give your dog hypoallergenic dog food, they may still show an allergic reaction. Therefore, the best course of action is to stop experimenting with different food brands and go pay a visit to the vet to figure everything out.
What is the Best Dog Food for Dogs with Itchy Skin?What is a Good Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies?Is a Limited Ingredient Dog Food Good for Dogs?
If you have a pup with a sensitive stomach or severe allergies, be sure to consult your vet for advice and consider purchasing limited ingredient dog foods.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
A very popular brand known for producing high-quality meals, Rachel Ray Just 6 Limited Dog Food is exactly what the label indicates. Frequently high on the list of premium quality dog meals, it is one limited ingredient meal you can be 100% certain your pooch will love. It is free of harmful fillers, well-priced, and completely hypoallergenic. Texture-wise, the Just 6 limited ingredient meal ranks high combined with its great taste and smell, the meal beats many other limited ingredient foods hands down. The main protein source is lamb meal, and for carbs, they used brown starch rice in this recipe. It is free of wheat, corn, soy, gluten, artificial flavors and colors, fillers, and poultry by-products.
It is also enriched with chelated minerals and essential vitamins found in the main ingredients, and these are highly important for boosting your canines immunity and overall performance.
We like that this food is.
- Free of harmful fillers common in many other commercially produced meals
- High in essential nutrients
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Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Grain
The limited ingredient dry dog food has farm-raised chicken as its first ingredient and major protein source. The meal also contains sweet potatoes, one primary source of digestible carbohydrates. Formulated by a team of vets, animal nutritionists, research scientists, and design engineers with decades of combined experience, you can be confident that your pooch’s health is the main priority here. The meal is designed to provide your pooch with the nutrition, quality, and taste he needs to grow and thrive.All of the ingredients are locally sourced for maximum safety and optimum nutrition. It is also completely free of grains such as corn, wheat, and soy. Key features of the meal
- Made with known locally-sourced ingredients
- Has chicken as its major ingredient and protein source
- Free of added peas, grains, and artificial ingredients such as taste enhancers and coloring.
- Formulated to provide quality nutrition in every kibble
Best For Chicken Allergies: Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet With Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Key Ingredients: Deboned salmon, salmon meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley | Flavors: Salmon and brown rice | Packaging Size: 4, 12, or 22 pound bag
Limited ingredients list with no chicken
Contains supplemental vitamins
May not appeal to picky eaters
Some dog foods that dont mention chicken on the front of the package may still contain chicken by-product hiding in the ingredient list. For dogs who are the most sensitive to chicken, even these by-products may cause an allergic reaction. Merricks limited ingredient diet is a good option for those dogs. This dry dog food is created using nine key ingredients including salmon, brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoesand most importantly no chicken or chicken by-product. It’s also free of soy, corn, wheat, and eggs.
If your dog is experiencing food allergies its very likely to be from the protein source, which is why we recommend a limited ingredients recipe like Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Lamb & Oatmeal Dog Food as our best overall dry dog food. Another good option is a salmon-based recipe like Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet with Healthy Grains for a successful, irritation-free mealtime.
Or, if your dog prefers wet food, we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach Canned Food.
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The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Buying your pup pet food that doesnt trigger an immune response is one of the easiest ways to work around your dogs food allergy. Weve rounded up some of the best dog food that is hypoallergenic, including two budget-friendly formulas. These limited-ingredient diets will help you keep track of what your dog isand isnteating.
How To Choose A Limited
It may take a few tries to find a limited ingredient diet that works for your pet as you test the different ingredient options.
Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to solve your dogs problems. But testing the waters with a high-quality limited ingredient food is an excellent first step.
Always check the complete list of ingredients before purchasing. Youll also want to choose a formula designed to assist with your dogs specific problem, be that skin issues or digestive issues.
Be sure to also stick to well-known brands made in the USA. Some other brands not mentioned above include Purina, Merrick, and Nutro limited ingredient diets.
While you might find cheaper options from other countries, these foods dont necessarily meet the strict standards and guidelines applied to food made in America.
Because they dont contain filler ingredients, limited ingredient dog food does tend to be more expensive than your regular kibble.
Thus, it is suggested you start by buying a small bag to test with your dog before shelling out for a large size packet.
Read Also: Can Small Dogs Eat Large Breed Food
Common Causes Of Food Allergy Or Intolerance
Around 10% of dogs with allergies are actually allergic to foods, specifically proteins. And as mentioned, allergies or intolerances to certain foods usually have a genetic cause. Saying that, virtually any food can become an allergen, but some have been shown to be more likely to trigger an allergic reaction in dogs. These include:
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Natural Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Turkey & Potato
If you are looking for one of the best limited ingredient dog food formulas for your pet, then BLUE Buffalo Basics makes a variety of great options. Its Turkey & Potato limited ingredient dog food is made from high-quality ingredients that have been carefully selected. This formula consists of real deboned turkey and premium potatoes to deliver your dog a great tasting product that is easy on the stomach. This formula also includes pumpkin for added fiber and energy. All of the ingredients included in this formula are real meat, vegetables, and fruit.
This dog food formula is also a great option for dogs who need to maintain a healthy weight. The turkey protein used in the recipe is lean and does not contain excessive calories from fat. BLUE also adds in its premium LifeSource Bits, which contain a high-quality blend of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These ingredients have been expertly selected and approved by veterinarians and animal nutritionists. They are proven to benefit your dog’s immune system and overall health.
As a limited ingredient dog food option for dogs with food sensitivities, this recipe does not contain any of the most common sensitivity triggers like beef, chicken, wheat, corn, eggs, soy, or dairy. It is made from natural ingredients and has no artificial flavors or preservatives.
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Are There Organic Brands
Organic brands are quite popular with pet parents. They feature all-natural ingredients your canine will benefit from.
A couple of them are included in our lists, such as Natures Variety, Blue Buffalo and Rachael Ray. Some dogs may require limited ingredient dog food without peas. In that case, you can look for Purina Pro Plus or Merrick dry dog nutrition.
Merrick Lid Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
Main Ingredients: Deboned lamb, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, sunflower oil, potato protein, pea protein, flaxseed, natural flavor, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, minerals , dl-methionine, taurine, vitamins .
Price: A 22-lb. bag costs about $60.
Where To Buy: Online from Merrick, Chewy, and PetCo.
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How To Transition To Lucy Pet Formulas For Life
The key to switching foods is to do it gradually, so your dogs digestive system can adapt to our formula and nutrients. Start by replacing 20-25% of the current food you are feeding with Lucy Pet Formulas for Life. Each day, gradually increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of the former food until your pet is eating only the new diet.
If your pet tends to have a sensitive stomach, allow up to 10-14 days to fully transition to Lucy Pets Formulas for Life
In some instances, a pet can experience soft stools during the first week when you switch and transition to any new food. Lucy Pet Formulas for Life, digest easily and most pets transition smoothly. However, if your pets stool becomes loose, it may be necessary to transition more gradually to the new diet.
Be sure to temporarily eliminate any treats or wet food for the first few days, and follow feeding guidelines closely. Lucy Pet diets may require different feeding quantities than the food you were previously feeding.
American Journey Limited Ingredient Lamb & Sweet Potato Canned
Main Ingredients: lamb, lamb broth, lamb liver, sweet potatoes, sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, flaxseed, natural flavor, guar gum, cassia gum, xanthan gum, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, yucca schidigera extract, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, fish oil , magnesium sulfate, vitamin e supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, cobalt proteinate, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin a supplement.
Price: About $24 for a case of 12 12.5-oz. cans.
Where To Buy: Online from Chewy, PawDiet, and PetSmart.
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What Are The Most Common Allergens In Dog Food
When dogs eat something theyre allergic to, their immune system can respond with symptoms such as itchy skin, sneezing, and a sensitive stomach. If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction and youve ruled out other common causes, testing them for dog food allergies is a good first step. With some data in hand, your vet or a veterinary nutritionist can help you figure out how to make your dog feel better.
Food allergies and intolerances in dogs are most often genetic, passed down from parents to pups. Dogs with food allergies arent able to digest certain proteins . Once you know what proteins your dog is allergic to, you can choose a hypoallergenic dog food that excludes those proteinsputting an end to your pups symptoms.
When it comes to allergies, these are the most common problem foods for dogs:
Dog Food Elimination Diet Trials
The best way to find out which food ingredients your dog is allergic to or intolerant of is to conduct a dog elimination diet trial. In this sort of trial, you feed your dog an extremely limited-ingredient diet generally a home-prepared diet consisting of a single animal protein source and a single carbohydrate source. The protein and carb are selected for novelty something the dog hasnt ever eaten before. For example, you may try bison for protein and barley for carbohydrates. This diet is fed for a few weeks while the dog is watched carefully for reactions. If he remains symptom-free, then a single new ingredient is added to the diet perhaps another protein source and hes again watched carefully to see if any symptoms arise.
If he responds at any time with symptoms, the ingredient that was added most recently is suspected of causing his allergy or intolerance and removed from the diet until hes free of symptoms again. From then on, the owner tries to make sure the dogs diet is free of that/those ingredients.
Dogs who are allergic to or intolerant of several or lots of common food ingredients are the most difficult to find commercial diets for. They are the ones that a truly limited-ingredient diet is helpful for as long as the product doesnt contain the specific ingredients the dog is allergic to or intolerant to.
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Reviews For Chicken Brown Rice & Pumpkin Limited Ingredient Diet Formula
kellinicoloff September 10, 2021
My boston terrier has digestive problems and has a hard time keeping his food down. Weve tried several different brands of premium brand dog foods, even a prescribed food, with no success until we tried Lucy. This is the only that has worked for him so we feed it to our french bulldog too. They both love the Chicken, Brown Rice & Pumpkin limited ingredient food. The only problem is, Lucy is not offered in any local retail stores so we have to order online and wait for the delivery. Must be very popular since weve also had challenges with it being temporarily out of stock.
Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food Brands In 2022
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Several dog food brands are emerging daily, and the reason for this is not far-fetched. Dog owners are gradually getting accustomed to the best type of food that their dogs deserve.
Like humans, dogs are also allergic to some foods. However, trying to determine which ingredient your dog is allergic to could seem a herculean task, because there are numerous ingredients in these foods.
The difference between best-limited ingredient dog food and regular dog food is that the former is made with limited ingredients to help determine which ingredient your dog is allergic to. These ingredients make food digestion easy and perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
This article would help you sieve through the limited ingredient dog food brands available and select the top ten you can easily go through and make your choice.
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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.
Nutro Limited Ingredient Loaf Lamb & Potato Canned
Protein : 7.0% | Fat : 7.0%
This limited ingredient recipe from Nutro Limited contains five key ingredient sources. The premium loaf recipe has real lamb as the first ingredient, sourced from Australian and New Zealand and pasture fed. Potatoes are also included as a good source of carbs that are easy for your dog to digest.
This is a good option to select if your dog suffers from sensitivities to grains. There is no corn, wheat, or soy in this recipe. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are included either reassuring if you suspect your dog has adverse reactions to them.
The canned food is available in a convenient pack of 12, with each can offering 355g of loaf-style food. Feeding guidelines are included along with an ingredient list and guaranteed analysis of the contents. Their motto simple, purposeful, trustworthy clearly comes into play here.
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Benefits Of Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Eliminates allergies: This is why brands create limited ingredient dog foods. It helps to reduce the chances of your dog getting itchy skin due to food allergies. In case your dog reacts to the food, there are limited ingredients so you can easily tell which ingredient is the cause.
Diet rotation: Dogs love eating varieties. Eating the same food over and over again would be boring. When you need to rotate your dogs diet, you should go for one of the best limited ingredient dog food. This would reduce the chances of your dog reacting to the food.
Aids digestion: Limited ingredient dog foods are usually grain-free, which makes digesting them easy for your dog without causing any harm to the stomach.
Helps identify allergic ingredients: The reduced level of ingredients would make identifying allergic ingredients easier. If your dog is still allergic after switching its diet to limited ingredient dog food, then you would know which of the ingredients you need to take off its diet.