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Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food for the UK Pet Owner

What exactly is hypoallergenic dog food?

Quite simply it’s about what the dog food DOESN’T contain, rather than what it does.

Confused?

Think of a person with a peanut allergy. Would you give them a peanut butter sandwich?

Uh-oh! NO!

Hypoallergenic dog foods contain a limited range of ingredients. The recipe is kept simple so as to reduce the potential for causing an allergy. Think of it this way; if you have only few ingredients in a product, it’s much easier to choose one that doesn’t contain nut products.

What has this to do with dog food?
Check Out the Top Rated Pick on Amazon:
Royal Canin Veterinary Hypoallergenic Dry Dog Food 14Kg
  • Incorporates a moderate calorie content to help maintain ideal body weight.
  • Contains antioxidants to support the barrier effect of the skin. Includes hydrolysed protein with...
  • Contains moderate phosphrous levels to help support healty kidney function.

Feed a dog with a chicken allergy a hypoallergenic dog food made from chicken and rice, and guess what? He still show signs of allergy such as itching or diarrhoea. In practical terms this means sometimes even feeding a good hypoallergenic dog food for itchy skins can give disappointing results if it contains an ingredient your dog reacts to.

So where do you start if your dog is itchy and the vet  suggests feeding a hypoallergenic food for skin allergies?

Whilst it might be realistic to feed the vet-recommended hypoallergenic dog food for french bulldogs to a small breed like this, feed that same expensive diet to a Rottweiler and you’ll spend more on dog food than your dinner.

However, there are good alternative options when you know how to shop savvy. Which is why we’ve done the taste testing for your best fur-friend and come up with the best hypoallergenic dog foods in the UK.

Related:

Product Details
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Top Rated
Royal Canin Veterinary Hypoallergenic Dry Dog Food
  • Extremely unlikely to trigger food allergies, sold in vet surgeries
  • Extremely unlikely to trigger food allergies, sold in vet surgeries
Check on Amazon
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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
  • Highly respected by vets as unlikely to trigger food allergies
  • Highly respected by vets as unlikely to trigger food allergies
Check on Amazon
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Burgess Sensitive Dog Food (British Turkey and Rice)
  • 50% Turkey & Rice , 50% ‘other’ ingredients which means some dogs may react to it
  • 50% Turkey & Rice , 50% ‘other’ ingredients which means some dogs may react to it
Check on Amazon
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Dr John Hypoallergenic (Lamb with Rice)
  • Designed for performance dogs and therefore higher calorie
  • Designed for performance dogs and therefore higher calorie
Check on Amazon
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Hill’s Dog Food Z/D Allergen Free Prescription Diet
  • One of the first prescription hypoallergenic foods and sets the standard for vet recommended hypoallergenic dog foods
  • One of the first prescription hypoallergenic foods and sets the standard for vet recommended hypoallergenic dog foods
Check on Amazon
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Lily’s Kitchen Lovely Lamb with Peas and Parsley Dry Food for Dogs
  • Good option for some allergic dogs
  • Good option for some allergic dogs
Check on Amazon

Normally when we do product reviews we like to include a clear winner, in this case it’s not possible. Allergies and diets are something that is very unique to each and every dog. Only you and your dog will know your situation and what may suit you best. With that, review each hypoallergenic dog food product on its own merits and see what works best for you.

Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Hypoallergenic Dry Dog Food 14Kg
  • Incorporates a moderate calorie content to help maintain ideal body weight.
  • Contains antioxidants to support the barrier effect of the skin. Includes hydrolysed protein with...
  • Contains moderate phosphrous levels to help support healty kidney function.

This gem of a hypoallergenic dog food is a one of a few diets prescribed by vets for food allergies AND available outside of a vet clinic. In other words, if you want a food with the highest chance of working but without visiting the vet, this is one to choose.

The reason this Royal Canin hypoallergenic dog food is effective is it contains hydrolyzed protein. What, you ask, is hydrolyzed protein?  Good question, especially as it goes to the heart of why this food works. Here goes….

Food allergies are triggered when a food molecule fits into a receptor in the gut wall. Like putting a key in a lock, add the two things together and a door opens…which in this case means triggering the symptoms of the allergy.

A hydrolyzed protein is one that is broken into pieces that are too small to bridge the receptor. Think of it like snapping the key in half so it wont turn the lock. Long story short, hydrolysed protein molecules are extremely unlikely to trigger food allergies, whilst remaining good wholesome nutrition.

LIKES

Most pet parents found their were happy to chow down on this food. This is great news as even if a diet is nutritionally perfect, if the dog doesn’t eat it there’s a problem.

DISLIKES

In all honesty complaints are few and far between, most often about damaged packaging and slow delivery than the product itself.

OVERALL VALUE

This hypoallergenic dog food isn’t cheap but it is less expensive than when purchased at the vets. If the vet has recommended a special hypoallergenic dog food for ibd (inflammatory bowel disease) but you can’t afford the price tag, then this is your best option. Balance the purchase cost off against money saved from fewer vet visits!

9.0 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

  • A vet recommended product with a saving on the purchase price
  • Highly effective at settling food related allergies such as itchy skin or diarrhea

Purina Hypoallergenic Dog Food

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PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS HA Hypoallergenic Dry Dog Food 3kg
  • - Hypoallergenic elimination diet for food trials - Long-term management of food allergy -...
  • Single hydrolysed protein with low molecular weight to help avoid allergic responses.
  • Purified carbohydrates sources to help avoid allergic responses

You know everything we just said about the Royal Canin product? Well, this is another great food stocked by vet clinics that the savvy pet parent can purchase at a saving.

Purina HA is also a hydrolysed diet, where the protein molecule has been broken up to a size where it can’t bridge the allergy receptor. In addition, the carbohydrate part has been purified to make it less likely to trigger allergies. It’s also rich in omega oils which are a natural anti-inflammatory.

LIKES

For many owners whose dogs have itchy skins or suffer debilitating diarrhea, this diet made a big difference. Some dogs that didn’t respond to medication, turned a corner when put onto Purina HA, which is also a food recommended by veterinary specialists.

DISLIKES

Some pet parents felt the food appeared a little bland. However, be wary of adding tasty titbits as these could undo all the good work done by the special diet.

OVERALL VALUE

Good quality and effective products don’t come at bargain basement prices…and neither does this Purina hypoallergenic dog food. However, what you will get is a saving on the price at the vets, plus quite possibly save the cost of repeated vet visits.

9.2 Rating out of 5

SUMMARY

  • Highly respected and vet recommended
  • Easy to digest
  • Very unlikely to trigger dietary allergies
  • Ideal to feed to work out if food is the cause of your dog’s itchy skin or upset tummy

Burgess Sensitive Dog Food

Sale
Burgess Sensitive Dry Dog Food Turkey, 2 kg
616 Reviews
Burgess Sensitive Dry Dog Food Turkey, 2 kg
  • We’ve changed our look, but we still have the same trusted recipe for your sensitive dogs
  • Burgess Sensitive is a dry dog food made without many of the typical ingredients that can cause...
  • Burgess Sensitive Dog Food Turkey is formulated to support a sensitive tummy

This Burgess food used to be our top pick, but they recently dropped the Hypoallergenic claim from their packaging, which makes us wonder what changed. It is still marketed as a Sensitive dog food and has a great price point, so we have left it in our product listings for now.

On the plus side, this food has a limited range of ingredients, which means less potential for triggering allergies. But on the minus side, to be considered a true hypoallergenic diet it should contain just one protein source and one carbohydrate source.

LIKES

A more affordable option for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The limited number of ingredients is damage limitation when it comes to triggering dietary allergies. This means some dogs may do very well on this food.

It also helps improve the quality of the dog poop and reduce bad gas smells…which has to be good.

DISLIKES

This may not be the answer for some dogs with dietary allergies. Strictly speaking it has a limited ingredient list, which helps reduce the potential for an allergy. However, dogs that are sensitive to the ingredients are still going to flare up.

OVERALL VALUE

Top marks for an affordable price for what is a good food.

8.4 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

Describing this Burgess dog food as hypoallergenic could be considered slightly misleading. Whilst around 50% of the recipe is turkey and rice, this leaves the remaining 50% as other ingredients (all with the potential to trigger allergies.)

Thus, many dogs will do well on this food, but some won’t. A dog with an allergy to one of the ‘other’ ingredients in this hypoallergenic diet may still shows symptoms such as itchiness or upset tummies.

Dr John Hypoallergenic Lamb and Rice

Dr John Wheat-Free Hypoallergenic Lamb with Rice Dry Dog...
  • TASTY WHEAT-FREE LAMB WITH RICE — Dr. John Hypoallergenic Lamb with Rice is a perfectly balanced...
  • COMPLETE NUTRITION — we use only the finest ingredients in a nutritious formula that contains 21%...
  • HEALTHY SKIN, JOINTS & COAT — our balanced formula contains yucca extract for joint support,...

This Dr John Hypoallergenic dog food is described as suitable for working dogs. This implies it has  higher energy levels. The latter means it contains more calories and best avoided if your dog is prone to weight gain.

LIKES

A good quality food that can benefit some dogs with allergies.

DISLIKES

Sadly, for some owners of dogs with allergies this food didn’t make a difference.

OVERALL VALUE

A competitively positioned food in terms of cost, for the pet parent who doesn’t want to break the budget feeding a low allergen diet to their dog.

8.2 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

This Dr John food ticks lots of boxes and for a dog with allergies to wheat should work well. It also (like many hypoallergenic diets) bases many claims on it being wheat and gluten free. However, wheat allergy is relatively unusual in dogs (certainly not as common as pet food leads you to believe) so don’t set too much store on the importance of being ‘gluten-free’.

Hills Z/D

Hill's Prescription Diet z/d canine - 10 kg dry food
9 Reviews
Hill's Prescription Diet z/d canine - 10 kg dry food
  • Hypoallergenic food formulated with highly idrolisato Chicken as the only animal protein source
  • Digestive Nutrition skin and clinically proven to help reduce the symptoms caused by allergies
  • Helps to nourish the skin and the coat

The grand-daddy of hypoallergenic dog foods. This was the first truly hypoallergenic commercially available dog food and the one to which other diets aspire. First, on the market, it set the standard for other hydrolysed diets such as Purina HA and Royal Canin Hypoallergenic.

LIKES

An 80% five-star approval rating says that this product does what it says on the label.

If your dog has food allergies and you offer ZD and nothing but ZD, then their symptoms are highly likely to clear up

As close as it’s possible to get to a cure without drugs, for those dogs with a food allergy.

DISLIKES

Not the most appealing flavour for some dogs, and may not go down well with picky eaters.

Shouldn’t be mixed with other foods or you’ll forfeit it’s hypoallergenic goodness

OVERALL VALUE

This is an expensive diet …but for a reason! It will provide for all your dog’s nutritional requirements but in a way that is extremely unlikely to trigger a food allergy. On the one hand the diet isn’t cheap, but on the other it could save distressing stomach upsets and costly vet visits.

8.8 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

Hills Z/D is the ideal to feed as a dietary trial to test out if your dog has food allergies. The idea being that this food is very, very unlikely to trigger a dietary allergy, so if his symptoms persist despite being on ZD then he doesn’t have a dietary allergy.

Lily’s Kitchen

Sale
Lily’s Kitchen Lamb Shepherd’s Pie - Complete Grain Free...
  • Nutritionally complete, grain free dry food for adult dogs 4 months +
  • Made with proper meat - 27% freshly prepared lamb and 5% lamb liver
  • This is our lowest fat recipe, with added L-carnitine to support the breakdown of fats helping your...

In all honesty this food doesn’t market itself as hypoallergenic. But we felt compelled to include it because it contains a limited range of good quality ingredients and has many of the properties of a hypoallergenic diet. If you’re looking for a good wholesome food that is free from cheap ingredients that upset your dog’s stomach, then consider this diet.

LIKES

Tasty. Made from natural ingredients. Widely available

DISLIKES

Hmm, none really.

OVERALL VALUE

A great all purpose diet that has similar features to a hypoallergenic dog food but without making unsubstantiated claims.

9.2 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

A sensible option if your dog has mild problems and you’re wondering about a change of food.

Never underestimate the importance of ruling out food allergy if your dog has itchy skin or regular stomach upsets. However, choosing a ‘hypoallergenic dog food’ can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for.

Remember, a label claim stating  ‘hypoallergenic’, doesn’t mean a great deal. Your best guide is to read the ingredients and seek a product low in whatever it is that makes your dog sick…And if in doubt, choose a food containing hydrolysed protein.

FAQs

What is the difference between normal and hypoallergenic dog food?

Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things, just like humans. Allergies in dogs are often caused by environmental factors, but their diet can also potentially be one factor. It is therefore important to choose the right food for your allergy-prone pooch. Ingredients that might trigger allergies include certain proteins, grains, or preservatives. Hypoallergenic dog food is free from some of these potential allergens. Instead, it is made with alternative ingredients that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. If you’re not sure which type of food is right for your dog, first talk to your veterinarian. They can help you select a food that will provide all the nutrients your dog needs without triggering their allergies.

What are the symptoms of food allergies in dogs?

Some signs of food allergies in dogs include:

  • itchy skin
  • digestive disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhea.
  • excessive flatulence (farting)
  • weight loss
  • lack of energy
  • hyperactivity or aggression.

4 thoughts on “Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food for the UK Pet Owner”

  1. Looks like the article written by vet sponsored by brands mentioned. there is plenty of better organic, not that commercial brands that are much better, using local sources and much better products in their food.

    1. Mona,
      We’re not sponsored by any brands and our reviews are independently written. Yes we have reviewed the big brands in this instance but please do share some of the smaller brands you feel we should also be looking at.
      Thanks
      DDT

  2. How can you put the number 1 hypo dog food and say “… which means some dogs may react to it”.

    Clearly not the best hypoallergenic dog food then

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