Hypoallergenic Dog Treats

One of the major issues with allergies is overexposure. This happens when a dog (or human) eats the same food or treat all the time. That way they become overexposed to any number of ingredients of that specific food or treat. When that happens, the body’s immune and digestive systems react in any of a variety of ways, not all of them pleasant!

Standard dog foods contain a lot of beef (as a protein source) and things like wheat, corn, and dairy. Chronic exposure to these can lead to sensitivity and eventually into a full-blown allergy.

The symptoms, when this happens, are common. They include:

  • All kinds of digestive issues
  • Skin irritations all over
  • Infections in and around the ears
  • General itches

Both the manufacturers of dog foods and vets are becoming more aware of the seriousness of some of these allergic reactions in dogs, and are recommending a change in feeding regime.

When a vet starts to treat your dog, the first thing he or she would do is start an elimination diet. Typically, that means feeding your dog only one or two foods per mean – for example, sweet potatoes and turkey – and then watching for the dog’s reaction.

If your dog doesn’t react negatively, those are scratched from the list. Wash rinse and repeat – I’m sure you get the picture.

As more ingredients are added to your dog’s diet, it becomes obvious what your dog reacts to and what it doesn’t.

The only challenge that remains is then to find a diet that eliminates all the allergy triggers.

If your dog has developed an allergy, switching to hypoallergenic food and hypoallergenic treats is a no-brainer. These treat the problem at the source, and with a bit of experimentation, the ideal food for your dog’s specific needs can make all the difference to their health and comfort.

What do they put in hypoallergenic dog treats?

Proteins

The first thing the manufacturers of these feeds do is to use a single-source protein. That means the protein in the food comes from ONLY one animal. This has to be an animal your dog hasn’t been overexposed to, in other words, a source of protein they wouldn’t have developed a sensitivity to.

These proteins are also referred to as “novel proteins” and include:

  • Salmon
  • Kangaroo
  • Venison
  • Duck
  • More

So, instead of giving your dog a treat with a combination of beef and chicken, a hypoallergenic treat will contain only one novel protein. And this is unlikely to elicit an allergic reaction.

Non-proteins

In dog food, proteins are combined with non-proteins. In hypoallergenic foods, a single-source protein is usually paired with a single-source carb. The most common in these foods are peas and sweet potatoes.

As in the case with proteins, your dog should not be overexposed to the carb, so the manufacturers use carbohydrate sources that are less likely to be found in standard dog foods.

Starch

Starches like oats and rice are common ingredients, but dogs are now starting to develop intolerances to them too. Keep an eye out for the ingredient lists before you purchase!

Our top ten list of hypoallergenic dog treats

The treats we selected for our top list all contain ingredients that are fall less inclined to trigger any kind of allergic reaction in your dog. But remember that your dog is as individual as you are. Their gut health is different from the dog next door, as is their skin and coat.

This is NOT a one-size-fits-all science. Experimentation is key.

#1 Purina Veterinary Diets Gentle Snackers Dog Treats

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Gentle Snackers Canine Dog Treats - 8 oz. Pouch

 

These are crunchy treats and are best for pooches with high levels of meat or protein intolerances. It is a treat that is often prescribed by vets.

This Purina product is a part of the HA treatment diet. If your dog has developed severe protein intolerances and violent allergic reactions to certain substances, this is the way to go.

Why is it special

  • They are seriously gentle on your dog’s tummy
  • Vets often prescribe them
  • They contain no meat, so they’re perfect for dogs who react adversely to proteins and different kinds of meat

Pros

  • A wonderful supplement for sensitive stomachs

Cons

  • These snacks often crumble – so you need to transport them carefully

What’s in them

  • Hydrolyzed soy protein isolates
  • Dicalcium phosphate
  • Oat fiber
  • Starch
  • Vegetable oils

#2 Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix Dog Treats

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Jumpin' Stix Dog Treats, Duck & Potato Formula, 5 Ounces, Grain Free

 

These snacks are fortified with supplements that support your dog’s joints, they’re grain-free, and they’re perfect if your dog is on a limited ingredient diet.

What makes them special?

  • They’re enhanced with chondroitin and glucosamine to assist hips, elbows, knees, and general joint health
  • They’re made with real duck – and (according to dog reactions) they’re REAL tasty
  • No artificial preservatives or colors – everything in them is 100% natural

Pros

  • A great way to add to your dog’s limited-ingredient diet

Cons

  • It’s a trial and error thing with dogs with sensitive stomachs

What’s in them?

  • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Gelatin
  • Dried potatoes
  • Water
  • Duck

#3 Blue Buffalo Biscuits Dog Treats

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Biscuits Crunchy Dog Treats, Turkey & Potato 6-oz bag

 

These little snacks are baked in the oven, believe it or not! They’re made without any chicken by-products and contain no soy or wheat.

What makes them special?

  • Their single-source protein is Turkey – a novel protein for most dogs. It’s a great alternative to chicken
  • The treats are really easy on the digestive system – it includes oatmeal and brown rice
  • It’s 100% natural – no preservatives, colors, or flavors are artificially added

Pros

  • The dogs go WACK for these – they are really tasty!
  • They’re also less inclined to crumble – so they’re relatively mess-free

Cons

  • They can be a bit stinky (for owners) but there have been no complaints from dogs …

What’s in them?

  • Potato proteins
  • Potato
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown Rice
  • Turkey

#4 Fruitables Crunch Dog Treats

Fruitables Dog Treats | Dog Training Treats | Low Calorie Crunchy Treats | Pumpkin & Apple Flavor | 7 Ounces

 

This is also an oven-baked treat, these are hypoallergenic, and they’re made from (drumroll, please) FRUIT!

Why are they special?

  • The flavor variety is fantastic. It includes cranberry, pumpkin, blueberry, banana, and apple, to name but a few
  • There’s no wheat or corn in them. They’re also free from artificial colors and preservatives and have no soy or wheat. Also, no meat – so it’s great for gods with extensive allergies
  • These treats are low in calories – only 9 per treat – so if you’re watching your pups weight, this may be ideal for you

Pros

  • They smell great, and dogs gobble them up
  • Made in the good old US of A in a certified facility that is COMPLETELY organic

Cons

  • What’s not to like!

What’s in them?

  • Apples
  • Oat fiber
  • Pearl barley
  • Organic oatmeal
  • Pumpkin

#5 Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats

Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Dog Treats, Liv'R'Crunch Mini Biscuits, 20-Ounce Bag

 

This is a throwback to the classics – remember the bone-shaped dog treats from years gone by?!

Why are they special?

  • The ingredients are all-natural
  • The flavors are varied and the sizes are made to fit your dog
  • There’s even a vegan and a vegetarian option

Pros

  • The availability of smaller-size biscuits for smaller dogs
  • The flavor variety
  • A really solid choice for dogs with allergy problems

Cons

  • The packaging is known to be not-so-great. This results in broken biscuits by the time they’re delivered
  • Some of the ingredients could be problematic. It contains eggs, caramel coloring, molasses, and chicken fat

What’s in them?

  • Cane molasses
  • Chicken liver
  • Wheat bran
  • Oatmeal
  • Wheat flour

#6 Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Chews

C.E.T. VeggieDent Chews, Regular, 30 Chews

 

These are both great dental cleaners and a treat or reward for your pup.

Why are they special?

  • They’re excellent for maintaining teeth and gum health
  • They also do a lot for dogs suffering from stinky-breath
  • The ingredients are limited, and they’re meat-free.

Pros

  • No meat! So, they’re great for dogs with severe meat allergies

Cons

  • The packaging can be a bit confusing when trying to read the ingredient list

What’s in them?

  • Rice Flour
  • Soybean proteins
  • Glycerin
  • Corn starch

#7 The Dog Bakery Wheat-Free Dog Treats

 

These doggy treats are baked in the oven. They contain no soy or corn and are formulated especially for dogs with chronic allergy issues. The company is small and owned by one family. And THIS family doesn’t believe in artificial!

What makes them special?

  • They’re homegrown – in the US of A
  • It’s easy to keep them fresh – they come in a resealable bag
  • The flavors are plenty and they’re GREAT! There’s cheese, apple pie, snickerdoodle, or peanut butter!

Pros

  • These are happy ingredients for dogs with allergies
  • The dogs REALLY love the taste – they’ve actually been called Girl Scout Cookies for canines…

Cons

  • The treats are somewhat on the small side. Probably better for smaller dogs

What’s in them?

  • Molasses
  • Coconut oil
  • Rolled oats
  • Barley
  • Applesauce

#8 Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Chicken Treats

Natural Balance L.I.T. Limited Ingredient Dog Treats, Grain Free, Sweet Potato & Chicken Formula, 14 oz (Packaging May Vary)

 

These are limited-ingredient treats that exclude many of the common allergens. They’re tasty and crunchy, all-natural, and specifically formulated for dogs with allergy problems.

What makes them special?

  • They have nothing artificial in them – no artificial flavors or colors, no preservatives, and all-natural
  • They contain no grains – no soy, corn, or wheat – so they’re great for dogs with grain issues
  • The flavor comes from REAL chicken

Pros

  • Owners love them – the ingredients fit right into dogs’ limited ingredient diets
  • They even take care of gas problems with dogs!

Cons

  • They tend to crumble – so take care with the bag!

What’s in them?

  • Chicken
  • Potato protein
  • Sweet potato
  • Dried potato

#9 Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats

Zuke's Puppy Naturals Puppy Treats Lamb and Chickpea Recipe - 5 Oz Bag

 

These are often used in training. Ironically, not everybody realizes that this is a perfect hypoallergenic treat too! It excludes many of the common dog allergens, such as soy, wheat, and corn.

What makes them special?

  • Their relatively small size makes them perfect for training rewards
  • They have all kinds of natural flavor boosters – including savory turmeric and cherries
  • The top ingredient and protein is chicken. And they’ve clearly hit the jackpot with this one!

Pros

  • Some dog owners swear by them. They can be used in training, but also when the pooch just deserves a treat

Cons

  • Sometimes dogs don’t like the taste, but then dogs are as individual as people, so no biggie there

What’s in them?

  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Malted barley
  • Ground barley
  • Ground rice
  • Chicken!

A parting shot

Allergies are common, and their causes are growing – not only among humans but among our dogs too.

With dogs, it can certainly be a breed issue. Some breeds are simply more prone to allergic reactions than others. But it finds its cause in exposure and over-exposure to compounds in food and the environment more often than not.

It is really important to try to avoid allergens altogether. When a dog reacts to something (remember, they’re sensitive creatures!) it can be as mild as an upset tummy, or as severe as full-on anaphylactic shock.

So, it pays to take care of what you feed your dog. The same applies to what treats you use.

Previously, limited-ingredient treats for doggies were a bit of an issue. Not anymore. Hypoallergenic products are more common, and as a result, it has become a cost-effective alternative.

There simply isn’t any reason to deprive your dog of a treat now and again simply because they’re allergic! Any of the products we mentioned in this article are unlikely to cause any kind of allergic reaction in your dog.

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