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If your vet has diagnosed your dog with a food allergy, you may already be feeding him hypoallergenic dog food. What many dog owners forget, however, is to double-check the list of ingredients on their dog’s treats.
A single treat may not seem like a big deal, but even a quick bite that contains an allergen can trigger unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and digestive upset. A hypoallergenic diet for dogs is more than just dog food—it also encompasses your dog’s treats and supplements.
To help you find delicious dog treats that won’t irritate your dog’s diagnosed allergy, we’ve compiled a list of the best hypoallergenic dog treats.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Merriam-Webster defines hypoallergenic as “having little likelihood of causing an allergic response.”
It sounds simple enough, but it’s important to remember that individual reactions vary. An ingredient one dog tolerates well may trigger an allergic reaction in your dog. The term hypoallergenic is subjective, so you need to know what your dog is allergic to in order to find a product that is hypoallergenic specifically for him.
The best way to identify food allergies in dogs is to consult with your vet, who may recommend a food trial. With your vet’s help, you’ll need to find a dog food that doesn’t contain any of the potential allergens from his current diet. You’ll begin feeding your dog a food made with a novel source of protein and carbohydrates for a period of 8 to 12 weeks until all signs of the allergy disappear. From there, you can introduce common allergens one at a time until you identify the problem ingredient.
Once you’ve identified the ingredient to which your dog is allergic, all you have to do is avoid it in the future. When shopping for dog food and treats, simply check the list of ingredients for that allergen.
Ingredients to Look for in Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
According to the VCA, food allergies or intolerances are one of the most common types of allergies or hypersensitivities in dogs. When a dog has an allergy, his immune system overreacts and starts producing antibodies against substances the body would normally be able to tolerate.
Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, a veterinarian on Rover’s Dog People Panel, says the most common trigger of allergies “is typically to the primary protein in the diet.” These are things like chicken, beef, and pork—which makes this a good place to start your investigation.
If you haven’t identified your dog’s particular allergens yet, you might try out some generally hypoallergenic dog treats—treats that often work for sensitive dogs. When deciding on the best option for your pup, there are a few key things to look for:
- No common allergens
- A limited number of ingredients
- Novel animal proteins
- Digestible carbohydrates
- No artificial additives
Dog treats should still contain meat ingredients, and it’s even better if they are made with a novel animal protein (one your dog hasn’t had before) like venison, duck, or turkey. If the treat contains carbohydrates, make sure they’re nutritious and digestible—grain-free carbs like sweet potatoes and peas are a popular choice. Finally, make sure the product is free from artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Though every dog’s stomach is a little different, there are products that seem to work especially well for the sensitive ones. We’ve rounded up our favorites—the best hypoallergenic dog treats.
Best Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
Below you’ll find a collection of healthy, all-natural dog treats that fit the requirements listed above. Choose the treat that seems like the best fit for your dog and his allergies.
These treats are made with a single ingredient—100% wild salmon—and freeze-dried rather than cooked to preserve their nutritional integrity. Dogs are big fans of the natural fish flavor and the chewy texture.Buy Now on Chewy
Made with a single ingredient, these all-natural bully sticks feature premium grass-fed, free-range beef for a safe and healthy alternative to rawhide treats.Buy Now on Chewy
Not only are these chewy hypoallergenic dog treats made with a novel source of protein and carbohydrates, they are grain-free, gluten-free, and all-natural.Buy Now on Chewy
These treats have just one ingredient—duck liver—and are made using a delicate freeze-drying process to remove water without impacting the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredient.Buy Now on Chewy
For dogs who love chewy treats, these dehydrated fish skins are made with fresh, wild-caught fish that are freeze-dried to preserve the flavor and nutrition of the recipe’s only ingredient.Buy Now on Chewy
If you’re looking for a natural alternative to grain-based dental dog treats, Whimzees dental treats are made with all-natural ingredients and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.Buy Now on Chewy
To provide a boost of superfood nutrition, these crunchy dog treats feature a healthy combination of fresh pumpkin and blueberries but have just nine calories per treat.Buy Now on Chewy
Like all of Blue Buffalo’s products, these crunchy turkey treats are free from corn, wheat, and soy as well as by-products and artificial additives.Buy Now on Chewy
Ideal for puppies and small-breed dogs, these grain-free petite treats feature a blend of premium ingredients including real turkey, pomegranate, and ginger.Buy Now on Chewy
If you’re looking for limited ingredient hypoallergenic dog treats made with high-quality protein, these Jumpin’ Stix come in three flavors and two sizes.Buy Now on Chewy
These all-natural jerky treats are loaded with rich, meaty flavor but are carefully crafted with just eight natural ingredients to provide a healthy snack your dog will love.Buy Now on Chewy
For a truly wholesome and affordable treat, go homemade! Our jerky recipe for dogs is easy to make in the oven or with a more affordable dehydrator. Check out the video in the video and get the full recipe here.