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If your dog suffers from food allergies, you may already be feeding him hypoallergenic dog food. Where many dog owners fail, however, is in giving their dog treats that contain allergenic ingredients.
A single treat may not seem like a big deal, but even a quick bite can trigger unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and digestive upset. A hypoallergenic diet for dogs is more than just dog food—it should also encompass your dog’s treats and supplements.
To help you find delicious dog treats that won’t upset your dog’s stomach, we’ve compiled a list of the best hypoallergenic dog treats.
What Does Hypoallergenic Actually 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 for him.
A food trial is the best way to identify food allergies in dogs, and you can conduct one with the help of your veterinarian. Basically, you’ll begin feeding your dog food made with a novel source of protein and carbohydrate for a period of 8 to 12 weeks until all signs of the allergy disappear. From there, you introduce common allergens one at a time until you identify the problem ingredient.
Ingredients to Look for in Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
Many dog treats are made with fillers, by-products, and artificial flavors instead of actual meat—ingredients that have a high likelihood of triggering an allergic reaction. If your dog has food allergies, it’s important to verify the quality of everything you feed him, not just his kibble.
When it comes to shopping for hypoallergenic dog treats, 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
The most common food allergens for dogs are beef, dairy, chicken, wheat, soy, and lamb. When shopping for dog treats, make sure the product is free from these ingredients as well as anything else your dog is allergic to. It’s also a good idea to limit the number of ingredients in the product to avoid triggering an unknown allergy.
Dog treats should still contain meat ingredients and all the 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.
Now that you know what to look for in treats for dogs with food allergies, you’re ready to see our top picks for the very 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 the nutritional integrity and natural flavor.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 Amazon
For a truly wholesome and affordable treat, go homemade! Our jerky recipe for dogs is easy to make in the oven or with an inexpensive dehydrator. Check out the recipe in the video and get the full text here.
Not only are these chewy dog treats made with a novel source of protein and carbohydrate, but they are grain-free, gluten-free, and all-natural.
These treats are made with 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 Amazon
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 Amazon
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 Amazon
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 dog treats made with high-quality protein, these Jumpin’ Stix come in three flavors and two sizes.Buy Now on Amazon
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
The Bottom Line
If your dog suffers from food allergies, he’ll need hypoallergenic dog food as well as treats. To learn more about dog food for allergies, check out our top picks for the best hypoallergenic dog food for every budget.