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10 Best Dog Food for Small Dogs With Allergies in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

10 Best Dog Food for Small Dogs With Allergies in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

poodle dog eatingSmall dog breeds have special dietary and nutritional needs that must be fulfilled for healthy daily functioning.1 So, it can be pretty challenging to find healthy dog food for small dogs that also have allergies and food sensitivities.

For the most part, small dogs with allergies will do best eating dog food with limited-ingredient formulas that contain a single source of meat protein. This will help immensely with keeping track of any food allergens that trigger reactions from your dog.

Since there are many other factors to consider, we developed reviews of the most popular dog foods for small dogs with allergies. Our buyer’s guide will also help you stay on course while searching for nutritious and safe dog food for your beloved dog.

Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription
  • Meals are prepared in USDA-certified kitchen
  • Slow-cooked meals preserve flavor and nutrients
  • Has specific diets for food allergies
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Nutro LID Sensitive Support Dog Food Nutro LID Sensitive Support Dog Food
  • Only contains 10 key ingredients
  • Free of common dog allergens
  • Contains ingredients that nourish skin and coat
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    JustFoodForDogs Fish & Potato Frozen Dog Food JustFoodForDogs Fish & Potato Frozen Dog Food
  • Limited ingredients
  • Omits common allergens
  • Free of preservatives and artificial flavoring
  • Best for Puppies
    CANIDAE Pure Petite Puppy Grain-Free CANIDAE Pure Petite Puppy Grain-Free
  • Calorie-dense formula
  • Healthy fiber keeps puppies full
  • Single source of meat
  • ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited
  • Excellent choice for dogs with food sensitivities
  • 60% of ingredients are animal-based
  • Includes fiber-rich oats and sorghum
  • The 10 Best Dog Food for Small Dogs With Allergies

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall

    the farmers dog full recipe packaging

    Main Ingredients Fresh ground turkey, broccoli, spinach, parsnips, carrots, and beans
    Protein Content 38% (dry matter basis)
    Fat Content 26% (dry matter basis)
    Calories 562 kcal/lb.

    The Farmer’s Dog offers some of the best food choices for small dogs with allergies. Along with providing fresh meals for dogs, these recipes are all backed by decades of research completed by veterinarians and animal dieticians.

    You can rest assured in knowing that all The Farmer’s Dog meals are prepared in USDA-certified kitchens. They’re cooked at low temperatures to retain and preserve flavors and nutrients.

    The Farmer’s Dog also has a questionnaire that guides dog owners in purchasing food that meets their dog’s unique dietary requirements, including food allergies. Once a customer completes this questionnaire, they’ll have a curated list of dog food recipes that best fit their dog’s needs.

    The Turkey recipe is a great choice for small dogs with allergies because it contains a limited amount of ingredients, and all the ingredients are easily digestible. It’s also grain-free, so dogs with wheat allergies can enjoy this meal.

    The only inconvenience is that you have to be very on top of delivery dates and receiving packages because the food is easily perishable. It has to remain frozen or refrigerated and doesn’t have a long shelf life once opened.

    Other than that, The Farmer’s Dog is a premium dog food that’s extra mindful of allergies, making it the overall best dog food for small dogs with allergies.

    Pros
    • Meals are prepared in USDA-certified kitchen
    • Slow-cooked meals preserve flavor and nutrients
    • Has specific diets for food allergies
    Cons
    • Food must stay frozen

    2. Nutro LID Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Budget Buy

    Nutro LID Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Deboned lamb, lamb meal, chickpeas, dried potatoes, dried sweet potato, lentils
    Protein Content 20%
    Fat Content 14%
    Calories 430 kcal/cup

    Feeding your small dog a special diet doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This Nutro limited-ingredient dog food is the best dog food for small dogs with allergies for the money you pay. It only contains 10 key ingredients, so you can easily keep track of all the ingredients that your dog ingests.

    The formula is also free of any common dog allergens, such as beef, chicken, corn, wheat, soy, and dairy protein. So, it’s a great option if you’re having trouble identifying allergens for your dog. We also like that this recipe has ingredients that help nourish sensitive skin and support a soft and shiny coat.

    The kibble size is ideal for toy breeds. However, small dogs that are a bigger size or close to 20 pounds may find the pieces too small and can end up inhaling and swallowing the kibble too quickly.

    Pros
    • Only contains 10 key ingredients
    • Free of common dog allergens
    • Contains ingredients that nourish skin and coat
    • Kibble is good size for toy breeds
    Cons
    • Kibble may be too small for dogs weighing close to 20 pounds

    3. JustFoodForDogs Fish & Sweet Potato Frozen Dog Food – Premium Choice

    JustFoodForDogs Fish & Sweet Potato Frozen Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Cod, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, broccoli, safflower oil
    Protein Content 38% (dry matter basis)
    Fat Content 11% (dry matter basis)
    Calories 210 kcal/cup

    JustFoodForDogs Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food is a premium dog food that uses limited ingredients that are also fresh and human-grade. This recipe contains cod and is free of other common dog allergens, so it’s another great option if you’re still figuring out your dog’s allergens.

    The formula is also free of any preservatives, growth hormones, BHA, BHT, and artificial colors. It doesn’t contain any fillers, and you can rest assured in knowing that every ingredient in the recipe is nutritious and intentionally placed.

    Since this food is fresh, you do have to be mindful of delivery dates because it’s perishable and has to remain frozen or refrigerated. It also has a lower amount of calories than the average dog food. So, it’s great for small dogs that need help with weight management. However, it may not provide enough energy for a healthy adult small dog.

    Pros
    • Limited ingredients
    • Omits common allergens
    • Free of preservatives and artificial flavoring
    • Helps dogs with weight management needs
    Cons
    • Easily perishable
    • Low amount of calories

    4. CANIDAE Pure Petite Puppy Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    CANIDAE Pure Petite Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Salmon, salmon meal, lentils, peas, garbanzo beans
    Protein Content 24%
    Fat Content 13.50%
    Calories 525 kcal/cup

    Small dog breed puppies have particular nutritional needs. They tend to have very high metabolic rates and can easily burn through calories. So, they do best by eating calorie-dense meals three or four times a day.

    This particular CANIDAE puppy food recipe has a sufficient amount of calories to keep up with an energetic pup. It contains garbanzo beans and lentils, which are high in fiber and will help keep your puppy feeling full for longer. The formula also uses fish as its only source of meat, so it’s safe for puppies that have chicken or beef allergies.

    The formula does tend to have a strong fish smell, which can be enticing for puppies but not for humans. Other than the smell, this recipe is extremely beneficial and nutritious for puppies and is a safe and reliable choice.

    Pros
    • Calorie-dense formula
    • Healthy fiber keeps puppies full
    • Single source of meat
    Cons
    • Strong fish smell

    5. ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited Ingredient Diet Duck & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food

    ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited Ingredient Diet

    Main Ingredients Duck, duck meal, oat groats, whole sorghum, duck liver, duck fat, whole pumpkin
    Protein Content 27%
    Fat Content 17%
    Calories 371 kcal/cup

    One of the main causes of allergies comes from food, so finding a food designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs is always a good choice. ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited Ingredient Diet Duck & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food can help dogs with food sensitivities. This recipe has 60% of its ingredients are animal-based, ensuring your dog gets quality protein. Fiber-rich oat groats and whole sorghum aid with digestion.

    Whenever you switch to a new food, it is important to speak to your vet about the possibility of food allergies. Since chicken is a common animal protein that leads to food allergies, duck might be a good choice for your dog. But keep your veterinarian informed.

    Pros
    • 60% of ingredients are animal-based
    • Includes fiber-rich oats and sorghum
    • Excellent choice for dogs with food sensitivities
    Cons
    • A bit pricey
    • Some people said the kibble was dusty

    6. Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Salmon, salmon meal, peas, potatoes, canola oil, dried ground potatoes
    Protein Content 29%
    Fat Content 14%
    Calories 450 kcal/cup

    This Wellness limited ingredient recipe for small dogs is very easy on the stomach and is fortified with many nutrients that promote healthy digestion. Its first ingredient is salmon, and it’s the only type of meat protein inside the recipe. Rather than using grains, potatoes are the main carbohydrate, which can be easier for dogs to digest.

    The formula also contains a blend of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine, which are all essential nutrients that support healthy daily functioning for small dogs. It doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

    As with many fish-based dog food, this kibble is no exception when it comes to having a strong smell. It can be a bit overwhelming at first and may take some time to accustom yourself to it.

    Pros
    • Single source of protein
    • Single source of carbohydrate
    • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Has strong fish smell

    7. FirstMate Small Bites LID Grain-Free Fish Meal Dry Dog Food

    FirstMate Small Bites LID Grain-Free Fish Meal Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Ocean fish meal, Burbank potato, Norkotah potato, tomato pomace chicken fat
    Protein Content 23%
    Fat Content 10%
    Calories 484 kcal/cup

    This FirstMate dog food recipe is wheat-free and corn-free and consists of easily digestible ingredients. It’s marketed as a hypoallergenic and single-source protein diet. However, it does contain some amounts of chicken fat. So, if your dog has a chicken allergy, make sure to consult with your veterinarian that this food is safe for your dog to eat.

    The formula also incorporates a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which support healthy skin and coat. It also only uses potatoes as its only source of carbohydrates. So, the overall recipe is relatively simple and easy on your dog’s stomach.

    Pros
    • Wheat-free and corn-free
    • Hypoallergenic and single-source diet
    • Single-source carbohydrate
    • Easy to digest
    Cons
    • Contains traces of chicken fat

    8. Natural Balance LID Lamb & Rice Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Natural Balance LID Lamb & Rice Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Lamb, lamb meal, brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
    Protein Content 22%
    Fat Content 12%
    Calories 370 kcal/cup

    Natural Balance is an affordable option for small dogs with allergies. This recipe lists lamb as its first ingredient, and it’s the only source of protein. It also only uses rice products as its carbohydrate, but keep in mind that brown rice can be difficult for some dogs to digest.

    The recipe is free of any soy, gluten, and artificial flavors and colors. The limited ingredients also significantly reduce the risk of triggering allergic reactions, and the ingredients themselves aren’t common allergens for dogs.

    Keep in mind that the amount of calories for this recipe is on the lower end. So, it can be a considerable option for dogs that need help with weight management, but it may not be sufficient for active small dogs.

    Pros
    • Affordable option
    • Single source of protein
    • Single source of carbohydrate
    • No soy, gluten, or artificial flavors and colors
    Cons
    • Brown rice may be difficult to digest
    • May not contain enough calories

    9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food

    Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, yellow peas, cracked pearled barley
    Protein Content 21%
    Fat Content 12%
    Calories 392 kcal/cup

    The first thing you’ll notice about this dog food is the tiny kibble pieces. The kibble size is ideal for mini and toy dog breeds, but it might be too small for dog breeds that weigh closer to 20 pounds.

    The recipe also only uses chicken as its meat protein. However, chicken can be a common allergen for dogs, so if you’re unsure of what’s causing your dog’s allergic reactions, you may want to refrain from this recipe.

    One of the highlights of this dog food is that the formula has been developed by a veterinarian team and contains ingredients that provide optimal nutritional benefits for small dogs. It includes prebiotic fiber to improve and support digestive health. Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E help to nourish the skin and coat and keep it healthy.

    Pros
    • Kibble size is ideal for toy breeds
    • Single source of meat protein
    • Veterinarian-formulated recipe
    • Prebiotic fiber supports digestive health
    • Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E nourishes skin and coat
    Cons
    • Kibble is too small for dogs close to 20 pounds
    • Contains chicken and egg product

    10. I and Love and You Stir and Boom Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

    I and Love and You Stir and Boom Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

    Main Ingredients Lamb, yellow split peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage
    Protein Content 23%
    Fat Content 11%
    Calories 335 kcal/cup

    This recipe lists free-range lamb as the first ingredient, which isn’t a common allergen for dogs. It does contain dried egg product, which can be an allergen for some dogs. However, all the ingredients are nutritious and packed with antioxidants and fiber.

    The dehydration process in preparing this dog food helps to preserve all natural flavors and nutrients. This food can be more convenient than fresh dog food because it doesn’t have to be refrigerated or kept frozen. All you have to do is add water to create a more palatable consistency for your dog.

    Another convenient feature is that this dog food is sufficient for dogs of all life stages. So, you can feed your dog this meal from puppyhood to its senior years. This recipe does have a lower number of calories than other dog food, so check with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog intakes an adequate amount of energy.

    Pros
    • Free-range lamb is first ingredient
    • Dehydration process preserves flavors and nutrients
    • More convenient than fresh dog food
    • Suitable for all life stages
    Cons
    • Contains egg product
    • May not contain enough calories

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Dog Food for Small Dogs With Allergies

    A dog’s diet and its allergies can significantly affect its quality of life, and the wrong match can potentially trigger and perpetuate more symptoms and health issues. So, it’s extremely important to purchase dog food that’s completely safe for your small dog to eat. Here are some important things to look for while shopping for allergy-friendly dog food.

    Avoid Common Allergens

    Checking the ingredient list will be vital in your search. Make sure to avoid lists that contain common food allergens for dogs, such as the following:

    • Dairy
    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Chicken eggs
    • Soy
    • Wheat gluten

    While any type of food can cause an allergic reaction, proteins are the most common type of food that trigger these reactions.

    Single Source of Meat

    Since protein is a common culprit, dog food with just one source of meat protein can help to ensure your dog doesn’t experience an allergic reaction. Beware of some dog food recipes that claim to use one source of meat. Many times, these recipes will contain other ingredients, such as animal fat, fish oil, or egg product to help bind the food together. If your dog is very sensitive, you’ll want to avoid these recipes.

    Limited-Ingredient Formulas

    Limited-ingredient formulas are especially helpful if you’re having trouble determining food allergens for your dog. These formulas are only supposed to contain necessary ingredients. However, the use of “limited-ingredient” isn’t regulated, so different pet food brands will have different definitions of this word.

    The best way to determine the number of ingredients is to check the ingredient list. Look for ingredient lists that use whole ingredients and don’t contain too many fillers.

    Gray Schnauzer eating food at natural sunlight
    Image by: Diego Sene, Shutterstock

    Small Dog Diets

    Since small dog breeds have special dietary needs, it’s important to find a formula that’s specifically made for them. These types of recipes will be calorie-dense and have nutrients that may help prevent certain health conditions that small dogs are prone to developing. Dry dog food will also have more manageable kibble sizes.

    Fortunately, many brands offer limited-ingredient and allergy-friendly recipes for small dogs. If you can’t find any at your local pet store, you’ll be able to find many more options through online retailers.

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    Conclusion

    Our reviews show that The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe is the best dog food for small dogs with allergies. It contains nutritious and whole foods and is gentle on the stomach. The Nutro Limited Ingredient diet for small dogs is a great affordable option.

    Finding a safe diet for small dogs with allergies can be very challenging. Starting with a limited-ingredient diet that contains a single source of protein can help immensely. There are so many available options, so continue to work with your veterinarian in your search, and you’ll eventually find a recipe that works for your dog.


    Featured Image Credit: Lucas Seijo, Shutterstock

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