Hypoallergenic and limited-ingredient dog treats are becoming easier to find these days, much to the delight of pet owners.
Once rare and expensive, these specialized treats are now an accessible option for pets with food allergies or intolerances.
Quick Picks: Best Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
- The Dog Bakery Wheat-Free Dog Treats [Best for Dogs with Wheat Allergies] — These US-made treats are made with oats and barley, rather than wheat, and they are flavored with real applesauce!
- Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix [Best for Dogs with Chicken Allergies] — These duck-based treats are awesome for dogs who love meaty treats, yet can’t handle those made with chicken.
- Zuke’s Mini Dog Treats [Best for Training Dogs with Allergies] — Zuke’s Mini Dog Treats are not only the perfect size for training your pooch, they’re made without many common allergens.
Why Do Dogs Become Allergic to Certain Ingredients?
Like humans, dogs often eat the same foods and treats over and over again, becoming over-exposed to certain ingredients. Over-exposure to the same ingredient can cause the immune and digestive systems to react in negative ways.
Ingredients like beef, dairy, corn, and wheat (to name a few) are used in the majority of standard dog foods and treats, and many dogs can no longer process them. To make matters worse, once a dog develops one allergy, they may develop others as well.
Common symptoms and reactions that dogs suffer from when fed these ingredients involve:
- Digestive Issues
- Skin Irritation
- Ear Infections
Veterinarians and dog food manufacturers recognize the seriousness of these allergens and recommend that dog owners keep common allergens away from their pets.
To isolate which foods your dog is reacting to, your vet will likely put your dog on an elimination diet, followed by a food challenge. This is done by solely feeding your dog one or two foods, such as ground turkey and sweet potatoes. Once you’ve established that your dog doesn’t have a reaction to these two foods, you can start the food challenges.
Gradually, more items are added in, until you notice that your dog has an allergic reaction. This will clearly identify which allergens your dog is reacting to, and you can then create a diet avoiding any allergy triggers.
Once you are aware of what ingredients you need to avoid, you can begin experimenting with different hypoallergenic dog treats and holistic dog foods, all while monitoring your dog’s reaction to make sure the food is working for them.
For dogs who have developed allergies, hypoallergenic dog food and hypoallergenic dog treats are a must!
Common Ingredients Found in Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
Many more foods are available, offering a wide variety of protein and grains that your dog may not react to. Common ingredients in hypoallergenic dog treats include:
- Duck, salmon, venison, or kangaroo. These are known as “novel” proteins, as they come from only one source and the dog hasn’t been exposed to them in foods or dog treats before. Instead of a dog treat made from a combination of chicken and beef, a hypoallergenic dog treat will contain just one novel protein. By feeding your dog a completely new source of protein like duck, venison, salmon, kangaroo, etc. you may avoid a negative response from his immune system.
- Sweet potato or pea. Novel proteins are usually paired with a single-source carbohydrate, the most common ones being sweet potato and pea. Like the novel protein, this carbohydrate source should be new to the dog’s diet and isn’t combined with any other carbs or fillers.
- Rice, oats, and other starches. These ingredients used to be key in hypoallergenic dog food and treats, but have since become so common that dogs are developing intolerances to them, too. You can still find these ingredients in some hypoallergenic dog foods, and they may be worth trying if your dog has not been exposed to them before.
10 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Treats: Reviews and Ratings
These hypoallergenic dog treats contain ingredients that are less likely to trigger allergic reactions for your dog. Different ingredients will be suitable for certain dogs vs others, so make sure you understand your dog’s allergies.
You may also consider trying multiple treats with different ingredients and recording your dog’s reaction to help eliminate any ingredients causing a negative affect.
1. Purina Veterinary Diets Gentle Snackers Dog Treats
About: Purina Veterinary Diets Dog Treats are designed specifically for dogs with meat allergies and is part of the HA diet treatment. These treats are just the thing for dogs with severe protein allergies, and is commonly prescribed by vets for dogs that need hypoallergenic treats.
- Made for sensitive stomachs. Extremely gentle on your dog’s stomach.
- Approved by vets. These hypoallergenic dog treats are often recommended by veterinarians.
- Meat-free. Best for dogs with protein/meat allergies
Pros: An ideal treat for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies.
Cons: These treats can sometimes fall apart easily, making them difficult for transporting around.
Ingredients: Starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, vegetable oil, dicalcium phosphate, oat fiber, powdered cellulose, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, potassium chloride, guar gum, lecithin, corn oil, choline chloride, magnesium oxide, DL-Methionine, salt, taurine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, calcium carbonate, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, garlic oil, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite
2. Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix Dog Treats
About: Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix Dog Treats are grain-free snacks that are fortified with joint-supporting supplements and designed for dogs who require limited ingredient diets.
- Great for joint health. Jumpin’ Stix are fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to help protect your pup’s knees, elbows, and hips.
- Meaty taste. Jumpin’ Stix are made with real duck — a protein most dogs find delicious.
- Made with natural ingredients. Jumpin’ Stix are made without artificial colors or preservatives.
Pros: Most dogs seem to love Jumpin’ Stix, and owners love giving their dog all-natural treats made with a limited number of high-quality ingredients.
Cons: These treats seem to upset the stomachs of dogs with sensitive tummies.
Ingredients: Duck, Water, Dried Potatoes, Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, Sugar, Guar Gum, Cane Molasses, Salt, Sorbic Acid (preservative), Citric Acid (preservative), Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chondroitin Sulfate, Natural Smoke Flavor, Rosemary Extract.
3. Blue Buffalo Biscuits Dog Treats
About: Blue Buffalo Dog Treats are oven-baked, limited-ingredient treats, made without corn, wheat, soy or chicken by-product meals.
- Turkey-based recipe. Turkey is a novel protein for many dogs, so it is a good alternative for those who’re allergic to chicken.
- Easy-to-digest ingredients. Blue Buffalo Dog Treats feature brown rice, oatmeal, and other ingredients that are easy for dogs to digest.
- All-natural. Blue Buffalo Treats are made without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Pros: Most dogs seem to love the taste of these treats. Additionally, several owners noted that they don’t tend to crumble, making for mess-free munching!
Cons: Several owners complained that these treats are pretty stinky, but dogs don’t seem to mind.
Ingredients: Turkey, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Potato, Potato Protein, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Cane Molasses, Carrots, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Salt, Calcium Carbonate
4. Fruitables Crunch Dog Treats
About: Fruitables Crunchy Dog Treats are baked, all-natural, hypoallergenic dog treats made from fruit!
- Variety of flavors. Available in a variety of flavors, including pumpkin & apple, pumpkin & banana, pumpkin & blueberry, and pumpkin & cranberry.
- Wheat and corn free. Contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, ingredients, or preservatives. Since these treats are made of fruit and veggies, with no wheat or meat, they’re great for dogs with allergies.
- Low calorie. Only 9 calories pet treat, avoiding hidden calories that can lead to pet obesity.
Pros: Even owners admit that these dog treats smell divine, and dogs seem to certainly support this, gobbling up these treats with joy! In addition, these treats are made in the USA and baked in a certified organic facility.
Cons: Not much to say against these!
Ingredients: Pumpkin, Organic Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Oat Fiber, Apples, Canola Oil, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Natural Flavor, Vanilla, Mixed Tocopherols.
5. Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats
About: Old Mother Hubbard Dog Teats are bone shaped dog biscuits that will remind you of the classic dog treat, with a cute design and crunchy texture your dog will love!
- Natural ingredients. Made with all natural ingredients.
- Several flavors. Available in multiple flavors and biscuit sizes, with flavors like Liver, Peanut Butter, and even a Vegetarian and Vegan option.
Pros: Pet owners like the size of the smaller biscuits, which are great for small dogs, or as a “light snack” for larger dogs. The variety of flavors (including a vegetarian and vegan option) make this treats a solid option for dogs that have allergies.
Cons: Some customers have complained about poor packaging, which resulted in some biscuits arriving broken up into small pieces.
Ingredients: Whole Wheat Flour, Oatmeal, Wheat Bran, Chicken Liver, Cane Molasses, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Caramel Color, Eggs, Apples, Carrots, Garlic, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative).
6. Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Chews
About: Virbac VeggieDent Chews pull double-duty as both a treat/reward for your dog and a dental cleaning.
- Promotes healthy teeth. Helps reduce plaque and tartar as your dog chews.
- Freshens your dog’s breath. Leaves your dog with fresh breath – no stinky mouth!
- Limited, meat-free ingredients. Made with limited ingredients and no meat.
Pros: While the ingredients aren’t completely ideal, these chews are made without meat, allowing dogs with meat allergies to enjoy them!
Cons: The manufacturer has changed the packaging and many buyers found it to be confusing, especially when trying to identify the ingredients in the product.
Ingredients: Corn starch, glycerin, soy bean protein, rice flour, palatable agent (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), sorbitol, corn cob, water, potassium sorbate.
7. Greenies Pill Pockets Treats for Dogs
About: Greenies Pill Pockets are dog treats that can be used to hide your dog’s medications in a tasty snack. If your dog has other medical issues requiring medication, in addition to their allergy issues, Greenies Pill Pockets could be a solution.
- Multiple flavors. Available in four flavors: Chicken, Duck and Pea, Hickory Smoke, and Peanut Butter.
- Good for taking medication. Masks the smell and taste of the medication.
- Two designs to choose from. Choose from capsule or tablet pockets.
- Better than using human food. A healthy alternative to using human foods to hide pills.
Pros: Dogs love the smell and taste, and with allergenic-friendly ingredients like duck and pea, they work as a hypoallergenic solution.
Cons: Although these treats are made for dogs with food or protein sensitivities, some buyers reported that their dogs were still intolerant of them.
Ingredients: Rehydrated Duck, Glycerin, Ground Peas, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Vegetable Oil, Sodium Bisulfate, Water, Dried Cultured Skim Milk, Xanthan Gum, Smoke Flavor, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols
8. The Dog Bakery Wheat-Free Dog Treats
About: The Dog Bakery Wheat-Free Dog Treats are oven-baked, corn- and soy-free treats formulated specifically for our canine companions. Manufactured by a family-owned bakery, these limited-ingredient, low-calorie treats are made without any artificial additives or preservatives.
- Made in the USA. The Dog Bakery Treats are cooked in the company’s Los Angeles-based area kitchens.
- Packaged in a resealable bag. It’s easy to keep these treats fresh — just seal the bag back up after giving your dog a treat!
- Available in multiple flavors. You can get The Dog Bakery Treats in four flavors: Apple Pie, Cheese, Peanut Butter, or Snickerdoodle.
Pros:Owners love the ingredients used in these treats and dogs seem to love the taste. One owner even likened them to Girl Scout cookies for dogs!
Cons:A number of owners complained that these treats were entirely too small, so they’re probably best for tiny pets.
Ingredients: Applesauce, barley, Rolled oats, coconut oil, molasses, apple pieces, cinnamon
9. Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Chicken Treats
About: Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Chicken Treats are limited-ingredient dog snacks that are made without many of the most common canine allergens. Crunchy, tasty, and all-natural, these treats are designed specifically for dogs with food allergies.
- No artificial ingredients. Natural Balance Treats are made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
- Grain-free. These treats are made without wheat, corn, or soy, making them a perfect choice for dogs with grain allergies.
- Made with real chicken. These treats use real chicken to provide pooch-pleasing flavor.
Pros: Several owners were very happy with these treats, as they worked well with their dog’s limited ingredient diet. Dogs seem to like them, and a few owners even mentioned that they reduced their dog’s gas.
Cons: These treats seem to crumble easily, so you’ll want to be gentle with the bag to keep them in one piece.
Ingredients: Dried Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Potato Protein, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Canola Oil, Cane Molasses, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract.
10. Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats
About: Many owners use Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats for training purposes, but few realize that these tasty treats are made without many common allergens, including corn, wheat, and soy. This makes them the perfect positive reinforcement for dogs with allergies to these ingredients.
- Small size is perfect for training. Large treats can cause a dog to fill up before their lessons are complete, but Zuke’s Treats are ideally suited for training.
- All-natural flavor boosters. Zuke’s Mini Treats are made with cherries and savory turmeric to provide a taste dogs love.
- Real chicken is the #1 ingredient. Treats should be nutritious and tasty, and Zuke’s accomplishes this by featuring chicken at the top of the ingredient list.
Pros: Zuke’s Minis are incredibly popular with dogs and their owners. They’re intended for training, but they’re also great for those times when your pupper just deserves something tasty!
Cons: A few dogs didn’t seem to like the taste, but otherwise there weren’t any consistent complaints about these treats.
Ingredients: Chicken, ground rice, ground barley, malted barley, vegetable glycerin, tapioca, cherries, natural flavor, gelatin, sunflower oil, salt, lecithin, phosphoric acid, turmeric, sorbic acid (preservative), ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, citric acid (preservative), mixed tocopherols (preservative), rosemary extract.
Do you have any favorite brands of hypoallergenic dog treats that we did not include? Share your favorites in the comments!