Allergies are very common among today's domestic dog population. While some breeds are certainly more prone to allergic reactions than others, any dog can develop a reaction that affects the way their bodies react to the food they eat.
Allergies can affect your dog through genetics or over-exposure to a particular ingredient.
Whatever the case may be, it's important to avoid allergens completely. Reactions can be as minimal as some stomach discomfort to full anaphylactic shock.
To avoid these issues, you need to provide your dog with food that's safe for them.
This includes their daily treats. Hypoallergenic treats are designed to meet the needs of allergy sufferers. They often contain unique ingredients that are less likely to cause a reaction in your dog's body.
In the past, getting a limited-ingredient dog treat was a bit of a task. Hypoallergenic products were very rare, thus driving up the costs significantly. However, that changed quite a bit in recent years.
Specialty diets and treats have become widely available, giving your pup the opportunity to enjoy tasty treats that are safe. Here's a collection of some of the best allergy-free snacks.
10 of the Best Hypoallergenic Treats for Dogs with Allergies
1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Gentle Snackers Hydrolyzed Dog Treats
This option from Purina is specifically formulated for better digestion and allergy-free snacking. It contains a single hydrolyzed protein source.
The soy protein is partially broken down into its essential amino acids, making it easy for your dog's body to process. In total, the treat is made up of about 16 percent protein, ensuring that your pup is getting all the extra fuel they need to thrive.
It also has oat fiber and low-allergen carbohydrates to avoid any unwanted reactions. The treat is pressed into a crunchy square shape that's fun, easy to manage, and comfortable for your dog to chew.
2. Fruitables Pumpkin Dog Treats
With natural fruits as the main ingredient, these treats are an excellent option for dogs with allergies. There are a few different flavors to choose from as well, each with great ingredients.
From the moment you open the bag, you'll know that this treat is healthy. The ingredients list is very small, containing only a handful of natural ingredients. There is no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial additives. It utilizes natural preservatives.
The natural fruits provide a healthy dose of vitamins and antioxidants. Pumpkin is an excellent ingredient for your dog. It's full of beneficial macronutrients, slows down the rate of absorption for lasting energy, and contains a lot of fiber for better digestion. It's also low-calorie, helping you keep your dog's weight under control.
3. Walk About Grain-Free Wild Boar with Apple Jerky Dog Treats
The grain-free treats from Walk About contain fewer ingredients and a lot more protein than many traditional snacks you'll find at your local pet store.
Wild boar is the main ingredient. It contributes to the treats impressive 28 percent protein content. Boar is relatively rare in the dog food industry, so you don't have to worry about over-exposure or allergic reactions.
Chickpeas and sweet potatoes are used for carbohydrates. The formula also contains some dried honey and apple cider vinegar. The treats are dried, giving them a jerky-like texture that dogs will salivate over.
4. Old Mother Hubbard Classic Biscuits Baked Dog Treats
These oven-baked treats from Old Mother Hubbard take on that familiar dog bone shape. Packed into each and every treat, there's a collection of unique ingredients that are delicious and allergy-free.
It has a lot of flavor thanks to ingredients like white cheddar cheese, cane molasses, and paprika. To ensure that your pup is getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need, there's also apples, carrots, and eggs.
There are no artificial preservatives or common allergens that you have to worry about.
5. PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats
As the name suggests, these dog treats from PureBites are as pure as you can get. They only contain one ingredient: Chicken breast.
The chicken is freeze-dried to get rid of the moisture. Not only does this make it easier and more enjoyable for your dog to eat, but it also preserves the meat without the need for artificial preservatives.
Because chicken breast is the only ingredient used, these treats are very high in protein. However, the chicken morsels are also low in calories to keep your dog's weight in check.
6. Darford Zero/G Minis Roasted Lamb Dog Treats
The Zero/G Minis from Darford are great bite-sized treats for any dog. They contain high-protein lamb as the primary ingredient.
The treats are oven-baked, which locks in the flavor while saving much of the nutritional content. To complement the lamb, chickpeas and yellow peas are used for carbs. There are no grains and the entire recipe is gluten-free.
For vitamins and minerals, a couple of fruits are added to the mix. These include blueberries and cranberries.
7. Etta Says! Roasted Duck-Duck Jerky Dog Treats
These hypoallergenic jerky treats use duck, turkey, and chicken as the main ingredient. They're packed of flavor and take a bit of time to chew on.
This helps to promote good dental health while keeping your pup entertained. It's a limited-ingredients treat, so there's a much lower chance that your dog will experience an allergic reaction.
Beneficial ingredients like tapioca starch and pinto beans help with the digestive process. Of course, no artificial preservatives are used either.
8. Vital Essentials Beef Tripe Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats
Green beef tripe is the only ingredient used in these treats from Vital Essentials.
Tripe is a nutrient-rich part of the cow that's delicious to your dog and filled with beneficial bacteria. This bacteria can improve the overall condition of your dog's gut.
To create the treats, the tripe is freeze-dried slowly over the course of 48 hours. This process preserves the ingredient while keeping all of its great nutritional content intact. There are no extra additives, just pure tripe.
9. Nature Gnaws Large Bully Sticks 5 - 6" Dog Treats
What dog can resist a good bully stick? From Nature Gnaws is this all-natural bully stick treat. It's made out grass-fed beef and nothing else.
There are no preservatives, additives, or hormones. The sticks are freeze-dried to lock in the nutrients and flavor while giving the treat its signature tough texture. Dogs can chew on these sticks for hours to enjoy the flavor and clean their teeth.
The sticks measure between 5 and 6 inches and length. They're highly digestible and are less likely to cause allergic reactions than standard treats.
10. Halo Healthsome Garden of Vegan Cookie Dog Treats
These treats from Halo are completely vegan. However, that doesn't mean that they don't have any protein. In fact, the recipe is made up of about 12 percent protein to help your pup thrive.
The treats are made out of nutrient-rich vegetables. They include sweet potatoes and carrots. There's also beneficial quinoa, chickpeas, and oat flour.
The formula is very simple and contains limited ingredients. As a result, your dog can enjoy the taste and health benefits without having to worry about allergic reactions.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has an Allergy?
Dogs can be allergic to a number of different ingredients. Because commercial foods are usually filled with a long list of ingredients, it can be tough to determine exactly what they're having a negative reaction to. The first step is identifying the signs that something is wrong.
Allergic reactions can manifest in many different ways. The most common is through their stool. Diarrhea and loose poop are telltale signs that your pup's body doesn't agree with an ingredient. They may also experience vomiting, skin itchiness, ear infections, and rashes.
In the worst-case scenario, dogs with serious allergies may go into anaphylactic shock. This is a serious condition that can result in death if the dog doesn't receive medical attention immediately.
When you notice these signs, you need to consult with your vet. Take a quick picture of the ingredients list for your dog's treats and food to bring along with you.
Your vet may be able to recommend a diet change based on that information alone. If not, they may perform tests or put your dog on an elimination diet.
Essentially, these diets require you to feed your dog single ingredients to see how they react. Over time, you'll add more ingredients to the mix until you figure out what the offending food is.
By adding new ingredients slowly and examining your dog's reaction, you can use the process of elimination to figure out with foods are a no-go. From there, it's all about avoiding the bad ingredient and switching to new treats that can be processed by your dog's body efficiently.
Qualities of a Good Hypoallergenic Dog Snack
Thankfully, allergy-free treats are very common nowadays. You won't have any problem finding plenty of options for your precious pooch. To make sure that you choose the right snacks, here are some things to look into.
Treats with fewer ingredients are always recommended. These types of treats typically contain only the essentials, thus decreasing the chances of your dog from experiencing a reaction.
If you know what foods your dog is allergic to, scrutinize the ingredient's list and make sure that the treat doesn't have any allergens.
It's a common misconception that grain-free treats are automatically hypoallergenic. This couldn't be farther from the truth.
If your dog isn't allergic to grains, there's no reason to believe that a grain-free treat would be any better for them. You should always check the formula to see if its something your pup can handle.
As you recall, some dogs develop allergies due to over-exposure. Many commercially-available dog foods and treats contain the same ingredients. Eating too much of these common ingredients can cause your dog's body to start reacting negatively to them.
Many hypoallergenic treats utilize unique ingredients that you won't find in standard options. This ensures that it's something your pup's body overly exposed to.
For proteins, treats may contain exotic meats like kangaroo or venison. Rare meat sources for dog foods, such as duck, boar, or salmon, may be used as well.
Carbohydrates are a big offender when it comes to allergies. Simple carbs and corn can wreak havoc on a canine's digestive system. However, complex carbs like sweet potatoes and peas are a healthy alternative. Not only are they used less often by manufacturers, but they can actually improve your dog's gut in the long run.
No Artificial Additives
Cheaper dog foods may contain artificial ingredients that serve no real purpose for your dog. They're essentially chemicals that are used to modify a treat's taste, smell, or color.
If the treat has high-quality ingredients, why use them in the first place? Your pup doesn't care what the treat looks like as long as it tastes good.
All-natural ingredients are always preferred. There are safe and natural alternatives to chemical additives that help with preservation. These are good for your dog's body and won't result in an unwanted reaction.
Finding a treat for your allergy-prone dog doesn't have to be tough. There are many great options out there that taste delicious. Your pup will be none the wiser. They can finally enjoy the taste of high-quality treats without having to experience the pains of an allergic reaction later on.