Small 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.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription||
||Click to Save 50% + Get Free Shipping!|
|Best Value||Nutro LID Sensitive Support Dog Food||
|Premium Choice||JustFoodForDogs Fish & Potato Frozen Dog Food||
|Best for Puppies||CANIDAE Pure Petite Puppy Small breed Grain-Free||
|Vet’s Choice||Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Chicken & Oatmeal Dry Dog Food||
The 10 Best Dog Food for Small Dogs With Allergies
1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Main Ingredients||Fresh ground turkey, broccoli, spinach, parsnips, carrots, and beans|
|Protein Content||38% (dry matter basis)|
|Fat Content||26% (dry matter basis)|
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.
2. Nutro LID Lamb & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food – Best Value
|Main Ingredients||Deboned lamb, lamb meal, chickpeas, dried potatoes, dried sweet potato, lentils|
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.
3. JustFoodForDogs Fish & Sweet Potato Frozen Dog Food – Premium Choice
|Main Ingredients||Cod, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, broccoli, safflower oil|
|Protein Content||38% (dry matter basis)|
|Fat Content||11% (dry matter basis)|
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.
4. CANIDAE Pure Petite Puppy Small breed Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
|Main Ingredients||Salmon, salmon meal, lentils, peas, garbanzo beans|
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.
5. Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken Dry Dog Food – Vet’s Choice
Organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic oatmeal, organic barley, organic brown rice
This Castor & Pollux dog food is made with all-organic ingredients and uses a blend of nutrient-dense superfoods, such as blueberries, flaxseed, and sweet potatoes. The barley and oatmeal also support healthy digestion.
We also love that the first ingredient is USDA-certified organic chicken, and chicken products are the only source of meat protein in the recipe. So, if your dog doesn’t have a chicken allergy, this dog food is a pretty safe choice.
The recipe is also very clean and simple and doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. It’s cooked in a USDA-certified kitchen, and it’s formulated for all types of dog breeds to enjoy. We do find that the kibble may be a little too large for toy breeds, but it’s manageable for most other small dogs.
6. Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients||Salmon, salmon meal, peas, potatoes, canola oil, dried ground potatoes|
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.
7. FirstMate Small Bites LID Grain-Free Fish Meal Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients||Ocean fish meal, Burbank potato, Norkotah potato, tomato pomace chicken fat|
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.
8. Natural Balance LID Lamb & Rice Small Breed Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients||Lamb, lamb meal, brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran|
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.
9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients||Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, yellow peas, cracked pearled barley|
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.
10. I and Love and You Stir and Boom Raw Lamb Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food
|Main Ingredients||Lamb, yellow split peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage|
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.
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:
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 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.
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, there are many brands that 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.
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.
- 10 Best Raw Dog Food Delivery Services
- 10 Best Dog Foods for Colitis
- 9 Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds with Skin Allergies
Featured Image Credit: Image Credit: MART PRODUCTION, Pexels