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9 Best Hydrolyzed Dog Foods in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Over time, we are becoming more aware of the ingredients and preparation of our pet’s food. Many times, there are products that we have never heard of and processes that we do not understand. One thing is for sure, however. When it comes to our pet’s diet, we want to make good choices for them. This is especially true for dogs with sensitivities to protein.

If your dog suffers from allergies or inflammatory bowel disease, your vet may suggest a hydrolyzed diet. If that is the case, here are our reviews of hydrolyzed dog food to help you determine the best option for your pet.

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A Glance at Our Winners in 2023

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hill’s Food Sensitivities Hydrolyzed Dog Food Hill’s Food Sensitivities Hydrolyzed Dog Food
  • Promotes urinary health
  • Available in wet and dry formula
  • Contains hydrolyzed chicken liver
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Adult Dog Food Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Adult Dog Food
  • Contains high quality protein
  • Limited ingredients for healthy skin and coat
  • Contains probiotics to aid in digestion
  • Third place
    Blue Buffalo Natural Hydrolyzed Dog Food Blue Buffalo Natural Hydrolyzed Dog Food
  • Salmon is the main ingredient
  • Helps with skin sensitivities
  • Contains pumpkin and kelp to support immune system
  • Best for Puppies
    Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food
  • Highly digestible
  • Suitable for adult dogs and growing puppies
  • Dogs like the taste
  • Vet’s Choice
    Hill’s i/d Digestive Care Dry Dog Food Hill’s i/d Digestive Care Dry Dog Food
  • Dogs like the taste
  • Low fat
  • Improves digestion
  • The 9 Best Hydrolyzed Dog Foods

    1. Hill’s Food Sensitivities Hydrolyzed Dog Food – Best Overall

    Hill’s Prescription Diet zd Skin Food Sensitivities Original Flavor

    Main ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, powdered cellulose, soybean oil, and calcium carbonate
    Protein content: 19.1%
    Fat content: 14.4% minimum
    Calories: 354 kcal/cup

    The Hill’s Prescription Diet is our pick for overall best hydrolyzed dog food. The diet helps to improve your dog’s skin and coat and relieve irritation. It is available in wet and dry formulas. Whichever you choose, it will help with the digestion process, and you will likely see an improvement in your dog’s stool. The formula promotes urinary health and is shown to lower the risk of kidney stones.

    The food was formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists to improve the diet of dogs with intolerance and sensitivities to food. This is a prescription diet, so it requires approval from your vet, and it can be expensive for pet owners on a budget.

    Pros
    • Promotes urinary health
    • Available in wet and dry formula
    • Contains hydrolyzed chicken liver
    • Helps with skin and coat
    • Improves digestion
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Requires a prescription

    2. Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Adult Dog Food – Best Value

    Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula Adult Limited Ingredient Grain Free Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Peas, pea flour, hydrolyzed salmon, sunflower oil, flaxseed
    Protein content: 22%
    Fat content: 12.0%
    Calories: 358 kcal/cup

    Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula is the best hydrolyzed dog food for the money. The main ingredient in this recipe is peas. Some studies suggest there’s a link between peas and canine heart disease. The formula contains minerals and vitamins, along with probiotics for healthy digestion and eliminates ingredients that may cause skin irritation.

    If your dog has sensitivities to food this may be the product for you. It is made with hydrolyzed salmon and peas as the only source of protein. The hydrolyzed formula does not require a prescription and it is not a subscription plan. It is, however, a dog food that promotes healthy skin and coat and supports digestive health at a cost that is a bit more affordable on a tight budget. Some dogs may not like the taste.

    Pros
    • Contains high quality protein
    • Limited ingredients for healthy skin and coat
    • Contains probiotics to aid in digestion
    • Affordably priced
    • Grain free
    Cons
    • Owners noted their dogs did not eat the entire serving
    • Main ingredient is peas

    3. Blue Buffalo Natural HF Hydrolyzed

    Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain Free Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Salmon hydrolysate, pea starch, potatoes, peas, pea protein
    Protein content: 24%
    Fat content: 12.0%
    Calories: 368 kcal/cup

    Our premium choice for the best hydrolyzed dog food is Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain Free Dry Dog Food. This premium recipe begins with salmon that is hydrolyzed for easy digestion. It contains omega-3 from fish oil, and flaxseed among other vitamins, minerals and nutrients for healthy skin and a beautiful coat. According to most reviewers, dogs enjoy the taste.

    This special formula does require a prescription from your vet, and it’s important to note that peas are one of the main ingredients. This food can be a little pricey for pet owners on a budget as well.

    Pros
    • Salmon is the main ingredient
    • Helps with skin sensitivities
    • Contains pumpkin and kelp to support the immune system
    • Dogs like the taste
    Cons
    • Requires a prescription
    • Peas are one of the main ingredients
    • A little pricey

    4. Purina HA Hydrolyzed Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, coconut oil, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, powdered cellulose
    Protein content: 18%
    Fat content: 8.0%
    Calories: 314 kcal/cup

    A review of the best hydrolyzed dog food for puppies found that Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food contains low-allergen carbohydrates and simple proteins to limit allergic reactions in dogs that have food sensitivities. It is a highly digestible formula that offers the best nutrition for the special needs of your growing puppy or your adult dog.

    The Purina HA does require a prescription and vet approval. The gentle snackers, a diet compatible treat, are available for your dog and do not require a vet’s approval. Like other prescription foods, Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food can be on the expensive side.

    Pros
    • Highly digestible
    • Suitable for adult dogs and growing puppies
    • Dogs like the taste
    • Diet compatible treats available
    • Available in wet and dry
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Requires vet approval

    5. Hill’s Prescription Diet Dry Dog Food – Vet’s Choice

    Hill's Prescription Diet id Digestive Care Low Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Brewer’s rice, corn gluten meal, chicken meal, chicken by-product meal, hydrolyzed chicken flavor
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 5.0%
    Calories: 333 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Digestive Care Low Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is the vet’s choice for the best hydrolyzed dog food for pets with allergies and digestive issues. This prescription recipe is formulated to be highly digestible and has been developed by vets and nutritionists. It’s also low in fat to reduce digestive upset.

    The reviews find that this diet improves stool quality and digestion and promotes a healthy immune system. Many reviewers said their dogs enjoyed the taste as well. It is a prescription diet that requires veterinarian approval, however. It’s also expensive if you’re on a budget for your pet food.

    Pros
    • Dogs like the taste
    • Low fat
    • Improves digestion
    • Calms the digestive tract
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Requires a prescription

    6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Protein PS Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Protein PS Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Potato, hydrolyzed soy protein, coconut oil, potato protein, natural flavors
    Protein content: 19%
    Fat content: 10.0%
    Calories: 302 kcal/cup

    One of our top picks for the best hydrolyzed dog foods is Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein PS Dry Dog Food. The veterinarian approved diet contains specialized ingredients for dogs with sensitivities to foods. The process of breaking down the proteins to minimize immune system response, helps reduce digestive and skin reactions. It offers nutrients for healthy skin and prebiotics and fibers for easy digestion.

    Like several foods on this list, this blend does require authorization from your veterinarian to purchase. Based on reviews, many dogs enjoy the taste and it’s free from peas. It is a little pricey, however.

    Pros
    • Contains hydrolyzed protein for sensitivities to food
    • Dogs like the taste
    • Contains omega-3 fatty acids
    • Pea-free
    Cons
    • The cost is high
    • Requires a prescription

    7. Royal Canin Adult Hydrolyzed Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Brewer’s rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, natural flavors, vegetable oil
    Protein content: 22%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 376 kcal/cup

    In reviewing the best hydrolyzed dog food, we picked Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein for Small Breed Dog Food because even small dogs need special diets. The M&M-sized kibble is easy for small dogs to chew or you can add in some water if needed.

    The small breed formula is recommended for dogs under 22 pounds that may have reactions to protein. It supports their urinary tract and helps prevent kidney stones. According to reviews, most pet owners said their dogs are happy with the taste. This food is prescription only and a little on the pricey said. There’s also no variety with recipes.

    Pros
    • Helps prevent kidney stones
    • Kibble is small for tiny mouths
    • Tastes good
    • Reduces gastrointestinal and skin reactions
    Cons
    • Needs vet approval
    • A bit costly
    • No variety

    8. Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Adult Hp Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Adult Hp Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Brewer’s rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp
    Protein content: 19.5%
    Fat content: 17.5%
    Calories: 332 kcal/cup

    A review of the best hydrolyzed dog foods found Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food among some of the favorites. Customers experienced remarkable results for their pets. Their dogs had improvement in skin and digestion and formed stools rather than diarrhea. Many reviewers said their dogs enjoyed the food as well.

    The formula allows for long-term use for dogs that have sensitivity to foods. As mentioned in a previous review, peas may be linked to heart problems, and this food is free from peas. The specialized diet can be costly, however, and it requires approval from your veterinarian.

    Pros
    • Dogs like the taste
    • Good for long-term use
    • Improves digestion
    • Improves skin and coat
    • Pea-free
    Cons
    • Vet approval required
    • Pricey

    9. Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Canned Dog Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, pea starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, hydrolyzed soy protein, vegetable oil
    Protein content: 5.0%
    Fat content: 2.5%
    Calories: 396 kcal/can

    A review of Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food finds that dog owners notice their pets scratching less and enjoying the taste of the food. Owners with dogs that have skin and digestion issues have suggested using the Royal Canin wet food for meals and a hydrolyzed dry kibble for treats. We would, however, recommend discussing that idea with your vet.

    According to reviews, most dogs enjoy the taste of Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food. This food is only available with a prescription, but it’s appropriate for all ages. It’s also expensive, like most prescription diets.

    Pros
    • Dogs like the taste
    • Contains prebiotics and fiber to aid in digestion
    • Good for both adults and puppies
    • Contains, vitamin B, omega-3, and amino acids
    Cons
    • Veterinarian prescribed
    • Expensive

    divider-dog pawBuyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Hydrolyzed Dog Food

    What is Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food?

    If you have ever owned a pet with health problems, it can be heartbreaking. We want our dogs to be healthy and happy. Unfortunately, diet plays a big part in causing problems or promoting good health for our dogs. If you have ever owned a dog with food sensitivities, you know the drill. The skin sores and chronic diarrhea are endless and hydrolyzed protein may be the answer for you.

    Hydrolysis is the process of using water to break proteins into tiny pieces. The pieces are so small, the immune system does not recognize or react to them. The hydrolyzed dog food can be successful in treating dogs with food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

    Hydrolyzed dog food is made under strict conditions. Manufacturers have strict measures in place to prevent ingredients that are not on the label from getting into the specialized food.

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    Final Thoughts

    For dogs with allergies and irritable bowel syndrome our overall pick is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Original Flavor Dry Dog Food. For those of us that don’t have much wiggle room in our budget, our pick for best value is Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula Adult Limited Ingredients Grain Free Dry Dog Food. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain Free Dog food is our pick for premium choice. Our pick for best for puppies is Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Vegetarian Dry Dog Food. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is our vet’s choice to help improve your dog’s skin and poop.

    Sources

    Featured Image Credit: Karsten Winegeart, Unsplash

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