Is Your Dog Allergic or Intolerant to Some Dog Food Ingredients?


Sometimes we have good evidence for this, such as a solid association (backed up by daily notes written on our dog’s health calendar) between our dog eating a certain ingredient and having diarrhea, or a certain type of food causing our dog to nearly instantly develop an ear infection. (Ear infections are often caused by inflammation in the ear that is brought on by allergies. See this article for more details and information on how to prevent ear infections.)

Sometimes we are trying to avoid a certain ingredient or ingredients because we are just worried about the possibility of potential adverse effects.

Whatever the case, if you want to find foods that are free of the ingredients you’re trying to avoid feeding to your dog, we think you’ll appreciate the new search tool now available on our lists of approved dry and canned dog foods. Read on to learn how you can find the best dog food for allergies, intolerances, and your dog’s preferences!

Our list of approved dry dog foods for 2022 – more than 1,100 products that meet our selection criteria – currently appears here on our website (note that only current subscribers can access our approved foods lists). In past years, the reviews of dry and canned foods printed in the magazine and posted on the website were the same and listed only the manufacturers who make the products that meet our food-selection criteria. A summary described the products made by each manufacturer on our lists. But now, on our website, we have listed every single one of the products made by the manufacturers on our “approved foods” lists – and you can use filters to look for foods that either do or don’t contain any ingredients that are of special interest or concern to you.

Before Otto, my previous “heart dog” was Rupert, a Border Collie with a serious and confirmed allergy to chicken in any form: chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat – you name it. Of course, chicken is one of the most ubiquitous ingredients in dog food; it’s hard to find foods that contain no chicken. If only I had this tool back then! All I would have to do is scroll down on this page to where it says “Searchable Dry Dog Food Database,” click on the little box that says “Add Filters,” and set the filters to search for “Ingredients does not contain chicken,” and voila! A stunning 441 foods on our list don’t contain chicken!

dog food database filtered to not include chicken
If your dog is allergic to chicken, just filter out chicken as an ingredient.

You can also change the order that the foods appear in by clicking on the top of the columns where the detailed data for each food is tabulated. This enables you to sort and order the foods (highest to lowest, or lowest to highest) by average price per pound, protein content, or fat content.

Add as many filters as you like to find the best dry dog food for your dog’s allergies! You can search for a salmon-based food that does not contain any rendered meals for dogs of all life stages and that contains at least 30% fat (this search returned just one product), or any other combination of data about the food that would be helpful to you and your dog. Check it out! We hope you will find it as useful and interesting as we do!

dog food database filtered for salmon based food
We used product filtering to find a dry dog food with salmon and protein content higher than 30%.

A final note: Given the amount of data shown on the screen for each food (including the complete ingredients list, the minimum amount of protein and fat, whether the food contains meat, meat meal, or both; whether it’s for dogs of all life stages or adult maintenance, and its average price per pound), it’s MUCH easier to see and use the database on a laptop or desktop computer than on a phone screen.

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