13 Best Limited Ingredient Dog Foods for Your Pooch

Sometimes less is more! Such is the case with limited ingredient dog foods aimed to reduce the elements in your pet’s diet.

Restricted ingredient diets are often recommended for pets with allergies as fewer ingredients make it easier to establish what is triggering your pup’s health problems. 

A shaggy-haired Yorkie with a dog bowl filled with dog food

If you’re struggling to find limited ingredient food for your pup, check out our list of the best limited ingredient dog foods to help you out.

Top 5 Picks for Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food

  Dog Food Recipes Our Rating
Best Overall Limited Ingredient Dog Food Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food (Turkey & Potato)

  • Turkey-based dog food that is free from chicken and chicken by-products
  • Suitable for all breeds and sizes of dog
  • Grain-free dog food with easily digestible carbohydrates like potatoes, peas, and pumpkin
4.8
Best Budget Limited Ingredient Dog Food Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato 

  • Grain-free high-quality dog food that gets its protein from real salmon 
  • Contains just eight ingredients to help dogs with food sensitivities 
  • Probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals boost overall health
4.8
Best Limited Ingredient Puppy Food  Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Puppy Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Features 30% protein from real salmon
  • Packed full of omegas for immune health and beautiful skin and coat
  • Loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to boost overall health
4.6
Best Limited Ingredient Adult Dog Food Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet.Adult Dry Dog Food (Salmon & Sweet Potato)

  • Features real salmon as the number 1 ingredient
  • Produced in the USA from natural ingredients
  • Does not contain any added peas, pea protein, lentils, legumes, corn, wheat, or soy.
4.6
Best Limited Ingredient Senior Dog Food CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

  • Contains just nine wholesome ingredients 
  • Packed full of antioxidants for immunity and probiotics for digestive health
  • Contains no corn, soy, wheat, grain, or artificial ingredients
4.6

Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food (by Life Stage)

More and more brands have limited ingredient options available for purchase. While some of these are available for dogs of all life stages, others are specifically formulated for puppies or senior dogs. 

Best Limited Ingredient Puppy Food

A tri-color Corgi puppy eating in a glass bowl
A gentle Corgi dog appreciating her food – Image source

While introducing daily kibble to a tiny puppy can be a challenge for all dogs, especially in pets with food allergies or intolerances.

These limited ingredient options are an excellent choice for sensitive pups. These foods include a range of additivities that puppies need for their growing bodies!

1. Natural Balance L.I.D. Puppy Chicken-Free Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food 

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Puppy Chicken-Free Lamb & Brown Rice Formula

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal
Type: Dry

Grain inclusive yet gluten-free, dry limited ingredient dog food specifically designed for puppies. The food is naturally packed with amino acids, with lamb as the main ingredient, catering to young dogs’ growing needs.

Brown rice, which is packed full of fiber, helps to aid digestion.

Pros:

  • Produced in the USA from natural ingredients
  • It contains balanced levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a luxurious coat

Cons:

  • A few pet parents complained that the quality of this dog food was inconsistent between bags
  • Lower in protein compared to other puppy dog foods

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Puppy Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Puppy & Adult

Our rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas
Type: Dry

Limited ingredient dog food that is suitable for both puppies and adults. Featuring 30% protein from real salmon, this dry kibble is packed full of omegas for immune health and beautiful skin and coat.

The food is also loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to boost your pup’s overall health.

Pros:

  • Features a powerful blend of probiotics, with GanedenBC30, to support digestive health
  • Lower in carbohydrates and free from potatoes or tapioca, this brand caters to dogs with a variety of allergies

Cons:

  • Features canola oil as one of the ingredients which are highly processed and banned in some human foods by the FDA
  • Expensive

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. CANIDAE PURE Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (with Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg)

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Limited Ingredient Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe

Our rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils
Type: Dry

Wholesome puppy food featuring just nine ingredients with chicken as the main ingredient.

This food is rich in probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins while packed with vegetables to provide the nutritional support your dog needs.

You can also rest assured that this food is free from corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients.

Pros:

  • Fortified with a blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3 and six fatty acids
  • Vital nutrient-dense ingredients are formulated for gentle digestion for sensitive dogs

Cons:

  • Some dogs had diarrhea on this food

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D. Turkey & Potato Puppy Recipe

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Recipe Puppy Dry

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Oatmeal
Type: Dry

This limited ingredient turkey-based dog food is perfect for puppies with food sensitivities.

The special puppy-sized kibble is designed to prevent tartar buildup, while the single animal protein source is intended to be sensitive to the stomach.

This limited ingredient diet is free from chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs.

Pros:

  • Infused with Omega 3, 6, and DHA for promoting brain and eye development as well as healthy skin and coat 
  • Features calcium and phosphorus for building strong teeth, gums, and bones

Cons:

  • It contains lower than average protein and fat levels, which are vital to building strong muscles

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Limited Ingredient Adult Dog Food

A Doxie savoring his mixed dog food
Meet Odin, a Dachshund loves his mixed raw food – Image source

While humans are susceptible to several food allergies, so are dogs. Thankfully, several top dog food brands have developed limited ingredient diets to make your pup’s life that little bit easier!

5. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet.Adult Dry Dog Food (Salmon & Sweet Potato)

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets

Our rating: 4.8
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Type: Dry

The Natural Balance limited ingredient adult dry dog food features real salmon as the first ingredient and sweet potatoes as an easily digestible source of carbohydrates.

It doesn’t contain wheat, corn, soy, pea, chicken, legumes, and lentils which are common allergens to dogs.

Pros:

  • With a good proportion of protein, fat and fiber
  • Produced in the USA from natural ingredients
  • It contains balanced levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a luxurious coat

Cons:

  • Quite expensive compared to other dry dog foods

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Potatoes
Type: Dry

Grain-free adult dog food with turkey and potatoes provides dogs with a diet of highly digestible carbohydrates and a single source of protein.

In addition, this dry dog food has been fortified with antioxidants, omega fatty acids, probiotics, glucosamine, and taurine to support your pup’s full-body health.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA using all-natural ingredients
  • Free from any wheat, corn, soy, gluten, or artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors

Cons:

  • Includes tomato pomace, which is a controversial ingredient

CHECK PRICE HERE

7. Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato 

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Our rating: 4.8
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal
Type: Dry

Grain-free high-quality dog food that gets its protein from real salmon and fish meal. The recipe contains just eight ingredients to help dogs with food sensitivities while providing good all-around nutrition from wholesome veggies.

Probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals help boost your canine’s health.

Pros:

  • Contains no fillers or problem additives like corn, soy, wheat, grain, or artificial ingredients
  • Fortified after cooking with Canidae’s HealthPLUS blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3 and six fatty acids

Cons:

  • Some pet owners complained that this food had a powerful smell

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8. Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Beef, Lentils, Tomato Pomace
Type: Dry

Limited ingredient dry dog food for all life stages is made with pasture-raised Angus beef as the first ingredient. This highly digestible, protein-rich dog food is made with just four essential elements.

Still, it is packed with meaty flavor for your picky pet while providing whole-body nutrition through vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.

Pros:

  • Fortified with guaranteed levels of proprietary probiotics to support good digestion
  • Grain and GMO-free, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Cons:

  • Tomato pomace is one of the top ingredients, which is considered a low-quality ingredient

CHECK PRICE HERE

9. Earthborn Venture Smoked Turkey and Butternut Squash

Earthborn Holistic Venture Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Smoked Turkey & Butternut Squash

Our rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Butternut Squash
Type: Dry

Limited ingredient grain-free dry dog food crafted from fresh turkey sourced in the USA. The recipe also features butternut squash and flaxseed to aid your pup’s digestion, while added taurine and methionine help support heart health.

Also, the bag of this food is made from 40% plant-based plastics and is entirely resealable.

Pros:

  • Free from grain and gluten and other allergens like peas, lentils, legumes, white potato, egg, chicken, colors, fillers, by-products, GMO ingredients, and artificial preservatives.
  • A great source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins

Cons:

  • Some pet owners complained their dogs were still itchy on this diet
  • Expensive

CHECK PRICE HERE

10. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food (Turkey & Potato)

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry

Our rating: 4.8
Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Turkey Meal
Type: Dry

Turkey-based dog food that is free from chicken and chicken by-products, a known allergen for dogs.

Suitable for all dogs’ breeds and sizes, this dry food is grain-free with easily digestible carbohydrates like potatoes, peas, and pumpkin. 

It is also crafted using BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits, which contains select antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to support your dog’s overall health.

Pros:

  • All-natural kibble free from common allergens like chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs, and without any artificial flavors or preservatives
  • It comes in a variety of different bag sizes so that you can choose the best size for your breed

Cons:

  • Low in protein

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Limited Ingredient Senior Dog Food

A Senior Jack Russell Terrier with tongue out
A goofy portrait of senior Jack Russell Terrier dog with tongue sticking out – Image source

The best limited ingredient diets for senior dogs not only include fewer ingredients but are fortified with supplements designed to support their aging hearts, assist with better mobility and keep older pets trim and fit.

11. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food (Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe)

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry

Our rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal
Type: Dry

Limited ingredient formula specifically designed for aging pets. This pet food recipe contains just nine wholesome ingredients, with protein-rich chicken as the main ingredient.

It is also packed full of probiotics for digestive health, antioxidants for immunity, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to support your senior dogs’ overall health.

Pros:

  • Contains no corn, soy, wheat, grain, or artificial ingredients
  • Made from quality ingredients sourced in the USA

Cons:

  • Some pet owners complained this food was very expensive

CHECK PRICE HERE

12. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Recipe Senior Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Recipe Senior Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Oatmeal, Brown Rice
Type: Dry

Limited ingredient formula specifically designed for aging pets with real turkey and easily digestible carbohydrates like potatoes, pumpkin, and peas for sensitive stomachs.

It is also formulated with BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits, a combination of vet-chosen antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to improve your pup’s overall health and wellness.

Pros:

  • Includes taurine for heart health, and chondroitin and glucosamine for mobility
  • A precise blend of protein and carbohydrates for senior dog’s energy levels
  • More affordable than the Blue Buffalo Basics LID Senior Canned Dog Food

Cons:

  • Some picky eaters wouldn’t touch this food or vomited it up

CHECK PRICE HERE

13. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Senior Canned Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Senior Canned Dog Food

Rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Potatoes
Type: Wet

Designed for adult dogs with digestive issues, this canned dog food is made with easy-to-digest potatoes, turkey, and various fruits and veggies, including pumpkin, blueberries, and cranberries.

Offering great value, this canned dog food comes in a pack of 12 cans.

Pros:

  • Grain-free recipe free from chicken and chicken derivatives
  • It contains a mix of vitamins, including vitamins A, B12, D3, and B9

Cons:

  • One dog owner complained that the food smelt terrible
  • Expensive

CHECK PRICE HERE

Is a Limited Ingredient dog food good for dogs?

A Golden Retriever likes the homemade food
A happy Golden Retriever dog delighted his raw food – Image source

Allergic reactions in dogs, like itchy skin, are often blamed on dietary choices. However, your pet’s food might not be the root cause of your dog’s problems, with food allergies accounting for just 10% of allergy problems in dogs.

Other, more common allergies include fleas and environmental factors, which can be seasonal. 

That said, if your dog does suffer from loose stools or skin allergies, then putting him on a limited ingredient diet can help to narrow down the cause of your dog’s health issues.

This will help you rule out what is causing your dog’s problems through a process of elimination because, with regular kibble with lots of ingredients, it can be challenging to determine what is causing the issue.

When are limited ingredient diets a good idea?

It’s essential to understand the difference between food allergies and food intolerance in pets. Food allergies for dogs are caused when the body creates defensive antibodies to fight foods deemed harmful.

The symptoms of food allergies include itchy skin, hives, rashes, obsessive licking or paw biting, and even nausea and vomiting

On the other hand, food intolerances are not an immune response but a digestive problem that occurs when your pup’s body can’t break down a specific ingredient properly.

For example, lactose intolerance is commonly found amongst dogs with their bodies struggling to break down the sugars found in milk. 

Symptoms can also include nausea and vomiting but also gas, bloating, and gastric distress like diarrhea.

Moving your dog onto a limited ingredient diet can help you rule out some of the most common food allergens and intolerances in canines.

If your dog develops the same issues within a few days of trying out their new diet, they are unlikely to suffer from a food allergy or intolerance.

How many ingredients is “Limited”?

There are no set regulations for dog food in terms of the number of ingredients considered a limited ingredient variant. However, limited ingredient foods contain a lot fewer elements than your typical dog food. 

Most limited-ingredient diets contain only one novel protein source and a few wholesome carbohydrates while avoiding grains. 

Complete Best Limited-Ingredient Dog Food Guide

Doxies looking up and excited to take a bite of their raw salmon
Meet Lussy & Mucha, two spoiled Dachshunds can’t wait for their salmon – Image source

Although not a regulated term, limited ingredient dog foods are available in numbers. That can make choosing the right one for your pet a challenge.

Let’s unpack some of the critical things to look for and other considerations when it comes to finding the best limited ingredient dog food.

Things to look for when selecting a Limited-Ingredient dog food: What should dogs eat?

Limited ingredient foods might have a longer ingredient list than one might expect. This is because the vitamins and minerals that the food is fortified with are listed separately.

Don’t be alarmed; these additional elements are there to ensure your dog gets everything they need for complete and balanced nutrition. 

The first few ingredients on the list should be real and whole proteins and carbohydrate sources; these are the essential components of your dog’s diet.

These foods also avoid some of the most common food allergens in dogs, such as chicken, chicken fat, beef, dairy, egg, wheat, corn, and soy. 

Instead, single proteins like salmon, turkey, and venison commonly feature in limited ingredient diets. Fillers and artificial additives are also avoided as these too can lead to digestive and skin issues in dogs.

It’s also essential to understand the difference between limited ingredient food and hypoallergenic dog food.

Usually prescribed by a veterinarian, the proteins in hypoallergenic dog food are chemically split or hydrolyzed into their amino acids to make the allergens invisible to your dog’s immune system.

How to Choose a Limited-Ingredient Dog Food?

It may take a few tries to find a limited ingredient diet that works for your pet as you test the different ingredient options.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to solve your dog’s problems. But testing the waters with a high-quality limited ingredient food is an excellent first step.

Always check the complete list of ingredients before purchasing. You’ll also want to choose a formula designed to assist with your dog’s specific problem, be that skin issues or digestive issues.

Be sure to also stick to well-known brands made in the USA. Some other brands not mentioned above include Purina, Merrick, and Nutro limited ingredient diets.

While you might find cheaper options from other countries, these foods don’t necessarily meet the strict standards and guidelines applied to food made in America. 

Because they don’t contain filler ingredients, limited ingredient dog food does tend to be more expensive than your regular kibble.

Thus, it is suggested you start by buying a small bag to test with your dog before shelling out for a large size packet. 

Wet, Semi-Moist, or Dry? Which Limited Ingredient food is best for your dog?

The decision on exactly what type of food to give your dog can be complicated with so many variables.

Dog food comes in various forms, including canned dog food, dry kibble, special formula prescription diets, and even semi-moist options. 

Dry dog food is easier to store, more convenient, budget-friendly, and lasts longer as it can easily be resealed between meals. And a bag to match your dog’s size and eating habits can readily be found.

In addition, a dog on a dry kibble diet is likely to drink more as this food doesn’t contain the same moisture content as wet food.

While canned dog food needs to be refrigerated between servings, there are some benefits to wet dog food. Some dogs prefer the taste and smell, and the protein content can be higher than dry dog food.

To grain or not to grain: Do dogs need a grain-free Limited Ingredient dog food?

A grain-free diet is different, but many limited ingredient foods don’t contain grain or gluten. Grains like wheat and corn are common allergens among canines.

Some restricted ingredient diets contain grains such as brown rice, barley, oats, rye, and even quinoa, whose high fiber content can help digestion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A Cocker Spaniel puppy loving the wet dog food
A lovable Cocker Spaniel puppy having a bite – Image source

How much Limited Ingredient food should I feed my dog?

The exact amount you need to feed your dog will depend on whether they are a large or small breed, their weight, activity level, and food chosen.

Each food will come with recommended feeding guide printed on the bag and can as no two foods or dog is the same!

Your dog should also eat the same amount of meals they did before trying out a limited ingredient diet. Just be sure to divide the daily amount guided on your dog food brand by the number of mealtimes you provide your pet.

How to store opened cans of limited ingredient dog food?

As with any canned dog food, unopened tins should be kept in a cool, dark place. Once you have opened a can, it is essential to refrigerate the remaining contents. 

It is best to not store the remaining contents in the can itself but rather tip out the food into a plastic BPA-free container with a tight-fitting lid that prevents any bacteria from thriving. 

Choosing the best limited-ingredient dog food for your pet

A fluffy Pomeranian ready for lunch
A cute Pomeranian dog waiting to eat – Image source

You can rest easy knowing that you are not alone, with many pet owners just like you looking at ways to relieve their dog from skin and digestive problems.

What that means is that when it comes to limited ingredient diets, there are a wide variety of options from which to chose.

Our clear winner for this round is Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food (Turkey & Potato).

It’s a high-quality limited-ingredient dog food formulated for dogs with sensitivities. It’s free from chicken and chicken by-products and suitable for all dogs with different breeds and sizes.

While limited ingredient diets are sold over the counter, which means a vet prescription isn’t necessary, it is advised to speak to your dog’s veterinarian before trying out any new food. 

Is your dog on a limited ingredient diet? Let us know in the comments below.

Further Reading: The best dog foods for pup’s with health concerns

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