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The 8 Best Hydrolyzed Dog Foods In 2024

Over time, we've learned more about the ingredients and how to create our pet food. There are many items and procedures that we have never heard of or comprehended.

One thing is certain: When it comes to our pets' food, we want to make the best choices for them. This is especially true for protein-sensitive dogs.

If your dog has allergies or inflammatory bowel disease, your vet may tell you to give it a hydrolyzed diet.

If this is the case, BestForPets has compiled a list of reviews of the best hydrolyzed dog foods to assist you in deciding which option is best for your pet.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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A Fast Evaluation of Our Preferred Selections from 2023

Image Product View on Amazon
1 Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
2  DIAMOND CARE Grain-Free Formulation Adult Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Skin Specially DIAMOND CARE Grain-Free Formulation Adult Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Skin Specially View on Amazon
3 Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
4 Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Canine Formula Dry Dog Food Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Canine Formula Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
5 Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
6 Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food View on Amazon
7  Royal Canin Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food Royal Canin Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food View on Amazon
8 Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Wet Dog Food Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Wet Dog Food View on Amazon

Reviews

1. Hill’s Food Intolerances Hydrolyzed Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food, Veterinary Diet, 25 lb. Bag

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  • Corn starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, powdered cellulose, soybean oil, and calcium carbonate are the main constituents
  • 19.1% protein content
  • 14.4% minimum fat content
  • 354 calories per cup

Skin/Food Sensitivity Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Dry Dog Food  is an excellent choice for dogs with food allergies and intolerances.

Developed by veterinarians and nutritionists, this formula features highly hydrolyzed animal protein and a single purified carbohydrate source, both of which help avoid common food allergens.

According to clinical testing, this food helps manage skin and digestive symptoms of adverse food reactions. It also contains essential fatty acids that help maintain a healthy skin barrier, and clinically-proven antioxidants that support immune health.

Available in both dry and wet forms, this diet promotes digestion and urinary health. However, it is important to note that as a prescription diet, it requires approval from your veterinarian and may be costly for pet owners on a tight budget.

Overall, the Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food is highly recommended for dogs with food sensitivities.

Pros

Improves urinary health

There are wet and dry formulas available

This product contains hydrolyzed chicken liver

Aids in skin and coat care

Enhances digestion

Cons

Expensive

A prescription is required


2. Adult Dog Food Diamond Care Sensitive Skin

DIAMOND CARE Grain-Free Formulation Adult Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Skin Specially

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  • Ingredients include peas, pea flour, hydrolyzed fish, sunflower oil, and flaxseed
  • 22% protein content
  • 12.0% fat content
  • 358 kilocalories per cup

The cost-effective hydrolyzed dog food Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula  is an excellent LID option for dogs with food allergies. Its protein sources are hydrolyzed salmon and legumes, making it a limited ingredient diet.

In addition, the formula contains an abundance of minerals, vitamins, and omega fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat. Probiotics also aid in digestion, making this dog food highly digestible.

Notably, Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula does not contain any ingredients that are known to irritate the skin, making it an excellent choice for dogs with sensitive skin.

However, before choosing this product, pet owners should consult their veterinarian. Some research suggests a possible link between peas and cardiac disease in dogs.

Nonetheless, this dog food is produced in the USA and adheres to the highest food safety protocols. Overall, Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula is an affordable option for pet owners who wish to provide their dogs with a balanced and nourishing diet.

 

Pros

Protein of superior grade

Ingredients are limited for healthy skin and coat

Probiotics are included to help digestion

Reasonably priced

No grains

Cons

Owners reported that their dogs did not consume the whole portion

Peas are the main component


3. Hydrolyzed Blue Buffalo Natural HF

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

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  • Salmon hydrolysate, pea starch, potatoes, peas, and pea protein are the main constituents
  • 24% protein content
  • 12.0% fat content
  • 368 kilocalories per cup

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain-Free Dry Dog Food  is a premium, prescription-only diet formulated to manage dietary intolerances and sensitive stomachs in dogs.

This specialized formula contains salmon hydrolysate, which is readily digestible and reduces the likelihood of adverse food reactions.

Enriched with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and flaxseed, as well as other essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, this dog food promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat. Notably, it does not contain chicken or poultry by-product portions, maize, wheat, soy, or artificial additives.

Most dogs enjoy this hydrolyzed dog food, making it an excellent option for finicky eaters. However, as hydrolyzed salmon is the primary ingredient and requires a prescription, it is essential to consult a veterinarian before purchasing this item.

Overall, Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a high-quality product that provides balanced nutrition for dogs with food intolerances or sensitivities who require a prescription.

Pros

The major component is salmon

Aids in skin sensitivities

Pumpkin and kelp are included to help the immune system

Dogs enjoy the flavor

Cons

A prescription is required

One of the key elements is peas

A little expensive


4. Purina HA Hydrolyzed Dog Food – Puppies Only

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Canine Formula Dry Dog Food

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  • Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, coconut oil, partly hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, powdered cellulose are the main constituents
  • 18% protein content
  • 8.0% fat content
  • 314 calories per cup

Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food  is a prescription-only diet designed to prevent allergic reactions in dogs with dietary sensitivities. It contains low-allergen carbohydrates and basic proteins to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

This highly digestible formula is fortified with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids, to meet the unique nutritional requirements of growing puppies and adult dogs.

The formula contains hydrolyzed protein sources and a single carbohydrate source, making it an excellent option for dogs with food sensitivities.

In addition, the high digestibility of this dog food promotes optimal nutrient absorption and supports your dog’s overall health and well-being.

It should be noted that Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food requires a prescription and must be approved by a veterinarian before use.

While this dog food is an excellent option for dogs with dietary sensitivities or intolerances, it can be relatively expensive, similar to other prescription-only foods.

Purina also offers delicate snackers, a diet-friendly treat that does not require veterinary approval.

Overall, Purina HA Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food is a dependable option for pet owners seeking a high-quality diet for dogs with sensitivities or intolerances. It provides balanced nutrition and promotes optimal health for your beloved canine companion.

Pros

Very easily digested

Adult dogs and growing puppies are welcome

Dogs enjoy the flavor

Diet-friendly sweets are provided

Wet and dry versions are available

Cons

Expensive

Veterinarian permission is required


5. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

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  • Brewer’s rice, corn gluten meal, chicken meal, chicken by-product meal, hydrolyzed chicken flavor are the main components
  • 26% protein content
  • 5.0% fat content
  • 333 calories per cup

Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food  is highly recommended for dogs with digestive disorders and allergies.

This formulation was developed by veterinarians and nutritionists to support your dog’s digestive health and facilitate nutrient absorption.

The formula is fortified with ActivBiome+ ingredient technology, which swiftly activates beneficial gut flora and promotes a healthy balance of the GI microbiome.

This unique combination of prebiotic fibers also promotes healthy bowel movements and aids in maintaining a healthy digestive balance.

In addition, Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food has been clinically proven to stimulate the intestinal microbiome and alleviate digestive disturbances.

This highly digestible formula promotes a healthy immune system in dogs while improving stool quality and digestion. Please note that this dog food is a prescription diet that requires approval from a veterinarian.

However, it is important to note that Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food can be relatively expensive, which may be a consideration for pet owners on a tight budget.

Overall, Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is a dependable option for pet owners in search of a high-quality, hydrolyzed diet for dogs with digestive issues or allergies. It provides balanced nutrition and supports optimal health for your beloved canine companion.

Pros

Dogs enjoy the flavor

Low in fat

Enhances digestion

It soothes the digestive tract

Cons

Expensive

A prescription is required


6. Royal Canin Adult Hp Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin HP Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food 7.7 lb

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  • Brewer’s rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, natural flavors, and dried simple beet pulp are the main components
  • 19.5% protein content
  • 17.5% fat content
  • 332 calories per cup

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food  is a highly regarded hydrolyzed dog food that has received positive feedback from consumers. This prescription diet is formulated specifically for dogs with dietary sensitivities and is suitable for long-term use.

The formula includes increased omega-3 fatty acids, chelated minerals, hydrolyzed soy protein, and digestive flora-nourishing components. Additionally, it contains easily digestible rice as a source of basic carbohydrates.

Customers have reported improvements in their dogs’ skin and digestion, including a reduction in diarrhea and an increase in stool production. The majority of reviews also noted that their dogs enjoyed the flavor of the food.

It’s worth noting that Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food is free from peas, which have been linked to cardiac issues in some studies.

Please note that this high-quality, customized diet requires approval from a veterinarian before use. Additionally, it may be relatively expensive for pet owners on a tight budget.

Overall, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food is a dependable option for pet owners in search of a high-quality, hydrolyzed diet for their dogs with dietary sensitivities. It provides balanced nutrition and supports optimal health for your beloved canine companion.

Pros

Dogs enjoy the flavor

Long-term usage is recommended

Enhances digestion

Enhances the skin and coat

Pea-free

Cons

Veterinarian permission is required

Pricey


7. Canned Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

Royal Canin Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food

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  • Water adequate for processing, pea starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, hydrolyzed soy protein, vegetable oil are the main components
  • 5.0% protein content
  • 2.5% fat content
  • 396 kilocalories per can

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food  is a highly recommended prescription-only diet for dogs with skin and digestive issues. This moist formula is designed to reduce skin and gastrointestinal reactions that may result from food protein sensitivities.

This hydrolyzed dog food contains broken-down proteins that are less likely to be recognized by the immune system, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions in dogs. Furthermore, it provides essential nutrients, such as those that reinforce the skin barrier, and promote healthy skin in sensitive and irritated dogs.

The exclusive blend of fibers in this canned dog food helps manage digestive distress and supports optimal digestion. According to customer reviews, most dogs enjoy the taste of this hydrolyzed dog food and experience reduced scratching after consuming it.

Please note that Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food is only accessible with a prescription and can be relatively expensive, as are most prescription diets.

Some owners of dogs with skin and digestive issues recommend feeding Royal Canin moist food for meals and hydrolyzed dry kibble for treats. However, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best feeding regimen.

Overall, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food is a dependable premium option for pet owners seeking a high-quality hydrolyzed diet for their dogs with skin and digestive sensitivities.

Pros

Dogs enjoy the flavor

Prebiotics and fiber are included to help digestion

It is suitable for both adults and pups

Vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids are all present

Cons

A veterinarian recommended

Expensive


8. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Wet Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Wet Dog Food, Veterinary Diet

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  • Main elements: Water, chicken liver hydrolysate, maize starch, cellulose flour, and soybean oil.
  • Protein content: 3.0%
  • Fat content: 2.3%
  • 950 calories per kilogram

Moist dog food, such as Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Wet Dog Food , is an excellent option for juvenile dogs or those with dental issues due to its soft pâté texture.

This makes it easy for canines to chew, and the added moisture in the food helps keep dogs hydrated. Formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists, this wet dog food is designed to manage your dog’s food sensitivities.

It avoids common protein allergies and legumes, and enhances skin and coat health with added fatty acids. The food is enriched with essential fatty acids, which support a healthy skin barrier.

Additionally, clinically proven antioxidants help support a healthy immune system.

Since Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Wet Dog Food is a prescription product, it is necessary to obtain permission from your veterinarian before trying it.

It is also important to note that unlike other wet dog food varieties, these cans do not have easy-open lids.

A highly hydrolyzed animal protein and single carbohydrate source, Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities Wet Dog Food helps avoid common food allergens.

Visible improvement in skin and coat health can be seen in as little as 30 days after starting this food.

Hill’s Prescription Diet is the US Vet Recommended therapeutic pet food, and pet owners should consult with their veterinarian to ensure that Prescription Diet z/d is the right food for their dog.

Pros

No vegetables

Fatty acids promote healthy epidermis and coat

Contains antioxidants to boost the immune system

Created by veterinarians and dietitians.

Cons

Requiring a prescription

Cans are difficult to access.

If you’re looking for the top dog food brands on the market, check out our article on the best dog foods available.

How to Choose the Best Hydrolyzed Dog Food for Your Dog

Best Hydrolyzed Dog Foods BG

Choosing a hydrolyzed dog food for your dog can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. Here are some factors to consider:

1. The source and degree of hydrolysis of the protein

The protein source is the most important factor when choosing a hydrolyzed dog food. You want to make sure that the protein comes from a high-quality and hypoallergenic source, such as chicken, salmon, or soy. You also want to check how much the protein has been broken down.

The more the protein is hydrolyzed, the smaller the protein units, and the lower the likelihood that they will cause an allergic reaction. Look for products that have a high degree of hydrolysis, at least 10% or more.

2. The presence or absence of other allergens

Besides the protein source, you also want to avoid any other ingredients that may cause allergies or sensitivities in your dog. Some common allergens include grains, soy, dairy, eggs, beef, lamb, fish, chicken, pork, and milk.

You may also want to avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or additives that may irritate your dog’s skin or stomach. Look for products that have limited ingredients and are free of any potential allergens.

3. The nutritional adequacy and balance of the diet

Hydrolyzed dog foods are not only meant to prevent allergies, but also to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your dog. You want to make sure that your dog’s diet meets the nutritional requirements of his life stage and activity level. You also want to check the levels of protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and supplements in the diet.

Look for products that have a guaranteed analysis that shows the percentage of each nutrient in the product, and a statement of nutritional adequacy that indicates that the product meets the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

4. The taste and texture preferences of your dog

Hydrolyzed dog foods may have a different taste and texture than regular dog foods. Some dogs may love them, while others may not. You want to find a product that your dog enjoys eating and does not cause any adverse reactions.

You may have to try different options, such as dry or wet food, small bites or large kibbles, or different flavors until you find one that your dog likes. Look for products that have positive reviews from other pet owners and offer a money-back guarantee or a refund policy.

5. The availability and affordability of the product

Hydrolyzed dog foods are usually more expensive than regular dog foods because they require more processing and testing. They may also be harder to find in some stores or online platforms. You want to find a product that fits your budget and is easily accessible for you.

You may have to compare prices, shipping costs, discounts, or coupons among different sellers until you find one that offers the best value for money. Look for products that have a long shelf life and are available in different sizes or quantities.

6. How to introduce a new hydrolyzed dog food to your dog

After you have chosen a hydrolyzed dog food for your dog, you need to introduce it slowly and carefully to avoid any digestive problems or rejection. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes. Your vet can give you advice on the best hydrolyzed dog food for your dog’s condition and monitor their response.
  • Gradually transition from their old food to the new one over 7 to 10 days. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their old food and increase the ratio of the new food over time until they are eating only the new food.
  • Monitor your dog for any symptoms of adverse reactions or enhancement. If you notice any vomiting, diarrhea, itching, swelling, or other symptoms, stop feeding them the new food and contact your vet immediately. If you notice any reduction in their allergy symptoms or enhancement in their skin or coat condition, continue feeding them the new food and praise them for their good behavior.

Choosing the best hydrolyzed dog food for your dog can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By following these factors and tips, you can find a product that will help your dog live a healthier and happier life without suffering from food allergies or sensitivities.

You can read about what the hydrolyzed protein diet is and its benefits for your dog in this article by BestForPets.

FAQs

1. What is hydrolyzed dog food, and how does it work?

Hydrolyzed dog food is a specialized diet that involves breaking down proteins into smaller fragments, making them easier to digest and reducing the likelihood of allergic reactions in dogs with food sensitivities.

2. What are some indications that a hydrolyzed diet would benefit my dog?

Indications that a hydrolyzed diet may benefit your dog include food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and other gastrointestinal issues, which can cause skin rashes, irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea.

3. Is hydrolyzed dog food pricier than conventional dog food?

Hydrolyzed dog food may be more expensive than regular dog food, but it has shown effectiveness in managing food allergies and digestive issues in dogs.

4. Can I only feed my dog hydrolyzed dog food, or should I combine it with other foods?

While complete and balanced hydrolyzed dog food can be fed to dogs with food sensitivities, it’s critical to consult a veterinarian to ensure that your dog is receiving all the necessary nutrients for optimal health.

5. Is a prescription required to buy hydrolyzed dog food?

Yes, hydrolyzed dog food is a prescription diet that requires approval from a veterinarian to ensure proper usage and that your dog’s nutritional requirements are met.

Conclusion

For dogs with allergies and IBS, we usually recommend Diamond Care for Sensitive Skin Adult Formula with Limited Ingredients and Cereal Dry Dog Food is our recommendation for the greatest value for those of us on a tight budget.

Blue Buffalo HF Hydrolyzed Natural Veterinary Diet for Food Intolerance Grain-free dog food is our premium recommendation.

The best puppy food we’ve found is Purina Pro Plan HA Hydrolyzed Vegetarian Dry Food Veterinary Diet .

Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Flavored Low Fat Dry Dog Food is what our vet recommends to help your dog’s skin and stools get better.

BestForPets would like to thank people who came to our website to find the best hydrolyzed dog foods. We hope you picked the best hydrolyzed food for your dog.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler

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