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The 11 Best Limited-Ingredient Dog Foods

Limited-ingredient dog diets are a lifeline for dogs with food allergies. Dog meals with a limited number of components are precisely what their name implies: they include a small number of ingredients. Because they include fewer components, dogs with allergies are less likely to react to them.

However, even if your dog does not have allergies, he or she may benefit from a dog meal with fewer ingredients. Some dogs exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms when given specific chemicals, even though they are not allergic to them. A dog meal with restricted ingredients might also be beneficial for these dogs.

However, not all restricted ingredient dog diets are created equal. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has examined some of the best limited-ingredient dog foods available on the market. The reviews are shown below.


Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food from Rachel Ray – Best Value



Rachael Ray Nutrish Limited Ingredient Recipe Dry Dog Food topped our ranking as the best limited ingredient dog food for the money among all the dog foods we evaluated.

This dog food is of superior quality and far less expensive than its competitors. It has only six components, including lamb meal, brown rice, rice flour, dried beet pulp, chicken fat, and natural pork taste. The majority of these components are of superior grade.

The one thing we did not enjoy was the ground rice, mostly because we are unsure whether or not it is whole grain. White rice is not as nutritious for dogs as whole grain rice.

This meal is devoid of common allergies such as maize, wheat, and soy, which we appreciated. There is chicken fat involved.

When a dog is allergic to a food, they are allergic to the protein in that food. Even if your dog is allergic to chicken, they will not be allergic to chicken fat because it has no proteins.


  • First component being lamb meal
  • Included whole grain brown rice
  • Only constituents
  • Free from allergens


  • Protein content of barely 20%


Simply Nurture Limited Ingredient – Ideal for Puppies



Due to their special nutritional needs, you must give your puppy food particularly formulated for them if you own a puppy. Simply Nourish Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Dog Food is formulated for puppies and contains a limited number of ingredients.

Deboned salmon is the first component, followed by salmon meal. These two components are of superior grade.

The term “meal” simply denotes that the salmon has been cooked to remove a significant amount of moisture, which is required for incorporating it into dry cuisine. The meal would not be so dry else.

We also liked that this dish has 29% protein. 16% of the diet is comprised of fat. For a dry dog food, this is excellent. This dog food also has an abundance of fatty acids, which contain DHA and EPA – two essential fats for brain development.

This meal contains nothing that your dog does not require. It is prepared without fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in the United States.


  • Exceptional salmon as the primary ingredient
  • Protein and fat rich
  • Doesn’t include fillers
  • Free of prevalent allergies such as chicken


  • Includes dried peas


Natural Balance Dry Dog Food Limited Ingredient Diets



Natural Balance Diets With Limited Ingredients Dry Dog Food is produced with components of the highest quality. The first ingredient listed is salmon.

This protein is new, meaning it is not often utilized in dog food. Due to this, it is unlikely that dogs would be allergic to it, making it an excellent alternative for dogs with allergies.

This dog food’s second ingredient is menhaden fish meal, which is another high-quality ingredient. This is loaded with omega-3s and other good fats, which our dogs require to flourish.

The final few components in this dog chow are all vegetables, which contribute several vitamins and minerals.

We appreciated the absence of pea, pea protein, lentils, beans, maize, wheat, and soy in this dog chow. The only thing we didn’t like about this dog chow is that it has a very little amount of protein.

Since it comes to dry dog food, 24% protein is a bit low, especially when the moisture level is just 10%. Still, nearly all of the protein is animal-based, which is more than can be said for the majority of dog diets on the market.


  • Free of pea, pea protein, lentils, and other substandard components
  • Salmon is the primary component in this dish
  • Rich in omega-3s
  • Quality vegetables are included
  • Made in the U.S.A


  • Somewhat low in protein


Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Dry Food with Limited Ingredients



Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food may be the best option for dogs that cannot digest salmon. It is not the most popular on the list, because it does not contain salmon.

Instead, it utilizes ground turkey as the first component and turkey as the second. Turkey is a rare, high-quality ingredient in dog food, therefore the likelihood of your dog being allergic to it is limited.

This dog chow does not include common allergies such as chicken, meat, corn, wheat, soy, or eggs. It is also devoid of artificial flavors and preservatives. (But not synthetic hues, as you may have observed.)

This food’s 20% protein content is one of the reasons it ranked lower on our ranking. It also contains a substantial amount of peas, including whole peas, pea starch, pea fiber, and pea protein.

That is a substantial amount of peas. Dogs may be susceptible to DCM, a cardiac ailment. The FDA is now studying the matter and has not yet reached a conclusion.


  • Turkey is the primary component in this dish
  • Devoid of common allergens
  • Absent of synthetic preservatives and flavors


  • Containing little protein
  • Contains many peas


Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food by Zignature



Limited Zignature Turkey Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food is not the worst food on this list, but it is not our favorite. It is grain-free and manufactured with a limited number of ingredients, making it a possible option for dogs with ingredient sensitivities.

We liked that this dog chow contains turkey raised on American farms. Turkey is an excellent source of both protein and selenium and phosphorus.

Additionally, it is low in saturated fat, making it an excellent option for most dogs. This food does not include common allergies such as corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or fowl. In addition, this meal is designed for both adults and pups.

Protein content is quite high at 35%, while fat content is also high at 15%. This is precisely what the majority of dogs require to survive.

The addition of peas as the fourth ingredient was our primary objection to this dish. When consumed in large quantities, they may be connected to certain cardiac diseases in dogs. The FDA has also connected the brand itself to certain cardiac diseases.


  • Protein and fat rich
  • Includes excellent turkey
  • Devoid of common allergens


  • Contains peas
  • The FDA has connected Brand to certain cardiac diseases


Wellness Simple Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food



Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is formulated for dogs with delicate stomachs and allergies. It has extra probiotics and prebiotics, which may assist dogs prone to stomach distress.

As with many other limited-ingredient dog diets, the first component in this one is salmon. If your dog is not allergic to salmon, this is an appropriate protein source. Our dogs require a diet rich in healthy fats in order to flourish.

This dish is free of grains, gluten, and wheat. The lack of these allergens makes this dog food appropriate for anyone with allergies. It contains flaxseed, which helps enhance your dog’s skin health.

This dog chow contains peas and a few other contentious ingredients, such as tomato pomace, near the top of the list. Some dogs can tolerate these components, while some cannot. Their inclusion does diminish the quality of this dog chow, though.


  • Salmon is the primary component in this dish
  • Gluten-free, whole grain wheat
  • Included in flaxseed


  • Peas were included
  • The tomato fruit comprised


Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food by Instinct



In terms of dog food, Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is likely not the greatest choice. Even though there is no visible advantage, it is highly pricey.

We did not think the premium pricing to be worth it in any way, which is one of the reasons it is ranked so low on our list.

This dog food has acceptable ingredients. The first two components are lamb meal and lamb, which are healthy sources of protein for most dogs.

In addition, it contains peas and pea protein. Pea protein does not provide all of the essential amino acids for your dog’s health, but it does increase the food’s protein level. Overall, this lowers the quality of the protein in this dish.

Moreover, this diet has very little protein at only 24%. This is far less than we would want to see. However, the fat content is relatively high at 21.5%.

We liked that this meal is created in the United States and is devoid of allergies sometimes found in dog food. It is also rich in omega fatty acids and antioxidants. However, we cannot suggest this dog chow to the majority of pet owners.


  • Heavy in fat
  • lamb as the only source of protein
  • Devoid of typical allergens


  • Containing little protein
  • Contain peas and pea protein
  • Expensive


Earthborn Natural Venture Limited Ingredients Dry Dog Food



Limited Ingredient Diet for Earthborn Holistic Venture Dry Dog Food is among the costliest dry dog meals on our list. It is far more costly than the majority of its rivals.

This is probable because the primary component is rabbit, which is a more expensive alternative. However, most dogs do not require rabbit unless they are allergic to all other foods, which is extremely unusual.

Due to this, the majority of dog owners do not need to spend additional money on their pet’s food.

We appreciated the absence of grains, gluten, peas, beans, lentils, potatoes, poultry, and eggs in this dog chow. These are frequent allergies in dogs and substances of inferior grade.

This dog food has extra taurine, which can improve the heart health of your dog. However, one of our favorite features of this dog chow was the resealable bag.

Low levels of fat and protein are present in this meal. Protein was 26%, but fat was only 13%. Especially considering the price of this dog chow, we would have wanted to see them a bit higher.

Overall, while this dog food was not terrible, we do not believe the price is justified.


  • Devoid of typical allergens
  • Added taurine
  • Sealable packaging


  • Low in fat especially
  • Highly costly
  • Not effective for dogs with sensitive stomachs


Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dog Food by Nutro



While most limited-ingredient dog diets tend to be somewhat pricey, Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is exorbitantly costly. It is close to being the most costly item on the list. Additionally, it is smaller than the majority of larger bags.

This food’s position at the bottom of the list is partly due to the fact that it is only suitable for huge dogs. This will not meet the demands of the majority of individuals reading this post.

This food contains numerous ingredients, despite the fact that it is technically “limited ingredient.” It has a total of 10 distinct components. Although this is not necessary excessive, it may deter dogs with severe allergies.

The utilised components are of acceptable quality. As the first component, deboned lamb is used, with lamb meal as the second.

However, other potentially problematic components, such as lentils, are also included. However, the ingredients are non-GMO, which is usually a plus.


  • Contains lamb as the primary component


  • Expensive
  • Numerous components
  • Low protein content
  • Contains contains low-grade components

How to Choose the Finest Limited Ingredient Dog Food

There are several factors to consider while selecting the ideal dog food for your pet. In truth, it may be fairly hard, especially for novices. To assist you make the best option possible, we’ve outlined some of the most important considerations when selecting a dog food.

Protein and Fat Content in Dog Food

Our canines are designed to thrive on a diet mostly composed of protein and fat. Studies have indicated that when permitted to pick their own diet, dogs prefer to consume primarily fat and protein.

When given the chance to choose their own meal, animals often select a composition that they will prioritize. This study likely provided us a decent notion of the nutrition we should give our dog as a result.

Because of this study, we place a high priority on the protein and fat content of commercial dog food, and you should too. The amount of protein in dog food is vital and should be considered when selecting a diet for your dog.

Nonetheless, it is surprisingly difficult to locate dog chow that is high in both protein and fat. The majority of commercial dog feeds are heavy in carbs, which our dogs do not thrive on.

Therefore, it is vital to inspect dog food before purchasing it. Find a dog meal that has as much protein and fat as possible.

When it comes to commercial dog food, you will not find a product with an excessive amount of protein.

Investigation by the FDA and Peas

The FDA is presently studying a growing number of canine cases of dilated cardiomyopathy, a fatal cardiac ailment that cannot be treated.

This sickness has been observed in certain dogs for some time. The current increase, however, has been connected to diet, namely “grain-free” diets.

When the FDA examined the instances more closely, it appeared that dogs were at a greater risk if their meal contained peas, lentils, potatoes, or similar items.

Why these foods are associated to CDM is unknown (or if they are connected to the disease at all). However, a correlation seemed to exist at the moment.

This is problematic because PEOPLE of grain-free dog meals contain peas. They are inexpensive and high in protein vegetables.

Quality of Dog Food Ingredients

When selecting a dog food, it is also crucial to assess the quality of the components. Ideally, the first item should be some type of meat. Our canines evolved to subsist mostly on meat, and they continue to do so now.

Furthermore, meat should be of the highest grade possible. Whole meat is always the superior choice. However, beef meal is acceptable as long as its source is specified.

“Chicken meal” is OK, while “meat meal” is not. This is because everything is possible. We should not feed our dogs unknown meat.

As long as their origin is disclosed, by-products are OK, but they are of poorer quality than other possibilities. They are not desirable. Nonetheless, they are not dangerous to your dog.

Likewise, the quality of vegetables is vital. As previously indicated, peas, potatoes, and lentils have been related to a serious cardiac problem in dogs; thus, they should be avoided whenever feasible.

Additionally, white, processed grains are a terrible alternative. These grains have little amounts of nutrients. Whole grains, however, can be nutritionally beneficial for our dogs and are an excellent option for many dogs.

Dogs evolved to consume grains and can easily digest them; nevertheless, grains should not be the primary element in your pet’s meal.

How Dog Allergies Work

If you’re looking for a dog food with limited ingredients, it’s likely that your dog has food allergies. Dog allergies develop differently than human allergies.

When dogs are exposed to protein over a lengthy period of time, they acquire an allergy. For instance, a dog that has been given the same chicken-based dog chow his whole life is likely to acquire an allergy to chicken.

Certain breeds are more susceptible to acquiring allergies than others. However, any dog can acquire a food allergy if it is repeatedly exposed to the same protein.

When a dog develops a food allergy, skin-related symptoms are typical. The dog may get extremely itchy, particularly on their paws. They may bite and chew their paws repeatedly, causing sores.

Since your dog continues to lick and gnaw at these wounds, they are unlikely to heal without treatment. These sores might develop a secondary infection, which can cause more complications.

After receiving a food allergy diagnosis, dogs must avoid their allergen. They will likely need to switch their dog food to one that does not include the allergenic protein. Fortunately, there are a variety of reduced ingredient diets available for these dogs.

Diversifying your dog’s diet is the most effective method for preventing food allergies. Because food allergies develop after repeated exposure, it is in your dog’s best benefit to often modify their diet.

This will protect them from being overexposed to a certain protein by diversifying their diet.





Simply Nourish Puppy Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food is the best restricted ingredient dog food on the market. Each meal not only meets the nutritional requirements of the AAFCO Food Nutrient Profiles, but it is also nutritionally certified by vets to make sure it goes above and beyond what an adult dog needs.

For those on a budget, Rachael Ray Nutrish Limited Elements Recipe Dry Dog Food is also an excellent option.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank our visitors for coming to our website to learn about and research the best limited-ingredient dog foods.

We hope that this post has assisted you in locating the finest limited-ingredient dog food for your dog. Finding food for dogs with allergies can be hard, but it’s not impossible if you use our reviews and buyers’ suggestions.


What is a dog food with few ingredients?

These dog diets include a small number of components. They are designed for allergic pets. Some dogs with food allergies have great difficulty locating suitable food. These restricted foods facilitate this.

There is, however, no formal meaning of the term “limited component.” It might indicate that a dog food contains 10 or four components. It varies entirely on the brand.

Furthermore, extra vitamins and minerals are not included in the tallied components. However, dogs cannot develop an allergy to these substances, so you should not worry about them.

Is a dog meal with minimal ingredients healthy for dogs?

Not all dogs. This meal is for dogs that are allergic to all other foods. If your dog does not have allergies, feeding them a dog food with fewer ingredients may lead them to acquire allergies.

This is because these meals often include only one protein source. Due to a lack of dietary variety, your dog may develop an allergy to the primary protein in their restricted ingredient dog food.

We do not propose restricted ingredient diets for dogs without allergies.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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