iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you.
The hunt for the perfect food for your four-legged friend can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, particularly if your dog has food allergies or sensitivities. This is where novel protein dog foods come into play. Designed with unique, unconventional protein sources, these foods can offer a nutritious and palatable alternative that can help manage food sensitivities, improve digestion, and enhance overall health. This article aims to highlight some of the best novel protein dog foods available on the market, and why they might be an excellent choice for your furry companion.
#1 – Addiction Wild Kangaroo & Apples – Dry Dog Food – Limited Ingredient Novel Protein – Muscle and Weight Management – Grain-Free – Ideal for Dogs with Food Allergies – Crafted in New Zealand 4lb
Addiction Wild Kangaroo & Apples is a dry dog food that is crafted in New Zealand and is ideal for dogs with food allergies. It is grain-free and made with limited ingredients, specifically wild kangaroo and apples. The formula promotes digestive health with the inclusion of coconut oil and the fiber content of apples. It is also protein-forward, low in cholesterol and fat, and free from grains, fillers, wheat, soy, artificial colors, and flavorings. Additionally, Addiction is committed to sustainability by using eco-friendly meats in their products.
#2 – Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Dry Dog Food, Alligator 6-lb bag
The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Dry Dog Food is designed to help dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin conditions caused by food intolerance. It is made with alligator, a high-quality novel protein that is rarely associated with food intolerance in dogs. The formula is free from chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives. This prescription dog food requires authorization from a veterinarian. Overall, it is a natural dog food option that aims to support healthy skin and coat in dogs with sensitive dietary needs.
#3 – Inception® Dry Dog Food Fish Recipe – Complete and Balanced Dog Food – Legume Free Meat First Dry Dog Food – 4 lb. Bag (13278)
Inception Dry Dog Food Fish Recipe is a protein-first dog food that prioritizes animal protein as the main ingredient. The fish formula includes whitefish and catfish, both of which provide omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins for your dog’s skin, coat, and immune health. Inception’s recipes are legume-free and use healthy grains such as oats, millet, and milo, providing fiber and essential nutrients. Additionally, dog food is supplemented with vitamins and minerals and is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs in all life stages.
#4 – I and love you Nude Superfood Dry Dog Food – Grain Free Kibble, Pork, Prebiotics & Probiotics,23-Pound
The I and Love and you Nude Superfood Dry Dog Food is a grain-free kibble that contains pork as its main ingredient. It is poultry-free, making it suitable for dogs with sensitive tummies. The product boasts a high protein content of 34%, which is 41.6% more than a comparable brand. Additionally, it includes prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes to promote easy digestion and overall gut health. Dog food is also made with superfoods that are rich in antioxidants and minerals, and it does not contain any GMOs or grains such as corn, wheat, rice, soy, or oats.
#5 – Raw Paws Freeze Dried Rabbit Dog Food & Cat Food, 16-oz – Made in the USA – Freeze Dried Dog Food – Grain-Free Meat Rabbit Food – Novel Protein Dog Food – Raw Cat Food Rabbit – Dog Rabbit Meat for Cats
The Raw Paws Freeze Dried Rabbit Dog Food & Cat Food is a limited-ingredient novel protein cat food that is made in the USA. It is free of fillers, additives, and preservatives, making it suitable for pets with allergies. This freeze-dried dog and cat rabbit food retains the flavor, enzymes, and nutrition of raw rabbit meat, providing the benefits of a raw diet without the mess. It is sourced from ethical USA family farms and comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
#6 – ACANA Freeze Dried Dog Food & Topper, Grain Free High Protein Free-Run Duck Recipe, 8oz
The ACANA Freeze Dried Dog Food & Topper is a grain-free, high-protein dog food made with free-run duck, turkey, and nutrient-rich chicken organs. It contains 90 percent quality animal ingredients, ensuring a balanced and nutritious meal for dogs. The freeze-dried morsels are infused with bone broth to enhance flavor and are versatile, as they can be used as a delicious topper for ACANA kibble or mixed with warm water for a complete meal. ACANA dog food recipes are made in the USA, using quality ingredients sourced globally.
#7 – Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care, Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Salmon & Potato 22-lb
Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care is a grain-free dry dog food designed to support gentle digestion in dogs. It features real salmon as the single animal protein source, along with potatoes, peas, and pumpkin. This limited-ingredient dog food is free from chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs, making it suitable for dogs with food sensitivities. Additionally, it contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support immune system health and overall well-being.
#8 – Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Reserve Sweet Potato & Bison Recipe, 4 Pound (Pack of 1)
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a 4-pound bag of dog food made with bison as the single animal protein source and sweet potatoes as a grain-free source of fiber. It is designed with sensitive pets in mind, using a simplified list of premium ingredients to support a healthy coat, skin, and digestive system. The recipe is crafted with nutritious ingredients like pea protein, fish oil, and sweet potatoes to provide essential nutrients for a healthy immune system. Natural Balance also prioritizes safety and transparency with their ‘Feed with Confidence’ program, testing every batch of food for safety.
#9 – Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe | Adult Dry Dog Food | 24-lb. Bag
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe is a dry dog food designed for adult dogs. Salmon is the first ingredient, providing essential protein for strong muscles, while brown rice is included as a source of fiber for digestive health. This dog food is made with a simplified list of premium ingredients, without added soy, gluten, or artificial colors or flavors. It is suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs, irritable skin, or allergies, but can be enjoyed by all dogs. Natural Balance ensures safety and transparency through their testing program, validating every batch of food for quality assurance.
#10 – NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food Venison Meal & Sweet Potato Dog Kibble, 22 lb. Bag
The NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food Venison Meal & Sweet Potato is a 22 lb. bag of dog kibble made with 10 key ingredients or less, including venison meal and sweet potato. The grain-free recipe avoids common pet food sensitivities by excluding ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, and dairy protein. Additionally, this dog food is made with non-GMO ingredients and does not contain chicken or beef.
#11 – Walk About Pet, WA10039, Canine Exotics All-Natural Super Premium Dog Food, Kangaroo Recipe Dry Kibble, Grain and Gluten Free, Single Source Protein, 0% Fillers, 10 Pound Bag
The Walk About Pet WA10039 Canine Exotics All-Natural Super Premium Dog Food is a grain and gluten-free dry kibble specifically formulated for adult dogs of all breeds. Made in the USA with wholesome ingredients, including farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and exotic single-source kangaroo protein, this balanced diet provides the highest level of canine nutrition without any extra calories or fillers. It is designed for dogs with food allergies, sensitivities, inflammation, or health issues related to beef, chicken, and grains, offering a lean diet that burns fat and builds muscle. The food also offers a delicious 3-course meal experience with air-dried fruits and vegetables, mouthwatering sliced meat, and essential vitamins and minerals.
#12 – ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food – All Natural, High Protein, Grain Free & Limited Ingredient with Superfoods (Venison, 2.2 lb)
ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food is a high protein, grain-free, and limited-ingredient dog food that is made with all-natural ingredients. It features 96% free-range Venison, along with other nutritious ingredients like organs, bone, and New Zealand Green Mussels. The food is air-dried, which preserves nutrients and delivers optimal nutrition and taste. It is suitable for dogs of all life stages and can be used as a topper or a complete meal. The ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced from New Zealand farms and oceans.
What Are The Benefits of Novel Protein for Dogs?
Novel proteins for dogs can offer several benefits, especially for those suffering from food allergies or sensitivities. Here’s why:
- Allergy Relief: Dogs develop allergies to proteins that their bodies recognize as familiar. By introducing a novel protein, one that the dog’s body hasn’t encountered before, you may help reduce allergic reactions and associated symptoms like itching, skin inflammation, and digestive issues.
- Nutrient Diversity: Novel proteins come from unconventional sources like kangaroo, venison, or rabbit. These different proteins can provide a wider variety of nutrients and amino acids than traditional proteins, potentially improving your dog’s overall nutrition.
- Digestive Health: Dogs with sensitivities to common proteins may experience improved digestion with novel proteins. Fewer digestive issues mean more efficient nutrient absorption and fewer uncomfortable symptoms for your dog.
- Increased Palatability: If your dog is a picky eater, novel proteins can introduce new tastes and textures that your dog might find more appealing, improving their interest in meal times.
However, it’s important to consult with a vet before introducing novel proteins into your dog’s diet, especially if it’s for the management of allergies, as they can provide personalized advice based on your dog’s health status and needs.
What Are The Best Novel Proteins for Dogs?
Choosing the best novel proteins for your dog can depend largely on the dog’s individual needs, sensitivities, and preferences. However, here are a few options that are often considered beneficial:
- Kangaroo: This is a lean protein that is often used for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies because it’s less likely to trigger an immune response.
- Venison: Venison is another lean protein that’s low in fat and high in nutrients like vitamin B and iron. It’s often a good choice for dogs with sensitivities to more common proteins.
- Rabbit: Rabbit is a highly digestible protein that’s also low in cholesterol and fat. It’s rich in minerals like selenium and vitamin B12.
- Duck: Duck is a flavorful and nutritious option that is also less common in dog foods, making it less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
- Buffalo/Bison: This is another lean protein that’s lower in calories and fat than beef and can be a good option for dogs with food allergies.
- Insect Protein: In recent years, protein derived from insects, like black soldier fly larvae, has been introduced into pet food. It is considered a sustainable and hypoallergenic protein source.
Remember, when introducing a new protein to your dog’s diet, it’s important to do so gradually and monitor for any signs of digestive upset or allergic reaction. Always consult your veterinarian for personalized advice for your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Novel Protein Dog Foods
- What is a novel protein dog food? Novel protein dog foods contain a type of protein that a dog has never eaten before, making them ideal for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. These foods are designed to help avoid triggering an allergic reaction in your pet.
- Why should I consider a novel protein diet for my dog? If your dog is showing signs of a food allergy or sensitivity, like itchy skin, digestive issues, or ear infections, a novel protein diet could potentially help by eliminating the allergens that are causing these symptoms.
- What are some common novel proteins used in dog food? Novel proteins can include meats like kangaroo, venison, rabbit, duck, and even certain types of fish or insects. The key is that it’s a type of protein your dog hasn’t been exposed to before.
- How do I transition my dog to a novel protein diet? Transition your dog gradually over a week or two, starting by mixing a small amount of the new food in with their old food and gradually increasing the proportion of the new food.
- Can a novel protein diet help with my dog’s skin conditions? Yes, if your dog’s skin condition is related to a food allergy or sensitivity, a novel protein diet might help by eliminating the trigger for these reactions.
- Are there any side effects of a novel protein diet? Some dogs may experience initial digestive upset when switching to a novel protein diet. Always transition slowly and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions.
- Can any dog benefit from a novel protein diet? While any dog can eat a novel protein diet, they are primarily recommended for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities.
- Can I use a novel protein diet to manage my dog’s weight? Some novel proteins are leaner than traditional proteins, which can help with weight management. However, the overall calorie content and portion control are the most important factors for weight management.
- Should I consult a vet before switching my dog to a novel protein diet? Yes, it’s always a good idea to consult your vet before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet, especially if your dog has been diagnosed with a food allergy or sensitivity.
- How long should my dog stay on a novel protein diet? It depends on why you started the diet. If it’s to identify a food allergy, your dog might transition off once the allergen is identified. If the novel protein diet is for long-term management of a food allergy, your dog may stay on it indefinitely. Always consult your vet for the best advice.
Conclusion: Best Novel Protein Dog Foods
Choosing the right food for your pet is an essential part of ensuring their health and happiness. If your dog suffers from food allergies, or sensitivities, or is simply a picky eater, novel protein dog foods can provide a unique and nutritious solution. Remember, though, every dog is different and what works for one might not work for another. Always consult with your veterinarian before making significant changes to your pet’s diet. With the right approach and the best novel protein dog food, you can enhance your pet’s health and make mealtime an exciting event they look forward to.