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Best Limited Ingredient Dog Foods

What Are Limited Ingredient Dog Foods And Why?

A limited ingredient dog food is simply a dog food that contains very little ingredients. Ideally, a limited ingredient dog food will have just one protein and one carbohydrate.

Shiba Inus are known to be sensitive to certain foods, especially certain proteins like chicken and pork. 

These sensitivities can cause allergies and digestive upset.

Limited ingredient dog foods can be beneficial in these situations as you'll be better equipped to target which food source is the cause of your Shiba Inu's food sensitivity issues. 

Why Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

The main purpose for limited ingredient dog foods are to help determine food sensitivities / allergies in dogs.

By having just a few ingredients in the dog food, it will be easier to tell which food component could be the possible source of your dog's allergies. 

Typically, most limited ingredient dog foods do not contain soy or dairy which are a common source of dog food allergies.

Additionally, limited ingredient dog foods usually consist of novel proteins such as salmon, duck, pheasant, eel, kangaroo, etc. Your dog cannot be allergic to a protein UNTIL actually consuming it. So if your dog never had the opportunity to experience kangaroo meat, your dog will NOT be allergic to it. Yet.

So by using novel meat sources, you can start your protein test from scratch and begin to see which proteins work best for your dog.

However, limited ingredient dog foods are also great as an all around dog food because it usually contains less of the "bad" fillers that most other commercial dog food contain. 

commercial dog food

How To Choose a Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

Now, here's the tricky part.

Finding a quality limited ingredient dog food is difficult. Well, even finding a regular dog food high in quality is difficult.

Most major dog food corporations are run by money driven driven templates and do not truly care about the quality of the ingredients they place in their dog food - they really don't have to as their is virtually no strict regulation of their manufacturing process.

Only recently has the public become more aware of how commercial dog food is processed. And to put it gently, everyone is shocked.

We here at My First Shiba Inu feed all of our dogs natural homemade foods. However, we understand that not everyone has the time nor resources to maintain this type of feeding for their dogs all the time.

This fact has prompted us to rigorously  research which brands of dog foods to recommend to our readers.

It's wasn't easy. And it's not going to be cheap. But with reasonable faith, we believe the brands we recommend in this article are the best of the bunch of limited ingredient dog foods. Or at least near the very top. We don't claim to know everything.

When transitioning your dog to new food, start gradually. If you notice your dog having any bad reactions such as vomiting, stomach gurgling, etc. Stop, and try a different brand of dog food.

Tip: When feeding your dog dry dog food, supplement your dog's meal with fresh green vegetables whenever possible.



This Acana lamb and apple dry dog food is a limited ingredient dog food as it contains only one protein source - lamb. It contains lamb meal, lamb organs, and lamb bone / cartilage.

Organs, bone, and cartilage are a great source of protein that are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These natural vitamins and minerals are much healthier than "added" vitamins and mineral which usually come from low quality sourcessource.

This Acana lamb formula contains a high percentages of fruits and vegetables including apple, pumpkin, carrot, and green peas. 

This formula contains no grain, potato, or tapioca.

Farmina Natural and Delicious Low-Grain Cod Formula Dry Dog Food

Farmina Natural Dog Foods are made in Italy and we really like the companies commitment to the quality of their ingredients. Their meat and vegetable ingredients are human grade and there product is inspected at the EU's equivalent of the USDA.

The ingredients in Farmina's pet foods are GMO free and sourced from Italy, France, Denmark, Spain, UK, and Netherlands. We really like that this company voluntarily chooses to use animal protein over cheaper plant protein sources.

This company commits to learning, growing, and bringing forth the best possible product by participating in veterinary studies on subjects such as food safety and glycemic responses in animals. 

Farmina incorporates a "vacuum infusing technology" that allows the liquid vitamins, minerals, and fats to be equally absorbed into each piece of kibble instead of simply adding vitamin powder into a mixer. 

Farmina uses only fresh and not frozen ingredients in all of their pet food products. The company only uses GMO free ingredients and this formula is free of gluten, peas, lentils, and pea formula. Be aware that some dogs may have digestive issues with peas due to the high fiber amount.


The Merrick Limited Ingredient Lamb and Sweet Potato dog food is a superb limited ingredient dog food choice. 

Merrick Pet Foods began 20 years ago when Garth Merrick launched a line of premium pet treats. Since then, the company has steadily grown all the while maintaining the companies original purpose of providing high quality pet food.

Merrick Pet Foods, located in Texas abides by strict FDA guidelines and uses Category 3 deboned meats from UDSA FSIS-inspected facilities. This means, the deboned meats that is used, Category 3, is actually fit for human consumption before entering the final processing plant - which is phenomenal in our books.

Dog food corporations as a whole has been notoriously known to use meat protein products that shouldn't even be labeled edible in the first place.

Deboned lamb is noted to be the first ingredient in this limited ingredient dog food formula. It is important to not that the ingredients are weighed BEFORE cooking, so deboned lamb might not necessarily be the first ingredient of this food after the cooking process. Nevertheless, having a Category 3 meat in a dog food is always a good thing.

This limited ingredient dog food has no grain, corn, soy, gluten, fillers, artificial colors, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives. 

CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food

The Canidae Grain Free Pure dog food is an excellent choice in limited ingredient dog food choice.

We like the Canidae Pet Food company because they started as a small independent family run company committed to making quality dog food products. 

They still hold the same commitment today as they grow and continue to take steps to ensure that their quality standards remain high.

The company states that they produce their dog food products in USDA approved facilities and that their ingredients are non-GMO and USDA inspected. However, the company does not state if the ingredients are human grade.

The protein in this limited ingredient dog food is fish (salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal). The main carbohydrate sources are sweet potatoes, peas, and potato. This formula also contains guaranteed viable probiotics for added health benefits.

The vitamins and minerals are chelated or proteinated for better nutrient absorption. 

Addiction Pet Foods Salmon Bleu Dog Food

We highly and enthusiastically recommend the Addiction Pet Foods line of pet foods because of the company's stellar commitment to provide safe and quality dog food products. Their motto is "we go to the ends of the earth for your pets". 

Founded by a holistic veterinarian and clinical nutritionist, Addiction only uses premium protein sources that are humanely raised and antibiotic and hormone free. 

Addiction line of "exotic" protein limited ingredient dog foods are great for hypoallergenic dog food choices. They offer proteins such as free range venison, kangaroo, salmon, eel, and brushtail. 

This product is made in New Zealand  which is a fact we love. Unlike America's dog food corporation monopoly, New Zealand companies tend to be more focused on the well being of their environment and their pets instead of profit.

In fact, their dog food products are inspected by the Australian Food Inspection Service , which is similar, but probably better than the USDA in the U.S.

The salmon they use is wild and fished in some of the cleanest ocean waters in the world. Their dry dog food product is the only dry dog food product certified by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch.

This product is even ranked 'A' by the Animal Protection Index measuring a country’s commitment to protecting animals

Not Truly a Limited Ingredient Dog Food

This limited ingredient dog food does have more than one source of protein, salmon, and chicken fat. However, it is still considered a low ingredient dog food because it contains no corn, wheat, soy, by-fillers, flavorings, or artificial colors.

This Addiction dog food contains some pretty potent health boosters including flax, kelp, and blueberries.

We just had to include this brand of dog food in our reviews because of it's extremely high quality of ingredients.


This Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Dog Food is a good overall limited ingredient pet food choice.

The Wellness Dog Food company is a US based company that manufacturers all of their products within the US. The company states that all of their ingredients are human grade before processing. 

We chose to include this limited ingredient dog food in our list because this formula contains quality food ingredients at a good price point.

This formula contains added flaxseed which is a good supplement for your dog's hair and skin. This food is free of by-products, soy, dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, fillers or artificial additives / colors / flavors. 

Carna4 Hand Crafted Dog Food, 23-Pound, Chicken

Carna4 is a revolutionary dog food company that produces dog food of amazing quality. I mean, simply amazing. The one caveat is this dog food is expensive. Very expensive. But not outrageously expensive as some of the other limited ingredient dog foods that we studied.

Carna4 is synthetic-free "true food" that is supposed to me "almost" as good as home cooked or raw food diets. They include sprouted seeds in their formulations that allow the dog food to be a nutrient dense food that contains the type of probiotics, enzymes, and fatty acids that are usually only availabe in raw dog food diets. 

This Carna4 dry dog food is highly likely to be the best dry dog food on the market today.

All of the meat and vegetable ingredients used in Carna4 is USDA inspected and approved.

Carna4 incorporates a highly precise system of baking the foods just until any possible pathogens are killed while preserving high levels of "live" nutrients. In fact, amazingly, absolutely no additional vitamins and minerals are "added" to this food.

Their innovative cooking technology has allowed the  natural foods in this formula to retain enough "live" vitamins and minerals as required by the AAFCO. They do add additional healthy supplements such as kelp, flaxseed, and probiotics.  

Their Probiotics are sourced from from sprouted flaxseeds, lentil, and barley seeds - all of which USDA Certified Organic, in additon to KSA Kosher Certified.

While this chicken blend is not a 100% limited ingredient dog food as it contains more than one protein, chicken and salmon - it does have an extremely small list of other ingredients. In fact, this Carna4 dog food has one of the shortest ingredient list we have ever seen.

When feeding your dog Carna4, you can use less kibble than normal because this formula is packed with nutrients and calories.

Pinnacle Grain Free Dog Food

The Pinnacle Dog Food company is a US based manufacturer of holistic pet food since 1947. They are not a large corporation - which we like and they have amassed a loyal customer base.

This salmon and potato line seems to be a popular choice for dogs that suffer from dog food allergies.

We like this particular brand because it contains salmon and salmon meal as the first two ingredients. It also contains organic quinoa seed, pumpkin, flaxeed, alfalfa, and kelp - all great ingredients to support optimal dog health.

AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog Food

This Avoderm Revolving Menu limited ingredient dog food is a good all around choice  in terms of quality and price point.

The Avoderm pet food company is a reputable company that claims to use human grade non-GMO ingredients. They do not use animal by-products, or any animal organs.

While lamb is the first ingredient in this formula, this food does contain a high amount of plant protein.  This may be good or bad, depending on your dog's specific needs. This formula does contain a good amount of fiber which may benefit certain dogs suffering from constipation. 

This limited ingredient dog food formula does incorporate kelp and flaxseed for added health benefits.