Best Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

Last Update:
This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.
golden retriever licking paw

Does your dog have critical food allergies? If so, their veterinarian may recommend a hydrolyzed protein dog food.

These foods can be difficult to source because they (usually) need prescriptions. But, we have a list of the best dog foods with hydrolyzed protein for you to mention to your vet that you can buy online!

Our number one choice is Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food

It works well with adults and seniors and protects your dog’s digestive system and skin health with beet pulp and omega fatty acids. And it contains a mono-protein, perfect for dogs with multiple sensitivities!

We also have other choices, including options for puppies, working dogs, and even small breeds. Here are the best hydrolyzed protein dog foods .

Our Best Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Foods

10 Best Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Foods Reviewed 

The recipes below follow AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your pup to new dog food, consult with your veterinarian on the best option. 


Best Overall

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP
  • First 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 19.5% Crude Protein, 17.5% Crude Fat, 3.1% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 332 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Low-calorie and low-protein dry dog food with hydrolyzed protein

A hydrolyzed protein diet can be beneficial for many dogs. This includes canines with severe food allergies or inflammatory bowel disease. But switching food can seem complicated. 

One of the top options is Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP dog food. It’s palatable for picky puppies and adult dogs. 

It starts with brewers rice and hydrolyzed soy proteins, composed of low molecular peptides. This makes them easier to absorb in your dog’s digestive tract. And it reduces the risk of triggering an immune reaction. 

There are also optimal amounts of added B vitamins and amino acids from chicken fat to reinforce your pup’s skin barrier. And it also contains omega-3 fatty acids, plus EPA and DHA, to promote healthy skin and brain function. 

An exclusive blend of fiber-rich ingredients like beet pulp helps support healthy digestion in dogs. They are also beneficial for pups prone to digestive problems like constipation. 

This formula follows strict manufacturing procedures to help avoid cross-contamination. It’s free of artificial preservatives and colors for balanced nutrition.

Dog owners say this is the only food they feel comfortable feeding their super sensitive pup. 


Best for Puppies

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

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil, Coconut Oil, Powdered Cellulose
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 18% Crude Protein, 9.5% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 342 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Higher calorie hydrolyzed protein dry dog food with oils for brain growth

While it’s rare for puppies to display severe food allergies or digestive issues, it does happen. If this is the case for your pup, they still have an option of delicious (and harm-free) dog food. 

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed dry dog food contains a mono-protein and a single carbohydrate source. And since it’s hydrolyzed protein, it’s broken down into smaller components.

It’s important to note that this formula is lower in protein and fat. So it may not work well with all puppies.

It does meet the least of their needs, but some puppies need more fat and protein, especially if active or working. Talk to your vet about this option if you’re worried about your dog’s needs.

It does include beneficial coconut and canola oils. These contain DHA for brain function and growth and medium-chain triglycerides, which boost energy.

Hydrolyzed chicken and hydrolyzed chicken liver add taurine, amino acids, and omega-6 fatty acids for heart health. 

After switching to this food, puppy parents were ecstatic to ditch their dog’s allergy medications. Many note that this food eased their pup’s symptoms. 


Best for Seniors

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie
  • First 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 21% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 3.2% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 307 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Low-calorie hydrolyzed protein dry dog food with Marigold Extract to reduce inflammation

Senior dogs with food allergies need a lot of support. And, due to their age, they’ll also need help keeping a healthy weight. Plus, it’s essential to protect their lowering metabolism, kidneys, and liver. 

That’s where Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie dry dog food comes in.

It’s formulated with hydrolyzed soy proteins and low molecular weight peptides. This makes it easier for your dog to absorb the protein in their digestive tract. This reduces the risk of triggering an immune reaction.

For dogs in their golden years, the moderate calories and fat levels help keep them at an ideal weight.

Hydrolyzed soy protein is the only protein source in this food. If you prefer to feed your dog a meat-lovers option, this may not be the best choice. But, it still contains optimal amounts of B vitamins and amino acids for muscle recovery and to protect your dog’s skin barrier. 

Fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids — plus EPA and DHA — to help support healthy skin and coat. 

The key ingredient in this food is marigold extract. This natural preservative has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties for immune and digestive health. And it can help soothe mucus membranes, helping to ease pain in places like your dog’s joints. 

This formula has lower calcium and phosphorus levels for healthy kidneys for renal health and aging pups.

Senior dog owners say their dog’s skin stopped itching and cleared up after switching to this food. And they also noted that their pup’s coat had never been more lustrous. 


Best for Small Breeds

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Small Breed
  • First 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Vegetable Oil
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 2.6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 376 kcal/cup 
  • Key Feature: Moderate-fat dry dog food for small breeds under 22 pounds 

Toy and small breeds are notorious for suffering from allergies and food sensitivities. And many can also be picky, making it challenging to find the perfect food for their needs. 

But Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Small Breed dry dog food is a great solution. It’s palatable and contains tasty (and healthful) oils for small breed adult dogs. 

It starts with hydrolyzed soy proteins, like the other Royal Canin options on this list. But these also contain a special Relative Supersaturation (RSS) method.

These help reduce the risk of calcium crystal and stone formation in your tiny pup’s bladder. And the kibble is small enough for little mouths. So your small breed can chew and have tartar control.

This formula contains vegetable oil and fish oil. The healthy fats provide energy and provide taurine, glucosamine, and chondroitin. These nutrients aid in heart health and protect your dog’s lean muscle mass and joints. 

Small breed parents say this is the only vet-prescribed food their fussy pup would eat.


Best for Large Breeds

SquarePet Veterinarian Formulated Solutions Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food

SquarePet VFS Skin & Digestive Support
  • First 5 Ingredients: Hydrolyzed Pork, Brown Rice, White Rice, Sunflower Oil, Pork Fat 
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 11% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 414 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-calorie and moderate-protein hydrolyzed protein dry dog food for large breeds 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this food, it’s important to mention that this is the only option on this list that doesn’t need a vet’s approval.

While you should still talk to your veterinarian about the best diet for your dog if they need hydrolyzed protein, this can be an excellent option. And it’s perfect for dog owners on a budget or who need food fast without a prescription. 

Also, while this food is great for large breed dogs because of its caloric content and protein, it’s great for dogs of all sizes. 

This unique and limited ingredient diet starts with a similar type of hydrolyzed protein that you would find in top veterinary diets.

These hydrolyzed proteins have broken down into nano-sized components. This results in a digestible protein source that won’t trigger adverse reactions.

This formula starts with hydrolyzed pork and pork fat. And it’s a novel animal protein source, which is excellent for dogs who have sensitivities to chicken, beef, and lamb.

And it still contains essential omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids — DHA & EPA — for cognitive function and joint health. 

This recipe is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Its ingredients come from the US, Canada, and New Zealand. It’s perfect for pet owners who want to switch to hydrolyzed dog food to avoid allergic reactions without a prescription. 

Large breed owners love that their dog’s gastrointestinal issues cleared up after switching to this food. And they say their pup loves the flavor. 


Best Wet Food

Royal Canin Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Water, Pea Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Liver Hydrolyzate, Vegetable Oil, Powdered Cellulose
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 5% Crude Protein, 2.5% Crude Fat, 2.2% Crude Fiber, 76% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 395 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: Moderate-protein and low-fat wet dog food with hydrolyzed proteins for picky eaters 

Fussy dogs rejoice! Royal Canin Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Loaf canned dog food is the perfect solution for pups who hate kibble or pick at their food. And, because it’s higher in calories and protein, it’s great as a topper or as a complete meal. 

It contains hydrolyzed soy protein and chicken liver hydrolyzate for flavor, B vitamins, and iron. These aid in energy production and heart health. The low molecular weight peptides help support gastrointestinal health too.

For healthy fats, this formula provides fish oil and vegetable oil. These contain a healthy dose of essential fatty acids to support healthy skin and help keep limber joints.

And like Royal Canin’s moderate-calorie diet, this food includes marigold extract. This boosts the fatty acids’ anti-inflammatory properties.

For dogs dealing with weight gain, this wet food also contains inositol. This can increase metabolic rates and curb inflammation in the digestive tract and joints.

Dog moms and dads love this food as a topper on dry kibble to entice their pup. Some feed it as a regular meal, although we recommend it for small and medium breeds only. 


Best Budget Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Vegetarian Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula
  • First 5 Ingredients: Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, Coconut Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil, Powdered Cellulose
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 18% Crude Protein, 8% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 314 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Low-calorie and vegetarian dry dog food for dog owners on a budget

Did you know that dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet? While animal proteins are always mentioned (because they offer so many nutrients!), a vegetarian diet can benefit many dogs.

This includes those with allergies. And it’s easier on the wallet, especially when you need to buy vet-prescribed food. 

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Vegetarian dry dog food is unique vegetarian dog food. It features one protein source and low-allergen carbohydrates.

It’s designed to cut the risk of food reactions — especially for dogs with specific protein intolerance.

It starts with hydrolyzed soy protein isolate. The hydrolyzation process makes this a super easy protein to digest, even when nothing else works.

And it still contains high-quality protein, which is right on par with AAFCO’s recommendations for adult dogs. 

This formula also contains coconut oil and canola oil to reduce potential inflammation and boost your dog’s immune system. And these healthy fats also nourish their skin and give them a shiny coat. 

Of course, this food will be more costly than traditional kibble. But for a hydrolyzed protein diet that requires a prescription, you can’t get a better deal than this. 

Canine owners say this food is a game-changer for dogs with super sensitive tummies. But they say the food is a bit crunchy, so it’s not suitable for dogs without teeth.


Best for Food Sensitivities

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Salmon Flavor Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Salmon
  • First 5 Ingredients: Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, Coconut Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil 
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 9.5% Crude Fat, 4% Fiber, 11 % Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 316 kcal/cup 
  • Key Feature: Low-fat and novel protein dry dog food with hydrolyzed proteins and garlic oil

If your pup is allergic to chicken and pork, a different option to try is a salmon formula. Plus, salmon provides healthy fats and is low in calories for dogs who need to watch their figures. 

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Salmon Flavor dry dog food is another mono-protein food. And the salmon breaks down into smaller components for dogs with acute sensitivities.

It contains hydrolyzed protein soy isolate and hydrolyzed salmon to complete its 20% Crude Protein. And salmon is full of DHA and ARA for cognitive function.

This food is perfect for dogs that need joint support because it’s chock full of essential nutrients like fatty acids and antioxidants. 

Corn oil and coconut oil provide omega-6 fatty acids to boost energy, provide healthy skin, and aid heart health. And powdered cellulose offers insoluble fiber. This aids in better digestion and helps prevent constipation.

The secret ingredient in this food is garlic oil — a powerful antioxidant. It contains sulfur, vitamin E, and vitamin C for improved skin health and a shiny coat. And it also helps nourish joints. 

Pet owners love that the salmon in this food is wild-caught. But some admit that their pup likes it less than the chicken option.  


Best for Sensitive Skin

Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivitie
  • First 5 Ingredients: Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Powdered Cellulose, Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 19.1% Crude Protein, 14.4% Crude Fat, 4.4% Fiber
  • Caloric Content: 354 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-fat hydrolyzed protein food with vitamin E supplement for healthy skin

For some dogs, allergies aren’t always about food. And many reactions can cause skin irritation. These sensitivities and intolerance could be serious problems.

And they could result in skin sensitivities, a shedding coat, and even ear infections or gastrointestinal upset.

Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities fits your dog’s skin needs and food sensitivities. And it’s clinically proven to help avoid adverse reactions to food.

Soybean oil and a vitamin E supplement are the essential nutrients in this food that help make it so nourishing.

These are rich in omegas and antioxidants to reduce skin inflammation and boost your dog’s immune health. This heals your dog’s skin barrier from the inside out and can give them a shiny, shed-free coat. 

This formula also contains the S+OXSHIELD seal of confidence. So it meets specific nutrient standards shown to promote a healthy urinary environment. And it can help your dog avoid calcium oxalate crystals.

Pet parents say this food was a godsend for their dog with irritable bowel disease. They admit that it aids in gut health but has also made a significant difference in their dog’s skin and coat. 


Best for Sensitive Stomachs

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon Hydrolysate, Pea Starch, Potatoes, Peas, Pea Protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 368 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and grain-free dry dog food for dogs with sensitive tummies 

Some dogs are allergic to both proteins and grains. When that’s the case, it can be challenging to find a food that limits both and keeps your dog from having allergic reactions. But Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed Grain-Free dog food fits those needs! 

This chicken-free diet starts with hydrolyzed protein from salmon and pea protein and is also the highest protein option on this list. So it’s perfect for working, hunting, and active dogs, without causing tummy distress or immune reactions. 

This formula is also packed with canola oil, flaxseeds, and fish oil. These contain natural omega-3 fatty acids for joint and heart health. 

Pumpkin and dried kelp provide vitamins A and C for a robust immune system. And pumpkin offers natural prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion and gut health. So this food is perfect for dogs who have allergic reactions in their digestive tracts. Dried kelp is also full of antioxidants for anti-inflammatory properties. 

Dog owners say this food is an excellent switch from raw diets if your dog has eaten that in the past. But many note that their dogs seem to be a bit picky with it.


dog on bed licking paw

How to Choose the Best Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

Does your dog need food that contains hydrolyzed protein? Here’s everything you need to know. 

What is Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food?

Hydrolyzed protein has been broken down, so it’s easier to absorb in your dog’s body. 

Many dogs have digestive systems that can break down their protein with ease. But some dogs, especially those with immune system issues or food allergies, have a more challenging time.

Since they can’t get the protein — and the amino acids —  that they need for their muscles, joints, and hormones, they’ll need help.

That’s where hydrolyzed protein comes in. It starts with the process of Hydrolysis. This procedure uses water to break down proteins into small pieces so your dog’s immune system won’t react to them. 

Benefits Of Hydrolyzed Protein Diet For Dogs

Luckily for dogs with digestive issues, hydrolyzed protein is a great way to get the nutrients they need. And, it helps avoid stress or adverse reactions.

Here are a few health issues that dog food with hydrolyzed protein can help.

Food Allergies  

Your dog’s gastrointestinal tract serves as a gatekeeper. It lets in the nutrients and fights off harmful bacteria that can make your dog sick.

But food allergies can make it hard for your dog’s system to figure out what’s safe and what’s not. 

This causes allergic reactions like; 

  • Itchiness and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Ears, eyes, and skin infections 
  • Digestive issues like excessive gas 

And those aren’t the only symptoms. But with hydrolyzed protein, your pup’s tummy won’t get confused. Thus it won’t fight so hard against it. 

Sensitive Stomachs 

Puppies and senior dogs tend to have sensitive stomachs. This is due to weakened immune systems and digestion.

It can also be tied to allergies. And in a puppy’s case, their body is growing, so they aren’t developed yet. 

While a sensitive stomach doesn’t always mean switching to dog food with hydrolyzed protein, it can. If your vet recommends it, there are many great options on this list that you can ask about.  

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Sometimes, it’s not a sensitive stomach that your dog is dealing with.

For some dogs, inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, can happen with food allergies and triggered because of them.

This causes extreme inflammation in your canine’s gastrointestinal tract. 

While medical therapy is the main treatment for this disease, changing your dog’s food could help too. 

This can be mild, moderate, or severe and can even change over time. Some common symptoms are; 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast weight loss
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Extreme gassiness 
  • Diarrhea 

With a hydrolyzed protein dog food, the reduced size of protein molecules in the diet reduces the risk of your dog’s digestive system reacting to it.

This can also decrease inflammation along the intestinal tract lining. This lowers symptoms and boosts recovery time during flare-ups.  

Our Verdict

Switching your dog to a hydrolyzed protein dog food doesn’t have to complicate life. The choices above are perfect for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs, and there are many flavors and textures. 

Our favorite option is Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food

It’s one of the most popular hydrolyzed dog foods due to its flavor and ingredients. But it’s also easy to stick with for years once your dog reaches adulthood. 

But if your dog needs a different option, we have nine other choices on the list. And no matter your dog’s needs, you can easily find the right fit for them. Be sure to discuss the food that will fit your dog best with your vet.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author
AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

Save 30% on your next dog food order!

We have partnered with Chewy.com to offer the best deal on high-quality dog food to our readers. If you click on the button below, we will take you to their exclusive discount page.