Dog locking his lips for dinner.

Best Single Protein Dog Food -
A Limited Ingredient Diet

Our #1 Pick

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato

The Best Value for Money

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato

  • Rich in protein and fibre
  • Good value for money
  • Full refund on your first box if the dog doesn’t like it
  • High in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

While they might look tough on the outside, many dogs can be quite sensitive to different ingredients found in dog food. If your pooch falls into this category, then a single protein dog food might help solve the problem.

Nowadays, many brands use such labels to marketize their kibble, but they might not use the best ingredients out there. But don’t worry, we’ve researched and found some of the healthiest formulas on the market that are worth considering.


How to Choose a Single Protein Formula for Your Dog

The first question one might ask is why choose a single protein dog food formula over those that include multiple sources of protein.

The main reason pet parents opt for this type of food is the need to keep their dog away from certain types of protein due to known food sensitivities or allergies. When there is a single protein source involved, that’s much easier to do.

There are no inherent benefits in a single protein diet for dogs who don’t have sensitive stomachs. However, there are no significant drawbacks either. Single protein formulas can be a good choice regardless of sensitivities because they often contain higher quality ingredients. Rather than mixing different types of meat to keep the costs low, single protein recipes often include a high-quality protein source.

Related: Sensitive Stomach Dog Food.


Choosing the Right Protein Source

Pet parents usually look for a single protein formula because their furry friend does not respond well to a certain type of protein. If that’s the case, you’ll probably be looking for a novel source of protein.

“From boar to yak, novel protein sources offer variety to your dog or cat’s diet, help with allergies, and widen your options in a time when food supply chains can get shaky.” - Dr Suzi Beber for Whole Dog Journal (1)

‘Novel’ is not an absolute category, though. In essence, what you’ll be looking for is a type of protein that your dog hasn’t tried before. If they have never had lamb, choosing a recipe with this type of meat might be all it takes to keep your dog happy.

However, these days you can find much more exotic stuff in dog food, like kangaroo, bison, wild boar, and more. When unsure what to get, you should take into account the needs of your dog.

Kangaroo meat, for example, is a wonderful novel protein for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The meat is very lean with very high protein levels, and also rich in iron, various vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s always a good, nutritious choice. However, if you have a high-energy dog, they might also benefit from something fattier like duck meat. In the end, though, it’s all about trial and error and finding what works for your pup.

Consider Other Ingredients Too

When looking for single protein dog food formulas, it’s easy to get carried away while looking at the first ingredient. Don’t forget to check the rest of the ingredient list. The usual rules for choosing the best dog food apply here too. In short, look for wholesome, clearly named ingredients, and try to avoid unnecessary additives like certain preservatives and artificial colours and flavours.


Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food 2022: Our Top Picks

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Rich in protein and fibre
  • Good value for money
  • Full refund on your first box if the dog doesn’t like it
  • High in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

25%

Fat

11%

Fibre

5%

Petzyo - 5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Kangaroo Meat, Lentils, Peas, Sweet Potato, Chicken Oil, Kangaroo Offal, Sunflower Oil, Tomato, Basil, Flax Seed Oil, Kelp, Turmeric, Blueberry, Chicory, Taurine, Hemp Seed Oil, Fish Oil, Green Tea; Vitamins, Minerals, and Amino Acids (Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B11, B12, D, E, K, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Taurine, Omega 3, Omega 6.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive.
  • Recipe Range: Kangaroo, Sweet Potato & Superfood Extras or Salmon, Ocean Fish & Green Lipped Muscles or Chicken, Turkey & Superfood Extras or Petzyo Raw Food Range.
  • Suitable For: Salmon & Ocean fish, Chicken & Turkey, Kangaroo & Sweet Potato
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes.

Petzyo takes a well-deserved first spot on this list, as it gives you the best bang for your buck. The first ingredient is kangaroo meat which is a great novel protein source. It’s lean, it’s nutritious, and it’s ethically sourced, so you can rest assured your pooch is eating only the best meat around.

To complement the kangaroo meat, Petzyo also added some nutritious and fibre-rich veggies such as sweet potatoes and peas. Superfoods like blueberries, kelp and turmeric provide a great boost to a dog’s immune system. They also help in slowing down the ageing process, which makes these ingredients great for senior dogs too.

The Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato being tested by our independent expert team.

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato being tested by our review team.

Even though it contains no artificial preservatives, freshness is never an issue with Petzyo dog food. That’s because the kibble is made based on subscriptions, so the brand only makes the amount you order at the time. This assures your pooch gets the freshest food each time.

Verified Review - 08/06/2022
Pawesome!!
"Finally, kibble our fussy boy eats! The amount of kibble we’ve thrown away & given away before discovering Petzyo I rotate the Kangaroo and Salmon & Ocean Fish every couple nights, rather than giving him the same flavour day after day."

Pros

Cons

  • Rich in protein and fibre
  • Kangaroo recipe not suitable for puppies under 6 months
  • Good value for money
  • Full refund on your first box if the dog doesn’t like it
Cell
  • High in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
Cell

Ziwi Peak Dog Air Dried Food Lamb
  • All meat parts are named in the ingredient list
  • Made with ethically-sourced protein
  • Can be used as a complete meal or as a raw diet supplement
  • Very high protein content

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

35%

Fat

33%

Fibre

2%

Ziwi - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast), Salt, Parsley, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free.
  • Recipe Range: Chicken or Mackerel & Lamb or Beef + more.
  • Suitable For: dogs of all ages depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned).

What makes Ziwi Peak dog food stand out from the crowd is the fact that it’s not made the same way as conventional dog food. Most kibble on the market is dried using heat, which kills both good and bad stuff in the food. Ziwi Peak, on the other hand, uses an air-drying technique that kills bacteria but preserves the benefits found in raw ingredients.

With Ziwi Peak, you know exactly what your dog eats. The ingredient list states what parts of the animal are used in the recipe, such as kidney or liver. You also know where the animals come from - the green pastures of New Zealand. The lamb is free-roaming and grass-fed, so you can rest assured the meat is top quality.

The Ziwi Peak Dog Air Dried Food Lamb being tested by our independent expert team.

Cavoodle about to eat Ziwi Peak dog food

Green-lipped mussels are right after the protein source on the ingredient list. Only found around the shores of New Zealand, these mussels are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as omega 3 acids and chondroitin. This makes them great for dogs with arthritis and joint issues.

It’s worth noting that Ziwi Peak kibble has a bit higher price range than most dog food on the market. But since it’s so packed with nutrients, the daily dosage is smaller than with other brands. So when you do the math, it doesn’t turn out to be that expensive in the long run.

Verified Review - 3/07/2021
Good Quality
"
My dogs love their Ziwi Peak meals and it is easy and convenient for me too."

Pros

Cons

  • All meat parts are named in the ingredient list
  • Expensive
  • Made with ethically-sourced protein
  • Can be used as a complete meal or as a raw diet supplement
Cell
  • Very high protein content
Cell

Ivory Coat Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Chicken Puppy
  • Rich in omega and fatty acids, important for body development
  • No added wheat, soy, corn or other fillers
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
  • Tons of different formulas are available

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

37%

Fat

19%

Fibre

5%

Ivory Coat - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Coconut Oil, Pea fibre, salmon oil, sweet potatoes, Carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, parsley, apples, blueberries, vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, D3, E, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium pantothenate, Biotin, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Natural Prebiotic, Rosemary Extract & Green Tea Extract.
  • Named Protein First: No (but meal is OK).
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free.
  • Recipe Range: Chicken with Coconut Oil or Lamb & Sardine or Lamb & Kangaroo or Turkey & Brown Rice or Ocean Fish + More.
  • Suitable For: dogs of all ages depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: No (but made in Australia).

A growing puppy needs a well-balanced diet, and this formula by Ivory Coat offers exactly that. The main ingredient is chicken, which is a great source of protein for young and hyperactive pups, as it gives the energy boost but without too much calorie intake. Chicken is also a great source of amino and fatty acids, all of which are necessary for a pup’s healthy growth and development.

Antioxidants are also an important part of a dog’s diet throughout all life stages. This recipe includes tons of superfoods that are natural sources of antioxidants, like sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, spinach and blueberries. These ingredients aid in your young pooch’s digestion and improve the immune system.

The Ivory Coat Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Chicken Puppy being tested by our independent expert team.

Ivory Coat Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Chicken Puppy being tested by our review team.

This line of dog food includes no shady ingredients, such as added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. The kibble is naturally preserved with rosemary and green tea extract, so its shelf life is shorter than most dog food you can find on the shopping racks. Once opened, the bag should be consumed within 3 months, so keep that in mind when choosing the bag size.

Verified Review - 3/06/2021
Ivory coat
"
Bought for a fussy pregnant dog. Happy to say this was the food she preferred most."

Pros

Cons

  • Rich in omega and fatty acids, important for body development
  • Chicken meal as the first ingredient
  • No added wheat, soy, corn or other fillers
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
Cell
  • Tons of different formulas are available
Cell

#4: Best For Elderly Dogs: Meals For Mutts Grain-Free Lamb

Meals For Mutts Grain-Free Lamb
  • Lamb meat has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Contains pre and probiotic cultures
  • Rather affordable
  • Only uses natural preservatives

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

28%

Fat

16%

Fibre

5%

Meals for Mutts - 4 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Lamb Meat, Sweet Potato, Seasonal Vegetables, Alfalfa, Natural Fats and Oils, Omega 3, 6 & 9, Coconut Oil, Turmeric, Parsley, Pre & Probiotic, Kelp, Vitamins A, C, D3, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Folacin, Biotin and Natural Organic Acids, Plus Minerals, Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Copper, Zinc, Iron, Manganese and Iodine. Preserved using vitamin E and Rosemary extract.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Free.
  • Recipe Range: Bacon & Eggs or Duck & Turkey or Goat or Kangaroo or Turkey & Chicken.
  • Suitable For: dogs of all ages depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: Yes.

This formula strikes the perfect balance between high-quality ingredients and a fair price tag. The main source of proteins is lamb, the so-called “cooling meat,” which means it has high anti-inflammatory properties. Lamb is also rich in omega and essential amino acids, as well as minerals like zinc and iron. It’s like a nutritional bomb for your pooch.

The Meals For Mutts Grain-Free Lamb being tested by our independent expert team.

Meals For Mutts Grain-Free Lamb being tested by our review team.

But the star ingredient of this dog food is alfalfa. This plant is a great source of vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and digestive enzymes. Alfalfa aids with digestive issues, heart diseases, high blood pressure and arthritis, so it’s a perfect ingredient for senior dog food.

Like humans, dogs must maintain several good bacteria inside their colons to keep good gut health. This formula is rich in pre and probiotic cultures that improve digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as the overall immune system. This means that smelly and loose “number two” is a thing of the past.

Verified Review - 3/03/2022
Meals for mutts
"Great for Staffy breads as it has single protein so no issues with allergies."

Pros

Cons

  • Lamb meat has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Ingredient list is slightly unclear
  • Contains pre and probiotic cultures
  • Rather affordable
Cell
  • Only uses natural preservatives
Cell

Prime100 Kangaroo Lentil Turmeric Dog Food
  • High in protein and fibre, low in fat
  • Green-lipped mussels for arthritis and joint issues
  • Turmeric provides anti-inflammatory effects
  • Yucca extract helps eliminate stool odour

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

25%

Fat

10%

Fibre

4%

Prime100 - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Kangaroo meal, lentils, sweet potato, chickpeas, tapioca starch, field peas, hydrolysed kangaroo liver, sunflower oil, linseed oil, fish oil, sugar beet pulp, essential vitamins and minerals (including chelated minerals), sodium hexametaphosphate, choline chloride, turmeric, green lipped mussel extract, fruit & vegetable extracts including blueberries, FOS, MOS, glucosamine, chondroitin, yucca.
  • Named Protein First: No (but kangaroo meal is OK).
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free.
  • Recipe Range: Chicken & Lentil & Turmeric or Salmon & Lentil & Turmeric.
  • Suitable For: Puppies and adult dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$.
  • Australian Owned: Yes.

If your pooch is a bit on the chubbier side, then you need to find suitable dog food for weight management. What makes this recipe by Prime100 so suitable for your chunky friend is the perfectly balanced nutrient profile. 

The main ingredient is kangaroo meat which is very rich in protein and low in fat. High protein food is great for weight loss, as it helps with maintaining lean body mass while shedding all the extra fat.

The Prime100 Kangaroo Lentil Turmeric Dog Food being tested by our independent expert team.

Prime100 Kangaroo Lentil Turmeric Dog Food being tested by our review team.

This recipe contains tons of fibre sources too, such as sweet potatoes, chickpeas and lentils. Fibre plays an important part in weight management, as it makes the dog feel full. These ingredients are also rich in vitamins and minerals which are a necessary part of every dog's diet.

Dogs usually experience weight issues as they grow older, since they’re not as active as they used to be. This recipe is specifically aimed at adult and senior dogs with these issues. When it comes to puppies, it’s not recommended to feed them this dog food until they’re one year old.

Verified Review - 26/11/2021
My dogs love it
"Both my dogs have food allergies so I have to be very careful what they eat. They already love the Prime100 protein rolls and I didn’t even realise the brand made dry food until my usual brand of grain free kibble increased in price by 33% overnight and I went looking for a replacement. This most definitely isn’t the cheapest kibble available but the dogs love it, it doesn’t trigger their allergies at all and in the end you get what you pay for. Will continue to repurchase."

Pros

Cons

  • High in protein and fibre, low in fat
  • Not many recipes to choose from
  • Green-lipped mussels for arthritis and joint issues
  • Not suitable for puppies
  • Turmeric provides anti-inflammatory effects
Cell
  • Yucca extract helps eliminate stool odour
Cell

#6: Best For Sensitive Stomachs: Taste Of The Wild Prey Turkey

Taste Of The Wild Prey Turkey
  • Limited ingredient list suitable for dogs with sensitivities
  • No “meal” or “meat by-products”
  • Prebiotics to support digestive health
  • Lots of different formulas are available

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

30%

Fat

15%

Fibre

5%

Taste of the Wild - 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Turkey, lentils, tomato pomace, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavour, dicalcium phosphate, salmon oil (source of DHA), salt, DL-Methionine, choline chloride, taurine, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid.

    Contains a source of live (viable), naturally occurring microorganisms.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free.
  • Recipe Range: Roasted Lamb or Smoked Salmon or Venison & Garbanzo Beans or Wild Boar and more.
  • Suitable For: dogs of all ages depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$.
  • Australian Owned: No.

The whole idea behind Taste of the Wild is to create a range of dog food that’s similar to what our dogs would eat if they lived out in the wilderness. That means a limited list of high-quality ingredients that provide pooches with all the necessary nutrients.

What makes this dog food suitable for dogs with sensitivities is the fact that it has only four main ingredients. First on the list is cage-free turkey meat, without meals or by-products, so you know your dog eats only the best part of the animal. Turkey meat is followed by lentils, sunflower oil and tomato pomace, all of which are great sources of omega fatty acids, antioxidants and fibres.

The Taste Of The Wild Prey Turkey being tested by our independent expert team.

Taste Of The Wild Prey Turkey being tested by our review team.

The kibble is also packed with species-specific probiotics, which improve the dog’s digestion and overall gut health. As an icing on the cake, the recipe is enriched with a long list of vitamins and minerals that provide complete nutrition for your pooch.

If your canine friend is not the biggest fan of turkey meat, don’t worry. The brand offers lots of formulas with different proteins, so you can pick the one most suitable for your pooch’s preferences.

Verified Review - 3/05/2022
So helpful for my dog with allergies
"My pups started eating this food as it is the only dry kibble they can eat since one of them has such severe allergies. We love this food and it’s been such a help with her allergies."

Pros

Cons

  • Limited ingredient list suitable for dogs with sensitivities
  • Kibble might be too small for large dogs
  • No “meal” or “meat by-products”
  • List Element
  • Prebiotics to support digestive health
Cell
  • Lots of different formulas are available
Cell

Final Verdict

Nowadays, there’s a big range of single protein dog food you can choose from. In our opinion, Petzyo Kangaroo & Sweet Potato recipe is one of the best options on the market. It’s quite affordable, yet made of high-quality ingredients that contain all the necessary nutrients your pooch needs in every meal.

If your pooch doesn’t like kangaroo meat, then the Ziwi Peak Air-Dried line is also worth considering. While more expensive, this brand offers a bigger recipe range, so you can pick something more suitable to your furry friend’s preferences.

FAQ

What are the symptoms of food allergies?

The dog’s body might react in different ways, but some of the most common symptoms of food allergies include itching, skin rash, coughing, eye discharge and excessive foot licking. In more extreme cases, symptoms can also include vomiting and diarrhea (2).

How can food allergies be diagnosed?

Blood tests can show whether the dog is allergic to a specific food, but the best way to diagnose a food allergy is to put the dog through an elimination trial. This involves feeding the dog a special diet that contains no ingredients eaten in the past, for a period of 8 to 12 weeks. If the symptoms resolve, start reintroducing old food and watch for potential allergic reactions.

When do food allergies and intolerances develop?

In most cases, both food allergies and intolerances develop after the dog has been exposed to certain food for a prolonged amount of time. This can happen at any point in their lives, and the symptoms usually resolve within 8 to 12 weeks of not consuming the triggering ingredient (3).

References

  1. Beber, S. April 4, 2021. “Novel proteins for your dog or cat”. Animal Wellness Magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2022. https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/novel-proteins-dog-cat/
  2. Llera, R. “Food Allergies in Dogs.” VCA Hospitals. Retrieved June 05, 2022. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/food-allergies-in-dogs
  3. Coates, J. February 10, 2020. “How to Tell if Your Dog Has Food Allergies.” Pet MD. Retrieved June 05, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/how-tell-if-your-dog-has-food-allergies
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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