Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food Brands for IBD


Hydrolyzed protein dog food brands are increasing in popularity as more and more dogs are diagnosed with annoying food allergies and food intolerance. Most of these brands are not available over-the-counter but require a prescription from a veterinarian.

Dog owners often debate whether these diets are really healthy for their dogs due to the not-so-great ingredient list, but for dogs plagued by the effects of a serious condition such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) these hydrolyzed protein dogs food brands can ultimately become a lifesaver.


Dog Upset Stomach from Eating Poop
Hydrolyzed protein dog food brands are often prescribed to dogs with IBD

 Dogs Needing Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food Brands

Food allergies, as the name implies, are abnormal reactions to food created by the immune system which can create annoying dermatological (relating to the skin) and gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea). The offending allergens are thought to be proteins which cause an immune system overreaction.

There is more and more evidence that the gastrointestinal tract along with all the different types of bacteria in its gut flora, plays an important role in immunity protecting the body from foreign invaders such as bacteria, toxins and substances that are capable of potentially triggering an immune response.

The mucosal barrier of the gut (the lining of the intestine), along with the ability to properly digest proteins, allows the GI tract to put up a good defense against unnecessary allergic responses. A healthy digestive system with an intact mucosal barrier is capable of killing any substances that can potentially trigger an immune response preventing them from wreaking havoc.

However, problems start when the mucosal barrier becomes more and more permeable, and therefore is no longer capable of preventing the passage of material from inside the gastrointestinal tract into the rest of the body. Damage to the lining of the small intestine therefore causes undigested food particles, toxic waste and bacteria to “leak out” and reach the bloodstream triggering an immune response. This is often referred to as “leaky gut” in humans.

It has been found that the majority of food allergens wrecking havoc to predisposed dogs are proteins with a molecular weight between 18 kD and 70 kD. Proteins of this size are prone to cause the dog’s T and B cells (special immune cells) to create an immunological response.

The purpose of hydrolyzed protein dog food brands is to reduce the size of protein turning them into a much easier to assimilate form. Intact protein is therefore broken down into small polypeptides (amino-acid residues bonded together), so that they can trick the immune system and therefore pass through the gut without being recognized so to not trigger an immune reaction.

Hydrolyzed protein dog food brand: Royal Canin H/P

Royal Canin H/P Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

Royal Canin is a pet food company that was established in 1968 by a French veterinary surgeon nown as Jean Cathary. Cathary founded this company after many years of attempting to treat skin and coat conditions in pets by feeding them a special cereal-based diet that he personally prepared in an oven in his garage.

Because the diet helped many pets, he then decided to register the food with the trademark “Royal Canin”. Soon, Cathary closed his practice to dedicate most of his time in producing food. An extruder was imported from the US and Royal Canin became the first manufacturer of dry pet food in France.

Royal Canin H/P is diet that is specifically formulated to support skin and digestive health. It’s a completely balanced diet that is very palatable and highly digestible. It can be used as a short-term elimination trial diet or as long-term solution for dogs suffering from food sensitivities.

The perk of this hydrolyzed protein dog food brand is the hydrolyzed protein consisting of low molecular weight peptides so to help dogs assimilate and digest better. In this case, the source of hydrolyzed protein is soy. Other ingredients include vitamin B, amino acids and Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

This hydrolyzed protein dog food brand diet comes in a canned and dry food version. There is also a hydrolyzed brand of treats. Following is the list of ingredients of this hydrolyzed protein dry dog food brand.

Brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, dried plain beet pulp, natural flavors, monocalcium phosphate, sodium silico aluminate, vegetable oil, calcium carbonate, fish oil, fructooligosaccharides, potassium chloride, L-tyrosine, salt, taurine, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), inositol, niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.

Hydrolyzed protein dog food brands: Hill’s Z/D

Hill’s Z/D Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

Hill’s Pet Nutrition was founded in 1907 by Burton Hill. The company started out as Hill Rendering Works, which was a rendering company which focused on producing hides and tallow, meat scraps along with hog and chicken feed. By the 1930s, Hill Rendering Works became Hill Packing Company which focused mostly on producing farm animal feed and dog food.

In 1948, Mark L. Morris got in contact with Hill Packing Company for the purpose of enlisting the help in producing a special diet known as Canine k/d. In 1968, the food become available to veterinarians and pet professionals and it was marketed as Hill’s Science Diet. The company has grown greatly and now produces more than than 60 Prescription Diets specifically crafted for pets dogs with specific diseases and only obtainable through prescription. Hill’s Z/D comes in both a dry and canned version. Following are the ingredients contained in Hill’s Z/D dry food.

Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Powdered Cellulose, Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Glyceryl Monostearate, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene.

Purina H/A Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food

Hydrolyzed protein dog food brands: Pro Plan H/A

Ralston Purina, formerly known as Robinson-Danforth Commission Company, was founded in 1902 by William H. Danforth, George Robinson and William Andrews. Afterward, Nestlé Purina Petcare was founded in December 2001 when the Nestle’s company acquired Ralston Purina and merged it with Friskies PetCare Company. Ralston marketed the following pet feeding products: Dog Chow, Cat Chow and Pro Plan pet food.

The company produces a vegetarian formula made with hydrolyzed soy. Many dog owners report that the kibble looks bit odd, almost similar to corn-based cereal like Kix. The ingredients comprise the following:

Starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, vegetable oil, dicalcium phosphate, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, powdered cellulose, corn oil, potassium chloride, guar gum, choline chloride, DL-Methionine, salt, magnesium oxide, lecithin, taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, garlic oil, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. A-2626

Another version offers chicken-flavored kibble which contains:

Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, coconut oil, dicalcium phosphate, powdered cellulose, corn oil, hydrolyzed chicken liver, hydrolyzed chicken, potassium chloride, guar gum, choline chloride, DL-Methionine, salt, magnesium oxide, taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, garlic oil, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. A-2627.

A Word About Ingredients 

Most hydrolyzed protein dog food brands include ingredients such as soy, why is that? The reason behind this is because soy is not a very common ingredient found in dog food, and therefore dogs are less likely to be allergic and therefore react to it. The fact that the soy is hydrolyzed, makes the possibility for allergies is even less likely. This makes soy-based dog food a more appealing food for dogs who have a history of being allergic to chicken.

Exposure to novel-proteins lowers the chances for allergic reactions. This is why on top of hydrolyzed protein dog foods, some dogs with inflammatory bowel disease do well on dog foods containing novel proteins the dog has never unlikely consumed before. Hence, the odd kangaroo, crocodile and rabbit-based kibbles.

Proteins in many hydrolyzed protein dogs food brands are often combined with certain carbohydrates such as corn starch, rice or potato. The choice of these carbs is also based on the fact that they aren’t commonly used in commercial dog food. Whole kernel corn or wheat are far more common ingredients.

If you are starting a hydrolyzed protein dog food, ask your veterinarian whether you should be gradually switching to the dog food,  or if you can switch over cold turkey. In some severe cases, such as if your dog is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, your vet may want you to switch cold turkey.