Finding the best dry dog food for skin allergies is unique to your own pet’s needs, but there are some key elements to look for when you’re making the leap to a new kind of kibble for your pup.
Dermatological problems with your dog are never an easy hurdle to get over, mainly because it’s so difficult to identify the cause. A lot of times owners find that once they change foods, their dog’s skin and coat start to look and feel much better than they did before.
Domesticated dogs are anything but natural, man has manipulated their physical characteristics and needs so much that allergies are becoming more and more prevalent. In fact, skin allergies are the 3rd most common allergy in canines.
5 Best Dry Dog Food For Skin Allergies
Does Your Dog Have Skin Allergies?
Dogs who are already being treated with all the necessary parasite and flea prevention shouldn’t normally experience painful rashes. However, if you do notice that they’re biting and chewing excessively to the point of bleeding, it could be a food allergy. These “hot spot” areas can be dry and patchy, and accompanied by flaky dandruff.
Bully breeds such as the English Bulldog French Bulldog, and Staffordshire Terriers are not only sensitive to grass and pollen, but also to food. Generally, you’ll notice rashes and bumps along the underside of the belly if they’re experiencing any kind internal irritation. Whether or not they’re caused by outdoor allergies or not, different kibble can help to alleviate or reduce these rashes.
Keep in mind that there are diseases such as sarcoptic mange (not contagious) and ringworm (contagious) that could be causing your dog discomfort as well. However, this shouldn’t be the case as long as they’re caught up on shots and medications.
What Causes Skin Allergies In Dogs?
Skin allergies are among the most common reasons dog owners seek veterinary advice. Allergies are a misguided reaction to alien substances by the body’s immune system. Dogs may suffer from several different kinds of allergies including food allergies and environmental allergens, but it is the skin allergies that are most common. There could be numerous symptoms that your dog may experience; hence, you need to determine the root cause causing skin allergies in your dog.
The primary causes of skin allergies in dogs are the following:
Environmental allergens like mold, pollen, and dust can cause an atopic allergic reaction in your dog. In most cases, allergy caused due to environmental factors are seasonal. Therefore, you may notice your dog itching during certain times of the year. The most common areas affected due to environmental allergens are the ears and paws, but also include in between the toes, around the eyes, groin, underarms, muzzle, ankles, and wrists.
Food allergies can result in itchy skin. Food allergies are mainly caused due to the reaction caused by a component in the food that your dog’s body isn’t tolerable to. Ears and paws are the most common places where your dog might itch. Other than that, gastrointestinal symptoms may also loom around your dog’s health.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Flea allergy dermatitis is an allergic reaction to fleabites. This is because flea saliva contains certain chemicals that make the dog skin extremely itchy causing the skin to become scabbed, inflamed, and red.
What Are Symptoms Of Skin Allergies In Dogs?
The following are the most common symptoms of skin allergies in dogs:
- Constant licking
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Chronic ear infections
- Itchy Ears
- Red, inflamed skin
- Swelling of the ear flaps, eyelids, lips, ears, or the face
How To Help Your Dog Get Rid Of Skin Allergies?
If your dog is developing a rash, losing hair, or scratching, it may have skin allergies. The constant itching and scratching can lead to skin infections, trauma, and hair loss, and as a dog lover, you don’t want to see your fur babies suffer. Here are some ways using which you can prevent or treat skin allergies in your dog.
Avoid common food allergens
Food allergy can trigger several skin complications. Food allergy is when a dog’s immune system mistakenly identifies a particular ingredient as harmful. Dogs can become allergic to certain foods, especially if they have a genetic disposition to develop food allergies. The most common food allergens for dogs include beef, dairy, wheat, eggs, chicken, lamb, and soy. These are the most common ingredients in most of the dog foods. Hence, you need to rotate your dog’s diet every week to ensure decreasing the risk of developing a food allergy.
Choose single protein source
Your dog may suffer from specific meat allergies if you keep changing the meat source too often. It is advisable to use a single sourced protein in all varieties, as it allows dogs with specific allergies and intolerances to have more variety within their diet.
Feed hypoallergenic food
Dogs can be allergic to many things including food. Dogs with skin allergies typically benefit from a hypoallergenic diet. Feeding your dog hypoallergenic food is an excellent way to alleviate irritating symptoms. Hypoallergenic foods for dogs have the following properties:
- Limited ingredient
Moreover, there are certain hypoallergenic food types that your dog can benefit from:
- Hydrolyzed protein dog food
- Novel protein dog food
- Homemade dog food
Bathe your dog regularly
This is important as it will help get rid off the allergens and dirt from your dog’s skin and coat. You are advised to use natural dog hair shampoo and moisturizer. Look for canine hygiene soaps that do not contain irritating scents, they’re especially harmful to dogs who are already struggling with skin allergies. Ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and rosemary are both and gentle and contain a soft, pleasant smell.
Obviously a dog who has been outside romping to around in the mud is going to need bathing, especially if it’s a daily occurrence. However, some pet shampoos aren’t as gentle as they claim to be, and it shows afterward. Your dog’s skin and coat contain natural oils that help to keep them clean, and grooming too often, or with the wrong products, can strip their skin and make it too dry.
Use natural flea spray
You would want to keep your dog coming in contact with fleas. Fleas are parasites that reside on the dog’s body feeding on the blood. So, you would want to invest in a good flea spray to keep away those blood-sucking parasites from your dog.
Give your dog Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant as it helps reduce inflammation and scavenge potentially harmful free radicals in your dog’s body.
Try giving probiotics
Probiotics play a crucial role in keeping your dog’s gut healthy. It can help alleviate digestive issues due to illness or stress, decrease the side effects of antibiotics, and help reduce skin allergy symptoms.
Get veterinarian help
You should immediately contact your dog’s vet in case if he is behaving strangely due to skin allergies. The vet may be able to diagnose the symptoms more profoundly and provide with a proper diet plan and medication.
What Are Some Tips For Getting Your Dog Healthy Skin And Coat?
Several factors go into the overall health of your dog’s coat and skin. Whether you want to ensure your dog’s health for years to come or you have a dog that is prone to skin issues, there are certain things to keep in mind.
Here are the tips for getting your good healthy skin and coat:
Evaluate your dog’s coat and skin during season changes
Use essential grooming tools
Follow a regular grooming schedule
Ensure that your dog’s diet includes omega-3 fatty acids
Ensure that your dog is eating a healthy, balanced diet
Schedule regular veterinary checkups to make sure that your dog is allergy/disease free
The best way to ensure that your dog’s coat and skin is healthy is to feed him food packed with protein. On the other hand, you also want to make sure that your dog doesn’t come in contact with internal or external parasites. So regular veterinary checkups are a must to keep your dog disease-free.
For starters, if you haven’t brushed your pup in awhile, it’s likely that their coat is dull, dry, and shedding excessively all over your home. Brushing helps to improve blood circulation, removes dirt and dead skin cells, and keeps your home from being overrun with dog hair. Taking a few minutes a day to give them a quick and thorough brushing can also alert you to any lumps and bumps you may not have noticed prior.
Moreover, certain fatty acids play a crucial role in dog coat and skin health. Omega-3 and linoleic acid are vital for achieving and maintaining a full, glossy coat. The mentioned components are found only in small quantities in natural food sources; hence, vets recommend giving your dog dietary supplements with the food they eat.
You can find them in treat or capsule form, either way you should be giving your dog some type of vitamin or supplement at least every other day. Fish oil and products that contain Omega Fatty Acids; Omega-6 for example assists in reducing inflammation associated with skin allergies. Coconut oil can also be added to their meals by the tablespoon depending on weight. Since supplements metabolize a little differently than regular dog food, you might see a change in their stool.
This is completely normal, but if you need to you can easily cut down on the dose until they’ve acclimated.
How To Transition Your Dog’s Skin Allergy Food?
Abruptly moving on to a new food will definitely agitate your dog’s stomach if their body is already sensitive. Try to replace 1/3rd of your regular kibble with the skin allergy food to start with. Give them about a week to adjust to the change, and if you don’t see any issues, move on to about half of a bowl. Continue with this process, increasing in small increments that are comfortable for your dog until they’re able to consume the skin allergy food without any notable discrepancies.
How To Choose The Best Dry Dog Food For Skin Allergies?
When you are looking for the best dry dog food for skin allergies, there are certain factors that you need to keep in mind.
Limited ingredients in the dog food keep the dog free of allergens. Limited ingredients mean there is only one protein source.
The dry dog food you choose must be hypoallergenic as it helps dogs with skin conditions to lower the symptoms.
The dry dog food you choose must contain only a single protein source. Different traces of protein in a single food may cause food allergies.
Essential Fatty Acids
Your dry dog food must contain all the essential fatty acids including omega-3 and linoleic acid. Fatty acids help your dog achieve and maintain a shiny and healthy coat.
Minerals And Vitamins
Minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C, A, B, etc. are critical for your dog’s skin health. Proper consumption of minerals and vitamins ensure that the dog’s natural skin oils are produced and reduce inflammation.
Ratio of Macro nutrients
The ratio of macro nutrients in dry dog food should be evenly distributed. That is the content of fat, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins etc. should be included accordingly.
The problem with basic kibble is that it’s often packed with “fillers” which could be anything from corn, wheat, different kinds of saturated fats, and artificial chemicals that give your dog the sensation of fullness without providing them with necessary nutrition. If your pup eats and eats, but just can’t seem to get enough of what they need, it could be that they’re deficient in a vitamin or mineral that isn’t present within their normal kibble.
Keep in mind, if you do go with a grain free option, your dog is going to eat more than they would normally. Since the fillers listed above aren’t usually included in grain or gluten free options, it takes more food for your pup to get that satiated feeling.
Your dog food for skin allergies should have a healthy ratio of fats, proteins, starches, vitamins, and Omega fats. Kibble that has a lot of wheat and grain is also high in carbohydrates, which turn into fat if they aren’t used up. If you have a fairly active dog who still seems to be a bit overweight, their food may be too carbohydrate heavy. In addition to causing skin allergies, eating grain can also cause water retention in dogs making them appear overly round.
When looking at your dog food ingredient list, there shouldn’t be a long, confusing set of items. If you have a hard time pronouncing the words, be wary. Just keep in mind that things like vitamin B12, folate, potassium, and biotin are normal and necessary additives for your canine’s food. Unhealthy ingredients would be things like BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and Propylene Glycol.
Some of the “bad” additions to your dog’s kibble might be unavoidable at the moment, and that’s okay.
5 Best Dry Dog Food For Skin Allergies Reviews
Acana Singles Formula Duck & Pear Dry Dog Food
So far the Duck and Pear Formula has been successful in helping pet owners find a solution for their dog’s skin allergy problem. Being that Canadian and European standards for pet meal are bit higher than they are in the USA, it’s good to know that some of the dry dog food for allergies are actually produced there.
No grain fillers
Improves consistency of stool
Ingredients may vary from country to country
Might be fattening
There have been some reports that the USA version doesn’t have the same ingredient quality that the Canadian product does, and that their dogs weren’t fond of the difference in flavor. Otherwise, even the pickiest of pets seem to enjoy Acana Singles.
Purina Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Canine Dry Food
While the Purina brand doesn’t exactly have the best track record, this particular product has received great feedback from owners. Pets seem to enjoy it, and the HA Chicken flavor appears to be a satisfactory dry dog food for skin allergies. Additionally, it also makes a difference in digestive issues despite the use of poultry in the recipe.
Effective for canine Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Has a fresh scent instead of an oily stink like some dog food
More for stomach allergies than skin and coat allergies
The diet is loaded with MCT (medium chain triglycerides). It contains low allergen single source carbohydrate which is less likely to cause any allergic reaction. Best of all, it is made in the USA.
Wellness Simple Natural Ingredient Dry Dog Food
The best kind of foods for both humans and their pets are the kind that contain the least amount of ingredients. Wellness Simple not only has limited additives to their dry kibble, the quality is exceptional. Containing salmon, beta carotene, and vitamin B12, this food could make a huge difference in your dog’s skin allergies.
Non-GMO, all organic
Flax seed is included as a healthy fat
Recent change in ingredients has caused upset stomach in several dogs
Some dogs are allergic to flax seed
This is a limited ingredient diet which is very suitable if your dog is suffering from skin allergies. Furthermore, it is grain free salmon and potato formula which is ideal for skin allergies and tasty for dog’s taste buds.
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
CANIDAE is a highly reputable brand that is well known for their high quality, allergy relieving dry dog kibble. The grain free Pure Elements lamb flavor is actually quite a bit healthier and more allergy-friendly, but for this particular product it seems that canines enjoy the chicken flavor best. Aside from CANIDAE’s kibble being an effective remedy for skin allergies, they’re also a fantastic brand for maintaining a healthy weight.
CANIDAE is good for canine skin allergies
Might be too pricey if you’re on a tight budget
Many dogs aren’t fond of the lamb flavor
There are some discrepancies between the food purchased online vs in store
Senior dogs and pups who don’t much enjoy exercise are at risk for being overweight or obese; so if your pet is struggling with both, CANIDAE might just be the right choice.
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe
Likely the best option on the list, the Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food for skin allergies by Instinct has beneficial, natural items included in their recipe. With unique components such as tapioca, turkey meal, pumpkin seed, and rosemary extract for flavoring, this isn’t the kind of kibble your pup will turn their nose up at. Instinct also provides owners with several different options of dog food ranging from dry kibble to freeze dried and frozen raw.
More flavor and variety for canines
Freeze dried skin allergy food can be added to dry kibble
Packaging offers a weight loss and feed guide
Can make your dog gassy
Since this is a grain free recipe, pet owners noticed their dogs were a bit gassier after consuming, and that they were eating more than usual. This is completely normal, just take it slow when introducing this dry dog food for skin allergies. Changing too quickly is very likely to cause diarrhea.
Eliminate Allergies With The Best Dry Dog For Skin Allergies
Of all the foods available, Instinct is by far the least likely to give your dog problems. It hits every key qualifier when it comes to choosing a healthy food, limited ingredients, grain free, and natural additives like tapioca for flavoring and consistency. While brands like Purina are a bit more cost effective, they’re known for frequent food recalls and aren’t always as allergy friendly as they might suggest.
Instinct has great reviews on nearly every single one of their products, which means they’re consistent, and serious about their manufacturing practices and ingredients. No one should ever have to worry about lead, phenobarbital, or harmful fillers ending up in their fur-kid’s food; this brand is far more likely to provide that than others!
The right dry dog food for skin allergies is imperative to sensitive canines, and it can make a big difference in things like chronic ear infections and irritable bowel syndrome. If you have tried a few options and haven’t seen a change, it might be time to go to the veterinarian. Some dogs may need more aggressive forms of allergy prevention like oral medications or preventative steroids.
Your vet might also have some helpful recommendations on which kind of supplements are appropriate for your pet along with their regular food consumption.