Dog Allergies

Best Dog Food For Skin Allergies In 2020

dog's food allergy
Written by Walter Perez

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from skin allergies.

Dogs with food allergies usually experience an unusual response to the protein in their food.

Food sensitivities can lead to sensitive or irritated skin, ear conditions, and even Gastrointestinal Disorders.

A typical symptom of atopic dermatitis or skin allergies is excessive foot licking and chewing.

Anything from chemical allergens to inappropriate diets will cause constant scratching to your dog.

If your dog licks or gnaws at his feet excessively, it’s very likely that he’s suffering from allergies.

Dog food for skin allergies may treat this issue, but consulting with a qualified veterinarian is also necessary.

FDA Dog Food Warning (DCM)

Between 1 January 2014 and 30 April 2019, 524 DCM reports (515 dogs, 9 cats) were issued by the FDA.

Most reports were received after the first public warning by the FDA in July 2018.

The estimated number of harmed pets is higher than 524, as specific reports included households with several pets.

In July 2019, the FDA reviewed labels of dog foods reported in DCM cases.

The study of dog food labels aims to determine whether the foods were “grain-free” and whether they contain peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils, and potatoes.

The results were as follows:

  • 90% of the foods reported in cases of DCM (canine heart disease) were grain-free.
  • 93% contained peas and/or lentils.
  • 42% contained potatoes/sweet potatoes.

There is no evidence that such ingredients are responsible for DCM in a broader range of dogs, but dog owners should be aware of this FDA warning.

FDA Dog Food Brands Linked To DCM (Heart Disease)

The FDA update in July 2019 mentioned the names of dog food brands named 10 or more times in submitted reports.  

fda dog food brands heart disease

Best Dog Food For Skin Allergies

Grain-free Dog Foods are not all nutritionally equal.

Pointing fingers at single ingredients or the “grain-free” nature of diets as the source of heart disease in dogs is likely incorrect.

However, while preparing this list, we have intentionally excluded all dog food brands that were subjected to DMC reports.

We have only included Top Rated Dog Foods that are highly recommended by the majority of pet parents.

It’s worth mentioning that “Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach “is our top choice for two reasons:

  1. Dogs really love it.
  2. Owners didn’t notice any allergy-related issues after feeding their dog this fantastic food.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

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Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula

  • Prebiotic fiber for sensitive stomach
  • Real salmon is the #1 ingredient
  • Easily digestible source of carbohydrates
  • Supports your dog's joint health and mobility

Purina Pro plan recipe is AAFCO approved and offers full & balanced nutrition for the welfare of dogs with a sensitive stomach.

Unlike other dog foods, this recipe has undergone feeding trials, which is considered to be the best testing method.

Made with salmon as the first ingredient, Omega-3 fatty acids support the good health of your dog’s joints and flexibility for an enjoyable and active life.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula contains prebiotic fiber and easily digestible rice and oatmeal, making it great for dogs with skin and/or stomach sensitivity.

The protein-rich and highly-digestible formula nourish the beneficial bacteria found in your dog’s intestine, making it great for sensitive tummies.

Omega 6 fatty acids and zinc nourish the skin of your dog and keep his coat shiny and beautiful.

With no wheat, soy, or poultry by-product meal, Purina Pro Plan offers a super balanced premium food for dogs with skin allergies.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Ultamino Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Ultamino Dry Dog Food

  • Long-term nutrition for dogs with food sensitivities
  • Reinforces the skin barrier with specific nutrients
  • Supports healthy skin in dogs with skin sensitivity
  • Helps reduce skin reactions

The second product on our list is another AAFCO approved and widely used dog food among pet owners.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Ultamino is made for dogs with high food sensitivities.

This Dry Dog Food contains a protein source that is broken down to the level of amino acids.

Thus, it can be easily absorbed in the digestive system, with a low risk of triggering an immune response, and Helps reduce skin reactions.

This formula is enhanced with High levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Also, adequate amounts of B vitamins and amino acids will strengthen the skin barrier of your dog.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Ultamino contains a unique blend of fibers to support healthy digestion.

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

Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities

  • Helps improve your dog’s digestion and stool quality
  • Antioxidants are added for optimal health benefits
  • Eliminate food-related causes of skin irritation
  • Maintain a healthy skin barrier

To support your dog’s skin and food sensitivities, Hill’s veterinarians and nutritionists developed prescription diet z/d clinical nutrition.

Due to its highly hydrolyzed protein, Z / d is scientifically proven to prevent adverse food reactions and improve your dog’s digestion and stool quality.

Also, this formula meets specific nutrient standards that have been shown to promote a urinary environment and reduce the risk of struvite and calcium oxalate.

Also, essential fatty acid and natural fibers support your dog’s skin barriers and maintain a healthy immune system

Symptoms Of Dog Foods Skin Allergies

Sometimes, the immune system mistakenly believes that particular food is dangerous. As a response, it releases antibodies that trigger some severe symptoms.

That’s what we call “dog food allergies.”

Symptoms include:

  • Ear and skin inflammation
  • Scratching
  • Obsessive itching and licking
  • Hot spots
  • Fur loss
  • Oily skin
  • Itchy paws
  • Vomiting​

Please visit your vet as soon as you notice these symptoms in your dog.

Your vet will determine if the symptoms are indeed related to food allergies or something else like parasites or flea bites.

If not appropriately treated, a food allergy can be life-threatening in the long run.

The symptoms will become more severe if your dog is continuously exposed to the allergen.

Switching your dog’s food to a hypoallergenic diet is a safe way to identify the foods that trigger your dog’s allergies.

Hypoallergenic foods for dogs are made from limited ingredient to support a healthy digestive system.

It will take at least 8-10 weeks before you notice any improvement in your dog’s health and allergic reactions.

How To Treat Skin Allergies In Dogs?

The proper treatment will be dictated by the underlying cause of the itchy skin.

It is necessary to ask for your veterinarian’s advice as there may be a problem that causes skin problems for your dog.

The underlying reason behind your dog’s excessive scratching could be a flea infestation, a tick, seasonal allergies, or conditions like the mange.

Switching your dog’s food will not make a difference in any of these cases.

A topical or oral flea treatment may be recommended by your veterinarian, a medicine containing drugs could be prescribed too.

Nevertheless, the dry skin of your dog may be caused by an inadequate diet.

If that’s the case, dry dog food for allergies helps to moisturize and nourish the fur of your Fido.

How Do I Know What My Dog Is Allergic To?

To determine which foods your dog is allergic to, you need to put your dog on an elimination diet.

Start by only feeding your dog one or two kinds of foods, for instance; you can try sweet potatoes and turkey.

After two weeks, if you notice a decrease in the food allergy symptoms and an improvement in your dog’s health, it means that your dog is not allergic to these two foods, and it’s time to start the food challenges.

Add more foods in your dog’s diet gradually, once you notice that your dog is reacting to a specific food, put it off the list.

After a while, you will identify which foods your dog is allergic to, and then you can create a diet with no allergens for your fur friend.

Best Foods for Dogs with Itchy Skin?

Nutrition is directly connected with the overall health of your dog.

Studies have confirmed that the diet of your dog can positively impact the skin and the coat’s health by providing specific nutrients.

Even if scratching isn’t caused by food sensitivity, the issue can be fixed with a dietary change.

Some dog foods are mainly based on inflammatory skin diseases, but not they’re not suitable for all itchy-skinned dogs.

Sadly, many lousy dog food brands are out.

Such products are packed with natural conservators, fillers, artificial colors and herbal aromas, and by-products of poor quality.

Poor ingredients can cause irritation of the skin of your dog or even skin allergies.

High-quality dog food for itchy skin contains limited ingredients, ensuring that your dog’s sensitive skin is less compromised by the food.

Best dog food for itchy skin

Protein is a significant part of dog food, and it has been shown that some sources (such as beef, pork, lamb) cause severe skin irritation for dogs.

Essential fatty acids: omega-3s, EPA, and DHA are common in fish and fish oil.

Vitamin A: The health of the skin cells and hair follicles requires vitamin A. Carrots, spinach, liver, fish oils, eggs, sweet potatoes are popular sources of vitamin A.

Biotin–It facilitates the healthy growth of the tissue. Meat is high in the biotin as well as milk and eggs.

Vitamin E: This natural antioxidant helps protect skin cells from free radicals. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, livers, and leafy green vegetables.

Zinc can help prevent swelling, itchy skin and can even help prevent bacterial and fungal infections of the skin. Zinc natural sources involve meat and fish, beef, and yogurt. Several vegetables are also rich in zinc.

Eventually, note that a transitional period is critical before switching your dog’s food to prevent any digestive upset.

How To Avoid Dog’s Food Allergies?

I feed my dogs as I nourish myself.

Your dog is meant to have a diversified diet, and that’s how food allergies are avoided.

The average dog in the United States is eating chicken beef only, alongside with some allergenic sources of carbohydrates like corn, wheat rice, grains like barley and oatmeal.

Dogs and cats do not have a carbohydrate requirement.

The more grains that are in the food, the more reactive and pro-inflammatory the food becomes.

Not to mention the fact that foods like lamb and rice were considered a novel protein or a hypoallergenic protein.

The best way to avoid food allergies is to switch your dog’s food every three to four months.

If your adult dog suffers from a sensitive stomach, you may need to take several weeks or even months weaning from one food to the next very slowly, as not to incite gastrointestinal upset.

Consulting a veterinarian is the first step to help your dog with skin allergies.

Only a veterinarian will confirm if the signs of your dog are really food-causing.

You will have to identify the allergen once you’re certain that’s your pooch is suffering from food allergies.

Final Thoughts

The truth is, you don’t go to the grocery store and buy just one brand of food.

You pick and choose foods that are nourishing to your body, and it’s essential to do the same when you think about feeding your dog too.

Diversity is critical to avoid food-based allergies, so the sensible thing to do is to keep a whole list of yes foods and no foods.

It can be overwhelming and challenging to deal with a dog with skin allergies.

Early and proper diagnosis of allergens is vital to understand the reason behind allergic reactions and prevent future allergies as well.

It’s much easier these days to find a novel protein source for your allergic dog.

Just be patient and take your time, your dog will get better.

Finally, what works for your dog might not fit other canines and vice versa.

In every case, you can consult with your veterinarian to determine which diet is properly hypoallergenic for your dog.

Regardless of the cause of your dog’s ailments, the best dog food for skin allergies are quite beneficial in treating all kind of symptoms.

Did you try one of the foods mentioned in this article? Leave a comment and tell us how you manage your dog’s allergies.

Last update on 2020-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Walter Perez

My name is Walter, and I'm a huge dog lover, I have made this blog to share my experience and help dog owners make better decisions in term of improving the quality of their pet's life. I have shared my life with pets since childhood, and I currently own a golden retriever named Bailey.

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