The best dog food for skin allergies and sensitive skin will also depend on the type of food you want, and the age of your dog.
Skin allergies often show up in the form of redness, rashes, or irritation. Allergies can affect all dogs. But some may be more prone to these sensitivities than others.
Skin allergies and sensitivities can occur if your dog has a reaction to the type of food he is eating. But luckily, there are loads of dog foods designed to combat this problem.
Let’s take a closer look at the best dog foods for skin allergies.
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The 5 Best Dog Foods For Dogs with Skin Allergies
Here are the 5 best dog foods for skin allergies, 2020.
- Best dry option – Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin
- Best wet option – Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach
- Grain free option – P.S. Grain Free Complete Dog Food
- Raw feeding – Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties
- Best for limited ingredients – Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
Click on the links above to find out a little more about each of those choices. Or, keep scrolling for a look at all of our favorite dog foods for dogs with skin allergies.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
Skin allergies and sensitivities are often prompted by something in your dog’s environment. This could be something in your home, such as a cleaning product, or something in your dog’s food.
Symptoms of skin allergies and sensitive skin include:
- Hair loss
- Excess licking
These aren’t the only symptoms your dog could experience. So make sure to watch for any abnormal behavior in your dog.
If you’ve noticed these symptoms, or are just concerned that your dog has skin allergies, it’s important to speak to your vet. They can help you to find the cause of the problem, and suggest some solutions.
One of which could be to change your dog’s food.
Best Dry Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies
Dry dog food comes in kibble form. This type of food can be really useful when it comes to training your dog, as it is easy to carry around everywhere you go.
It’s easy to store, and can usually be bulk bought to save you money. So, here are our three favorite dry dog foods that can help with skin allergies.
Purina Pro Plan FOCUS
The Purina Pro Plan FOCUS recipe* is aimed at dogs who suffer from sensitive skin and stomachs.
It comes in two main flavors – salmon and rice or lamb and oat meal. So, if your dog is sensitive to grains, it won’t be the best option for you.
Real meat is the main ingredient of this food. But it also contains omega-6 to nourish your dog’s skin and coat.
Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin
The Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin recipe* is designed for adult dogs who struggle with allergies and sensitivities.
It comes in the flavor chicken, and is packed with probiotics to aid healthy digestion.
Plus, it has omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E to support healthy skin and coats in dogs. It contains no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
This recipe uses natural ingredients, and contains no chicken by-product fillers.
AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Dry Food
The AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu dry dog food* is another great kibble option for dogs with skin allergies or sensitivities.
Not only is this recipe grain free, but is also a limited ingredient recipe. Real lamb is the main ingredient.
The ingredient in this recipe that aims to support your dog’s skin and coat is avocado! This food is omega rich, so will nourish your dog’s fur.
Wet Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies
If dry kibble isn’t your dog’s favorite, there are plenty of wet dog foods for skin allergies. These foods can also be used mixed in with dry dog food.
Just like before, key ingredients to look out for are omega fatty acids. Let’s take a look at the best wet dog food for skin allergies.
Purina Pro Plan Savory Meals
A great option for dogs with skin allergies that prefer wet dog food is the Purina Pro Plan Savory meals.*
This food is made with real meat, and is full of omega-6 and other fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coats in dogs.
It comes in 6 different flavors, so can provide lots of variety if your dog likes to try new things.
Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food Variety Pack
The Cesar Gourmet wet dog food* comes in a variety pack, just like the one we looked at above.
This brand offers a huge variety of flavors. So it is easy to keep away from proteins that your dog may be sensitive towards.
Real meat is the main ingredient of this food, and it contains no grains. So, if your dog is sensitive to grains in other food brands, this could be a great option for you.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
The Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet food* is another wet option for dogs with skin allergies and sensitive skin.
This is a grain free, limited ingredient food, so it can be a great option if your dog is sensitive to common filler ingredients.
It also contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy coat and healthy skin.
Best Canned Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies
Canned dog food is the most common way to buy wet dog food. Again, this is frequently either used as a standalone food, or to top off kibble.
Here are some canned dog foods for skin allergies that could be perfect for your dog.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food
The Hill’s Science Diet Dog food* is designed to help dogs who suffer with sensitive stomachs and skin allergies.
This food comes in three different flavors, or can be bought in a variety pack for a few options.
Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach
We looked at the Purina Pro Plan FOCUS dry food earlier, but this recipe also comes in a wet dog food option*.
This recipe contains plenty of probiotics to support digestion, as well as omega fatty acids to help your dog have a healthy coat.
It is made with no soy, wheat, artificial colors, or artificial flavors.
Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness Wet Dog Food
The final canned dog food for skin allergies we will look at today is the Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness wet dog food*.
This is a grain free dog food with real meat as its main ingredient.
This protein rich recipe contains no wheat, soy, or corn. As well as no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.
Grain-Free Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies
Grain free dog food can help with dogs who suffer from allergies to grains. This sort of allergy can show up on your dog’s skin.
However, some studies have suggested a link between grain-free foods and dilated cardiomyopathy.
P.S. Grain Free Complete Dog Food
The P.S. Grain Free Complete Dog food* has a limited ingredient formula, which can be great for dogs who suffer from skin allergies.
It only uses a single protein source as part of its attempt to tackle sensitivities in dogs.
This food uses natural ingredients to try and combat scratching and itching in dogs that suffer from allergies.
CANIDAE Under the Sun Grain Free Food
Another great grain free option is the CANIDAE Under the Sun grain free dog food*. This recipe comes in three flavors, and also has alternatives designed specifically for small or large dogs.
It is made with real protein. Plus, it is packed with antioxidants, probiotics, and omega fatty acids to support your dog’s digestion and help with healthy skin and coats.
This food also comes with a useful feeding guideline that uses your dog’s weight to determine the amount of food they need.
Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Recipe
Our third grain-free option is the Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Recipe*.
Like the others we’ve looked at, the main goal of this food is to promote healthy digestion, and support your dog’s skin and coat.
It uses real protein, and hypoallergenic ingredients to help dogs that suffer from sensitivities and allergies. This food is also made in the USA.
Raw or Homemade Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies
Something else your vet may suggest if your dog is suffering from skin allergies and sensitivities, is a raw diet.
This involves feeding your dog with raw foods, often made at home. You can read more about raw diets here.
Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties
Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried Dinner Patties* are a great option if you’re looking for a raw diet to help with your dog’s skin allergies.
These come in a huge variety of flavors, as well as a puppy-specific recipe.
This food is designed to help your dog’s skin and coat. But it boasts other benefits such as strong teeth and gums, healthy digestion, and improved stamina.
Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food
Another great dog food for skin allergies that can help raw fed dogs is the Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food.*
This recipe is made up from 78% real chicken products, so is high in protein.
It is easy to prepare, and only requires water. Plus, the chicken used is raised with no hormones or antibiotics.
TruDog Feed Me Freeze Dried Raw Superfood
Another great option for raw fed dogs with skin allergies is the TruDog Feed Me Freeze Dried Raw Superfood.*
This all-natural food is a hypoallergenic option for dogs who suffer with sensitivities.
It has a helpful feeding guideline on the back of the packaging. Some of its main goals are to reduce allergies and to create softer shinier coats.
Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies
Sometimes, common filler ingredients in dog food cause skin allergies. But limited ingredient diets help you avoid this.
Limited ingredient diets stick to basic ingredients necessary to get the right nutritional balance for dogs. They avoid using fillers.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Dry dog food* is a great option if you need a limited ingredient diet.
As well as limiting its ingredients, this food comes in a variety of flavors. So, you have plenty of options if your dog is sensitive towards certain proteins.
This is a grain free option with natural fibers to promote healthy digestion.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
The Blue Buffalo Basics* is another limited ingredient diet that may suit your dog.
This food comes in four different flavors, using four different types of protein. So, if your dog has trouble with any of these proteins, you can easily make a change.
It contains natural antioxidants and nutrients to promote healthy digestion, as well as healthy skin and coats.
Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe grain free dog food* is another limited ingredient option for dogs with skin allergies.
This food comes in 3 flavors – lamb, chicken, or salmon, each with sweet potato and pumpkin.
Real protein is always the first ingredient. But it also contains omega fatty acids to help your dog achieve healthy skin and coat.
Puppy Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies
It isn’t just adult dogs that can suffer from skin allergies and sensitivities. Puppies can also be prone to skin allergies.
But, luckily, there are plenty of puppy foods designed to help with this issue.
You should still look out for ingredients such as omega fatty acids and vitamin E to promote healthy skin.
Let’s take a look at our favorites.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Puppy Food
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural puppy food* comes in the flavor chicken, and uses real meat as its main ingredient.
This is another recipe that contains vitamin E and omega fatty acids for the healthiest skin and coat in your dog.
But, it contains various other minerals and vitamins to promote healthy teeth and bones, strong muscle development, and healthy brain development.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Formula
Another great option from Blue Buffalo is their Life Protection Puppy Formula food.*
This recipe features ‘small bites’ kibble, which is perfect for small puppy mouths. It is designed to support your puppy’s development in every way possible, including their skin and coat.
Real meat is the main ingredient of this puppy food for skin allergies.
Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food
Our third option if your puppy suffers from skin allergies or sensitivities is the Purina Pro Plan dry puppy food*.
This comes in a variety of flavors, and you can get recipes designed specifically for large or small breeds.
This food has real rich protein, and omega fatty acids to help your puppy’s skin and coat.
Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs with Skin Allergies
Dogs can also develop skin allergies and sensitivities as they get older. So, you might find that as your dog enters his senior years, he needs food that is a little more gentle on his system.
Here are our favorite options for the best dog food for seniors with skin allergies.
AvoDerm Natural Advanced Senior Recipe
We’ve looked at an AvoDerm food earlier in this article. They designed their Natural Advanced Senior recipe* specifically for older dogs.
Healthy skin and coats are promoted through the ingredient avocado, which is full of healthy fats.
This food is grain free, and also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help senior dogs who have achy joints.
Diamond Naturals Senior Food
The Diamond Naturals Senior Food* could be perfect for you if your older dog has skin allergies.
It uses high quality proteins, and a variety of superfoods to promote healthy development as your dog progresses into old age.
It contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat, as well as probiotics to aid digestion, and glucosamine for sore joints.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Minds
The Purina Pro Plan Bright Minds food* is for dogs who are 7 years old or older.
You can buy it in a dry or wet formula, as well as in a variety of different flavors. You can even get large and small breed specific recipes.
This food is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin E to promote healthy skin and shiny coats.
What is the Best Dog Food for Dogs with Skin Allergies?
Not all dogs are the same, so foods that work for some dogs won’t work for others. It’s important to work with your vet if you think your dog is suffering from skin allergies.
But, eliminating certain foods, or opting for a hypoallergenic food aimed at dogs with sensitivities could be the right way forward.
If you’ve ever used one of these foods in the past, let us know if it worked for your dog in the comments. We would love to hear about your pups!
Affiliate link disclosure: Links in this article marked with an * are affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission if you purchase these products. However, we selected them for inclusion independently, and all of the views expressed in this article are our own.
References and Further Reading
- Freeman, L. (et al), ‘Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs: What do we Know?’, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2018)