What’s The Best Dog Food For Dogs With Skin Allergies?
December 03, 2021 | 3 min read
Updated December 03, 2021
Published: July 21, 2021
Updated: October 11, 2022
Summary: If you’re wondering “what’s the best diet for dogs with skin allergies?” this blog should hopefully help you out. We’ll learn what the likely causes of skin allergies are, and how dealing with the issue from the inside out may be a helpful route to try with your dog…
What Are The Signs Of A Dog Skin Allergy?
The general signs that your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction of some kind can include:
- An excessive amount of scratching, itching, self-biting, and gnawing
- Oily skin or fur
- Sore paws or tail (red skin, scabbing)
- Frequent ear infections
- Excessive wind or frequent bouts of diarrhea/vomiting
- Low interest in food and exercise
- Weight loss
- Aggressive behavior
What Causes Dog Skin Allergies?
An allergy occurs because the immune system is responding to a substance it has perceived as a threat. A skin allergy in a dog can be brought on by causes similar to humans:
- Washing detergent/Shampoo (contact allergy)
- Flea saliva (FAD)
The most common seasonal allergies are brought on by inhalants (doggy hay fever) and flea saliva. Food is the least common allergen, but if a dog is allergic to food it’s almost always a reaction to protein.
If a dog is allergic to food, this is usually triggered by beef, chicken, dairy, or wheat but can also be brought on by eggs, soy, milk, and other grains. The more common a dog eats a food, the more likely they are to develop an allergy to it which is why it’s a good idea to mix your protein sources up for your dog (ie. beef at breakfast, chicken at dinner, etc.)
If you own a Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Retriever, or a German Shepherd, these dog types are thought to be at a higher risk of developing food allergies and intolerances, so it’s good to be mindful of this as a pet parent to these breeds.
If you suspect your dog has an allergy, it’s important to work out the cause before you start messing with their diet or introduce other dog skin allergy home remedies. A dietary change may only be required if your dog has a food allergen. It can be quite tricky to diagnose a food allergy because there are many different ingredients in your pup’s diet that are all essential, and even a small amount of an allergen could cause a reaction.
If your pet is exhibiting signs they are allergic to something, consult with your vet to work out the root cause.
What’s The Best Diet For A Dog With Skin Allergies?
If your pup is diagnosed with a food allergy, you may now be looking around for the best diet for a dog with skin allergies. To help manage food allergies, your pup may need to be fed a high-quality hypoallergenic diet (containing pre-broken down protein molecules), or one with an alternative protein source (such as venison or salmon), to prevent the allergic reaction from being triggered. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the best dog food for a dog with skin allergies, as it all depends on what works for your dog and their body.
Hypoallergenic dog food is specifically designed for dogs who have an allergy to normal dog food. Hypoallergenic food shouldn’t contain anything processed or artificial (preservatives, colors, or flavorings) and will either contain novel proteins (proteins that your dog and a dog’s ancestors won’t likely have been exposed to) or contain pre-broken down protein molecules. Always talk to your vet about which variety and brands to consider.
Whilst transitioning your dog to a hypoallergenic food diet, you should avoid giving them treats or human food alongside this diet for 2-3 months, including dental sticks. This will help confirm the food allergy if they begin to get better and their skin condition improves.
Food sensitivity can have a really adverse effect on a dog and their comfort. If a food allergy is well managed, your dog can live a perfectly normal life but when left untreated, food allergies can have a seriously negative impact on your dog’s health and quality of life. As a pet parent, you should avoid their known allergens always, and be mindful that your dog can develop new allergies throughout their lifetime.
Are Their Dog Supplements For Skin Allergies?
No matter what the trigger of your dog’s skin allergy, some dog supplements can be great at supporting the immune system’s inflammatory response…
Omega 3 helps support the body’s inflammatory response so it can maintain your dog’s body in tip-top condition. Omega oils have multiple other benefits too like the ability to promote joint and cardiovascular health and support your pooch’s fur and skin.
Turmeric Curcumin is a powerful and potent antioxidant with a host of natural and well-researched benefits and effects. It is also a natural antihistamine that can help to target annoying itches. So, if you look at sourcing specific allergy skin chews or supplements that contain turmeric curcumin this might be a great addition to your dog’s routine.
Canine gut health can directly affect their immune system, energy levels, and even organ function – so ensuring their digestive system is in optimum condition by way of optimized natural probiotics can help keep their immune responses in check. Only give your pup probiotics made specifically for dogs.
Always buy your dog-specific supplements from reputable pet brands who extensively research and properly source their ingredients (like us!), and always follow the directions for use on the label or packaging.
What About Shampoo For Dogs With Skin Allergies?
There are shampoos that are designed to relieve sore skin from itching and scratching, but won’t be able to cure the reaction to the allergen. However, providing your dog with some relief from the symptoms is a great thing to do. Look for a specific itch-relieving shampoo that’s been designed to help alleviate sore skin that includes ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, hydrocortisone, and lidocaine that are all proven to help with reducing itchiness.
Remember, if you want to really help your dog with their allergies you have to know the allergen causing the problem and you can only do this by getting a proper, professional assessment by a qualified vet.
"Food Allergies In Dogs" PDSA, Oct. 2018 https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/pet-health-hub/conditions/food-allergies-in-dogs
"What Is Hypoallergenic Dog Food?" Lovejoys Pet Food, Sep 28. 2017 https://lovejoyspetfood.co.uk/blogs/news/what-is-hypoallergenic-dog-food
"Allergy Intolerance: Everything You Need To Know About Hypoallergenic Dog Food" Edgard Cooper, Jan 29. 2020 https://uk.edgardcooper.com/blogs/articles/allergy-intolerance-everything-you-need-to-know-about-hypoallergenic-dog-food