If your dog suffers from skin allergies, you know how difficult it may be for both of you daily. Yet, eating the right foods can help reduce the symptoms of these allergies. In this article from the Canvas Personalized Blog, we’ll go over some of the high-quality food brands and the requirements that you should look for in dog food for skin allergies.
Why Are Food Allergies in Dogs Popular?
When skin itches, does it mean your dog has a food allergy? A dog’s hypersensitivity to a particular food is a relatively common symptom of dog food for allergies.
Most people thought that if their dog had a food allergy, it also had a food sensitivity but a food intolerance. Usually, tolerated substances trigger an immune system overreaction and antibody production in an allergic pet. Antibodies are formed in a food allergy reaction, targeting a protein or complex carbohydrate. So their dog may develop a sensitivity to specific proteins in his diet, such as beef, poultry, eggs, maize, wheat, soy, or milk.
However, you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that your dog’s sensitive skin is due to a food allergy. Environmental allergens like plants, pollen, insects, and dust mites are much more typical causes of your dog’s allergies. If your dog has itchiness, poor skin and coat, and recurrent ear or foot infections, these could be some of the dermatological symptoms that may be present in a dog with a food allergy.
So whether your dog has a true food allergy or just an aversion to plants, good nutrition is always helpful. So, the best way to find the best dog food for skin allergies is to work with your vet to monitor your dog’s symptoms and find the offending ingredient.
What Are the Most Common Allergens in Dog Food?
In the same review published in BMC Veterinary Research, the most common allergens in dog food that cause reactions were identified as proteins. Moreover, other dog foods that can cause allergy symptoms are already shown in the chart below:
|Dog Food Allergen||Percentage of Dogs With Reported Reaction|
The symptoms of a food allergy don’t always show up right away. Dogs can suddenly become allergic to a meal they’ve been eating regularly for weeks or months. The more familiar a food is, the more likely the allergy. So it could explain why beef and chicken, two of the most frequent proteins in dog food, are higher on the list.
To select the best dog food for allergies, it’s crucial to consult with your vet and avoid using ingredients known to trigger an allergic reaction.
How To Define The Dog’s Allergies Symptoms
How can you then define which allergens are harmful to your dog? Allergy tests conducted by a vet are standard and can save the lives of dogs in severe instances. Although these professional tests can be somewhat costly, you need to be careful with the number of cheaper, less accurate home dog allergy test kits that have become available in recent years. The following symptoms may indicate symptoms of food allergies in dogs:
- Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
- Red, inflamed skin
- Ear itch
- Chronic ear infections
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Constant licking
Testing for dog food allergies is a reasonable next step when other potential triggers for an allergic reaction in your dog have been identified. Armed with this information, a vet or a veterinary nutritionist can advise you on how to best care for your dog. If you recognize the offending protein or proteins in your dog’s diet, you can switch to some hypoallergenic dog food for allergies.
What Is The Best Dog Food For Skin Allergies?
If your dog has suffered from a food allergy, eliminating the allergen from its diet should be your top priority. In the case of dogs suffering from other types of allergies, such as grass allergies, the focus should be less on limiting certain ingredients and more on providing extra skin-supporting nutrients like Omega-fatty acids.
Consult your vet about a special diet to help your dog avoid allergy symptoms. Finding the best dog food for allergies will need some experimentation. Adjusting your dog’s diet for only a few weeks will not offer accurate results; give yourself plenty of time to test different foods and treats.
Hypoallergenic Dog Food For Allergies
One of the best dog food for allergies is a hypoallergenic diet. Since hypoallergenic dog food has fewer ingredients that are less likely to trigger an allergic response in sensitive dogs. Moreover, these meals often don’t include grains and are prepared with proteins like duck or lamb instead of chicken or beef. We’ve also compiled some of today’s simplest and cheapest hypoallergenic dog foods.
1. Royal Canin Anallergenic
This food, which relies on a hydrolyzed feather protein source, is the gold standard in diagnosing and managing food allergies. Hyper-hydrolyzed protein from chicken is used to create allergen-free food. The protein is so little that it rarely causes an allergic reaction or intolerance in most dogs.
- Hydrolyzed feather protein is part of the mix, and allergens are kept to a minimum to reduce the chance of a bad reaction.
- Omega-3 fatty acids and a proprietary skin support complex are abundant in this food, making it ideal for the upkeep of a healthy dog’s coat and skin.
- Immune-boosting antioxidants
- High-quality, balanced food that can be supplied indefinitely if necessary.
- Do not give to a pregnant, nursing, or puppy dog also contraindicated for dogs with pancreatitis or hyperlipidemia.
2. Royal Canin Hypoallergenic
This food may be the cheapest dog food for allergies for large-breed dogs that can accept a soy-based diet. Dogs with dietary sensitivities or intolerances can benefit from feeding Royal Canin Hypoallergenic. Moreover, it helps in the treatment of IBD and chronic diarrhea.
- Hydrolyzed soy protein to lessen allergic reactions to food.
- Designed to aid in maintaining intestinal health
- Omega-3 fatty acids and a skin support complex promote healthy skin and hair.
- Preferable for sustained feeding
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D
For those conducting dietary elimination studies, this fully hydrolyzed diet is ideal. The Hills Z/D is specially formulated for dogs that suffer from food allergies and skin sensitivity because it is produced from a hydrolyzed protein and will not trigger an allergic reaction in your pet. Additionally, it uses a single carbohydrate source to help eliminate probable allergens and lessen the likelihood of an adverse reaction.
- With hydrolyzed protein and a single source of carbohydrates, you can avoid skin irritations caused by food.
- With an abundance of skin-nourishing essential fatty acids
- Antioxidants that have been shown in clinical trials to boost immunity
4. Royal Canin Sensitivity Control
This diet is the best dry dog food for skin allergies or stomach problems since it combines a hydrolyzed protein with a novel protein (duck) and carbohydrate (tapioca). It is formulated to assist dogs suffering from food allergies, intolerances, and adverse reactions. It can also help manage inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, and colitis. Moreover, it contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA to help support skin and coat health and reduce symptoms of skin inflammation.
- Duck and tapioca are novel protein sources that can help reduce the risk of food allergies or intolerance.
- Skin support complexes and omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health
- Formulated to maintain digestive health
- Not recommended for periods of gestation, lactation, growth, or dogs with pancreatitis.
- Suitable for adults
5. Royal Canin Ultamino
Royal Canin is the ideal solution for the best dog food for allergies. The protein source in this clinically proven and delicious mix has been denatured to the amino acid level, making it more digestible and less likely to set off an allergic reaction.
This is the best dry dog food for skin allergies, whether your adult dog needs a short-term elimination diet or long-term nutrition because of food sensitivities.
- Reduces the potential for an adverse reaction by using proteins that have been fragmented to the point where they are almost unrecognizable to the immune system.
- Provides a boost of nutrients known to strengthen the skin barrier, helping irritated and sensitive canine skin stay healthy.
- Provides a unique blend of fiber that has been shown to aid digestion.
6. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA
The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets has been designed to give your dog the best possible nutrition, whether a young pup or an adult dog. The best dry dog food for allergies with hydrolyzed protein and chicken flavoring. Created using just one source of high-quality protein and one of the carbohydrates that your dog’s digestive system quickly absorbs and helps them get the most out of its food.
7. Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine Skin Support Potato & Salmon Formula
Prescription Diet clinical nutrition to help your dog’s skin and food sensitivity. Indeed, this nutrition has been tried and confirmed in the clinic to prevent food allergies. Moreover, it improves digestion and stool quality, helps skin and coat, aids in maintaining a healthy skin barrier, and supports a healthy immune system.
Prescription Dog Food
Your vet will advise you to switch to the best prescription dry dog food for skin allergies if the dog’s food allergy symptoms become severe. Novel protein and hydrolyzed meals supplied by prescription are often superior to those available at pet supply stores, although they might be pricey.
Your dog’s health and comfort may depend on its ability to avoid the allergens prescribed in its diet. If your dog has food sensitivities, you can follow the vet-approved prescription diets below:
8. Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Small Dog Dry Dog Food
This dog food for skin allergies is for toy or tiny breed variety adult dogs. Hydrolyzed soy proteins are included in the formulation because they are more easily absorbed in the digestive tract and cause fewer allergic reactions. In addition, the small size of the kibble will make it easier for your small-breed dog to chew it thoroughly, which will help reduce tartar buildup.
- Improves digestive and skin health in pets allergic to common pet food proteins.
- Proteins are digested until they are too small for the immune system to identify.
- Promotes urinary tract health by inhibiting the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals in the urinary system.
- It aids in dental health by providing kibbles with the right size, shape, and texture to stimulate a brushing action while being chewed by a tiny dog’s teeth as they gnaw.
9. Hill’s Prescription Diet® d/d Canine Potato & Venison Formula
Prescription Diet Clinical nutrition is designed to ease a dog’s intolerance to certain foods. In clinical trials, nutrition can help reduce the risk of adverse reactions to food. Dogs with food sensitivities can benefit from limited-ingredient diets with a single animal protein source. It is soy protein-free and contains very high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Enhances digestion and stool quality.
- Skin and coat quality are better.
- Contributes to a sound skin barrier
- It helps maintain a robust immune system.
10. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula
Its first component is nutrient-rich salmon, containing easily digestible grains like rice and oatmeal. The prebiotic fiber in this kibble will support the dog’s digestion and immunological systems.
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach has everything your dog needs for healthy skin and digestive systems. It also has antioxidants to help your dog’s immune system.
- Pure salmon is the foundation of this high-protein composition, free of artificial colors or flavors.
- It contains fish oil, an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, to help your dog’s joints stay healthy.
- Sunflower oil, high in omega-6 fatty acids, is also included to help maintain healthy skin and coat.
- Your dog’s defenses will thank you for feeding him this kibble, which is loaded with antioxidants.
- Oatmeal is an easy food to digest. It also contains a natural prebiotic fiber that feeds good bacteria in the gut, making it an excellent option for sensitive skin and stomachs.
11. Hill’s Prescription Diet Dog i/d Sensitive Dry
Dogs with ingredient or nutrient intolerances can benefit from this comprehensive dietetic dog food for skin allergies. The best dog food for allergies has more salt and potassium, easy-to-digest ingredients, and carefully chosen carbohydrate and protein sources.
- Specifically designed to alleviate food allergies.
- Aids in digestion and stool quality immediately.
- Both delicious and nutritious food can restore depleted nutrients and boost energy levels.
Novel Protein Diets
Another potential diet for dog food for skin allergies, similar to the previously mentioned “Hypoallergenic diet,” is to provide a novel protein diet. Rather than using a hydrolyzed diet during an elimination trial, some pet owners try a novel protein source because it is often less expensive and does not require a prescription.
Since the ingredients in novel protein diets aren’t hydrolyzed, your pet may still be sensitive to one of them. Consider dry dishes with unknown ingredients, sometimes including meats other than the conventional suspects of beef and chicken, such as venison, salmon, or duck.
Sweet potatoes and other uncommon carbs may be included in novel ingredient dog diets for nutritional balance. To keep your dog healthy, your vet may suggest the following:
12. CANIDAE PURE Dog Food – Limited Ingredient, Natural, Grain Free, Duck
Your dog’s health is supported by the premium proteins and healthy fats in Canidae Pure’s new recipes. The antibiotic-free duck is used in this recipe because it is an excellent source of protein with many different amino acids and has a lot of iron.
Beyond the healthy dog foods, this is perfect for finicky eaters because it contains only the best ingredients. Canidae family pet foods are healthy and give your dog or cat the quality of life they deserve.
13. Nutro Adult Dog Food – Natural, Limited Ingredient, Duck & Lentils, Grain Free, Non-GMO
Puppies with food allergies will love it because this food comprises no more than 10 essential, all-natural components. In addition to having a delicious flavor that will make your dog happy, it also helps to nourish the skin and coat from the inside out, leading to a shinier, softer coat.
14. Zignature Grain-Free Duck
This diet, which features farm-raised duck as the primary source of animal protein, is ideal dog food for allergies to more commonly encountered proteins (chicken, beef, grains, etc.) because chickpeas and peas are used as a replacement for grains in the recipe. This one-of-a-kind canine delicacy will win over even the pickiest of canines.
15. Ziwi Peak Wet Dog Food Venison
This best dog food for allergies, which uses just venison as its protein source, is appropriate for dogs of all sizes and ages. It contains chickpeas for its carbohydrate content and New Zealand green-lipped mussels for joint support but is otherwise grain-, soy-, and wheat-free. Hence, this potential food will enhance the health of your skin, hair, joints, and stomach.
16. K9 Natural Lamb Feast
This diet has excellent lamb in a raw, freeze-dried preparation, cage-free eggs, and New Zealand green-lipped mussels. It excludes fillers like gluten, wheat, rice, or soy. 90% of the protein comes from one type of meat containing no gluten, wheat, rice, soy, or other allergens.
- Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids helps maintain healthy joints, skin, and hair.
- Suitable for canines of any age or breed
17. Dry Dog Food Kangaroo Sweet Potato
This dry food features lean kangaroo meat as its sole protein source. Often praised for its deliciousness, it’s perfect for even the pickiest canine eaters. Made up of 0% grains and 100% meat, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it is perfect for adult dogs of all sizes. Moreover, this food will fuel the gut microbiota to stay healthy and thrive by providing helpful fiber and a prebiotic boost.
Skin Care Diets
The term “skin care diets” refers to those commercially available without a doctor’s prescription and specifically created to promote healthy skin. For dogs with modest but ongoing skin problems like dry skin, seasonal allergies, or no apparent trigger, these “general skin care” diets are ideal for dog food for skin allergies. Some of these components are:
- B group vitamins
- A vital amino acid, in combination with the B vitamins, help sustain the ceramides that bind skin cells together. So, the skin’s protective barrier is improved.
- Omega-3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been shown to reduce itching and inflammation by acting as anti-inflammatory agents.
- Omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat.
- Antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, help the immune system and stop free radicals from damaging the skin.
18. Royal Canin Dermacomfort Range
This food, which comes in sizes for “small,” “medium,” and “maxi” dogs, is fortified with a proprietary nutrient complex and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to aid the skin barrier.
- Your dog will benefit from this formula’s overall health benefits as well.
- The food has essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6, which make your dog’s skin more assertive and less likely to get inflamed.
- EPA, DHA, and GLA are three omegas that are extremely helpful in maintaining a full, healthy coat.
19. Hills Science Diet Sensitive Skin And Stomach
Hills’ skincare dog food helps nourish skin with antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Your dogs benefit significantly from the excellent digestibility of this food because of their delicate stomachs.
- This dry dog food for adults is great for the dog’s skin and digestion.
- Prebiotic fiber helps maintain a healthy microbiota in your adult dog’s digestive tract.
- Developed to be quickly digested and absorbed by the body, allowing for better nutrient uptake and less frequent trips to the bathroom.
- It gives your adult dog the vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids he needs for a healthy coat and skin.
20. Advance Sensitive Skin And Digestion
The new Advance dog food for skin allergies was created with Australian dogs in mind. The primary protein source is fish, fortified with vitamins and antioxidants to help your skin cope with Australia’s dry air and sun.
- Omega-3 fatty acids in supplements and a mix of vitamins for the skin work together to take care of sensitive skin.
- Antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
- Promotes regularity and a healthy digestive system, resulting in softer, less watery feces.
- It was developed to lessen the accumulation of tartar on teeth.
- All adult canines, regardless of size, can benefit from this dry dog food for skin allergies.
21. Proplan Sensitive Skin And Stomach
Pro Plan’s skincare dog food for allergies is free of gluten, corn, soy, poultry, and beef, but it does include fish as a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil for dogs is included in each meal to promote healthy joints.
- Sunflower oil is an excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids and is included in this dry dog food for allergies.
- Kibble for your dog has plenty of antioxidants to support his robust immune system.
- Oatmeal is a natural prebiotic fiber that feeds good gut bacteria. Because of this, it is the best dog food for allergies that is made to help digestion.
Fish-based diets provide a double whammy of value: they contain a novel protein and skin-supporting nutrients from organic fish oil. They are great for dogs with dry skin or unknown allergies and helpful for dogs with food allergies. If your dog has a grain allergy, you won’t have to worry about trying any of these dishes.
Fish-based diets have shown promising results for many itchy dog owners. Because fish is a unique protein and contains high levels of natural fish oil, it is often recommended as a “skincare diet” for itching dogs. That makes them a good bet for addressing any skin allergies.
22. Farm Grain Free Whitefish
This diet is based on whitefish caught in a sustainable manner using a “catch of the day” methodology. Throughout, high-quality, antibiotic- and genetically modified-product-free ingredients are used.
23. Canidae Grain Free Pure Sea
This best dog food for allergies contains only a small number of simple, healthy components. Your dog will benefit from the balanced nutrition in the grain-free recipe and the single-source protein from fish. This healthy, grain-free dog food is perfect for picky eaters because it contains only the best ingredients.
24. Wellness Core Ocean Fish
This grain-free, all-natural dog food for allergies is packed with protein-rich white fish to help maintain muscle mass and iron, zinc, and omega fatty acids. This grain-free, high-protein dry food has all the nutrients your dog needs to be healthy.
25. Ivory Coat Grain-Free Ocean Fish
This hypoallergenic, high-protein dry dog food for skin allergies is grain-free and delicious. It is ideal for getting picky eaters to provide the best possible nutrition for your friend’s active lifestyle and regular feeding.
Vegetables and superfoods like kale and blueberries are included in this food to increase the body’s antioxidant intake. At the same time, both rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseeds, and salmon oil are used to preserve the skin and coat.
Homemade Dog Food For Allergies Recipe
There are advantages to preparing dog food for allergies at home, and you should consider them. There won’t be any secret pet food ingredients or tainted protein sources, and you’ll always know what’s in the food.
But, without the guidance of a vet nutritionist, maintaining a healthy balance can be challenging. To ensure that modifying your dog’s diet and using any of these homemade dog food for allergies recipes is safe for your dog, consult your vet before making any changes.
26. Chicken-Free Homemade Dog Food Recipe
Here’s the best dog food for allergies worth trying at home if your dog has an allergy to chicken. It is made with ground beef, vegetables, and rice, and it’s easy to prepare, flavorful, and safe for dogs with food allergies.
27. Turkey Rosemary Dog Food
A few essential ingredients—brown rice, turkey, and dried rosemary—make up this homemade dog food for allergies. All you need are a few safe ingredients for your dog to eat.
28. Wheat-Free Food Recipe
This simple dog food for skin allergies may interest you if your dog is allergic to wheat because it contains plain brown rice and meats like beef, turkey, tuna, and vegetables.
29. Simple Crock-Pot Dog Food
If you have a Crock-Pot, you can whip up this allergy-friendly, healthy homemade dog food whenever you want. If your dog is sensitive to chicken, you can replace the ground chicken with another protein. Also, it contains no wheat.
30. Yogurt & Pumpkin Bowl for Dogs
Looking for simple dog food for skin allergies that your dog will enjoy? It only takes a few minutes to whip up this dish of yogurt and pumpkin, which is packed with beneficial herbs and vitamins yet contains none of the usual allergens in dog food.
31. Beef & Lentil Homemade Dog Food
To alleviate skin allergies, feeding your dog a diet of ground beef and beef liver, along with lentils, vitamins, and vegetables like kale and sweet potatoes, would be best. Any dog will love this grain-free alternative!
Are Grain-Free Foods Better For Dogs With Skin Allergies?
If your dog is allergic to grains, a portion of grain-free food is not the best option, whereas dogs with true gluten allergies would greatly benefit from switching to a grain-free diet. While some dog skin allergies may be triggered by grain, this is not true for most dogs. Grains provide many nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy minerals.
Your dog’s allergies would be better served by a diet that is relatively low in carbohydrates and relatively high in healthy fats and proteins. When shopping for the best dog food for allergic dogs this year, keep these things in mind:
- The most common allergens in dog food are the grains of barley, corn, oats, rice, wheat, rye, and sorghum.
- Legumes (like peas and lentils) and starches (like potatoes and sweet potatoes) are commonly used instead of grains for grain-free dog food.
According to the FDA’s findings, grain-free dog meals that included peas and lentils had a higher incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy. There is no direct link between a grain-free diet and dog food for skin allergies. So we cannot advise you to switch to a grain-free diet for your dog unless your vet specifically tells you to do so.
What To Look For In The Best Dog Food For Allergies
If your dog has food sensitivities, it’s in your best interest to seek brands with fewer ingredients in the dog food for allergies. Brands with fewer additives and fillers are preferable.
Avoid particular grains
It’s a good idea to look into some of the best grain-free dog food for skin allergies because some grains might act as trigger foods for sensitivity. Until you can identify the allergen, keeping them out of your dog’s diet may be best. Talk to your vet about the advantages of switching to a grain-free diet for your dog.
Don’t Forget About Treats
Although switching your dog’s diet can assist with skin allergies, continuing to feed them treats containing allergens would be counterproductive. Get rid of snacks containing allergens, and ensure everyone knows your pet can’t have any human food.
Consistency and Maintenance
The duration of a hypoallergenic diet is typically between two and three months. The dog needs this time to flush out the old proteins before they notice a change from its old diet. Adjusting your dog’s diet for a few weeks will not offer accurate results, so give yourself plenty of time to test different foods and treats.
Keep an eye on any changes in dog food for skin allergies
Environmental allergens are likely to blame if your dog’s symptoms have not improved after two to three months on a hydrolyzed elimination diet. It’s also possible that an underlying health issue, such as an autoimmune disorder or an infection of the skin, is to blame.
Trial feeding your dog alternative proteins like venison, fish, or kangaroo to see how he reacts. In the first two to three weeks after exposure to these proteins, you should see a minimal reaction, if any. Stop giving them the new protein source and feed them hydrolyzed food again if their allergy symptoms recur.
If you want to add more proteins to dog food for skin allergies, try introducing one new one every two to four weeks. Avoid giving your dog any new proteins for two weeks if he has an adverse reaction.
Always consult your vet
Before starting a diet experiment, always get your vet’s prescription for a hydrolyzed diet. Suppose your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction. In that case, you must take them to the vet to rule out the possibility of a concurrent infection brought on by the compromised skin barrier.
Treating any underlying infections before starting the food elimination experiment is essential. Remember a few things during the trial of dog food for skin allergies:
- Never provide anything other than the veterinarian-recommended treats and food to your pet. Because of the risk of reintroducing allergies, neither human food nor regular pet treats should be given during a hypoallergenic diet.
- Always gradually introduce your dog to a new diet to prevent vomiting and diarrhea.
When your dog has skin allergies, giving it the nourishment it needs to stay healthy is even more crucial. Choosing the right dog food can help reduce signs of discomfort and make your pet more at ease. Finding the best dog food for skin allergies that works well for your dog may take trial and error. As a result, the Canvas Personalized Blog’s essential information and high-quality brand will greatly assist you.