A lot of people associate skin allergies with external allergens. However, with dogs, they often manifest their allergies to their food through their coat. So, if you have a pet with coat problems, it could very well be closely associated with their food — especially if you have recently switched foods.
Sometimes it can be worthwhile to visit a local vet and get some anti-allergy lotion to help with the immediate inflammation. But, to speed up healing, you really need to make sure that your pet’s food is not going to cause any more problems.
Limited Ingredient Dog Foods
The thought behind this dog food is that by eliminating all of the extra ingredients, you can help eliminate and identify what is causing your dog’s allergy. Most of these foods only have 2-3 main ingredients — just enough to provide a balanced diet.
Some dogs will always need to be on an limited ingredient diet, while others can be transitioned to a non-traditional diet later on after their coat has cleared up.
These are an ideal “stage 1” diet initially after your dog has a reaction since it lets you get most of the potential allergens immediately out of their diet.
Novel (Non-Traditional) Ingredient Dog Food
Most dog food uses chicken and beef. Over time, some dogs begin to acquire an intolerance to these meats. The idea is that by switching them over to a meat that is different than they normally have can help their stomachs heal.
My favorite pick for dogs with skin problems is salmon meat. This fish meat is rich in essential fatty acids, and helps support eye and skin health. Dogs that are fed a diet rich in EFA’s have noticeably sleeker coats.
Most of these foods are also grain-free and avoid the use of soy, wheat, and milk.
The only downside with these foods is that you are going to pay 2-3x more per pound than the high-quality cheap dog foods out there. And the reason is that these foods contain higher-quality, purer ingredients . Also, since they contain fewer ingredients, it requires them to use more, say, duck meat, and less corn.
But for some pets, this is going to be the only way they can get relief from their skin allergies. So it is well worth every penny to find relief for your loved one.
3 Top Picks of Dog Foods To Consider For Sensitive Skin
Skin Care Dog Food #1 – Natural Balance Limited Ingrediet
Natural Balance is one of the leaders in the Limited Ingredient Diet. In fact, they may have coined the phrase.
I like a lot about their brands. They are one of the first brands that many dog owners turn to to help overcome digestive and skin problems. They also insist on only using the best of ingredients. For example, a lot of similar brands use regular potatoes as their source of carbohydrates. Natural Balance instead chooses sweet potatoes for their higher nutritional value.
What I love about their Salmon and Sweet Potato blend is that they actually supplement it with flax seed for even more Omega-3’s, DHA and essential fatty acids. If your dog has skin sensitivities, this formula is not only designed to remove the allergen, it is also designed to help support and nourish a healthy, shiny coat.
Skin Care Dog Food #2 – Wellness Simple
The Wellness brand is rapidly finding a place in my heart. They offer a lot of great formulas that are a direct answer to the over-priced Hills Science Diet that most veterinarians are so apt to prescribe.
In fact, we are starting to see a lot of vets switch over to this brand which is good. It has almost no fillers and much higher quality of meats in the recipe.
There are 5 different formulas of their hypo-allergenic meal available. So if one doesn’t work, you can try the others until you narrow down what the allergy is. As with the Natural Balance formula, this one has extra flaxseed oil to help boost skin health.
With Wellness Simple you can choose to try a dog food with grain — or go with a grain free formula. It is whatever you think will work best for you dog.
Skin Care Dog Food #3 – Orijen 6-Fish
The last dog food on our list is not hypo-allergenic per se. however, it is made by what is probably the absolutely best dog food company in the world.
Orijen serves the freshest dog food they can. They raise their own meat. For the fish they send their own fisherman out to catch it. It is difficult to find a fresher, cleaner food on the market.
The reason I am including the 6-fish formula on the list is because, in many cases, by simply switching your dog to a high-quality, grain free, dairy-free formula you can clear up the bulk of their skin problem.
And, with Orijen, the nutritional value of each bite is so high that you can actually feed your dog smaller quantities without leaving them hungry. Less filler can actually save you money — and make less poop.