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Best Dog Food For Skin Allergies

Karan French  Julia Ogden


Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: June 25, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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What’s the best dog food for skin allergies?

Dogs can suffer from skin allergies just like us, and these can be caused by three factors — environmental, food, and fleas.

Skin allergies can be extremely unpleasant, causing itchy skin, hives, swelling, loss of fur, and red, irritated skin.

They can be triggered by a range of ingredients in your dog’s food such as:

  • Chicken
  • Peas
  • Beef
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Plant based or insect proteins
  • Omega 3 sources

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction from your dog’s food is to analyze the label for the above ingredients — or any other ingredients which you think may be causing a reaction.

You can then choose a dog food which is formulated for skin allergies, but each dog and allergy is different, so it is important to consult your veterinarian first to determine what may be causing your dog’s skin allergy, and therefore which ingredients to avoid. A veterinarian can also help you with treatment for any allergic reactions and symptoms.

In the meantime, we have compiled a list of the best foods for dogs with skin allergies.

Top Picks For Dogs With Skin Allergies

On the list below…

You’ll find The Dog Food Advisor’s best dog and puppy foods for skin allergies

You’ll also learn the answer to each of the most frequently asked questions we get about dogs with skin allergies

The Dog Food Advisor - Editor's choice

Best Dog Food For Skin Allergies July 2024

Here are The Dog Food Advisor's best dog food brands for skin allergies for July 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main cause of skin allergies in dogs?

There are three types of skin allergies in dogs:

  • Environmental allergies — including pollen, dust, and mold
  • Food allergies — caused by ingredients in food
  • Flea allergies — also known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), caused by flea bites

Which dog breeds are more prone to skin allergies?

Certain dog breeds are more prone to skin allergies than others, including Dalmatians, Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Labradoodles, Beagles, English and Irish Setters, Goldendoodles, Labrador Retrievers, most terriers, Pugs, English Sheepdogs, Miniature Schnauzers, and Lhasa Apsos.

This list is not exhaustive and the breeds included are not guaranteed to develop skin allergies, it’s just a list of breeds which are often more likely to have atopic dermatitis.

What are the symptoms of skin allergies in dogs?

The main symptoms of skin allergies in dogs to look out for are:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Chewing or biting the skin
  • Rubbing against furniture or floors (trying to scratch the itchy skin)
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Hives
  • Hair loss
  • Dry, cracked, or scaly skin

How are skin allergies diagnosed in dogs?

Just like humans, allergy testing is not straight forward. It can take multiple methods and months of deductive tests to get to the root of the problem. The most common way of testing for an allergy is through blood or skin samples, but this might not always work or provide accurate results.

Seek advice from your veterinarian if you think your dog might be having an allergic reaction, as they can advise the best method for diagnosis and help you with a treatment plan.

How do you treat skin allergies in dogs?

Treatment for skin allergies in dogs depends on what is causing the reaction.

Environmental allergies – The first thing you could do to help soothe your dog’s skin is to give them a good brush and a bath. Brushing will help to remove any dandruff and allergens which may be attached to your dog’s fur. You should also avoid potential triggers such as pollen, but this might be difficult depending on the season and where you live. Your vet will help you to determine what is triggering your dog’s allergy and may prescribe antihistamines or an atopic cream.

Flea allergies – Immediate treatment for flea allergy dermatitis includes bathing your dog with a medicated shampoo. Using a preventative flea shampoo going forward can also avoid another flea infestation and allergic reaction. You should maintain a regular flea treatment schedule and also flea-treat your home.

Food allergies – Once your veterinarian has helped you to understand which ingredients are causing your dog’s allergies, you can avoid foods which contain them. Your vet could also help you to change food safely without sacrificing your dog’s nutritional needs.

Final word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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