The Best Foods for Dogs with Itchy Skin

Itchy skin is a common issue among dogs, causing discomfort and stress to pets and owners alike. When surveyed over 65% of our customers indicated that their pet suffered with some degree of itchy skin so you are not alone! Skin irritation can be caused by a variety of factors including fleas, food allergies, skin infections or environmental factors. Good health for pets like humans starts in the gut! So making some changes to your dog's food or adding in supplements can work wonders in improving skin and coat health. Raw food is becoming increasingly popular for dog owners looking for the best food to support dogs with itchy skin. In this blog post we will explore the reasons why a raw diet is a great choice for pets with itchy skin or common skin complaints such as hot spots, yeast infections, rashes or inflamed skin. We will also explore some simple supplements that can be helpful additions to the diet of dogs with skin allergies.

A common reason that dogs develop itchy skin is food allergies often caused by common ingredients in commercial pet foods. Common symptoms of allergies include frequent itching and scratching, excessive licking, and red, inflamed skin in the ears, belly, armpits, groin, paws, or the base of the tail. Raw dog food is natural and minimally processed, avoiding additives, preservatives and fillers can be helpful for pets with sensitivities. Some dogs with itchy skin have grain allergies, raw food is naturally grain-free, full of vital nutrients and vitamins that support healthy skin, immunity and strength so can be a good option to support pet’s with itchy skin. A raw diet is minimally processed and has no additives so it is a cleaner approach to feeding your dog that is helpful when feeding pets with sensitivities.

Common allergens in pet food are chicken or beef. A limited ingredient or novel protein diet is often helpful for pet’s with itchy skin, as it avoids the common allergens and opts for new protein sources your pet has not tried before. A raw diet can be an easy way to feed your dog a limited ingredient diet as it is natural and contains fewer ingredients and is free from additives and fillers. This means it is easy to avoid common allergens such as grains, soy, and artificial additives. It can also be helpful for elimination diets for pet’s with allergies as there is a range of novel protein options (meats that your pet has not eaten before) that aren’t often found in processed food. For example instead of feeding beef and chicken products to a pet with a history of itchy skin it can be helpful to opt for novel proteins such as venison, turkey or rabbit. The wide range of protein sources available to choose from when feeding your pet a raw diet makes it a good option for pet owners wanting to identify and eliminate potential triggers for itchy skin.

Dog foods that are high in fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation, improve skin health and strengthen the skin barrier. There are naturally high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in foods such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel) or wild prey (possum, hare) so when looking for dog food for skin allergies it can be helpful to select products with these proteins. have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce skin inflammation and itching and support your dog’s overall skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce skin inflammation and itching by creating a barrier, protecting the skin. Salmon, wild prey and supplements are great options to increase omega-3’s in a dog’s diet. Tripe is a natural source of probiotics and is great for itchy skin as well.

Hydration is vital for overall health, including skin health. It is important to make sure your pet has access to fresh water at all times especially leading into Summer. A raw diet has a higher moisture content than biscuits or freeze dried foods so is helpful in promoting hydration and supporting skin health. Bone broth is liquid gold for our pets and a great source of moisture to ensure your dog’s skin remains hydrated preventing flaky skin, whilst soothing irritated and itchy skin

High-quality protein sources, such as lean meats (chicken, turkey, veal), fish, and eggs, are essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat. As up to 35% of your dog’s daily protein intake is used to maintain skin and coat health A raw diet is naturally high in protein and vital amino acids. High quality easily digestible protein is the building blocks to skin regeneration and general good health. Protein plays a part in the production of keratin that forms the basis of your pet’s hair, skin and nails, so it is vital to promoting clear irritation free skin and a healthy glossy coat. A raw diet provides the most nutrition in the form dogs' bodies were designed to absorb.

When feeding pet’s with itchy skin it’s important to consider what else your dog is eating, beyond their breakfast and dinner as table scraps, treats and human foods that could be contributing to your pet’s skin allergies. If following an elimination or limited ingredient diet it is important to ensure that any treats, toppers or extras you add to the diet suit and will not aggravate your pet’s skin.

Addressing your pet’s itchy skin often requires patience and may not resolve overnight. Just like with humans, the right nutrition is a brilliant healer - and the basis of better health and more energy and enjoyment for life. Your pet’s overall health and skin issues can benefit from making the dietary changes and switching to a raw diet, which naturally gives them the benefits of high quality protein sources, antioxidants, omega-3’s and proper hydration all while avoiding preservatives and other common skin irritants, promoting overall health and wellbeing for your pet. If your dog has itchy skin and you’re wondering what the cause is or would like to try a raw diet, feel free to talk to one of our expert nutrition advisors in store or online. They would be happy to help put together a personalised feeding plan to support your pet to achieve their full health potential.


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