Dog Owners Share the Best Dog Food for Dogs with Itchy Skin

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When Sydney and Rodrigo were puppies, they itched a lot after being outside.  We were told that this could be due to the growing mushrooms in the yard.  We added ground flax seed to their diet and the itching stopped.  Now, 2 years later, they have itchy paws during hay fever season (Spring and Summer) and our veterinarian approved Benedryl.

Only give your dogs over the counter medication under the supervision of your veterinarian.

When I was at Poochapalooza, a dog walked by my booth who had very dry skin and I overheard dog lovers sharing tips to give relief to dogs with itchy skin.  I was tempted to jump in and share my two cents, but decided (for once) to just listen.  It was interesting how quickly the subject turned to dog food.  I would have loved to recommend Life’s Abundance, but they only have a chicken formula and while publishing Keep the Tail Wagging I’ve learned that some dogs are allergic to chicken.  Say it isn’t so!

So when I got back to my computer, I sent out inquiries to dog owners to find out what they’re feeding their dogs and I’m excited to share this with you.  One thing I’ve learned in my 6 months of promoting Life’s Abundance is that people are pretty loyal to their brand – if it’s working for their dog, then who am I to tell them to change?  You’ll find that people have found success with several brands…

Foods and Supplements that Offer Relief to Dogs with Itchy Skin

Blue Buffalo

My large German-mutt dog had really bad skin: prone to skin rashes and dry flaking skin. The vet recommended trying different dog food and taking omega-3 supplements. We switched to Blue (dog food brand) and within a couple of weeks Roofus’s skin became healthy and light pink in color, with no more skin problems. ~ Jaime Helgeson

Bil*Jac Dry Dog Food

What’s the secret to dog food that fights dry skin? Locking in nutrients!  Dog food full of vitamins, nutrients and most important naturally sourced linoleic acid (it’s the secret to a smooth and soft coat) is the solution to dry skin. When changing dog food, choose one that has a nutrient retaining system. For instance, Bil-Jac uses Nutri-Lock, a slow cook, vacuum process.  This gently dehydrates the fresh chicken and pasteurizes the ingredients at a controlled temperature- and retains all the nutrients! ~ Renee LeGendre, Bil*Jac

Fish Oil

I, like the person who you saw at the dog show, have a dog who had unbearably itchy skin. The poor thing was itching on her sides so often that she barely had a chance to lie down and relax–her feet were always up on her sides! Not only was it bothersome to her, but the sounds of her itching kept us up throughout the night as well. I did some research and saw that fish oil was known to help a dog’s coat and skin. I immediately went out and bought some, and after a week’s time, I noticed
a huge difference. My dog could finally be herself again! ~ Alex Ota, TenFingers4Paws

Cook at Home

Sonya Fitzpatrick, the pet psychic, has a lot of experience with dogs and skin allergies. She recommends putting them on a diet or white rice and poached white fish for two weeks. It clears the skin right up! Sonya makes most of her dog’s food and has a number of other recipes to keep their coats and teeth shiny and healthy.  Click HERE for recipes on Keep the Tail Wagging.

Ruth Roberts, certified in Traditional Chinese medicine food therapy, shared a standard crock pot recipe* that can be adjusted based on an individual pet’s Traditional Chinese medical pattern. Because it is real food cooked and high in moisture, helps dry itchy skin.  Ruth also recommends using a vitamin supplement with the food to help prevent nutritional imbalances and calcium to prevent bone imbalances.

* Before using this recipe, please review it with your veterinarian to ensure proper nutrition.

Just Food for Dogs makes food for our dogs and delivers or ships it to our home.  They have recipes that are great for helping our dogs develop healthy skin and more.  What I love most about this company is that they also share recipes so that you can make the food yourself.  Here are three great recipes that your dog will love:

JustFoodForDogs Recipe: USDA Certified Beef and Russet Potato

JustFoodForDogs Recipe: USDA Certified Lamb and Brown Rice

JustFoodForDogs Recipe: USDA Certified Turkey and Whole Wheat Macaroni


Merrick has spent the last several years reinventing its recipes using the latest nutrition research conducting an exhausting review of farmers and suppliers, and developing quality assurance with its expert panel of dog taste testers. As a result of this work, Merrick will be introducing 11 new entrees, seven Classic and four Grain Free varieties. They will be available in August so look for it at independent pet specialty stores, Petco and online at

Here’s a fantastic video by Dr. Becker where she describes the best and worst foods for our dogs…

Now it’s your turn!  

If you’ve managed to combat itchy skin by changing your dogs diet, I’d love to hear what you did, the food you chose, and how it worked out?  Share your tips in the comments below for others who may be in the same boat.  Thanks!

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  1. I think that here is the thing. These are some good options and it certainly won’t hurt to try.

    Dogs can be itchy for a variety of reasons, though, and depending on the cause, what works for one dog might not work for another.

    For example, if food allergy or intolerance is involved, the best diet won’t help if it does contain the offending ingredient(s).

    When the liver is involved, then liver-supporting or liver-cleansing diet or supplementation will work best.

    Some things are generally universal, such as omega-3 supplementation is likely to help or make matters matter regardless of the cause. Cartenoids, zinc, vitamin E complex …
    Jana Rade recently published..Veterinary Highlights: Nutritional Management Of OsteoarthritisMy Profile

    • So very true, Jana

      Our Rodrigo gets itchy paws for 3 reason: fresh cut grass, salt water at the beach, and long exposure in the snow. No diet change is going to do this, so we have other steps to help us that were approved by our veterinarian. We’re lucky that our dogs don’t have any food allergies to contend with; that has to be frustrating for dog owners to figure out.


        • For Rodrigo, he’s the common denominator. Our vet shared that many dogs have sensitivities to grass starting in the spring and the snow. The salt from salt water at the beach is just irritating for already sensitive paws. Plus it’s yummy, encouraging more licking. I’ve found that if I rinse off his paws on days when they’re going to be irritated and put some salve on them (more in the winter season) then he feels loads better. Plus our vet approved Benedryl, 1mg per body weight, on days when he’s really bothered (grass days).

            • My white bichon gets red paws every spring from the grass. He is fine all winter.

                • Hi Kimberly,
                  My bichon first got bright red paws when he was about 6 months old. Thankfully my Vet is older and very experienced. Instead of expensive testing, he recommended a very inexpensive anti-histamine that worked like a dream. Then when the ground froze up, the paws never got red. It’s only on wet grass, esp. fresh cut grass, that his paws turn red.
                  I am lucky to live right beside a huge park that includes woodlands and the river. My dogs have never been walked on the street, hence no salt!
                  All the best,
                  Nancy and the 2 bichons and PWD

  2. We have our dogs on a grain-free diet, due to our golden retriever’s tendency to get itchy. (Currently, they eat the pork formula of Precise Holistic Complete.) However, the diet has never been a cure-all, and we still have to give him benadryl (or the generic Walfinate) pretty regularly. One of the vets at the office we go to insists that there’s very little connection between food and itchy skin, but we steer clear of the grains and chicken, anyway.
    Crystal Wayward recently published..Conservation Canines save wildlife one scat at a timeMy Profile

    • I’ve heard from many people that switching to a grain free diet made a difference. My thought is that if it works and your dog is getting good nutrition, then go for it! Thanks for sharing!



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