Looking for the best dog food for labs with skin issues? While food alone can’t cure all that ails your lab, it’s definitely a great place to start. Skin issues can pop up with any breed, but Labs are prone to skin problems. Even a Lab that doesn’t suffer from food or environmental allergies can get hot spots and inflamed skin rather easily. That’s why it’s important to feed your Lab a food that can help lessen skin issues or prevent them altogether.
There are certain ingredients in foods that can support a healthy skin and coat. There are also certain ingredients that should be eliminated if your dog already has skin issues. There are a few things you’ll want to do regarding your Lab’s skin and his diet. The first thing you’ll want to do is see your vet.
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What is the Best Dog Food for Labs with Skin Issues?
There are a few different factors that go into treating existing skin issues in a dog. That’s why it’s important to see your vet as soon as your dog start showing signs of skin irritation such as redness, inflammation, excessive licking and/or chewing, and hair loss.
Your vet will do some testing and possibly recommend allergy testing in order to determine if your Lab’s skin problems stem from environmental allergies, or something as simple as dry skin. Believe it or not, dry skin can lead to skin problems, because the skin is more easily abraded and irritated.
Finding the root cause of your Lab’s skin issues can determine how your vet chooses to treat him medically, but it we’re not getting into that today. Today we’re talking about diet, and if your dog has skin issues, the food guide is fairly linear across the board. So let’s get into the ingredients in food that can help your Lab and his skin problems.
Omega Fatty Acids
A major weapon in the fight against skin issues is omega fatty acids. These fatty acids help promote healthy skin and a healthy coat. Omega fatty acids reduce whole body inflammation, which includes red, inflamed skin, as well as encouraging healthier skin from the skin bed up. It also helps replenish the oils in a dog’s skin that he needs to help protect him from outside irritants and makes for a stronger, healthier coat which helps to further protect the skin.
Look for food with added omega fatty acids, ingredients like flax, or fish as the main protein source.
I cannot express enough how bad grain is for dogs. Even if your dog never shows one symptom of allergies or stomach upset, grain is not his friend. And in a breed like a Lab that’s already prone to skin issues, the last thing you want is to add grain into the mix.
Grain isn’t a natural part of any canine’s diet, and it’s the leading cause of food allergies and food sensitivities. If your dog has skin issues, remove grain from his diet immediately. If your dog has no issues whatsoever, remove it anyway. It’s terrible for him, and he could develop allergies or other issues down the line.
Antioxidants are a must in any dog’s diet. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are essentially molecules with no place to call home. They contribute to cell destruction and cancer. Antioxidants help do away with free radicals. This is obviously a good thing for your dog’s body as a whole, and that includes his skin. While antioxidants may not contribute directly to improving skin issues in the same way that the removal of grain or the addition of fatty acids do, it does allow the body to more efficiently repair itself, which can help the other two previously listed things along.
Look for foods containing berries or an added “antioxidant complex”, which is just a fancy term for added antioxidant vitamins.
Skin Issues Can be Helped with Diet
Removing grain and adding in the above ingredients can be an excellent support to your Lab’s other medications to help combat his skin issues. The ingredients I’ve listed here help strengthen skin against potential skin issues. Along with prescribed medications, they also help to mitigate existing skin issues.
If your dog is showing any signs of potential skin issues such as red and/or inflamed skin, excessive licking and chewing, or a loss of hair, see your vet immediately to determine the cause and begin looking for foods that can help combat your Lab’s skin issues.
Have you already found the best dog food for labs with skin issues? Share your recommendations in the comments!