While inflamed, irritated skin can be the result of food allergies, it can also be the result of other allergies. Skin allergies are a far different thing from irritated, inflamed skin due to food allergies. With skin allergies, the uncomfortable skin irritation your dog feels is due to environmental allergens rather than food, so a hypoallergenic dog food isn’t always the answer. Still, the right food can make a difference.
Controlling Symptoms of Skin Allergies
I want to begin with a brief overview of reducing the contributing factors to skin allergies. Helping your pet get relief is going to involve a combination of allergen reduction as well as food for skin support.
Some things you can do to reduce the root causes of skin allergies.
- Wipe Down Paws: Whenever your dog comes in from the outside, wipe its paws down with a water based baby wipe. This will remove allergens that have collected on its feet and reduce irritation.
- Weekly Baths: Bathe your dog weekly in a high-quality aloe and oatmeal shampoo to reduce allergens and promote healthy skin. In cases of severe skin allergies, your vet may recommend a corticosteroid shampoo to reduce inflammation.
- Rinse Downs: If you have the time, rinsing your dog down with cool water after it comes in from the outside is an excellent way to reduce allergens on your dog. A rinse down with cool water will soothe your dog’s skin and remove pollen and mold spores.
Promoting Strong Skin with Supportive Foods
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There are foods out there that can support healthy skin for a dog suffering from skin allergies. These foods are formulated with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and other ingredients the promote skin health to help prevent the side effects of skin allergies. While hypoallergenic dog foods typically focus on stomach sensitives, these foods focus on promoting healthy overall coats and skin.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach
This dog food was specifically designed for pooches with skin allergies and easily irritated GI tracts. This hypoallergenic dog food covers all the bases. It’s made with salmon for an increased level of omega-3 fatty acids and contains no allergy triggering carbs. In addition to its omega-3 fatty acids, it’s made with a hefty dose of glucosamine, which makes it great for large and giant breed dogs. It’s one of my favorites for food allergies, because it addresses everything.
- Salmon as a protein source
- No corn, wheat, or soy
- No chemical preservatives
- Excellent source of glucosamine for joint health
- Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids for skin and joint health
Iams Veterinary Formula Skin & Coat Plus Response KO
This is another excellent choice for dogs with skin allergies. Just like Purina, Iams has covered all the bases for skin issues, making their food from a unique protein and packing the food with omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. This formulation addresses skin issues due to food allergies as well as strengthening the skin of dogs who suffer from actual skin allergies.
- Kangaroo as a protein source
- Oatmeal flour as a carbohydrate source
- Blend of omega-6 and 3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin
- Optimal levels of linoleic acid to help further promote healthy skin and hair coat
Orijen 6 Fish Grain-Free Formula
This dog food hits the symptoms of skin allergies hard and heavy with a blend of 6 different cold-water fish. Cold-water fish has the highest level of omega fatty acids, so this food will give your dog a big boost of it in their diet to strengthen their skin. In addition to 6 types of fish, Orijen has also made their carbohydrate source a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and botanicals with no grain.
- Mixture of salmon, herring, flounder, whitefish, walleye, and northern pike as a protein source
- Mixture of fruits, vegetables, and botanicals as a carbohydrate source
- High levels of DHA & EPA omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Botanicals are veterinarian selected to support metabolism, strengthen organs, and cleanse toxins
- Pumpkin to promote GI tract health
The Right Food Can Help with Skin Allergies
Skin allergies and skin issues secondary to food allergies are virtually the same, so if your dog is showing any of the symptoms of food or skin allergies, get them to the vet right away. In the event that your dog has skin allergies, you will most likely be approaching it with a combination of topical medicated shampoos and the right food. Your vet will help guide you to the right food to address your dog’s skin allergies, and I’m almost certain that at least one of the foods I featured here will be on that list.
The right food is an essential part of addressing your dog’s skin allergies. A food with high levels of omega-3 and/or 6 fatty acids as well as other supportive ingredients can drastically improve your dog’s skin condition. If your dog is showing signs like excessive licking or chewing, intense itching, and oily or excessively dry skin, see your vet and discuss it with your vet. There’s a food out there that can help relieve your dog’s skin allergies. In some cases, it may be a hypoallergenic dog food. In others, it may just be a really stellar food with other good skin-supportive qualities.