Best Foods For Dogs With Dry Skin

best dog food for dry skinThough dry skin does not sound like the end of the world, it has the potential to make your pup extremely uncomfortable. A dog with dry skin can experience itching, flaking, and secondary pain and infections from excessive itching.What starts off as a minor case of dry skin, can easily turn into a much bigger problem for our furry friends. Luckily, there are dog food options to ease your dog’s dry skin, and bring them the comfort they need. If you think your dog is experiencing dry skin or flaking, continue reading for an indepth look into some of the best dog food for dry skin.

If you are pinched on time, our top picks for some of the best dog food for dry skin at a glance are:

Quick Review: Top-5 Dry Skin Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Bestseller #1

Merrick Grain Free Dog Food

  • Offers real chicken as its protein source.
  • Packed with omega-3’s for skin and coat health.
  • Contains several probiotics for digestive health.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food, 26 Pounds, Grain Free
Bestseller #2

Natural Balance Limited Ingredients

  • This food is entirely allergen free.
  • Dyes not included
  • Includes omega 3 and 6 for skin and coat.
AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food, For Skin & Coat, Chicken & Rice Formula
Bestseller #3

AvoDerm Natural Food For Skin & Coat

  • This food has more skin health ingredients.
  • Contains avocado, vitamin A, C, E and B6.
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food, FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula - 30 lb. Bag
Bestseller #4

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

  • This product is corn, soy, and wheat free.
  • This food is for dogs allergic to poultry.
  • Is rich in probiotics for healthy digestion.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Potato 11-lb
Bestseller #5

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredients

  • There are no artificial colors or flavors in this food.
  • Includes peas, potatoes and pumpkin.
  • Contains omega-3s for skin and coat health

What causes dry skin in dogs?

In a healthy dog, the skin has a natural layer of oils that are meant to protect the skin, and keep it moisturized. When this natural balance is disturbed, their skin can become dry and start to flake. Some common issues that can affect your dog’s skin include:

  • Dehydration: Your pup’s overall hydration plays a huge role in their skin health. Just like in humans, if they are not taking in enough fluids each day, they can become dehydrated. This can affect several parts of their health, including the moisture in their skin.
  • Inadequate nutrition: An unhealthy diet can cause an array of health complications, including a lack luster appearance of the skin. If their food is lacking healthy oils, your dog’s skin can become itchy and dry.
  • Fleas and ticks: External parasites can wreak havoc on your pup’s skin. Fleas and ticks can strip your dog’s skin of natural oils, and cause them to scratch their skin endlessly.
  • Food allergies: Some dogs will have allergies to foods that include certain meats and grains. When they experience food allergies, their skin can become irritated and inflamed, causing dogs to scratch excessively.
  • Irritating shampoos: All dog shampoos are not alike. Some shampoos contain harsh chemicals that can strip the skin of their natural oils. When the skin is compromised, it can appear dry and flakey.
  • Skin conditions: Just like in humans, dogs can experience a list of skin conditions that can affect the appearance of their skin. If natural foods and shampoos do not improve the appearance of your dog’s skin, your veterinarian may recommend a trip to an animal dermatologist.

What are some signs of dry skin in dogs?

Aside from the obvious flaking of the skin, there can be subtle signs of skin dryness in dogs. Some of these signs include:

  • Itchiness
  • Flaking
  • Dandruff
  • Redness of the skin
  • Pimples
  • Odor
  • Sores on the skin
  • Hair loss

If your furry friend is experiencing any of the symptoms above, it may be time to consider a dog food for dry skin.best dry dog food for skin allergies

What to look for in a dog food for dry skin?

Your dog’s food has the potential to improve their health in a number of ways. A quality dog food will include natural ingredients, oils to help hydrate the skin, and come from a brand that you can trust. Some specific ingredients to look for in a dog food for dry skin include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids and oils: Omega-3 fatty acids and oils have a long history of promoting skin and coat health in dogs. While some people choose to add these supplements into their dog’s food, you can now find dog food options that already include these moisturizing agents. When including fatty acids into your pups daily intake, some notice improvement of their skins appearance within weeks, and immediate relief of itching.
  • Natural ingredients: Since harsh chemicals on your dog’s skin can cause dryness, consuming chemicals can have this same effect. If you are unaware of what each ingredient is in your pup’s food, it may not be the best option for skin health.
  • Avoid common allergens: While allergies are not the only reason for dry skin, you wouldn’t want to complicate your dog’s skin irritation with a chance of exposing them to an allergen. If you fear your dog’s dry skin is possibly due to an allergy, avoid foods with wheat, corn, soy,or even egg.
  • Quality protein: When choosing a dog food for dry skin, it’s best to avoid any food that offers a meat by product instead of an actual meat as the main protein source. Unnamed meats are often tied to low quality food.

What Brands of Dog Food Make The Best Dog Food For Dry Skin November 2019?

Dry skin is a common problem in the dog world. With so many dogs affected by this skin condition, there are a number of brands that claim to resolve your pup’s itchiness. It can be difficult to figure out which brand to choose, so we put together a list of quality dog foods for dry skin that you can trust.

Our favorite brands with the best food for dogs with dry skin include:

  • Merrick: Offers a diet with natural ingredients, that’s fortified with ingredients that are rich in omega-3s.
  • Natural Balance: Offers a 100% grain free diet, that contains healthy fats for skin and coat health.
  • Blue Buffalo: Offers a limited ingredient diet, hoping to avoid allergens that could irritate a dog’s skin.
  • Purina Pro Plan: Offers a diet that is corn, wheat, and poultry free. Is also fortified with vitamins and healthy fats for skin and coat health.
  • AvoDerm: Offers a food with a protein base of salmon, and an array of healthy fats to moisturize the skin.

Now that we’ve revealed the brands that we trust, we’ll dive into the details of each specific food. With a list of great choices to choose from, there’s no doubt that your pup’s skin and coat will thrive!

Best Food for Dogs With Dry Skin

  1. Merrick Grain Free Dog Food
Merrick Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food
$59.99
10 Reviews
Merrick Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food
This food focuses on offering natural ingredients to promote overall health. With its main source of protein being lean chicken, and sweet potato as its main carb source, your pup has everything they need to build lean muscle. In addition to the pure chicken protein, is the healthy fats that are infused into this diet. This food is packed with omega-3’s, which are known to promote skin and coat health in dogs with dry skin.
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Pros

  • This food is grain free, making it ideal for dogs with allergies related to grains.
  • Offers real chicken as its protein source.
  • Packed with omega-3’s for skin and coat health.
  • Contains several probiotics for digestive health.

Cons

  • Since chicken is the main ingredient, it’s not ideal for dogs with allergies to poultry.
  • Since it contains so many high quality ingredients, the price is higher than other dog food brands.
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
This food offers such high quality ingredients, you can rest assured that your pup is consuming food that will nourish their body and skin. According to the user reviews, the healthy ingredients and probiotics in this food have helped to restore gut health in dogs with previous gi upset as well.
  1. Natural Balance Limited Ingredients
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food, 26 Pounds, Grain Free
$59.67
2,227 Reviews
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food, 26 Pounds, Grain Free
This food focuses on creating a food that excludes any potential allergens that can cause dry or itchy skin. By excluding any grains, artificial flavors, or artificial dyes, this food will never exacerbate any skin problems in your pup. Aside from it’s allergy free base, are the omega-3 and omega-6 additions that will fight to promote optimal skin and coat health.
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Pros

  • This food is entirely allergen free.
  • Included no artificial colors or dyes, which are known to irritate the skin.
  • Includes omega-3 and omega-6 for skin and coat health.

Cons

  • It does have a lower protein count than other dog food brands.
  • Potato is listed as the first ingredient instead of a meat source.
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
According to customer reviews, some customers noticed instant results when switching their dogs to this food. They noticed immediate relief for itchy skin, and saw dandruff resolve quickly after. This food sounds like it is a great option for optimal skin and coat health.
  1. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredients
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Potato 11-lb
$35.98
111 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Potato 11-lb
This diet focuses on limiting potential allergens that can cause skin and stomach irritation. With its main protein source being salmon, this food can be consumed by those with allergies to poultry or beef. In addition to its substitute for the protein source, is the exclusion of any wheat, soy, corn,dairy, or eggs.
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Pros

  • This food lacks any common allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, chicken, beef, dairy, or eggs.
  • This food also lacks any artificial dyes and flavors that are known to cause skin irritation.
  • Includes peas, potatoes, and pumpkin to aid in healthy digestion.
  • Contains omega-3s for skin and coat health.

Cons

  • This food has a lower protein count than other brands, mainly due to its exclusion of certain ingredients.
Our Verdict: 3.5/5
This is a great option for dogs with skin and gut irritation. While this food can promote healthier skin long term, users do mention that it took quite some time to see a change in their dog’s skin.
  1. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food, FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula - 30 lb. Bag
$47.98
1,503 Reviews
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food, FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula - 30 lb. Bag
This food focuses on providing ingredients that will settle well in dogs with skin and gut sensitivities. They focus on easily digestible ingredients that will never aid in the further irritation of your dog’s skin. Aside from its ingredients for sensitivity, this food also included vitamins and fatty acids for skin and coat health.
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Pros

  • This product is corn, soy, and wheat free.
  • This food is also free of chicken for dogs with an allergy to poultry.
  • Is rich in probiotics for healthy digestion.
  • Contains omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A for skin and coat health.

Cons

  • Aside from salmon as the main ingredient, there aren’t many other protein factors to increase the protein levels of this diet.
  • This product is not grain free, so dogs with allergies to grain may not be able to consume this.
Our Verdict: 4/5
This is a food for sensitive skin and stomach, from a brand that you can trust. According to users, this food relieved the skin of dogs prone to skin irritations.
  1. AvoDerm Natural Food For Skin & Coat
AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food, For Skin & Coat, Chicken & Rice Formula
$54.99
320 Reviews
AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food, For Skin & Coat, Chicken & Rice Formula
This product was created specifically with your dog’s skin in mind. It focuses on offering irritant free ingredients, while adding beneficial fats for their skin and coat health. Aside from its natural ingredients, is their focus on providing ingredients that will not further irritate your dog’s skin.
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Pros

  • This food has the most ingredients for skin health than any other food on this list.
  • Contains avocado, vitamin a, vitamin c, vitamin e, and B6 for skin and coat health.
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Cons

  • While this food has a list of beneficial ingredients, it does lack some protein that other brands have.
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
This food had some of the best responses from the consumers. Owners notice an instant relief in irritation of the skin, and an immediate improvement in the shine of their coats.

FAQ

How do I know when it is time to visit the vet for my dog’s dry skin?

It’s always best to visit your vet before switching your dog’s food, but there are a few indicators of when you should seek veterinary help immediately. If your dog is constantly scratching, you’ve noticed fleas or ticks, their skin looks irritated, or if they have scratched themselves to the point of having sores. They can develop secondary irritation and infection from chronic skin irritation, so it’s best to see your vet if you notice any concerning symptoms.

What else can I do for my dog’s dry skin?

Changing your dog’s food isn’t the only solution to dry skin. You can bathe them in soothing dog shampoos for skin irritation, add in additional supplements to their food that promote skin health, and contact your vet for medicated shampoos if necessary.


Though dry skin does not sound like the end of the world, it has the potential to make your pup extremely uncomfortable. A dog with dry skin can experience itching, flaking, and secondary pain and infections from excessive itching.What starts off as a minor case of dry skin, can easily turn into a much bigger problem for our furry friends. Luckily, there are dog food options to ease your dog’s dry skin, and bring them the comfort they need. If you think your dog is experiencing dry skin or flaking, continue reading for an indepth look into some of the…

User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

Last update on 2019-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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