The best food for your pup's skin is one that contains all of the vitamins and minerals he needs to stay healthy. Poor nutrition can affect your pooch's health and lead to primary or secondary skin issues, like dryness, itchiness and infections of the skin. Depending on what type of skin issues your particular pooch is dealing with, your vet may recommend a specific type of prescription diet for him to follow.
When purchasing food to feed your pup, only choose foods that follow the nutrient profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. These foods contain all of the vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins needed to maintain a healthy body and epidermis. Sometimes, a lack of certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-5, vitamin E, biotin and zinc, in your pup's diet can result in skin problems. Don't forget to purchase food appropriate for Fido's life stage as well because puppies need higher amounts of nutrients than adult dogs.
Ingredients to Look For
Ingredients like flax meal, eggs, flax seed oil, fish oil, canola oil, chicken fat, fish meal, herring oil, salmon oil, salmon, sunflower oil, and tuna all contain healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help improve the condition of your pup's skin and coat, keeping them moisturized. Such fatty acids not only moisturize the skin, but also relieve inflammation and itching. Many of these same ingredients also contain high amounts of vitamin E, vital for healthy skin, along with ingredients like wheat germ and corn. Whole meats like chicken, liver and pork not only provide your pup with high quality proteins but also B-vitamins, both good for Fido's skin.
Kind of Food
Canned dog food contains much more water than dry kibble does. In fact, canned food contains around 75 percent water, while dry food only contains about 10 percent water. Canned food also contains higher amounts of protein and fats. More moisture, fats and proteins help to keep your dog's skin soft and supple, making canned food a better choice for your pup's skin, especially if he's already suffering with dry or scaly epidermis issues or you live in an area with low humidity.
Some pups suffer from food-based allergies, which can result in itchy, irritated skin. If your vet suspects such allergies, she will recommend a hypoallergenic diet for your pooch containing hydrolyzed protein. Dog food manufacturers alter the protein molecules of their ingredients to make them smaller and more digestible to your pup's body, without setting off his immune system. Other types of dog allergy diets usually contain only one type of protein and one carbohydrate that your pooch has never eaten before. You feed these diets for a limited amount of time, up to 12 weeks, to see if your pup's skin issues clear up. If they do, feeding your pooch a nutritionally complete hypoallergenic diet might be the best choice for his skin.
- Cesar's Way: Choosing the Right Dog Food
- The Bark: Vet Advice: Relief for Your Dog's Itchy Skin
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Selecting Nutritious Pet Foods
- Dog Health Guide: How to Recognize and Treat Canine Skin Allergy
- WebMD: Seborrhea in Dogs
- Dog Food Advisor: Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods
- petMD: Skin Problems in Dogs
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Vitamins
- Blue Buffalo: Ingredient Glossary
- Modern Dog Magazine: Foods for Health
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.