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Do you feel frustrated each time your pup starts scratching frantically over and over again? The problem of itchy skin can bring a great amount of discomfort to your furry friend. It may well be very unnerving to you as the owner, too.

We will talk more about this in a minute.

The roots of this issue can be of different kinds. In some cases, it is simply the skin condition that leads to this uncontrolled desire to scratch. In others, excessive ich is the consequence of an allergic reaction.

Fortunately, a range of quality food formulas for itchy skin in dogs can be of great assistance in dealing with the latter. By controlling your canine’s diet, you can expect an improvement in your pet’s overall condition, including the issues in question.

And for even more diet options, see the best rated dog food guide.

Top 7 Dog Foods For Itchy Skin

Our Top Pick

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Hill's Science Diet
Our Top Pick
Brewers Rice
Chicken Meal
Pea Protein
Cracked Pearled Barley
Whole Grain Sorghum
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Natural Balance Dry Food
Sweet Potatoes
Potato Protein
Canola Oil
Menhaden Fish Meal
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Budget Choice

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Taste of the Wild
Budget Choice
Lamb Meal
Sweet Potatoes
Chicken Meal
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Adult Dogs

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Blue Buffalo Basics
Adult Dogs
Deboned Turkey
Pea Starch
Turkey Meal
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Sensitive Stomach

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Wellness Simples
Sensitive Stomach
Dried Ground Potatoes
Salmon Meal
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All Life Stages

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Brothers Complete
All Life Stages
Turkey Meal
Whole Eggs Dried
Pea Starch
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Large Breeds

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AvoDerm Natural
Large Breeds
Chicken Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Salmon Meal
Ground White Rice
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Hill's Science Diet - Our Top Pick

First Five Ingredients:

  • Brewers Rice
  • Chicken Meal
  • Pea Protein
  • Cracked Pearled Barley
  • Whole Grain Sorghum

This formula of outstanding quality focuses on your pup’s well-being by providing a carefully balanced combination of the finest nutrients. All the daily needs of your canine companion have been taken into consideration when developing this delicious brand. Owing it to its rich contents of protein, adequate amounts of fats, fibers, and carbs, it will fuel your pet with sufficient amounts of energy.

Hill’s Science Diet is composed so that it suits the gentle stomachs of pups with oversensitivity to food. This combination of quality chicken meal and barely keeps the nutrient levels up, making your pup feeling full and content. Abundant in Omega 6 fatty acids, this tasty blend supports the healthy looking skin and coat.

Vitamins C and E will bolster your canine’s immune system, keeping your pet healthy and lively. Eliminating all the artificial ingredients, it minimizes the possibility of intolerances or allergies.

Let the experts on dog nutrition take care of your best friend. By choosing Hill’s Science Diet, you are going just in the right direction.

Natural Balance Dry Food - Best For Allergic Dogs

First Five Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Potato Protein
  • Canola Oil
  • Menhaden Fish Meal

Natural Balance brings some great news to pups with gentle tummies and a tendency to develop allergies. This exquisite formula combines sweet potatoes and fish to make a perfect balance of all the elements your canine requires on a daily basis. The fact that it is grain free reduces the possibility of causing digestive issues to a minimum. If you offer this delicious formula to your pup, he will most likely start to crave its rich taste of salmon combined with favorite sweet potatoes.

Optimal levels of carbs in this blend provide the driving energy for your active pooch. Minerals and vitamins contribute their beneficial features to support the overall health of your canine.

Excluding artificial colors and flavor intensifies, it promotes hypoallergenic nutrition, based on a single protein source. Flaxseed serves as the source of essential omega 3 fatty acids.

Simple, but superior – these are certainly the terms that precisely describe this top-rated food blend to pamper your furry friend.

Taste of the Wild - Best Buy

First Five Ingredients:

  • Buffalo
  • Lamb Meal
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Chicken Meal

Innovation is what makes this wonderful food formula stand out from other similar products. Its manufacturers opted for bison and buffalo as the main source of protein. Well-known for their hypoallergenic features, these ingredients ensure safe nutrition. In combination with peas and sweet potatoes, they guarantee a well-balanced diet based on nothing but the best of ingredients.

Real fruits and vegetables included in this formula serve as a source of vitamins and minerals. They will strengthen your pet’s defense mechanisms. The probiotic support coming from dried chicory root makes the digestion easy.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will preserve the healthy look of your puppy’s coat and skin. Reliable sources of ingredients and lack of artificial additives make this formula ideal for oversensitive pups.

With Taste of the Wild, taking some time to find the ideal food formula was definitely worth the effort.

Blue Buffalo Basics - Fit For Adults

First Five Ingredients:

  • Deboned Turkey
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Pea Starch
  • Turkey Meal

Ensuring all the essential nutrients, Blue Buffalo Basics cuts the list of ingredients in this blend short. The idea that underlines this tasty formula is to minimize the possible incidence of allergies and food intolerances. As a result, it meets the needs of adult canines with overly sensitive digestive systems, as well as allergy-prone ones.

This food blend combines real turkey and easily-digestible potatoes. They serve as a substantial source of necessary protein and carbs significant for active daily lives of dogs. With added calcium and phosphorus, it takes good care of your pet’s bones and teeth.

Abundant in Omega 3 and 6 Fatty acids, it helps the skin and coat stay shiny and healthy. To increase your pups mobility, glucosamine is added to this rich mixture. A wide complex of vitamins and minerals help your pup fight the most common diseases.

Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient has undoubtedly selected the best components to help your furry friend thrive.

Wellness Simple - Ideal For Dogs With Sensitivities

First Five Ingredients:

  • Salmon
  • Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Salmon Meal
  • Peas

No ingredients in this outstanding formula are a coincidence. Each element was the subject of careful selection, to round up the list of essential nutrients. The most important one, protein, comes from a single source, to cater to the needs of pups with food sensitivities.

Creators of this savory blend relied on the principles of simplicity, easy digestion, and natural ingredients to ensure the well-being of your pup. This is why Wellness Simple eliminates all artificial preservatives, flavor and color intensifiers.

High-quality salmon, as the first ingredient, is combined with easily digestible carbs. Its prebiotic and probiotic complex support smooth digestion processes.  This savory formula is grain free, without wheat, corn or gluten.

If you are looking for a safe, but savory food option for your pup, with this excellent formula you can bring the search to an end.

Brothers Complete - Fit For All Life Stages

First Five Ingredients:

  • Turkey Meal
  • Whole Eggs Dried
  • Cassava/Tapioca
  • Peas
  • Pea Starch

Whatever the life stage of your canine, Brothers Complete provides the best quality nutrition, based on the principles of natural dog diet. The creators of this blend opted for real chicken and turkey, as the main sources of necessary protein. Moreover, they included whole dried eggs, as an easily digestible ingredient. Components like white potato or grains do not enter the list of ingredients in this blend.

The priorities of this food blend are to maintain the health and proper functioning of your canine’s digestive system. At the same time, it is aimed at reducing the occurrence of allergies and related skin conditions. Roots of the cassava plant make a healthy source of carbs.  

It supplies all the essential amino acids, due to its contents of eggs. It contributes a complex of useful bacteria to sustain digestion, eliminating artificial preservatives at the same time.

If your pup is in need of a hypoallergenic food formula with optimal nutritive value, then Brothers Complete should certainly be one of the most optimal options.

AvoDerm Natural - Ideal For Large Breeds

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken Meal
  • Ground Brown Rice
  • Salmon Meal
  • Oatmeal
  • Ground White Rice

It is time to pamper your large breed buddy with an extraordinary food formula, which addresses all the aspects of his wellbeing. With AvoDerm Natural, your furry friend is about to feel all the benefits of carefully chosen top-class ingredients.

Chicken meal and salmon meal take care of the necessary protein levels. But the best is yet to come – and this time, in the form of fabulous avocado. Supplying all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and Omega fatty acids, it makes sure your pup is fueled by high-quality nutrition.

This savory formula includes elements vital for the strong and mobile skeletal system of your pup. These come in the form of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

The abundance of omega fatty acids will nurture the skin and coat. Immunity system support will come from all the key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Spoil your gentle giant with this tasty formula and watch him reach his full potential.

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Causes Of Pruritus In Canines

Skin Condition

The type of your pup’s skin may be one of the reasons why he feels the constant urge to scratch. Either too dry or too oily, this kind of behavior is not surprising. It is usually the influence of the environment or improper diet that distort the normal condition of the skin.

Pruritus, or anexcessive need to scratch, will be most common in dogs with very dry skin. You can easily recognize it if you spot large amounts of dander, cracked and toughened skin, which is very sensitive even to a gentle touch. Intense shedding can also be one of the symptoms, too.


Facing the fact that your furry buddy suffers from allergies is never easy. Problems with the skin and coat are usually the first symptoms you pay attention to. Although it is usually not possible to cure allergies completely, some changes in your pup’s diet can make a great difference.

The incidence of allergies in dogs has been rising in recent years. Many experts often link allergies to using processed food products. Artificial ingredients and certain allergens contained in such foods are typically responsible for this health issue.


Commercial foods of poorer quality may sometimes be harmful to your puppy’s skin. The contents of useful, quality oils in them is not sufficient to maintain the health of your pet’s skin. Scratching is commonly the result of such a state.

Dry foods sometimes have a dehydrating effect, increasing the dryness of the skin and coat. Addition of quality oils, such as fish or flaxseed oil, can contribute to better skin quality. Probiotics in these formulas can also have a beneficial impact on reducing the occurrence of food-related dermatological problems.


Regardless of their age and breed, dogs often get in touch with parasites. The skin that is infected usually calls for intense scratching. Sometimes, it can result in wounds on the surface and loss of hair.

Parasites can easily transfer from one dog to another. Humans can feel the consequences of the presence of parasites in their pets through itchy rash. To recognize this type of infection and implement proper treatment, timely consultation with your vet is necessary.

Yeast Infection

Yeasts are organisms which live on your pup’s body. If their number grows excessively, such state is known as yeast infection. It manifests through a changed quality and color of skin and severe itch. Some odor may be present, too. Over time, affected areas become swollen and painful.

Yeast infections usually require both antifungal medication and adequate treatments to cure efficiently.

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Dog Food Ingredients To Look For


An uncontrolled need for scratching frequently results from allergic reactions. These occur when your pup’s immune system recognizes a certain food component as a potential threat and activates its defense mechanisms.

Proteins most commonly trigger such reactions. To confirm this, owners should introduce a food trial period.

It is usually beef, chicken, dairy or egg proteins your canine may be allergic to. Some sources of protein have hypoallergenic features. These include bison, buffalo, venison, and rabbit, so they make a safer feeding option for oversensitive pets.

Read more: Best Dog Food for Allergies

Fatty Acids

Beneficial effects of essential fatty acids for the skin and coat of your pet are well-known. They usually come from sources such as fish (salmon) and flaxseed oil. Commercial food formulas usually contain Omega 3 and 6 essential acids, although the levels may vary.

If you supplement them adequately in your canine’s diet, they will help to fight certain inflammatory processes, yeast infections, allergies, dry and itchy skin. You can only achieve this if the balance of the two is a proper one.

Vitamin E

Importance of vitamin E in dealing with pruritus has been proved scientifically. Insufficient levels of this vitamin lead to poorer skin quality, increased amounts of dander, urge to scratch and hair loss. Supplementation of this important element requires monitoring from a veterinary expert.

Food abundant in vitamin E, in combination with adequate supplements and skincare usually has positive results in dealing with dermatological issues in canines.

Vitamin A

The lack of vitamins and minerals is a common cause of itch in pups. If this is the case with vitamin A, you will probably notice the excessive loss of hair in your pup. The quality of the coat also deteriorates and the hair becomes fragile and thinner.

The proper dosage of vitamin A, strictly supervised by a vet, can bring about positive effects in handling these issues. However, excessive levels can be harmful.


Zinc is one of the essential elements in your canine’s diet, whose deficiency can cause a number of problems. Besides the improper functioning of the immune system, the lack of zinc is closely related to skin problems. Sometimes people mistake it for allergies.

Properly supplemented zinc will most likely lead to significant improvements in skin-related issues. If used too much, it can do even more damage, so owners should be well-informed and cautious regarding the intake of this mineral.


Also known as Vitamin B-7, VItamin H or coenzyme R, biotin is another essential element necessary for the proper functioning of your furry friend’s body. It is vital for the metabolism of protein and fatty acids. It is found in animal ingredients, as well as green vegetables, eggs, sardines. It can have a positive effect on dry, brittle hair and itchiness in dogs.

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Other Tips To Relieve Itching In Dogs

Check Dog's Diet

Your pup may be experiencing dermatological issues that make him scratch excessively. In these cases, you should definitely check his diet for possible causes. Allergies to certain foods reflect on your puppy’s skin. Fierce scratching often leads to surface injuries.

Many believe that grains are the major triggers of allergies. However,  it is actually a protein contained in food that is typically responsible for this condition.

In order to find out which ingredient triggers an allergy, owners usually practice the so-called dietary elimination trial. It usually takes between 8 and 12 weeks and involves a veterinary or a home-cooked diet. Once you identify them, you should eliminate allergens from your canine’s diet. Owners achieved this by opting for safer, usually simpler formulas.

Treat Parasites Naturally

If infected with mite parasites, your pup will require special care in order to get rid of these invisible nuisances. Special commercial shampoos and adequate medication are always an option. Yet, there are several natural remedies which you can apply at home.

Apple cider vinegar can either be added to food or used in baths, due to its efficiency in dealing with parasites. Honey is another ingredient which can bring about great relief and boost regeneration of the affected area of the coat. Olive oil is known to have similar effects.

If you remain persistent enough, the problems with your pup’s skin are likely to resolve.


Giving your pup regular and thorough baths is likely to help in dealing with itchy skin issues. In the case of parasitic infestation, their role is indispensable. Specialized shampoos, based on benzoyl peroxide have proved to be effective in eliminating parasites. Our guide about choosing the right shampoo for your pet can help you during the whole process.

In addition to medicinal baths, you can combine some domestic ingredients to achieve the same effect. The combination of apple cider vinegar, borax, and warm water can be used consistently to help your pup restore his healthy skin and coat condition.

Anti-Itch Spray

Your vet will probably suggest some of the most effective medicinal treatments for your furry friend’s itchy skin problem. You can also make your own homemade version of an anti-itch spray easily.

One option includes mixing of water, baby oil, and Listerine mouthwash. You can make another one by mixing organic apple cider vinegar and water. You can put them in a spray bottle and apply on affected areas a couple of times a day. This treatment should last for about a week.


Constant itch in dogs is in many cases a symptom of allergies. If the condition gets too severe, application of antihistamines is what your pup will require. These medications, prescribed by a vet, can reduce a great deal of discomfort and reduce the itchiness. If administered adequately, the intake of antihistamines will have mostly positive effects, unlike certain elements such as corticosteroids.

Salt Therapy

Persistent scratching can cause a great deal of anxiety and restlessness in your canine. Among the possible treatments you can try in order to help your pup, salt therapy has been described as extremely soothing and beneficial.  

Epsom salt baths involve using a cup of Epsom salt, which you put into your dog’s bathtub. A dog should spend approximately 5 minutes in this solution. You should repeat this simple procedure once a day, for as long as the itch persists in your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pruritus

Is it normal?

The list of factors that can result in itchy skin in canines is lengthy. They range from imbalanced values of the skin pH to allergic reactions. For this reason, it is quite likely that your pup will experience some of these symptoms at one point in his life.

Parasites, which can be easily transmitted from one dog to another, may well cause the above-mentioned symptoms. The way owners should address these issues will depend on both the cause and the severity of the condition itself.

Is it safe to give them homemade food recipes?

Irritating symptoms such as itchiness, rash, poor skin quality, loss of hair can be reduced if you introduce proper homemade diet. In the case of food allergies, determining the cause is of utmost significance. For this reason, using carefully selected ingredients to prepare simple meals at home can be of great assistance.

Homemade recipes for pups with dermatological issues should be in line with nutrition advice from your vet. It is important to provide optimal levels of supplements in the form of essential oils and fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and probiotic formulas as well.

Are grain free dog foods recommended?

Contrary to prevailing belief, grains are not the most common reason why canines suffer from allergies and itchy skin condition. However, many dog food manufacturers label their food products as hypoallergenic, if they do not include grains. It is true that they can in a certain number of circumstances be responsible for the incidence of allergies, but there are also advantages of these ingredients in a diet.

Owners should make an effort to discover the potentially harmful substances for their pup in particular, and plan their diet accordingly.


Itchy skin is certainly going to cause a great deal of discomfort to your furry friend. It will reduce the quality of his life. It will also present an irritating obstacle to normal daily activities. Moreover, it will be one of the most common reasons why you may need to pay a visit to your vet.

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to handle this issue successfully.  Proper dermatological care is one of the actions you will need to take. The attention you pay to your pup’s diet will definitely yield positive results, too.

By combining these two, you are certain to maintain your puppy’s overall health and high spirits.