What’s the best dog food for sensitive skin?

Written by Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. Pure Pet FoodPure Pet Food are the experts in healthy dog food and healthy dogs featured in media outlets such as BBC, Good Housekeeping and The Telegraph. Working with high profile veterinary professionals and nutritionists, Pure Pet Food are changing dog food for the better. - Our editorial process

You might have noticed that your pup will just not stop scratching. Although having a bit of an itch is totally ordinary, sometimes it can be incessant and needs attention. Something is perhaps irritating your dog’s skin, maybe to the point where they’re in pain.

How can poor nutrition impact my dog's skin?

Nonstop scratching is often indicative of a skin allergy, however, there are numerous dogs who are just genetically predisposed to having sensitive skin. Although using topical treatments for the inflamed rashes can help your dog’s skin, it won’t stop the irritation from reoccurring over and over again.

To combat sensitive skin, it’s essential that your dog is getting the best nourishment inside of their bodies to stop the negative effects we see on the outside. A poor, nutritionally imbalanced diet is intrinsically linked to skin sensitivities.

Inexpensive, low-quality dog foods such as kibble are overly laden with chemicals, additives and preservatives, which are likely to be at the heart of your dog’s skin problems. Without the right nutrition, your dog won’t be getting everything they need to keep themselves totally healthy, so their body will automatically push the little nutrients they’re currently getting from their food towards keeping the vital organs running efficiently. Unfortunately, this means that the quality of your pup’s skin and coat will deteriorate.

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What's the best dog food for sensitive skin?

Good skin starts with good food. To see a significant improvement in your dog’s skin, it’s crucial to ditch the boring brown biscuits and make the switch to a natural, nourishing diet so your dog sees health improvements from the inside out.

The process

Pure is packed with real, honest goodness and filled with ingredients that you would buy for yourself so you can know exactly what’s going into your dog’s body.

Foods such as kibble use the method of extrusion to produce the food your dog eats, which involves putting the ingredients under extreme heat. This harsh processing method does nothing but diminish the nutritional value that the ingredients once had.

A minimal processing method is essential in delivering your dog a nutritionally balanced dinner. Pure utilises an air-drying method, which involves chopping up the ingredients into small pieces before blowing a gentle heat over the proteins, fruits and vegetables to remove the moisture from the ingredients and lock in all the nutrients. We remove the moisture which in turn naturally preserves the food, as it is the moisture content that causes food to perish. This means we don’t need to use any artificial preservatives.

We then add vitamins and minerals, so all you need to do is add water to rehydrate the natural ingredients before serving it up to your dog. This way, you know your pup is getting a healthy, nutritious diet without any nasty additions and without the harsh processing. These essential factors will all help your dog say goodbye to itchy skin.


Combining healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables with naturally sourced functional ingredients is what allows Pure to change the lives of countless dogs suffering from skin issues.

Skin-soothing ingredients such as omega 3 are essential ingredients to look for when you’re wanting the best dog food for sensitive skin. Studies have shown the incredible response that dogs suffering from skin issues have seen thanks to the benefits of omega 3 oils. The natural omega 3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is fundamental in all Pure recipes due to its ability to calm irritation and reduce inflammation.

Some of our tailored recipes include salmon, which is a high-quality fish perfect for aiding sensitive skin issues as it’s loaded with omega 3 oils. Salmon is also high in selenium, which is an antioxidant to not only support the immune system but benefits protein synthesis to promote a healthy, glossy coat.

Another key Pure ingredient is linseed, as it’s naturally bursting with more of those excellent omega 3 oils from ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). ALA will also promote a shiny coat, a key indicator of healthy skin. Linseed contains vitamin E, which again supports a healthy skin and coat.

Zinc is another excellent supporter for sensitive skin, naturally found in Pure ingredients. It’s key in reducing inflammation, itchiness and can even help against bacterial skin infections.

Although you can add these essential vitamins, minerals and oils yourself through adding supplements to your dog’s food, your dog won’t absorb them as well as they would if they were naturally combined into the recipe of their food. This is why you need to start with the food they’re eating every day to optimise the nourishment they receive.

The complete, balanced Pure recipes provide your pup with everything they need to live a healthy, happy lifestyle, without having to suffer the annoyance of itchiness.

Battling the allergies

Several pups can suffer from sensitive, itchy skin due to an allergy to something in their current food. The tricky part is determining what the ingredient is that your pup is having a reaction to, however, if you can identify the allergen you can switch up your dog food to eliminate this certain ingredient.

This is where a tailored plan can help. Pure creates personalised recipes for every pup to ensure they’re getting the best out of their food. It’s easy, just tell us about your dog, their age, breed, size, ailments, and most importantly, their allergies, and we will do the work for you.

A perfect recipe plan will be specially curated for your dog with the correct ingredient combinations to deliver a nutritionally balanced diet for your dog that is not only tasty and healthy, but that’ll stop that dreaded itching.

The natural, wholesome goodness that is packed into Pure will soothe the skin and the minimal ingredient list can settle your concerns about your dog having an allergic reaction to anything peculiar. The ingredients are natural, nutritious and extremely tasty to keep your dog’s tail wagging and get them excited for mealtimes.

Transitional period

When switching up your dog’s food to something completely new, take it steady.

If your pooch was on a heavily processed, dry kibble diet, the sudden change in taste and texture to a more natural, minimally processed diet like Pure can be too much of a change for your dog all at once. Transition your dog over to the healthier diet slowly by adding Pure to your dog’s dinners over a 7-day period and phase out their old food.

This allows your pup’s body to adjust to the change in diet and soon enough the natural, nutritious diet will work wonders for their sensitive skin.


Providing your dog with real, wholesome food is the best start to combatting sensitive skin. Pure takes an honest approach to food, allowing the goodness of the natural ingredients do the work and nourish your dog from the inside out to regain their healthy skin and coat.

  1. Responses of dogs to dietary omega-3 fatty acids Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 231, (11), Dec 2007, 1657-1661, doi.org/10.2460/javma.231.11.1657
  2. Effects of extrusion processing on nutrients in dry pet food Animal Nutrition, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 88, (9), 2008, 1487-1493