What Foods Make Dogs Itchy?

What Foods Make Dogs Itchy?

Food allergies in dogs are a significant cause of itchy skin and can lead to considerable discomfort. Understanding which foods are likely to cause allergic reactions and managing your dog's diet accordingly is crucial for their well-being. This article will explore common food allergens, symptoms of food allergies, dietary management strategies, and the best foods to alleviate your dog's itchy skin.

Common Food Allergens

Protein Sources

Proteins are essential for your dog's health, but certain protein sources can trigger allergic reactions. The most common allergenic proteins include:

  • Beef: A prevalent ingredient in many dog foods, beef is a common allergen. Dogs can develop a sensitivity to beef, leading to skin irritation and itching.
  • Chicken: Another common protein, chicken, can also cause allergic reactions. Symptoms may include itchy skin, ear infections, and digestive issues.
  • Lamb: Although less common than beef and chicken, lamb can also be an allergen for some dogs.
  • Fish: While fish is generally considered a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, some dogs may be allergic to specific types of fish, leading to skin problems.

Switching to novel protein sources like venison, duck or rabbit can help reduce allergic reactions. Novel proteins are less likely to cause allergies as they are not typically used in standard commercial dog foods.


Grains like wheat, corn, and soy are often included in dog foods as fillers. However, these ingredients can cause allergic reactions in some dogs, leading to itchy skin and digestive issues. Grain-free diets that use alternative carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes or peas are beneficial for dogs with grain sensitivities.

Dairy Products

Many dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot properly digest lactose found in dairy products. This intolerance can lead to gastrointestinal issues and itchy skin. Eliminating dairy from your dog's diet can help alleviate these symptoms.

Artificial Additives

Artificial preservatives, colours, and flavours can contribute to allergic reactions in dogs. Opting for natural dog foods without these additives can reduce the risk of skin irritation and other allergic symptoms.

Symptoms of Food Allergies

Food allergy symptoms in dogs can vary widely. Common signs include:

  • Persistent itching: Dogs with food allergies often scratch excessively, leading to red and inflamed skin.
  • Ear infections: Recurring ear infections can be a sign of a food allergy.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Vomiting, diarrhoea, and gas can occur in dogs with food allergies.
  • Chronic licking and biting: Dogs may lick and bite their paws and other body parts persistently.
  • Skin infections: Secondary bacterial or fungal infections can develop due to constant scratching and biting.

Diagnosis of Food Allergies

Diagnosing food allergies in dogs can be challenging. The most effective method is an elimination diet. This involves removing all potential allergens from your dog's diet and then gradually reintroducing them one by one to identify the specific trigger. Here's how to conduct an elimination diet:

  1. Choose a hypoallergenic diet: Select a diet that contains a novel protein source and a limited number of ingredients.
  2. Strictly follow the diet: Feed your dog only the hypoallergenic diet for 8-12 weeks. Avoid treats, table scraps, or flavoured medications during this period.
  3. Monitor symptoms: Observe your dog's symptoms during the elimination phase. If there is a significant improvement, it suggests that the food was causing the symptoms.
  4. Reintroduce potential allergens: Gradually reintroduce one ingredient at a time to see if symptoms reappear. This helps identify the specific allergen.

Consulting with a veterinarian is crucial during this process. They can provide guidance and support, ensuring that the elimination diet is conducted correctly.

Dietary Management

Hypoallergenic and Limited Ingredient Diets

Hypoallergenic diets are designed to reduce the risk of allergic reactions. These diets often use hydrolyzed proteins, which are proteins broken down into smaller pieces that are less likely to trigger an immune response. Limited ingredient diets focus on a single protein source and minimal ingredients, making it easier to pinpoint and avoid allergens.

Essential Nutrients

Ensuring your dog receives the right nutrients is vital for their overall health and skin condition. Key nutrients for dogs with itchy skin include:

  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin. Fish oil supplements and foods rich in these fatty acids, like salmon, can be beneficial.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics support a healthy gut, which can positively affect skin health. Including probiotics in your dog's diet can help reduce skin irritation.
  • Antioxidants and Vitamins: Ingredients like vitamin E protect skin cells from damage and support overall skin health. Including antioxidant-rich foods in your dog's diet can help alleviate itchy skin.

Best Foods for Dogs with Itchy Skin

Choosing the right dog food is crucial for managing your dog's itchy skin. Here are some recommended options:

  • Wellness Simple Turkey & Potato: This limited ingredient diet is grain-free and contains turkey as a single protein source. It is suitable for dogs with sensitive skin and supports digestion with omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
  • Canidae Pure Real Salmon & Sweet Potato: This grain-free diet uses salmon as the main ingredient, providing rich omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. It is free from food fillers and preservatives, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • Taste of the Wild Prey Angus Beef: Featuring high-quality Angus beef, this diet is fortified with probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids. It supports healthy skin and coats.
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA: This hypoallergenic diet uses hydrolyzed soy protein and is free from common allergens. It is suitable for dogs with sensitive skin and supports digestion.

Additional Tips for Managing Itchy Skin


Proper hydration is essential for healthy skin. Ensure your dog has access to fresh and clean water at all times. Dehydration can lead to dry, flaky skin, exacerbating itchiness.

Proper Grooming

Regular grooming helps remove allergens from your dog's coat and reduces skin irritation. Use gentle, hypoallergenic shampoos formulated for dogs to avoid further skin problems.

Avoiding Overfeeding

Overfeeding can contribute to obesity, which can worsen skin issues and inflammation. Follow feeding guidelines based on your dog's age, weight, and activity level to maintain a healthy weight.


Certain supplements can support your dog's skin health and reduce itchiness. Consider adding the following to their diet:

  • Fish Oil: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil helps reduce inflammation and promotes healthy skin and coat.
  • Biotin: This B vitamin supports healthy skin, hair, and nails.
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that protects cells from damage and supports skin health.
  • Zinc: Essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and immune function. A deficiency in zinc can contribute to itchy skin issues.

Take Control of Your Dog's Health with My Pet Sensitivity's At-Home Dog Food Intolerance Test

Does your furry friend suffer from persistent itching, skin irritation, or digestive issues? These could be signs of food intolerance or allergies. Identifying the root cause of these symptoms can be challenging, but with My Pet Sensitivity's at-home dog food intolerance test, you can get the answers you need to improve your dog's health and well-being.

Why Choose My Pet Sensitivity's Test?

  • Comprehensive Results: Our test analyses your dog's reaction to over 300 food and environmental factors, providing a detailed report on potential intolerances and allergens.
  • Convenient and Easy to Use: Collect a small sample at home and send it to our lab. Our easy-to-follow instructions ensure a hassle-free process.
  • Fast and Accurate: Receive accurate results within days, giving you the insights you need to make informed dietary choices for your dog.
  • Veterinarian Approved: Our tests are developed and reviewed by veterinary experts to ensure reliability and accuracy.

Benefits of Testing

  • Personalised Diet: Tailor your dog's diet to avoid allergens and include beneficial ingredients, reducing symptoms like itching and gastrointestinal distress.
  • Improved Quality of Life: By identifying and eliminating food intolerances, you can help your dog feel more comfortable and enjoy a healthier, happier life.
  • Proactive Health Management: Early detection of food intolerances can prevent more serious health issues down the line.

How It Works

  1. Order Your Kit: Visit our website and order your at-home dog food intolerance test kit.
  2. Collect the Sample: Follow the simple instructions to collect a sample from your dog.
  3. Send to Lab: Use the prepaid shipping label to send the sample to our lab.
  4. Receive Results: Get your comprehensive report within a few days, detailing your dog's intolerances and allergens.

Start Your Dog's Journey to Better Health Today!

Don't let food intolerances affect your dog's quality of life. Take the first step towards a healthier, itch-free future for your furry friend with My Pet Sensitivity's at-home dog food intolerance test.

Order your test kit now and uncover the key to your dog's well-being!