Ditch the Itch: What to Feed Your Dog for Itchy Skin | DogLife360
Itchy dog

Ditch the Itch: What to Feed Your Dog for Itchy Skin

Does your dog have an itch to scratch? Have you ever complained 'My dog has itchy skin, what should I do?' The nutrition team at Burns gives us the facts about itchy skin in dogs and why diet is important when tackling allergies in your pets.

It’s easy to think of a pesky flea infestation as the primary cause of itchy skin in dogs, but did you know that this condition can also be caused by allergies to certain foods? We ask the team at Burns Pet Nutrition to tell us a little bit more about skin allergies in dogs.  

What Causes a Dog to Itch Excessively?


Itchy skin is a very common issue in dogs and can be caused by many things. The best approach to managing the overall health of your dog is to choose the right food for their skin type to help them ditch the itch. This advice should by no means replace that of a vet, but we can safely say that certain foods are more suited to dogs with itchy skin complaints than others.


Why Is My Dog So Itchy?


dog scratching


Itchy skin is a common complaint that can cause excessive self-scratching, licking, chewing, and biting in your dog. John Burns, veterinary surgeon and founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, says ‘Itchy skin is often the first sign that things are going wrong in your pet’s system.’


Some of the causes of itchy skin include:

  • poor quality food
  • overfeeding
  • food intolerance
  • excess protein & fat
  • chemicals
  • toxic waste build-up


The Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies


dog eating from a bowl


If your dog has skin allergies, the best thing you can do for them is to pay close attention to what they eat. The best diet for dogs with itchy skin uses healthy dog food with simple, wholesome ingredients that’s high in complex carbohydrates, especially whole grains, low in protein, low in fat and free from additives and harsh chemicals.




  • Avoid beef, wheat and dairy, which account for over 70% of food intolerance in dogs.
  • Know every dog is different, for example, one may not suit chicken, but they might thrive on duck.
  • An elimination diet, which should be a straightforward diet that you can monitor.
  • Avoid treats and table scraps. While veggies are okay, treats can be high-fat and table scraps are hard to monitor. 

Top Tips for Managing Itchy Skin in your Dog


Tip #1  Talk to Your Vet


friendly vet


Ask your vet to check your dog’s anal glands. Even if there is no sign of a problem, it could still provide you with a fast track way of removing toxins that could be aggravating skin problems.


Tip #2  Walkies!


woman walking her dog in a field


Try to increase exercise your dog gets. Using up excess calories and increasing circulation could help discharge waste.


Tip #3 Check for Allergy Common Offenders 


dog rolling on back in grass


In cases of chronic or recurring skin disorders, dogs and cats are often diagnosed or suspected of being allergic to multiple food ingredients, grass, fleas, house mites, chemicals in the diet, furnishings and so on. In this case, we recommend seeking the advice of an expert.


Does your dog have the itch? Try a tasty range of hypoallergenic dog food, made using wholesome and simple ingredients, from Burns Pet Nutrition.