While every dog experiences the occasional itch, some deal with a more persistent need to scratch. Itchy skin in dogs is a common issue that can arise due to various factors, including allergies, sensitivities, and poor diet.
Research suggests that altering a dog’s diet may help solve the issue. For example, a 2021 study published in the journal BMC Veterinary Research looked at the effect of diet on dogs with atopic dermatitis, a common skin condition that leads to itching. Half of the dogs ate a diet fortified with antioxidants, polyphenols, and omega-3s, while the half ate a control diet that wasn’t enriched with those nutrients. The owners of the dogs that ate the enriched diet reported less itching compared to those of the control group.
According to the study authors, dogs with atopic dermatitis usually have skin inflammation due to an immune response and a disrupted skin barrier. Omega-3 fatty acids may help by lowering inflammation and improving skin barrier function. Polyphenols and other antioxidants like vitamins C and E may also help lower inflammation, according to the researchers.
In other words, choosing the right nutrient-rich dog food may help your dog avoid itchiness, in addition to maintaining its overall health. Here’s an explanation of how to find the best dog food for itchy skin, along with four of the best options to choose from.