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How Your Dog's Diet Can Affect Their Skin

How can a dog's diet affect their skin and coat? What problems can occur if a dog's diet doesn't provide all of the nutrition they need? Our Westminster vets answer these questions and more about dogs, nutrition and skin problems.

Dog Nutrition & Healthy Skin

A balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential for your dog's skin health. Proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals all play key roles in keeping your pup's skin and coat looking and feeling great. Feeding your dog high-quality commercial dog food or preparing homemade meals that meet their nutritional needs is essential for maintaining their skin health.

A diet that doesn't provide your pup with all of the nutrition they need can result in a variety of skin issues in dogs, such as dry, flaky skin, hair loss, and a dull dry coat. Your pup's immune system can also be negatively impacted by poor nutrition, making your dog more susceptible to issues such as skin infections and parasites.

Improving Skin Health With A Modified Diet

Many high-quality pet food companies have foods specially formulated to promote good skin and coat health in dogs, but the choice can be overwhelming. How do you know which dog food is best for your pup's skin? How do you know whether these foods are worth the higher price? A good place to start is by talking to your veterinarian and asking for recommendations. Your vet understands your pup's health concerns and can recommend a high-quality food to help improve your pup's specific skin and coat problems.

When considering various dog food options be sure to look for dog foods that contain high-quality proteins, such as chicken, turkey, fish or wild game. These proteins contain essential amino acids that are important for your dog's skin and coat health.

Additionally, choose dog foods that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help promote healthy skin and coat. Try to avoid dog foods that contain fillers, by-products, and artificial preservatives, as these can contribute to skin irritation and inflammation.

Treating Dog Skin Issues With a Modified Diet

Food allergies can be a common cause of skin issues in dogs. If your dog is experiencing skin issues, it's important to consider whether their diet may be contributing to the problem.

Common allergens that can affect your dog's skin include chicken, beef, dairy, and wheat. Switching to a hypoallergenic diet or eliminating potential allergens from their diet may help resolve skin issues. For example, dogs with allergies may benefit from a diet that includes novel proteins, such as venison or duck, to reduce the risk of triggering an allergic reaction.

Finding the best food for your dog can involve some trial and error. Be sure to switch your dog's food gradually in order to help avoid gastrointestinal distress, and speak to your veterinarian to find out which dog diet food they recommend for keeping your pup's skin healthy and their coat shiny.


Supplements can help support your dog's skin health, especially if they are not getting enough of certain nutrients in their diet.

For example, adding a fish oil supplement can help provide additional omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve skin health. Whereas, adding a probiotic supplement can help support gut health, which is important for overall skin health.


Water is essential for overall health and hydration, including skin health. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. Dehydration can lead to dry, flaky skin, which can contribute to itching and irritation.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our Westminster vets can diagnose the cause of your pup's skin problem and recommend a diet to soothe their skin and improve the quality of their coat. Contact us today.

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Wachusett Animal Hospital and Pet Retreat is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Westminster companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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