Best Dog Food for Dry Skin in 2020 | Review of Top 5

Best Dog Food for Dry Skin in 2024 | Top 5 Reviewed

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Dry skin in dogs may seem like not much of a problem, but nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from affecting your dog's appearance, the condition can affect the dog's physical and mental health to the point of being inactive and miserable due to the itching and scaling.

If your dog suffers from this condition, a few things are known to help. They include better skin and fur care routine (avoiding excessive bathing), vet-prescribed medications and lotions, encouraging your dog to drink more water, and of course, a diet change. I'll focus on diet change and some of the possible causes of canine dry skin in this article to review the best dog food for dry skin. I'll also discuss some of the things to look out for when buying food for a dog with a dry skin condition.

The Best Food to Help Dogs With Dry Skin

Product Name

Key Features

Our Rating

- Fortified with live probiotics and prebiotic fiber.
- Easily-digestible dog food.

- High-protein recipe.

- Farm raised duck #1 ingredient.
- No filler ingredients.

- Produced in USA

- Includes glucosamine and chondroitin.

- Provides ideal combination of healthy fats.

- Real deboned chicken is the first ingredient.

- Free from chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy and eggs.

- Limited-ingredient dog food with essential proteins and carbohydrates.

- 100% free from corn, wheat, soy, by-product meals, and artificial colors and flavors.

- Made with high-quality, premium protein as the first ingredient.

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food


Just like the name suggests, this dry skin do food is formulated to improve your canine's fur and skin. The meal has salmon (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) as its main ingredient. It is also made with easy-to-digest carbohydrates and proteins, free of corn and other items commonly included as fillers in many commercially-produced dog foods.

The ingredients are few and outlined for buyers to know their pooch's meal content. Other ingredients in the meal include; ground rice, barley, and oats, all made to be soothing to the dog's skin and stomach.


  • The meal has salmon (rich in fatty acids) as its key ingredient
  • Completely free of corn, wheat, and unknown and nutritionally-worthless by-products
  • Free of artificial flavors and colors
  • Contains prebiotic fibers for better digestive health
  • Easy to digest ingredients
  • Rich in vitamin A, linoleic acids, all required for healthy fur and skin


While salmon is a good source of protein and compounds needed for fur and skin health, it is not as packed with protein as most meat-rich dog food.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Potato Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food


A mix of healthy fats, vitamins, and other compounds, Natural Balance L.I.D, is formulated for canines with skin and digestive issues. The food supports healthy skin and shiny, thick fur, so your dog looks better and feels healthier.

The dry food has menhaden and salmon as key ingredients. Other ingredients include potatoes, canola oil, and salmon oil. It is grain-free and, therefore, excellent for canines with sensitivity to grains. It is also enriched with the necessary minerals and vitamins required for overall good health.


  • Contains few and known ingredients
  • Has salmon (rich in omega fatty acids) as the main ingredient
  • Free of fillers like grains and animal by-products and packs only nutrients your dog needs to thrive


  • Protein content may not be enough, especially for growing pups
Merrick Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food


Instead of corn and other similar grains that may cause or worsen canine skin dryness, this high-quality dog food relies on ingredients like sweet potatoes and potatoes for its carbohydrate content. 

The meal has about 70% meat protein (from deboned chicken, turkey meal, salmon meal, and chicken meal) and 30% fresh veggies providing your pup with quality nutrition needed for growth. It is also enriched with ingredients high in omega-3 fatty acids to improve your dog's skin and fur health. That's not all; this food for dry dog skin contains lots of probiotics for a healthier digestive system.


  • The food is formulated with only ingredients your dog needs to thrive and have a healthy coat and skin.
  • Free of artificial additives known to cause more harm than good to canines
  • Grain-free to minimize/eliminate possible allergies
  • Contains actual veggies and real protein instead of fillers present in many others


A little more expensive than many other dog foods for dry skin. However, the price may be justified by the number of quality ingredients containing valuable nutrients

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Salmon & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food


This grain-free recipe is salmon-based and has sweet potato as the primary carbohydrate source. Unlike many other dog foods, it is free of filler ingredients that may cause skin or stomach problems for canines.

The meal is also free of dairy, eggs, chicken, corn, and soy and relies on salmon as its vital ingredient and only animal protein source. It is also completely free of additives like preservatives, coloring, and flavors. Other ingredients in include peas, tapioca starch, and salmon meal.


  • Grain-free to minimize allergies and provide real nutrition
  • Contains salmon known for its high omega fatty acids content
  • Contains only ingredients needed by canines for optimum health


  • The meal has just salmon as its animal protein source and therefore may not do for some dogs, particularly growing ones
AvoDerm Original Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food


This AvoDerm skin and coat dog food formulation is designed to improve your pup's skin and coat health. The meal has chicken and ground brown rice as major ingredients. It is free of corn, wheat, and soy that are known to cause or worsen skin problems like dryness and itching.

And unlike many other dry dog foods, it is entirely free of artificial ingredients like colors, flavors, and preservatives. It is made with actual ingredients (no by-products or fillers) to provide only valuable nutrition for your pup.

Other ingredients include avocado (rich in vitamin E, C, A, and B6, all beneficial for the skin and fur), chicken fat, chicken meal, ground white rice, and oats. It also derives some of its protein from lamb and duck meal for healthier growth and vitality of your dog.


  • Contains real ingredients in place of fillers that are common in many other brands
  • Free of preservatives, colors and artificial flavors
  • Easy to digest thanks to the natural and known food ingredients used in the formulation
  • Caused visible improvements in skin and fur health and a reduction in itching in just a few weeks according to some of the pet parents who bought the formula for their dog


  • None

Finding the Best Dog Food for Dry Skin: Key Ingredients to Look Out for

When shopping for quality food for dry skin, there are key ingredients you want to look out for in any you finally buy. I'll list them in this section.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential ingredients any dog food for dry skin should include. Omega-6 is also another. Both help the body produce the oils needed for well-moisturized skin and fur, preventing dryness and discomfort.

Linoleic Acid, Zinc, and B Vitamins

These are also highly recommended for healthy and hydrated canine skin and fur while also promoting healthy cell function.

You can also check that the dry skin food you settle for contains other helpful oils like soybean oil, chicken fat, and salmon oil. All of these help to lubricate and improve the dog's skin and fur health.

Other Remedies for Dogs With Dry Skin

Even though dry skin in dogs should be a concerning condition, there are different effective ways you can treat it and get your dog back to normal. In this section, I'll discuss some of the most effective remedies for dry skin. However, you first have to confirm that your dog really has dry skin and not a different or a more severe condition.

Check Your Home Humidity Levels

While most dogs will have no problem with the humidity levels in most homes, it may be too much for some. Home appliances like heaters, fans, air conditioning, and fireplaces can dry out the air in areas your dog frequents, and this could affect your dog's skin. What you can do in this case is move your dog's bed, toys, or any other supplies from the area to a different place.

Specially Formulated Shampoos

Some shampoos are formulated to soothe dry and itchy skin. These shampoos moisturize, protect and also effectively clean the coat and skin. However, ensure you only purchase a good quality one, preferably one made with oatmeal and with zero or minimal artificial ingredients.

Better Hydration

Have your dog drink more water as dehydration or insufficient hydration could lead to dry skin and itchiness. While getting any animal to drink more water isn't very easy, there are things you can do to encourage the habit. One, you can add some ice cubes to the dog's water, add some water to kibbles or get a pet water fountain.


Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to the skin and coat. Omega fatty acids are contained in many foods and are also available as a supplement. You can include these in your pup's food every time he eats or according to the instructions on the package. With consistent use, you should notice an improvement in the skin and fur health.

Add Some Wet Food to Your Canine’s Kibble

While dry food can be more beneficial to your dog's dental health in the long run, wet food contains some of the water your pooch need's to stay hydrated and prevent dry skin. Mix some quantity of wet food with some dry food. It can be an incredibly effective way to get your pet to drink more water and fight off skin dryness.

Opt for Skin and Fur Health-Supporting Canine Foods

Many canine foods are fillers-packed, and this can worsen or cause skin dryness in dogs. Thankfully, there are many high-quality dog foods formulated to treat and prevent this condition. These are not only rich in real, natural vitamins and minerals for overall wellbeing but also enriched with supplements like omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and other acids like it.

Best Food for Dry Dog Skin: Conclusion

Our dogs can suffer from a wide range of issues, and most of the time, these issues can be easily treated or managed.

However, some can be highly uncomfortable for the animal even though the solutions are simple. Dry, itchy skin is one of such conditions. While treatment can be simple, dry and itchy skin can be hard on your dog no matter how brief it lasts. In this article, I discussed some of the common causes of dry skin and itching in dogs and things you can do to stop it. The latter ranged from less frequent bathing, more water intake, to diet or meal change.

While many of these tips may be effective on their own, they work better combined with a meal change. While dry skin has several causes, the type of food consumed by the pooch can play a huge role.

Foods containing lots of fillers like grains and animal by-products are known to trigger or worsen these conditions. On the other hand, food high in essential nutrients and minerals like fatty acids, vitamins, and proteins would do a world of good to your canine's skin, fur, and overall health. Hence, I reviewed some of the best dog food and nutrients for dry skin. All of the foods discussed here all share something in common; they're free of fillers and contain only known and beneficial ingredients.

The foods for dry dog skin reviewed here were carefully selected from other high-quality ones. So, try any on the list if you have a dog suffering from dry, itchy skin or dull fur. Alongside the other tips, a meal change would do a lot to improve your dog's health significantly.

That said, always seek your vet's opinion if you notice changes in your dog's appearance or behavior, even with a "minor" condition like dry, itchy skin. You want to know precisely what you are dealing with and provide your pup with the best care and treatment possible. Also, it is advisable to consult with your vet before making dietary or meal changes. This way, you can receive professional guidance or opinion if required.

About the Author

Kirsten Heggarty
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Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.