That dang Pitbull skin!
Like you, we wondered “what is the best dog food for Pitbulls with skin allergies?”, so we dug deeper & here are our favorite dog foods for your itchy & unhappy pit.
CC image “no smile, bud?” via Matthew Roth on Flickr – thx Matthew!
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Unfortunately, many people give these dogs a wide berth at the dog park, fearful of having their little chihuahua torn to pieces.
But we know better 🙂 and here’s the deal:
Despite pitbulls’ ferocious reputation, their skin seems to be extremely fragile.
Many pitbull owners watch the mercury rise with dreaded anticipation, knowing that the summer season can also signal their dog’s annual outbreak of hive-like bumps and inflamed skin.
So instead of chasing the local ice cream truck or running through the sprinkler, your dog is obsessively scratching his inflamed skin, or lying in painful despondence.
What can you do?
Other than eliminating environmental allergies, did you know that diet plays a huge role in whether your pitbull experiences skin issues?
The Best Dog Food for Pitbulls with Skin Allergies
So if you’re fed up with seeing your pitbull suffer, try our picks for best dog food for pitbulls with skin allergies!
1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Formula with Smoked Salmon
So maybe you’ve got your pitbull on an expensive prescription diet from your vet, and you’re not seeing jack when it comes to your pup’s skin condition.
He’s just as inflamed and itchy as he ever was, and now you’re spending what seems to be another mortgage payment on this ‘fancy’ dog food.
What you need to understand is that any type of skin condition is just reflecting inner inflammation that is happening in your dog’s body.
It’s all about the internal environment!
So the first thing you need to do is reduce this internal inflammation by feeding your dog the right food.
In a nutshell: Go grain-free.
Going grain-free is extremely important if you ever want to rid your pitbull of those annoying skin rashes.
Taste of the Wild is completely grain-free, opting for potatoes and peas as a starchy substitute. Plus, the inclusion of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables will further reduce inflammation in the body.
And definitely opt for Taste of the Wild’s Pacific Stream Formula.
Fish oil, with its high omega-3 content, is extremely anti-inflammatory. Not only will fish oil have a beneficial impact on your dog’s skin condition, but any type of inflammatory disease will improve including arthritis, allergies, and depression.
Yes, that’s right, you can actually get a prescription for puppy Prozac now!
But Taste of the Wild isn’t perfect.
This company includes canola oil as a source of fat. Canola oil is kind of like a knock-off Chanel purse. It seems to be fine when you first buy it, but you may find it quickly falling apart after one use.
Canola oil is a very delicate fat that degrades quickly into a rancid fat after the application of heat. Damaged and rancid fats have a very inflammatory effect in the body, which will not help your pitbull’s skin condition.
2. Orijen Adult Dog Food
So now that you know that cutting out the grains is one of the most important choices you can make for your itchy pitbull, you may think that just any old grain-free formula will do.
But not so fast.
Grain-free doesn’t automatically mean nutritious, especially since so many companies have hopped on the grain-free bandwagon in order to make a quick buck.
You need to look at the ingredient list to see what else is being included (or is missing) from your dog’s food.
You need to find a formula that is grain-free, anti-inflammatory, and highly nutritious. Orijen fits the bill perfectly in these regards.
The first ingredient is whole deboned chicken, not chicken meal, animal bi-product or any other low-quality animal protein.
Your pitbull is going to get a heavy hit of protein and healthy fats from this food, which is important considering how high energy these dogs can be.[Related Reading: The best high protein dog food for Pitbulls]
And I’m sure you remember how important omega-3 fats are. Well, because of all the walleye, salmon, and herring Orijen has added, their formula is an extremely good source of anti-inflammatory omega 3s.
But it’s not just about a couple of special superfoods.
I love Orijen because it is so nourishing.
It’s not just that they’ve ditched the grains or included some fish (because a lot of companies do this too).
Every ingredient in their formulation has been selected for a reason based on what is biologically appropriate for your dog.
Plus, they’ve also added some carefully selected herbs that can really benefit pitbulls suffering from skin allergies.
As a refresher, your dog’s skin is just a reflection of what is happening on the inside of his body (aka. digestive chaos).
Herbs like licorice root and peppermint can soothe inflammation happening in the stomach, helping to heal the root cause of your dog’s issues.
My only concern with Orijen:
If your pitbull’s digestive system is really wrecked, then even the legumes used in Orijen’s formula may be too harsh.
In fact, you may want to transition to a raw dog food diet if your dog is in dire straits.
Also, if your dog’s immune system has gone haywire, then commonly ingested proteins like chicken may trigger his rash.
This could mean opting for unconventional meats until your pup’s digestion has improved.
3. Acana Dry Dog Food
Speaking of unconventional proteins, have you ever considered fish as a good option for your cantankerous canine?
Most dogs aren’t on a 100% fish-based food diet, which means it likely hasn’t had a chance to become an allergen.
When it comes to what’s in your dog’s bowl, it’s most likely chicken, and maybe some more chicken.
Even when labels proclaim their food is full of “salmon/duck/lamb”, there’s usually a hearty serving of chicken on the side.
This makes sense from a profit perspective considering chicken is a heckuva lot cheaper than these other proteins. But if your pitbull has a severe inflammatory skin condition, he may be reacting to all this chicken.
That’s why Acana can be a great choice for your pitbull’s overactive immune systems. The only animal protein used in their Pacifica formula is fish, with boneless salmon being the first ingredient.
Another benefit of all that fish is the high omega-3 content that’s going to calm your dog’s itchy and painful skin.
And of course, Acana is grain-free (very important!) by using green peas and red lentils as a starch replacement.
Another bonus: Herbs.
The addition of anti-inflammatory sweet fennel is excellent for systemic inflammation. And the inclusion of marigold (which is used to make calendula) has a long history of being used to treat sore, inflamed, and itchy skin.
Everything about this food seems to scream ‘anti-inflammatory lifesaver’, except for one thing:
Acana has included that dreaded canola oil.
As a reminder, canola oil can be extremely inflammatory because it is easily turned into a damaged and rancid fat. Plus, legumes can be tough on your pitbull’s digestion.
4. Nature’s Logic Duck & Salmon Dry Formula
Maybe your dog’s skin issues are so bad you don’t know what to do anymore.
In addition to burning and bumpy skin, your pitiful pitbull is experiencing a lot of digestive distress. The gas that comes out of your dog is truly astounding.
If this sounds like your dog, then read on.
You may need to try a raw food diet to really take the strain off your dog’s digestive system. Nature’s Logic creates raw dog food that will tame your dog’s tummy troubles, thereby cooling his inflammatory response (and improving his skin issues).
Duck, turkey, and salmon are the protein sources of choice for this food, which is great since they’re not as common, so your pitbull likely won’t have an allergy to them. Plus, the carbohydrates in this food actually comes from millet, which is a pseudo grain.
Basically, a pseudo grain is a big faker in the grain world because it tastes like a grain, but is actually a seed (like buckwheat and quinoa), so it’s a lot gentler on your dog’s digestion.
Montmorillonite clay. Yes, that’s right – the inclusion of clay is actually a good thing for your dog.
Nature’s Logic is not trying to slowly poison your dog, nor are they using this clay as some kind of odd cheap filler. In fact, this special clay is excellent for healing your dog’s digestion, improving immunity by sealing off infections, reducing allergies to foods and drugs, and keeping the liver healthy for a glossier coat.
Are you sold yet?
This humble little clay will help address the root cause of why your pitbull keeps breaking out in oozing and inflamed rashes every year (hint: it’s his digestion). Plus, Nature’s Logic has added a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to further boost the anti-inflammatory effect of this food.
Do I have any concerns?
Well, I don’t like how all the animal protein is meal rather than a whole food. This suggests the protein quality isn’t as high.
Second, they’ve included lamb plasma in the formula, which is a bit of a controversial move in the dog food world right now. The jury’s out on whether adding plasma and blood products are truly health promoting for our sensitive pooches.
Overall, there’s a lot you can do to reduce your pitbull’s inflamed and painful skin condition. Don’t just settle for the latest topical and steroid medication.
Think about it this way:
Do wolves constantly battle skin conditions in the wild (barring fungal and bacterial skin afflictions)?
A lot of your pitbull’s troubles could stem from their diet. Going grain-free and trying any one of these four foods is a great step towards getting your pooch happy and healthy again!