Best Dog Food for Pitbulls with Skin Allergies

By Britt Kascjak

Are you caring for a pitbull with skin allergies? If so, then you may be on the search for dog food to support their unique needs.

With so many foods currently on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best food for your pit bull.

Selecting the right food will depend on several important factors. This includes his age, activity levels, and any food allergies he may experience.

Here are 6 best dog foods to help manage your pitbull’s skin allergies.

Ideal Dog Food for Skin Allergies

You may be surprised to learn that your pit bull’s diet can have a significant impact on his allergies.

Many of the most popular dog foods contain common allergens.

By learning about the many options, you can choose the right skin allergy food to support your dog’s needs.

Limited Ingredients

One way to reduce the risk of skin allergies is to limit the possible allergens in your dog’s diet. 

The easiest way to do this is with limited ingredient foods.

Avoid Certain Grains or Potentially Allergenic Ingredients

Limited ingredient foods are often formulated with a single protein source such as fish, lamb, or turkey. Most of these foods are also grain-free. 

By limiting the number of ingredients, these foods make it easier to avoid your dog’s triggers. 

For example, if your dog is allergic to chicken, you can feed a fish-based food. Dogs that are sensitive to grains can enjoy a healthy meal that is both grain-free and gluten-free.

Despite limiting the ingredients, they are still balanced diets packed with nutritional value.

American feed control officials require that dog food companies accurately label their ingredients, so check those labels!

Common Ingredients That Cause Skin Allergies in Pitbulls

If you currently own a pitbull, then you know that they are prone to skin issues.

For this reason, many pitbull owners try to avoid the most common allergens. When it comes to food, the most common offenders include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken meat and Chicken Eggs
  • Lamb
  • Soy
  • Wheat/Grains (Gluten)

Knowing this, many pitbull owners will seek out a food that is free from these ingredients.

Alternatives to These Ingredients

If you are searching for a food that is free from common allergens, there are some great alternatives.

Many allergy-friendly food choices are fish-based.

This is due to the fact that high-quality fish like salmon is less likely to trigger dog allergies. Plus, they offer high levels of omega fatty acids to promote better skin and a healthy coat.

But, that isn’t the only option available. Another effective alternative is to choose a plant-based food.

This cuts any animal-based proteins out of your dog’s diet, which makes up most of the top allergens. Many of these foods are still high in protein to support your dog’s nutritional needs.

Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is an approach to identifying and removing food allergens.

This strict diet can either be purchased as a prescription diet or home-cooked. But, it needs to follow strict rules about the ingredients that can be included.

All common protein and carbohydrate sources are removed from the diet. In their place, you feed your dog a novel protein diet.

This means feeding a protein that he has not eaten before.

Popular novel protein diets include:

  • Venison and Potato
  • Kangaroo and Oats
  • Rabbit and Potato

Feed this new food long enough for your dog’s allergies to clear up completely.

Don’t forget to also limit any treats that you are offering your dog!

You can then try adding ingredients in one at a time following an food allergy diet trial. This means reintroducing only one ingredient at a time and monitoring your dog.

If you notice allergy flair ups, you can confirm that your dog is allergic to that ingredient.

But, if your dog is able to eat that ingredient without any problems, you can confirm it is safe. Continue this with each potential allergen.

How Do Nutrition and Diet Affect Allergies?

Not only can your dietary choices trigger skin allergies, but they can also offer a solution.

Nutrients that support skin health include:

  • Omega 3 & 6
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Choosing a dog food with these ingredients will help to soothe existing skin issues.

This is great for helping a dog recover from a skin allergy. It’s also going to help if there are environmental allergies involved.

Best Dog Food for Pitbulls with Skin Allergies (Top Pick)

We recommend Front of the Pack Chicken Air-Dried Organic Dog Food

Product Details

  • Formulated and approved by veterinarians
  • Made with gluten-free organic oats
  • Free of fillers, artificial flavors, and other additives

Who Should Buy This Food

The use of air-drying means that this food is free from preservatives that could trigger allergies.

It’s a great choice for dog owners that want the benefits of fresh foods and the convenience of kibble.

Our Rating

5 stars out of 5

Best Dog food for pitbulls with skin allergies (Plant based)

We recommend Wild Earth Complete Protein Dog Food

Product Details

  • Free from animal proteins
  • Infused with vitamins and minerals
  • Contains Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids

Who Should Buy This Dog Food

Dogs that are allergic to animal-based proteins like chicken meal or beef can thrive on this food.

It’s a high-protein option with omega-3 and -6 to soothe itching and skin irritation.

Our Rating

5 stars out of 5

Best Grain-Free Dog Food for Skin Allergy

We recommend Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Grain-Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe

Product Details

  • Free from corn, wheat, soy, chickpeas, or lentils
  • Made with USDA organic certified, free-range chicken and organic sweet potatoes
  • Includes organic flaxseed to support healthy skin and coat
  • Supports healthy digestion

Who Should Buy This Dog Food

Made with organic, high-quality ingredients, this grain free food will support your dog’s overall health.

It contains flaxseed and omega-6 to promote healthy skin and coat. This one is a no brainer for bullies with grain allergies.

Our Rating

4 stars out of 5

Best Dry Dog Food for Allergies

We recommend Merrick Grain-Free Chicken-Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Product Details

  • Grain-free, gluten-free, and poultry-free
  • Contains high levels of omega fatty acids
  • Made with real, deboned salmon

Who Should Buy This Dog Food

This limited ingredient dry dog food is free from the most common food allergens.

Made with real, deboned salmon, it provides high levels of omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat.

Our Rating

5 stars out of 5

Best Puppy Food for Pitbulls with a Skin Allergy

We recommend Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Oatmeal Dry Dog Food

Product Details

  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Contains omega-6 and vitamin A
  • Made with omega-rich fish oil and sunflower oil
  • Gentle on a young dog’s digestive system

Who Should Buy This Food

A high-protein dry dog food to meet a growing puppy’s needs, this food is great for new puppy owners.

It is formulated with both omega-6 and vitamin A for coat and skin health. It is specifically formulated for puppies with sensitive skin and stomachs. This is a great puppy food for pitbulls.

Our Rating

5 stars out of 5

Best Dog Food for Senior Pitbulls with Allergies

We recommend ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Product Details

  • Grain-free formula
  • WholePrey animal ingredients including organs and bone
  • Formulated to support weight maintenance in senior dogs
  • Supports joint health

Who Should Buy This Food

This high-quality dog food is made with fresh animal protein. The food has been freeze-dried coated to preserve flavor and nutritional value.

It’s formulated to support the unique needs of older dogs during the aging process.

Our Rating

4 stars out of 5

Choosing the Best Skin allergy food for Pit bulls

What Are Skin Allergies?

Skin allergies occur when a dog suffers from inflammation or irritation due to allergens. 

It often begins with mild irritation. But, as your dog reacts to the discomfort, the condition can progress. 

Left unaddressed, it can result in secondary infections and other complications.

Signs of a skin allergy include:

  • Excessive scratching, licking, or biting of the skin
  • Chronic ear and skin infections
  • Hair loss
  • Foul odor from the skin or ears
  • Red, irritated skin in the ears
  • Rubbing against the floor
  • Watery eyes
  • Cuts, scabs, or open wounds

Areas to pay careful attention to include the ears, underarms, groin, paws, and around the face.

What Causes Skin Allergies?

There are several potential causes of skin allergies. Each involves your dog coming into contact with an allergen.

The most common causes include:

  • Food allergies
  • Flea allergies
  • Inhalant or Contact allergies
  • Allergies to the normal bacteria and yeast on the skin

Inhalant and contact allergies are also referred to as environmental allergies. This means the offender can be found in your dog’s regular environment.

Some examples of environmental allergens include pollen, grass, household cleaners, and laundry detergents.

How Common Are Skin Allergies in Pitbulls?

Some dog breeds are genetically predisposed to skin allergies. This includes the medium and large breed dogs that fall under the label of pit bull.

This doesn’t mean that all pitbulls will suffer from skin allergies. It depends on your dog’s immune system.

But, a large number of pit bulls do experience skin issues. This includes allergies, zinc deficiencies and other medical problems.

How Do You Treat a Skin Allergy in Pitbulls?

If your pitbull is itching or experiencing irritation, contact your veterinarian. They will be able to test your dog to determine the cause of the skin issues.

You can use hypoallergenic and anti-itch shampoos and lotions to provide short-term relief.

Your veterinarian may also be able to prescribe a medicated cream or shampoo. If so, follow the directions provided and avoid over-bathing your dog.

Feed food that will not only avoid triggering allergies but can soothe the skin.

Dog foods that are high in omega fatty acids are a popular choice. Or, you can buy fish oil products to add to your dog’s regular kibble.

What Foods are Pitbulls Most Allergic To?

The most common pitbull skin allergies are related to protein sources. More specifically, the common animal-based protein sources in dog food.

This includes:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork

Gluten sensitivities are also common. These are caused when dogs eat wheat, barley, and rye. Brown rice is a common substitute for these ingredients. It’s important to find out for your dog which ingredients irritate skin allergies.

How Do I Keep My Pitbull’s Skin Healthy?

Keeping your pitbull’s skin healthy may involve changes to your daily routine. You will need to focus on ongoing care and prevention of skin issues.

Dietary Choices

When selecting your dog’s food and treats, factor in the health of his skin and coat.

Choose foods that are free from common allergens, where possible. This is an easy way to avoid food allergies without having to experience them first. Make sure to also pay attention to the ingredients in your dog’s treats.

You can take this a step further by including nutrients to nurture your dog’s skin.

Many foods include omega fatty acids and vitamins designed to boost skin and coat health. But, you can also buy supplements with these ingredients.

This includes supplements that your dog can eat like a treat as well as food toppers.

Sun Damage

Pitbulls have very short hair putting them at risk for sun damage to their skin.

When spending time outdoors, try to limit time in direct sunlight. Seek out a shady space or bring a sun shelter to create a space to relax.

Dog-friendly sun screen can be used to offer an extra level of protection.

Bath Time

When bathing your pitbull, choose a shampoo and conditioner that moisturizes the skin.

Search for a product that includes soothing ingredients such as:

  • Vitamin E
  • Aloe Vera
  • Oatmeal
  • Honey

It can be tempting to skip the conditioner if you have a dog with shorter hair. But, conditioners are for more than preventing knots and tangles.

A conditioner is a great way to provide the skin with moisture to prevent dry skin and itching.

Dry your dog gently with a towel or using a dryer on the cold setting. Avoid rubbing the towel on your dog’s skin too much as it could cause irritation. 

What Helps A Pitbull with Itchy Skin?

If your pitbull is experiencing itchy skin, there are some steps that you can take to offer fast relief.

But, these solutions are short-term. They are no replacement for contacting your vet and getting to the root of the allergic reaction.

Apply a soothing lotion to relieve itching and add moisture back into dry skin areas.

When choosing a product, pick something with anti-itch and anti-bacterial properties. This will not only stop the itching, but also prevent secondary infections.

Is your dog sensitive about being touched when dealing with allergies?

Itch relief sprays are a great option to reduce itching from allergic reactions and encourage your dog’s skin to heal.

Combine these quick solutions with an ongoing treatment plan. This includes identifying the cause of your dog’s itchy skin and addressing it. 

Conclusion: Best Dog Food for Pitbulls with Skin Allergies

So What’s the best dog food for pitbulls with skin allergies?

If you are caring for a dog with skin allergies, there are many great food options to consider. These foods are nutritionally packed and free from common allergens. They can help alleviate allergy symptoms like excessive shedding or itchy skin.

Wild Earth Complete Protein Dog Food offers a high-quality, plant-based diet. Merrick Grain-Free Chicken-Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food contains high levels of omega fatty acids.

They are both a great choice for dogs that have a food allergy to grains and animal proteins.

But, the best food option on our list for Pitbulls with allergies is the Front of the Pack Chicken Air-Dried Organic Dog Food.

Formulated by veterinarians, it provides high-quality nutrition to support dogs of all ages. The use of air-drying eliminates the need for preservatives and other additives.

This premium dog food will promote better skin and coat health for your dog.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.