Doggie Designer is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

9 Best Dog Foods for Dry Skin & Coat Health – Reviews & Guide 2021

White Dog Eating

One aspect of a dog’s health that is often overlooked is the health of their skin and coat of fur. It is important to make sure that regular vet visits are scheduled and that you regularly brush your dog. While doing both can go a long way in keeping your canine companion healthy, their diet is also important. In these reviews, we’ll go over the best foods for dogs with dry skin. Dry skin can make a dog itchy and uncomfortable, and while we are no substitute for veterinary services, we have done our research and are happy to offer this guide as a resource so your dog can get some relief.

thematic break

A Quick Look at our Favorites (updated in 2021)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Nature's Recipe Nature's Recipe
  • Feature iconPacked with nutrients
  • Feature iconNo unnecessary fillers
  • Feature iconDogs noticeably scratch less
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Royal Canin Royal Canin
  • Feature iconGreat for dry skin
  • Feature iconDogs love the taste
  • Feature iconGood for oral health
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Purina Pro Plan Purina Pro Plan
  • Feature iconVet approved
  • Feature iconSeveral recipes
  • Feature iconGreat for skin, fur, and digestion
  • AvoDerm AvoDerm
  • Feature iconCan be used for all ages
  • Feature iconGreat food to start puppies on
  • Feature iconMade with California avocados
  • Hill's Science Hill's Science
  • Feature iconGood for skin
  • Feature iconNo artificial colors
  • Feature iconMade with probiotics
  • The 9 Best Dog Foods for Dry Skin

    1. Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Dog Food – Best Overall

    Nature's Recipe 3052151468

    Nature’s Recipe lives up to its name by offering a dog food that is made with no fillers or artificial stuff; their ingredients come straight from nature. They’ve been in the game for 30 years and counting, so they know how to find the best food for dogs everywhere while placing a high standard on skin and coat health. Every ingredient has some healthy or advantageous effect.

    The recipe itself is packed with all sorts of goodies. It starts with linoleic acid and zinc, which are especially good for dogs with dry skin because they help promote natural oils to keep your dog from scratching. Omega fatty acids further the process by fortifying your buddy’s fur. To top it off, there are no unnecessary fillers like wheat or corn or artificial colors.

    Many buyers who have dogs with chronic issues with dry skin report that this food has been a blessing. Dogs with a tendency to scratch seem more comfortable upon switching to this food, with scratching stopping altogether in many cases. Not only is there a noticeable difference in the way pets act, but they look different as well — their fur becomes thicker and shinier.

    This food pairs wonderfully with treats that are high in fish oil.

    The only issue with this product is that it is not especially good for dogs with stomach issues. If you have a dog with certain protein allergies, you should check with your vet before putting this into their diet.

    All in all, we think this is the best dog food for dogs with dry skin.

    • Dogs noticeably scratch less and have shinier, healthier-looking fur
    • Packed with nutrients for better skin, coat, and overall health
    • No unnecessary fillers
    • Not good for dogs with sensitive stomachs
    thematic break

    2. Royal Canin Sensitive Skin Dog Food – Best Value

    Royal Canin 460113

    Royal Canin has made a food geared specifically toward the health of a dog’s fur and skin, though it has other goodies in there as well. This is a wonderful food for overall health.

    The ingredients are loaded with fur-fortifying goodness, all while helping to promote natural oils being spread across your dog’s body. Made with omega 3 fatty acids, this food reinforces the skin barrier of your dog, which can lead to less itching. The amino acids will also help their fur be shinier than ever.

    This food also has DHA, which is wonderful for mental development. The kibbles are specifically made small to help with oral health, and the highly digestible protein promotes good digestive help. With 50 years of research under their belt, it’s no wonder that Royal Canin has this down to a science.

    Buyers report that this food greatly reduces scratching and most of the time, eliminates it altogether. The other perk is that dogs seem to love the taste!

    Royal Canin does recommend that you add or switch to wet food every now and then, which is the only thumbs-down for this product, as we would prefer it be an all-in-one deal. Even so, we think that this is the best dog food for dry skin and coat health for the money.

    • Great for dry skin
    • Good for oral health and digestive health
    • Dogs love the taste
    • Should be supplemented with wet food every now and then
    thematic break

    3. Purina Pro Sensitive Skin Dog Food – Premium Choice

    Purina Pro Plan 17567

    Purina is one of the best-known names when it comes to dog food, so it is no surprise that they pop up on our list. They also seem to have several recipes to choose from. If your dog doesn’t like lamb, no problem! Just get a bag of the chicken instead. They also have options for dogs with specific protein allergies.

    As it relates to skincare, this food is made with omega 6 fatty acids and zinc. These ingredients help nourish your dog’s skin and promote the healthy growth of fur. Your dog will be looking pristine with their shiny coat and wagging tail.

    It doesn’t stop there; while this is a good food for dogs with sensitive skin, it is also a good food for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Made with prebiotics, Purina has an eye toward overall health, so your hungry hound will be looking and feeling great.

    Buyers of this food and even vets are full of good things to say about it. Apparently, it is the most effective for dogs with sensitive skin. Common reports are that dogs are healthier and happier after switching to Purina.

    Unfortunately, a few buyers have reported that this item has been delivered with bugs in it.

    • Great for skin, fur, and digestion
    • Several recipes
    • Vet approved
    • Shipments with bugs
    thematic break

    4. AvoDerm Natural Dry & Wet Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    AvoDerm Natural 100536222

    Based off the company name, you might not be surprised to hear that this food is packed with a certain superfood: avocados. Loaded with these omegas from California, this recipe was made with young pups in mind. A great way for a dog to have a nice long healthy life is to start them on the right track with their diet.

    This food is all nutrition. You won’t find any fillers in this product made by AvoDerm. The recipe leaves out notable fillers such as wheat, corn, and soy, and it is also grain free, so dogs with irritable bellies should find this food to their liking as well.

    While this is a great food for a puppy, it is also great for adult dogs! You can start your dog on this diet being confident that they will never grow out of it, and they’ll look good too. This is one of the best dog foods for a shiny coat out there.

    Most who switched to this dog food to help alleviate their dog’s issues with sensitive or dry skin have nothing but good things to say. From less scratching to a shiny coat, this food can either get your pup on the path to great skin health or help out your older dog who has been scratching for too long.

    Some buyers have said that this product only works for so long when it comes to helping with scratching, while others have reported that it has made the problem worse. These are rare instances, however.

    • Made with California avocados
    • Great food to start puppies on
    • Can be used for all ages
    • Makes skin irritation worse in some cases
    thematic break

    5. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

    Hills Science Diet 8860

    This food was designed for dogs who are sensitive in general. Hill’s has come up with a recipe that will leave your dog healthy inside and out.

    Made with probiotics, this food promotes great digestive health. The kibbles are small to aid in absorption and digestion. They are also loaded with nutrients that help support a balanced microbiome in your dog’s gut.

    Of course, it is wonderful for skin health too. The recipe includes vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids, which promote moisturized skin and a full, thick healthy coat of fur.

    Folks who have switched their dogs to this food report marked improvement in terms of less scratching and more solid stool.

    However, other buyers have reported an opposite reaction. Some dogs are allergic to this food, which can cause runny eliminations and even scratchier skin.

    • Good for skin and stomachs
    • No artificial colors
    • Some dogs have allergic reaction
    thematic break

    6. Blue Buffalo Formula Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo 9

    Blue Buffalo offers a recipe that is good for your dog’s skin and their taste buds! This recipe is made with all-natural real meat and tons of veggies. It’s always a win-win when food is not only delicious but also healthy!

    The primary ingredient here is the protein, though it is supported by a variety of grains, veggies, and fruits. This is a great food for adult dogs because it is packed with carbs to help your dog maintain a high level of energy. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and a wonderfully shiny coat of fur.

    This is also a great food for your dog to grow with. Made with a whole list of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, this recipe will boost the canine immune system, making for a healthy and happy pup. There are no by-products in this food and no fillers such as wheat, corn, or soy.

    Several buyers frustrated with past dietary attempts have found that switching to Blue Buffalo has been wonderful for their pet. In most cases, dogs with sensitive skin have stopped itching soon after eating this food.

    Other buyers have had the opposite rare experience, where their dog becomes ill with this food. There have also been reports that bugs have been found in bags of Blue Buffalo.

    • Packed with carbs for energy
    • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promote good skin and coat health
    • Some dogs get sick
    • Bugs in bag
    thematic break

    7. Royal Canin Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin 512514

    Showing up for the second time on our list, Royal Canin proves that it has a good idea of what it’s doing. This specific product is made for smaller dogs, and while it is not advertised as food for dogs with skin issues, the recipe has ingredients that are great for dogs with sensitive skin. Featuring two specific fatty acids, EPA and DHA, this recipe will help your little furball look shiny and healthy and stop scratching. This food is meant for dogs who are between 9 and 22 pounds.

    The kibble is small for smaller jaws, but that also helps digestion, which in turn, leads to good digestive health. This food also promotes high energy levels, as it is made with L-carnitine.

    Buyers have reported that even the pickiest of dogs seem to enjoy this food and have healthy, shiny coats to show for it.

    Other buyers have reported that this has caused serious stomach issues in their pet.

    • Great for small dogs
    • L-carnitine keeps energy levels up
    • Only meant for small dogs
    • Makes some dogs ill
    thematic break

    8. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Dry Dog Food

    Diamond Naturals 9423_30

    Diamond Naturals is a family-owned business that has the ideal recipe for your dog if they have sensitive skin. This food is meant to be one that your dog can grow with, and is made with lean proteins and high-quality amino acids. This promotes not only good skin health but also lean muscles.

    Made with essential hypoallergenic ingredients, this recipe is jammed with vitamins, superfoods, and antioxidants. Diamond Naturals went out of their way to create a recipe that is not only good for the skin and fur but is also highly digestible and species specific. There are no fillers in this food, such as corn, wheat, or soy, and it has zero artificial colors.

    While buyers report that this isn’t exactly the best smelling food, if your dog likes it, you’re in luck. Most who switch to this report that dogs with severe skin problems find relief. On the other hand, if your dog does not have skin issues, this definitely is not the food for them, as it could actually create them.

    • No fillers
    • Family-owned company
    • Highly digestible
    • Smells bad
    • Can cause skin issues in dogs without any
    thematic break

    9. Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Dog Food

    Iams 10171580

    Iams is another well-known name in the pet food industry. This product is made with real protein, and your dog will love either the beef or the lamb option.

    First and foremost, this food promotes good skin and fur health, but it does so much more than that. The fatty acids in this recipe are sure to have your dog be scratch-free and shiny, but other aspects of this food are enticing as well. The L-carnitine helps your dog maintain a good metabolism, while the prebiotics and fiber promote good gut health.

    While this is a good food for dry skin, it is also great for sensitive stomachs. Buyers have reported that even dogs with the most sensitive of tummies are able to eat this without any issue.

    Before you feed this to your pup, make sure to check the seal on the bag. Other buyers have reported that this item sometimes arrives at their home with a broken seal and moldy food, which can make your dog sick.

    • Prebiotics, fiber, and L-carnitine: good for gut health
    • Fatty acids: good for skin and fur
    • Makes some dogs sick
    • Moldy upon arrival
    thematic break

    Buyers Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food for Canines with Dry Skin

    If you have a dog with dry or sensitive skin, their diet can go a long way toward improving the situation. The trick is that you need to know what to look for. While some recipes are designed for dogs with dry or sensitive skin, you may find others that can work just as well and are not necessarily specific to that issue.

    Fatty Acids

    These are what you want to look for when buying food for your dog to help promote good skin and fur health. Fatty omega acids reinforce natural oils, which is great for your dog’s skin and fur.

    Up to You

    While changing your dog’s diet can help with their comfort and health, you will need to make sure to regularly groom them! Regular bushings are good for spreading natural oils, and baths keep that mane shiny. Make sure to also shop for a shampoo that will not dry out your dog’s skin.

    Talk to Your Vet

    While we are happy to offer this guide as a resource, nothing beats the knowledge of your vet. Before making any changes in your pup’s diet, consult them first.

    Final Verdict

    With so many options on the market, it can be hard to narrow it down. This list of reviews features all different kinds of foods with all sorts of health benefits, from best dog food for itchy skin to best dog food for a shiny coat. You can’t go wrong with our top pick from Nature’s Recipe, but you might also be intrigued by the overall value of Royal Canin. Whatever you choose, we hope it results in a wagging tail from your dog!