Dog Food For a Pit Bull With Dry Skin

by Diana

My almost 2 yo pit bull has terrible dry skin. Based on online research, it seems to be related to his food. He is currently eating Purina Dog Chow and Alpo canned. We mix the two.

I asked my friends on Facebook what else I could do to help him and I got many, many responses of give him oil or bacon fat. There has to be something better. So what IS the best food out there for him?

Gale's Reply:

Hi Diana

Before we talk about diet and dog foods, I just need to mention that there are other conditions that sometimes mimic the symptoms of dry skin. So please have your dog checked by your vet to be sure the problem isn't parasites, allergies or an infection.

There are lots of good reasons to switch your dog to a premium food beyond clearing up his skin. Not only will he look great, but it's better for his overall health. And once his system adjusts to the new food, you'll notice smaller and less smelly poop.

Since dogs derive their primary energy from protein rather than carbs, the Cadillac category of dog kibble is grain-free. This eliminates most of the stuff you'll find on the shelf at your grocery store.

Some grain-free dog foods that get consistently high marks from reviewers include:

1. Orijen dry dog food - This one seems to be at or near the top of everyone's list.
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Formula - Another good one.
3. Solid Gold Barking at the Moon dry dog food

There is one downside and that is the cost. On average, quality grain-free kibble will run about $35 - $40 for a 15 lb. bag.

Although not entirely grain-free, products like Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul and Natural Balance Ultra Premium are considered by many to be a good value. They use all natural ingredients, animal protein is the first listed ingredient and what grain they do use is high quality like brown rice or barley. An 18lb bag of "CSFTDLS" goes for about $25.

Avoid bacon fat period. It's no better for your dog's arteries than it is for yours. And while cooking oil might gloss up your dog's coat a bit, it won't address your dog's overall nutritional needs. Besides, if you're feeding your pit the good stuff--you won't need it.

Comments for Dog Food For a Pit Bull With Dry Skin

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Dec 17, 2010
by: Diana

Gale, I have checked in with his vet. He's clear on all other points!

Dec 17, 2010
blue buffalo is the way to go as far as food, but read on
by: Pitbullmom77

I have 5 rescue pitties and one has very bad skin allergies. I feed them blue buffalo regular adult dry food and they all do very well on it. I originally was feeding purina one but have seen a significant change in their skin, poop, shiny coats and Libby doesn't itch all the time. I do supplement her food with benedryl tabs per the vet but I think the food has made a great difference in all of their health. they are my children so I only want to feed them what's best. no soy, wheat or corn, no byproducts. highly recommend blue buffalo!

I wd check with your vet to see if it would be applicable to your pittie to be place on allergy medication or if he needs something else. it's impotent to rule out demodex, as my foster dog came from the shelter covered in it which makes their skin dry, flaky and itchy. he has been on oral ivermectin and antibiotics for several months. but even with his skin problems despite some of hos hair falling, the rest is so shiny and healthy (pretty sure it's the blue!)

good luck with your baby and pittie kisses to your baby fro
my pack :-)

Dec 17, 2010
That's great!
by: Gale

@Diana That's great. Sounds like you're "cleared for take off". I think you're going to be amazed what a difference a change in his diet will make.

Dec 17, 2010
Dog Food For a Pit Bull With Dry Skin
by: Anonymous

I have a couple of my dogs on Taste of the Wild Roasted Lamb. This is completely grain free and runs about $43.00 for a 30 lb bag. I have my pits on Nutri Source and they are doing very well on that. It is a premium all natural dog food with a reasonable price. Hope this helps.

Dec 17, 2010
by: Dana

We recently switched to chicken soup for the dog lovers soul after our boy having some skin/coat issues. All the dogs eat well, and they all seem to like it. His skin/coat has cleared up, and as long as no one sneaks him people food, he's not nearly as gassy.
Whether it had a direct effect or not, I feel better now anyways after doing research and grain is not in the top 3 ingredients. Find that at wal-mart.

Dec 17, 2010
my pibble has the same problem
by: Anonymous

My pibble is almost 8- she has a gastro intestinal problem and dry skin. I did my research and found that most store brand dog foods aren't worth buying at all.
So I now feed Diamond naturals lamb and rice. It's cost is a lot lower than other premium foods. I buy a 40lb bag for 25$. And that 1 bag will last her over a month. I've feed Arcana, Avoderm, Blue Buffalo, orijen, Nutro and several others and Diamonds works best for her.
If you can't find diamond near you look for a Costco and buy their kirkland signature lamb and rice brand- its just diamond in a different bag.
If you can't find either of those do try going to a specialty pet food store and talking to someone. Explain the issues and that your looking for a grain free food.
If all of those options don't pan out walmart sells a dog food called Natural life Lamaderm Lamb and rice - it would defineately be the last choice but at least its corn free. Purina and Alpo are both products you want to stay away from- as are any other dog food you can buy from a grocery store. Stay away from the oil or grease- it doesn't help the soon just saturates it in fat giving the illusion of moisture. If you need to add something to replace the wet dog food try white rice, an egg, plain unflavored non fat yogurt or reduced sodium chicken broth.

Dec 17, 2010
TOTW and others
by: Deb A

Taste of the Wild is great food for the price. It's most likely that your dog has food allergies. Just about any food you can buy in a grocery store is mostly corn and pretty much like feeding your dog at McDonald's every day.

As mentioned above, Orijen is great food however it's rather expensive. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is what I feed our dogs. Since it uses salmon as a protein source it also helps with dogs that have chicken, beef or lamb allergies. Another good food is Diamond Naturals which can be found at Tractor Supply or other feed stores. The price point is a bit lower but the quality is still good.

For any food you're interested in you can check out and see where it scores. You'll soon find yourself reading the bags and picking what works best for your bully.

Dec 17, 2010
Dry Skin Nutrition
by: Tracy

first, does your dog have a sensitive stomach? if so, keep his food ingredients to a minimum. dry skin can sometimes be helped by adding fish oils to his diet. either by adding a supplement or by buying food that includes it. the best thing you can do is get rid of what you are feeding him now! it would be like saying, "you can SURVIVE on twinkies and chips for your entire life, but you'll never be truly healthy". same concept. you're meeting basic needs, but not allowing your beautiful dog to thrive nutritionally. all of these recommendations are great, as far as food choices. another one that we have tried is American Natural Premium , which has a lower price point, but still a great food! Fromm makes excellent food, as does the Natura company, and they have a few different choices with in their company. we feed our pit mix California Natural Grain Free because he has grain allergies and a VERY sensitive stomach (this food has a minimal ingredients list, so as to help reduce gas and intestinal issues. also remember to switch slowly.
Keep trying different foods until you find one that works for you, but remember, if you can buy it in a grocery store or Wal Mart type store, it's not very good quality! STAY AWAY FROM CORN & ANIMAL DIGEST!!!!!!!!

Dec 17, 2010
Supplements-coconut oil
by: Kristen

In addition to changing to a better quality food...Consider adding some supplements to your dogs food.....Coconut Oil has amazing health benefits for people and animals. It's not that expensive. You can find it at health/vitamin stores and even most grocery stores. Also, adding a probiotic supplement or one w/ enzymes that aid in digestion could help. Solid Gold also has a supplement called Seameal that has a lot of benefits.

This site has a lot of helpful info and great products as well.

Dec 17, 2010
We love Blue Buffalo!
by: Kerri

When we first adopted out pit she was always itching. We started feeding her Blue Buffalo adult formula and giving her a Brewers Yeast supplement. After a week of those her coat turned super soft and she never scratches anymore. The supplements pills are small and I just drop them in with her food and she doesn't even notice!

Hope this helps!


Dec 17, 2010
by: Maria

My dog seemed to do well on Taste of the Wild Bison and then fowl but both turned out to be too much for her allergies (she's got extreme allergies) and then she developed IBD. The Drs put her on Pinnacle Sweet Potato and Trout and, for the first time in 3 years, she's looking and feeling amazing.

Dec 17, 2010
Dry Skin
by: Heather

My Pittie had terribly dry skin AND a fussy tummy. We tried everything, even the Orijen. My Vet had mentioned that although Orijen has high quality ingredients, it has way too much protein. We found that while we fed our boy the Orijen, he was a Fecal Factory! He pooped all the time. We have since moved him to a raw food diet, and his skin and coat are so beautiful! We actually get compliments on how handsome and healthy he looks. No more dry skin, no more dull coat, and oddly enough, no more fussy tummy! To top it off, the raw food diet actually costs us less than the Orijen did.

Regardless, I hope you find a solution that works for your dog. :)

Dec 17, 2010
Dog food
by: Anonymous

I swear by the Blue Buffalo Wilderness(BBW)line. The Duck and Salomon recipe OUTSTANDING! My 1-1/2 year old pitty has the most beautiful coat, he has been eating BBW since 2 months old. My Pommeranian is benefiting from that exceptional dog food too. To add to my testimony, I have been fostering two pitty pups since August. Rescued from the shelter with a serious case of mange. Today I can proudly and happily say they have made a full recovery. The salmon recipe has high omega so it also helps the immune system.

I would only feed my dogs Alpo and Purina in an emergency situation, like there was nothing else to feed them.

Dec 17, 2010
by: Diana

I cannot tell you all how thankful I am that you have helped me. Snoopy will be so much healthier now that I know what other options are out there.
Thank you again!!

Dec 18, 2010
One Suggestion
by: TechnoSkittles

My four legged children all eat Taste of the Wild. They have several different recipes (all grain free) to choose from, each with different bases. I prefer the yellow bag, which is based on bison and venison. This is the only grain free dog food I've found in my county (yes, I actually check the entire county) that is red meat based. Most others are fish or poultry based. After going from Science Diet to Premium Edge to Taste of the Wild, I can see a HUGE difference between the three. My dogs range from a pomeranian to a pibble, and they all do AWESOME on Taste of the Wild. And not just because of the small doggy droppings in the backyard. Their coats are amazing, they have more energy, no more nasty doggy gas, and overall they seem happier because they feel better. The only problem with it, is finding a store that carries it. Don't bother looking at a grocery store, Petsmart, or Petco. A local pet store chain called Saluda River carries it, and will also special order products. Happy hunting! :]

Dec 23, 2010
by: Cait

A lot of Pitties are prone to sensitive skin/ allergy issues. I work at a vet practice and see a ton of dogs with these issues. Biggest tip of advice, whichever food you choose give it a chance to work. Often I'll have someone try a food for a week and not see results so they switch. As long as there are no gastrointestinal issues, try and keep your dog on it for 2 months to see if there is a change. Also, switch food gradually by tapering the old food out to prevent gastro issues. My pit had awfully dry skin and was really pink. We related the food issue to her being sensitive to food containing lamb. She's now on Solid Gold Wolf King:

Its a bit pricey, but we buy it in bulk and she does wonderfully on it, so its worth it. Also its high protein and more calories per cup so we end up feeding her less than if she was on other brands, (so we actually get more bang for our buck).

We also started to bathe our dog less and when we do, we use a sensitive skin shampoo with oatmeal in it which helps a ton too.

If the dry skin doesn't clear, check back at your vets...most have prescription food available that may help, or they may want to run allergy testing to see if its a skin reaction.

Hope it helps! Happy Holidays

Feb 01, 2011
by: Anonymous

Chicken Soup for the Dog Soul along with raw chicken has been the lifesaver for my girlie. She used to scratch herself raw all the time. I even cooked her brown rice, veggies and chicken! I also feed her raw eggs once a week and give her raw beef soupbones at least 1x month. She has not had any scatching rawness (unless she eats crumbs from the kids) since she's been on this diet.

Mar 13, 2011


Jan 26, 2012
by: helen

i feed my pit taste of the wild grain free and has helped also a tsp of Safflower Oil (ask your vet)and it helps also and oatmeal baths
good luck

Jan 26, 2012
Have three pit bulls THAT HAD skin probs
by: Stephanie

My vet informed me that most skin problems are due to food alergies. He was very kind not to do the expensive $300 plus blood test that most vets want to do. Instead he did a two week food diet trial with my dogs. If the new food diet did not improve the dogs skin prob, then he would do the blood test to pinpoint the exact alergy it may be. We never had to do the blood test.

Took the dogs off of grain based dog food (which Purina and Alpo are) and put them on Blue Buffalo GRAIN FREE. Blue Buffalo Basic is the best for dogs with alergies. Blue Buffalo with SALMON is great too, great for their skin and high in omegas.

Beautiful coats on my pups now!

One pup even had cracked paws due to the food alergy. THEY ARE ALL HEALED UP. Yeah!

Apr 10, 2012
Pitbull food allergies
by: Samantha Wheeler

i have been through so many different foods with my blue pit, Penny. The only one that she isn't allergic to is Natures Recipe Catfish and Oatmeal. I get it at Petsmart for about $40 for a 30lb bag. One warning though, it makes her breath really fishy but as long as her skin is healthy I will take it!!

Apr 10, 2012
by: Dana

We switched to blue buffalo a while back, and his hot spots have went away since. We actually recently switched to blue buffalo wilderness, and teh dogs loveit. The hair spot for where teh vet shaved him for the last hot spot has finally started to grow in. Also, stopped all table scraps from both dogs. They get nothing but blue buffalo food and their treats. Also grain free.

Apr 10, 2013
by: Robert

My 12 week old pi/lab mix scratches all the time. we think he has mites but I know the food is a problem due to we changed foods do to his reaction to old food but now his stolls are pudding like and before it was solid. I have had people say blue buffalo would be best though. how bad was he scratching mine has scratched enough to remove hair from his legs and some of his face. I am concerned but how bad did your dog scratch before the food change?

Apr 11, 2013
by: Anonymous




May 12, 2013
Taste Of The Wild
by: Anonymous

Taste of the wild is a great grain free food with different flavors
The prices is reasonable as well 5lb bag 12.00$ 15lb bag $22.00-26.00 and etc. Ive had both of my bluenose pits (boy and girl) on it since i had them at 6 weeks and its been Great no flaking or patches! It keeps them pretty bulky too. I recommend all the time

Jun 09, 2013
Blue Buffalo
by: Keith

Our pit bull Ivan had such dry skin and a bad body odor. We have 3 dogs and they were all on Alpo meat and Benefull hard bits. My son said it was the food so I moved Ivan onto Numans but with no improvement. I then put him on Blue Buffalo tinned meat and hard bits with a desert spoon of extra virgin oilve oil. I also use Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 dry skin shampoo with almond oil. The improvement is amazing. Ivan now has perfect skin and a very healthy shine to his coat. I hope this works for your pit bull.

May 18, 2014
blue allergies NEW
by: Anonymous

I try changing his food to the Blue Wilderness after reading some blogs but my blue nose pit was alergic to that as well, too much scratching and rubbing against walls and carpet....IAMS worked out much better for my dog.

Sep 12, 2014
Intimidator NEW
by: Tiffany

I have 2 pits. They are a little over a ear old. I feed them twice a day. The food I get is at my local pet store called the intimidator. It's a 50 pound bag of food for $43 every 2 months. I don't see that I spend a lot on my boys but I am not going to buy something else cause it's cheap. It is the only food my runt would eat. And once he was a puppy he had a bad life and I finally got him healthily and he loves that food. He don't eat no where near what he use to. I use to have to by a bag of food every 2 weeks.
That's just my opinion on a good dog food you might want to try.
I hope you the best.

Sep 30, 2017
Pumpkin & Honey NEW
by: Amy

My Sadie had skin issues and I tried changing her food multi times to everything that was suggested, especially no grain foods which helped a little. The largest improvement came when I was researching about skin conditions with Pit's and found where a vet suggested canned pumpkin and or honey. (Do not get pumpkin pie filling, it has to be fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin). It was also in the article that they only needed about a teaspoon each day for a full grown Pit. Since you don't use a lot, it suggested getting ice cube trays to freeze it and use as needed. Sadie didn't like the texture of the pumpkin & honey unless it was frozen. So I would freeze it & chop the ice cubes into 3 or 4 pieces and give her a half of a ice cube each day. She LOVES her pumpkin & honey treats, as does her skin, teeth & stomach. Pumpkin is also really good for their stomach, as long as you don't give them too much.
I hope everyone has as much success with the pumpkin & honey as Sadie & I have!!!

Aug 30, 2020
Amazon Wag Beef Dog Food
by: KDawgL

Switched to this brand for our 70 lb, 2 yr old pit bull . Loves it! He has stopped gulping down, has more energy, healthier coat and does not beg in between meals (1cup 3x a day). All ingredients compare to or exceed the top brands. A 30lb bag is 40$ free next day delivery for prime members. First order is 40% off 26$.

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