Pyoderma is a type of skin infection that can be caused by various things, including allergies, bacteria, and even cancers. If your dog has pyoderma, you can expect to see red, swollen bumps, flaky skin, and pustules. Your dog needs to see a vet if they have pyoderma so they can rule out medical causes and help guide you in treating your dog’s condition.
One thing that can help clear up some pyodermas is changing your dog’s food to a food that doesn’t contain proteins your dog may have a sensitivity to. There are multiple foods on the market that can help benefit your dog’s skin health, and some of them can help to clear up pyoderma by reducing your dog’s exposure to allergens or by providing skin-supporting ingredients.
We’ve reviewed some of the best food options to help soothe and heal your dog’s pyoderma.
A Quick Look at the Winners of 2023
|Best Overall||Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin||
|Best Value||Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion||
|Premium Choice||Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Skin Support||
|Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat & Grains||
|Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach||
The 10 Best Dog Foods for Pyoderma
1. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food – Best Overall
The Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin food is the overall best dog food for pyoderma. This food contains healthy grains, like pearled barley and brown rice, that can help support your dog’s digestive system. It also contains beet bulbs, which is a prebiotic fiber source, to help better support digestive health. It also supports a healthy digestive microbiome. A healthy digestive system supports immunity and skin health.
This food is a good source of vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to support your dog’s skin and coat health and to help soothe pyoderma. This is a non-prescription food that is widely available online and at most vet clinics.
This food does contain chicken, which is a common allergen for dogs, so this is not the best option for dogs with sensitivity to chicken proteins.
2. Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion Dog Food – Best Value
The Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion food is the best dog food for pyoderma for the money. This food contains whole grains for high fiber content, as well as prebiotic fiber to better support digestive health, which also supports immune and skin health. It’s a good source of protein to support dogs with an active lifestyle and build or maintain muscle mass. It contains plenty of antioxidants to support better immune health as well. Many users have reported their dogs not having difficulty transitioning to this food, and it’s a non-prescription food.
This food contains chicken, so it’s not suitable for dogs with sensitivities to chicken protein.
3. Royal Canin Veterinary Skin Support Dog Food – Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Brewers rice, fish meal|
The premium pick for food to support your dog’s skin is the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Skin Support. This prescription-only diet is designed for dogs and growing puppies with skin conditions related to environmental irritants. It contains a specialized nutrient complex, including vitamin C and taurine, that supports skin cell regeneration and healing. It’s also a good source of B vitamins and amino acids to repair the skin barrier.
This food is a good source of omega fatty acids to support overall skin and coat health. While this food contains chicken fat, it is free of chicken proteins, which are likely to cause irritation for dogs with chicken sensitivity.
Since this is a prescription-only food, you’ll need to get a prescription from your vet to purchase this food. It does retail for a premium price, which may put it out of some budgets.
4. Acana Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food
The Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat & Grains is free of chicken and other poultry proteins, instead containing beef, pork, and lamb. This food is a good source of whole grains and is high in fiber to support digestive health. It’s a good source of omega fatty acids and vitamin E to support skin health, and it contains nutrient-dense ingredients like pumpkin and butternut squash that keep the digestive system healthy, which also supports immune and skin health.
Although this food is designed to be palatable, some people report their picky eaters turning their noses up at this food.
5. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dog Food
The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach food is for dogs with pyoderma, and it’s available without a prescription. This food is high in omega fatty acids and is formulated for dogs with sensitive skin. It’s a good source of prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive and immune health. This is a chicken-free dog food, making it suitable for dogs with sensitivities to chicken. It contains B vitamins for energy and metabolic health, and it’s a nutrient-dense food that supports a healthy weight.
Some people report this food having a strong smell due to the fish content, and it may cause gas and bad breath in dogs.
6. Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete Dry Food
|Main ingredients:||Corn starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver|
The Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete food is a prescription-only dog food that is made with hydrolyzed protein. Hydrolyzed protein means the protein has been broken down to a point that the body won’t recognize it as an allergen anymore, making this food suitable for dogs with sensitivity to chicken. It contains nutrients that support a healthy skin barrier, and this food is formulated to reduce skin itchiness and likelihood of developing skin infections caused by environmental and nutritional causes.
It’s much lower in protein than most foods, so it may not be suitable for all dogs, and this is a prescription-only food.
7. JustFoodForDogs Joint & Skin Support Recipe
|Main ingredients:||Pork tenderloin|
The JustFoodForDogs Joint & Skin Support Recipe is a good option for fresh food that is formulated by veterinary nutritionists. This is a non-prescription food that uses pork tenderloin as a healthy protein source, and it’s free of chicken proteins. It ships frozen and can be kept in the freezer for up to 1 year. This food contains collagen and omega fatty acids to support skin and musculoskeletal health. It’s a high-protein food, making this a good option for active dogs and dogs that need extra muscle support.
This food retails for a premium price since most dogs need more than one pouch per day. It does need to be used within 4 days after thawing for safety and freshness.
8. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities
|Main ingredients:||Water, hydrolyzed chicken liver|
The Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Food Sensitivities food is made with hydrolyzed proteins, reducing the body’s ability to react to allergy symptoms. It supports a healthy skin barrier, and it’s a good source of vitamin C and B vitamins to support metabolic and skin health. This food is a good option for dogs with itchy and irritated ears as well. It contains a single carbohydrate source, lowering the likelihood of it causing issues for dogs with carbohydrate allergies.
This is a prescription-only food that is lower in protein than most foods, so it may not be suitable for most dogs.
9. Orijen Amazing Grains Six Fish Recipe Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Whole mackerel|
The Orijen Amazing Grains Six Fish Recipe food is a nutrient-dense food that is high in protein. It’s a great source of omega fatty acids, thanks to containing multiple fish protein sources. This food contains healthy levels of vitamin E and taurine, which also support skin health. It’s a good source of prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive and immune health. It contains glucosamine, which supports musculoskeletal health, and due to its calorie and protein content, this food is suitable for muscle building and maintaining a healthy weight, and it’s free of chicken.
This is one of the more expensive foods we reviewed. It also may have a strong smell due to the amount of fish in this food.
10. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned alligator|
The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Alligator food is a prescription-only food that has a low likelihood of causing skin irritation in dogs with pyoderma due to containing a novel protein with alligator. Novel proteins are proteins that most dogs do not have allergies to and that they are unlikely to have encountered before, and this food is free of chicken proteins. It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health, and it’s high in antioxidants to support immune health. This is a highly palatable food, making it suitable for picky eaters.
This food is free of grains and contains peas. Grain-free diets and foods containing legumes have shown a link to heart disease in dogs, so make sure to discuss the risks and benefits of this food with your vet before transitioning.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Dog Food for Pyoderma
Why Not Grain-Free Food for Pyoderma?
You may have noticed that most of the foods on this list contain grains. Many people mistakenly believe that grain-free foods are better for dogs with food allergies. However, what many people don’t realize is that most dogs with food allergies have allergies to proteins, like those found in chicken and beef, not grains.
Carbohydrate allergies and sensitivities are not common, and grain-free diets, especially those containing legumes, have shown a connection to heart disease in dogs. It’s important to understand the potential risks before putting your dog on a grain-free diet. Dogs are omnivores, and grains can provide them with a variety of nutrients to help support their health.
These reviews should serve as a solid starting point in helping you find the perfect food for your dog with pyoderma. Pyoderma can be difficult to manage, so make sure to discuss treatment options with your vet. Food can be a great way to help manage some of the symptoms of pyoderma, though!
The best overall pick is Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin food, which is a prescription-only food that supports overall skin and coat health. The budget-friendly pick is the Iams Advanced Health Healthy Digestion, which may help boost your dog’s digestive system, improving their immunity. For a premium product, the top pick is the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Skin Support, which is a prescription-only food formulated to boost skin health. The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach food is free of chicken and formulated to support healthy skin.