The 8 Best Dog Foods For Pitbulls With Allergies

Written by Shannon Amber
Updated: October 31, 2022
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Pitbulls are known for many things, such as their loyalty, stocky build, and affectionate nature. However, it’s less known that they tend to suffer from allergies. Pitbull refers to the following breeds: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Regardless of which breed of Pitbull you have, you’ll want to carefully select their nutrition as their diet is most often the cause of their allergies. So, what is the best dog food for pitbulls with skin allergies?

Unlike humans, when dogs experience allergies rather than sneezing their skin becomes itchy. If you see your Pitbull has a red belly, is licking its paws, or suffers from frequent ear infections, they likely have a skin allergy, which is called “Atopy”. Visible signs of Atopy begin showing as early as a year old. Without intervention, their allergies will only worsen as they age and can cause severe and long-term issues.

Due to their energetic nature and muscular size, Pitbulls require a higher caloric intake to meet their needs. Additionally, they’ll need high-quality protein to give them the fuel necessary for their zoomies and playtime. Feeding your Pitbull the proper nutrition will keep them happy and healthy, so we’ve compiled a list of the best dog foods available for Pitbulls with skin allergies. From grain-free, sensitive stomachs, to budget-friendly, keep reading to find the right choice for your Pitbull. 

The Best Overall: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient

After a thorough review, we found Natural Balance Limited Ingredient to be the best overall choice based on price, quality, and simple ingredients. A single source of high-quality protein means your Pitbull is receiving all the fuel they need to build strong muscles. Wholesome grains provide the fiber they need for a healthy digestive system. Their formula is tailor-made for large breed dogs providing key nutritional support for strong bones, joints, heart, and teeth. Additionally, the amino acids and vitamins and minerals help maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. Being free of gluten, corn, soy, and preservatives or fillers, this is an excellent choice for promoting a healthy diet of thoughtful ingredients. 

The Best Overall
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Lamb & Brown Rice Large Breed Bites Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Wholesome grains provide the fiber for a healthy digestive system
  • Tailor-made for large breed dogs
  • Amino acids and vitamins and minerals help maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Free of corn, soy, gluten, preservatives, or fillers
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The Best On A Budget: Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Higher quality dog food usually comes at a higher premium, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for less when you have a limited budget. For quality and affordability, we loved Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food. Grains can often be the cause of allergies so their grain-free formula with protein as the first ingredient provides an excellent nutritional value for your Pitbull. They’ve left out preservatives, fillers, or any of the unsavory by-products and instead include sweet potatoes and pumpkins, which are a great source of fiber that maintains your dog’s digestive health. Many owners had high praise for Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food, noting they saw a significant improvement in their dog’s skin and digestive system. 

The Best On A Budget
Nature's Recipe Grain Free Large Breed Dry
  • Grain-free formula with high nutritional value
  • No preservatives of fillers
  • Affordable option
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The Best Premium Choice: Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete

Sometimes the cause of your Pitbulls allergies may be more of a mystery and despite eliminating certain ingredients you’ve yet to see an improvement. While a veterinarian’s approval is needed countless users felt it was worth it for Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete. Hill’s has clinically tested their nutrition not only for food allergies but also for environmental allergies. Crafted by veterinarians and nutritionists, you have peace of mind knowing you’re providing quality nutrition for your Pitbull. Their formula provides the necessary protein, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals your pup needs and is proven to show improvement in as little as 3 weeks. It’s formulated to provide year-round protection against environmental irritants by maintaining a healthy skin barrier. Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete has scientifically proven results and is veterinarian-recommended, making it an excellent choice.  

Best Premium Choice
Hill's Prescription Diet Derm Complete Dry Dog Food
  • May help show visible skin improvement in dogs with food sensitivities.
  • May help improve night-time scratching and improve sleep quality in some dogs.
  • Helps support the skin barrier year-round against environmental irritants.
  • Contains a single animal protein source.
  • Bioactives and phytonutrients can help normalize immune response.


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The Best Natural Choice: NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Natural Adult

Feeding your Pitbull shouldn’t be complicated, but often if you check the ingredients you’ll hardly be able to recognize or even pronounce most of the items listed. NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Natural Adult contains non-GMO ingredients, high-quality protein, and healthy whole grains. Excluded are chicken by-products, wheat, soy, and corn and instead, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and vegetables are included. The single-source protein will ensure your pup receives all the nutrients they need to maintain their strength and mobility. Also added are essential antioxidants which will help support your Pitbulls skin, coat, and immune system. Considering the quality and cost this is a great choice to provide your pup with a natural diet.

Best Natural Choice
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Contains non-GMO ingredients, high-quality protein, and healthy whole grains
  • Also has essential antioxidants to support skin, coat, and immune system
  • No fillers or preservatives, only natural ingredients
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The Best For Sensitive Stomaches: Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Probiotics

If you’ve noticed your Pitbull has a sensitive stomach you’ll want to support their digestive needs and avoid the long-term effects of feeding them improper nutrition. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Probiotics is perfectly suited to care for your dog’s needs. High-quality Salmon provides all the rich nutrients your pup requires and oatmeal helps reduce constipation and skin inflammation. It’s specifically crafted without any fillers and includes live probiotics and prebiotic fiber to support healthy gut bacteria. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Probiotics was carefully curated to address skin & stomach issues, making it a great asset for combatting your Pitbulls allergies.

The Best For Puppies: Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy

As puppies are growing rapidly and keeping their human counterparts busy, it’s easy to overlook occasional itching and scratching as all too normal behavior. However, it could be the first sign of irritations from food or skin allergy. Feeding your puppy quality nutrition will set them up for long-term health and success which is why we selected Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy. To support your puppy’s immunity blueberries and spinach are included, as well as deboned chicken for strong bones and flaxseed for healthy skin & coat. While they’re chowing down on the delicious kibble they’ll also absorb the amino acids and vitamins and minerals, all of which support healthy growth and development. Lastly, this nutrition is free of fillers, meat by-products, and artificial preservatives, making it a safe and healthy choice for your growing pup.

Best For Puppies
Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy
  • Ingredients include blueberries and spinach for immune system, as well as deboned chicken for strong bones and flaxseed for coat
  • Free of fillers, meat by-products, and artificial preservatives
  • Full of amino acids and minerals
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The Best Limited Ingredient: Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Sensitive Support

If you’ve ever had a food allergy, you know the pain of eliminating one thing after another from your diet to track down the culprit. Another way to improve food or skin allergies for your Pitbull is to feed nutrition with minimal, high-quality ingredients. We selected Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Sensitive Support based on quality and simplicity. With 10 or fewer key non-GMO ingredients you know you’re focusing on giving your Pitbull all the dietary support they need, without anything else added. It’s free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, fillers, or artificial preservatives. Additionally, it includes all the amino acids and vitamins and minerals your dog needs for healthy skin, shiny coat, and immunity support. Best of all it comes in a variety of flavors your pup is sure to love. 

Best Limited Ingredient
Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Sensitive Support
  • Simple, high-quality ingredients
  • Includes all the amino acids and vitamins and minerals your dog needs
  • Comes in a variety of flavors
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The Best Grain Free: CANIDAE Pure Limited Ingredient Premium Adult Dry Dog Food

Manufacturers will often add more grains to dog food rather than focus on high-quality protein as a way to keep dogs full. These grains such as corn, soy, and wheat are not easily digestible for dogs as they don’t possess enough of the necessary enzymes called amylase to fully break them down. In turn, it causes digestive issues for dogs which can lead to other serious conditions. CANIDAE Pure Limited Ingredient removes this worry and adds only high-quality proteins and easily digestible vegetables for fiber which ensure your Pitbull maintains a healthy digestive system. Additionally, probiotics, antioxidants, and Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids are included. You’ll be able to support your dog’s immune system, heart, and skin & coat all with this specially formulated, quality nutrition. 

Best Grain Free
CANIDAE Pure Limited Ingredient Premium Adult Dry Dog Food
$71.27
  • Canidae PURE Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Contains real salmon, menhaden, fish meal, peas and sweet potatoes
  • 10 or fewer key ingredients for sensitive dogs
  • Antioxidants and probiotics to support healthy digestion and and immune health
  • Vitamins and minerals to support healthy joints, skin and coat


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Choosing the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls With Allergies: What to Look For

When choosing the best dog food for Pitbulls with allergies there are 3 main factors to consider: Protein, Limited Ingredients, and Grains. We’ve expanded on these below so you can better understand what may trigger your dog’s allergies and how to select nutrition to help nourish their skin & coat, and support a healthy digestive system. 

Let’s look at the following in more detail:

Protein – 

We all know our dogs need protein but may not realize how important it is. Protein is comprised of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of your body and are responsible for providing energy, supporting a healthy digestive system, building muscles, and repairing body tissues, just to name a few! This is why it’s so important your Pitbull receives the high-quality protein they need to have total body care. Certain essential amino acids are only received through consumption so feeding your Pitbull nutrition that incorporates a nutrient-rich protein like Salmon or Chicken, is a great way to ensure they’re receiving the fuel they need for growth and recovery.

Limited Ingredients – 

Often we look at our dog’s food packaging but may skim over the long list of ingredients. Big mistake! Taking the time to review what’s included in your Pitbull’s food can make a big difference in their health and well-being. Allergies are often caused by food and because dogs can’t shop and read labels themselves, we need to be their advocates by feeding them quality nutrition focused on simple ingredients. Their ancestors, wolves, relied heavily on protein, and today’s dogs are no different. Thoughtful fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants for a healthy immune system and the necessary fiber for a healthy digestive system. Take a few minutes to research the ingredients in your dog’s food, they will thank you for it!

Grains – 

As humans, we often think most grains are healthy and a necessary part of one’s diet, however, this is not the case for dogs. They lack sufficient enzymes called amylase to fully digest grains such as wheat, corn, and barley. Thus, they never fully break down and cause digestive issues which over time can lead to serious conditions. Instead, look for nutrition that uses vegetables and fruit to provide essential fiber rather than grains, such as sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, peas, carrots, and berries.

The Different Types of Dog Food for Pitbulls With Allergies: Pros and Cons Compared

Often skin allergies and stomach issues are directly tied to your dog’s diet, and finding the right nutrition helps you promote your pup’s long-term health. While there are many choices of dog food on the market, you’ll want to look for labels that include the following key elements when selecting nutrition for a Pitbull with sensitive skin or stomach.  

  • Grain Free – Will exclude all the following grains barley, corn, oats, pasta, rice, and wheat.
  • Limited Ingredient – Besides vitamins and minerals necessary for your dog, the remaining ingredients will usually be comprised of 10 or fewer high-quality, simple ingredients
  • Veterinarian Approval Required – Requires a visit to the veterinarian and their approval to order this scientifically formulated nutrition
  • Sensitive Stomach – Compromised of specific ingredients necessary to support a healthy digestive system which also omits unnecessary ingredients which can contribute to poor digestion.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type:

Grain Free

Pro’s

Easy on your dog’s digestive system

Free of unnecessary fillers

Focused on high-quality sources of protein & fiber

Con’s

Can be more costly

Limited flavor choices

Not always available in all stores 

Limited Ingredient

Pro’s

High-quality protein

Usually include healthy fruits & vegetables

You know exactly what your dog is eating

Con’s

Can be more costly

Limited flavor choices

Not always available in all stores 

Veterinarian Approval Required

Pro’s

Clinically proven results 

Recommended by Veterinarians

Nutrition crafted for food sensitivities 

Con’s

Requires veterinarian approval

More expensive

Limited flavor choices

Sensitive Stomach

Pro’s

Formulated to be easily digestible

Limited high-quality ingredients

Includes live probiotics for immune and digestive health

Con’s

Can be more costly

Limited flavor choices

Not always available in all stores 

Verified Review: User Experience

Owners loved the affordability and noticeable results of feeding their dogs Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food. It’s specifically formulated for large breeds so your Pitbull will get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. Additionally, with different flavors available you’re sure to find the right choice for your pup. 

One owner said “My dog was suffering from bad allergies, dry patches, and hot spots. We switched to this grain-free formula and have not looked back. She is healthier and happier. As soon as I put this food out, she goes and eats it immediately so I believe she loves the flavor.”

The reviews for Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed raved about the quality of the nutrition and the improvement owners saw in their dogs. Many owners commented how they’ve kept their dogs on this nutrition for years and seen them remain happy and healthy. This is an excellent choice as it’s suitable for both adult and senior dogs.

One owner who is a Veterinarian said: “I have 2 Great Danes (12.5 years and 8 years) and I feed this and Nutro ultra large breed senior. I like the amount of glucosamine and chondroitin. The ingredients are great and Nutro is a well-respected company with real science behind their diets.”

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About the Author

Shannon's experience as a pet parent shapes her writing and empowers her to produce informative and engaging content. She has a wonderful poodle-terrier mix named Nelson, and together, they enjoy long walks, outdoor adventures, and playing with his many toys.

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