How Nutrition Affects Skin, Coat, and Digestive Health in Your Dog

Good health starts in the gut, so it’s important that you feed your dog high quality food that will help to keep him in tip top shape. Many health problems stem from poor diet, and we’re here to help you understand the connection between nutrition and some of the most common skin, coat, and digestion issues that your dog might be facing.


The problem with Low Quality Commercial Diets

Many commercially available dog foods don’t actually have proper nutrient profiles, leading to nutrient deficiencies. Low fat content, poor quality protein and fat, and low nutrient digestibility are all common problems with these types of foods. When dogs don’t get the nutrients they need, it often manifests as skin, coat, or digestion issues.


Skin and Coat

With 1 out of every 4 visits to the vet related to skin and coat issues, it’s safe to say that these problems are a common occurrence for dogs and their owners. If you dog has experienced sparse, dry, dull hair, slow hair growth, accumulation of dry skin, or itchy skin, his diet may be the culprit. These are the most important things to look for in your dog’s food to make sure it will support a healthy skin and coat.

  • Protein and Fat: Protein and fat are needed for healthy skin and hair development, and it is essential that your dog’s food has adequate levels of both. If your dog’s diet is lacking in protein and fat, you might notice that he is losing his hair or his hair is losing its color. Protein levels should be between 25-30% on a dry matter(DM) basis and fat should be 10-15% DM for adult dogs. If you are lucky enough to have a puppy, their needs are a bit different, and you should look for food that has 30-35% DM protein and 15-30% DM fat.
  • Digestibility: It’s not only important that your dog’s food has the nutrients it needs to support a healthy coat and skin, but it also needs to be digestible. The more digestible your dog’s food, the more of the nutrients that are actually available to be used in his body. Look for digestibility that exceeds 80%, and the higher the better.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Many dogs have itchy skin that results from an inflammatory response. To combat this, you want to reduce inflammation in the body, which can be achieved with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3’s work by regulating production of chemicals in the body that contribute to inflammation and itching. Food made with cold water marine fish are typically a good choice for a high-quality source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.


Redpaw dog foods are a great option that meet all of the nutritional criteria to give your dog the healthiest skin and coat possible. They feature healthy fat as the star of the show along with high quality proteins, and their recipes are 93% digestible so your dog absorbs all of the good stuff into his system. The inclusion of menhaden fish meal, which comes from mid-ocean caught herring, gives your dog all of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids he needs to stay itch-free.

Redpaw X-Series Puppy

For younger dogs, Redpaw X-Series Puppy Food for Young Dogs is a great way to start your dog off on the right foot and set him up for a lifetime of a healthy coat and skin.


Redpaw X-Series Maintain & Redpaw X-Series Perform

Redpaw's X-Series Formula has great options for adult dogs, too, with formulations for dogs of all activity levels, from couch potato to Olympic athlete



Just like humans, some dogs have sensitive stomachs that require an optimal nutritional balance to work properly. Your dog might have a sensitive stomach if you notice loose stool, gas, lethargy, loss of apetite, or bad breath. The best solution to this is to choose a food that is designed to nourish your dog's digestive system. These are the ingredients you should look for when choosing a food.

  • Fiber: One of the most important things to improve your dog's gut health is a high quality source of fiber. Not all fiber is created equal though. It is important that the fiber source in your dog's food is moderately fermentable to feed the good gut bacteria, and also moderately soluble so that it can be partially used by gut cells and partially used to firm your dog's stool.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics are the good bacteria in your dog's gut that help him properly digest his food. Some dogs need help maintaining healthy levels of good bacteria, so look for foods that include probiotics in their formulation.
  • Digestibility: Just as with skin and coat issues, digestibility of food is important for combating digestion issues. Your dog's gut is powered and fueled by nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and you want to make sure that those are actually getting into his system. Look for food that's at least 80% digestible.


Redpaw Dog Food is a great choice for nourishing your dog and keeping his gut healthy. Beet pulp is used in thier formulas as a fiber source that has the best balance of fermentability and solubility. They also include probiotics to keep your dog's tummy happy. The specific probiotic they use, Lactobacillus, produces lactic acid whch helps to lower gut pH and cause bad bacteria to go dormant.

Redpaw X-Series Fitness

For moderately active dogs, Redpaw X-Series Fitness Food for Adults is a great choice that will have your dog's digestion in tip-top shape.