Dog skin and coat supplements can improve your dog’s dry skin, cut down on shedding, and help relieve allergies that cause itching and fur loss. A healthy diet and good grooming habits are always needed to keep your dog’s skin and coat looking good, but some dogs require a bit of extra care to manage symptoms associated with illness or their environment under control.
Our vet advisor, Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, looked at the different ways the supplements can be given (for example, as a powder or as a chewable tablet), the cost value, the ingredients included, and she chose the Sogeval Labs Derma-3 Softgels as her top pick. These soft gels provide omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins E, D, and A to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. Read how she chose her top 5 picks.
In addition to skin and coat supplements, regular grooming can help ensure the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Choosing the right dog shampoo is key, particularly if your pup has sensitive skin.
Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Skin and Coat Supplements
Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different products.
|Best Overall||Sogeval Labs Derma-3 Softgels||Gel Caps||Omega-3||1/daily|
|Best Budget Buy||Dechra 60 Capsules EicosaCaps Fish Oil Nutritional Supplements||Capsules||Omega-3 and 6||1/daily|
|Best for Itchy Skin||Nutramax Welactin for Dogs||Oil||Omega-3||Varies by Weight|
|Best for Dry Skin||VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9 for Cats and Dogs||Gel Caps||Omega-3, 6, and 9||Varies by Weight|
|Best Topical||Dermoscent 6 Spot On Skin Care||Topical||None||1/week|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Take a Dog Skin and Coat Supplement
- Dogs with sensitive skin – If your dog has sensitive skin, a skin and coat supplement can help reduce and prevent symptoms after exposure to environmental irritants and allergens and keep itchiness at bay.1
- If you want a pup with a silky coat – If your dog’s coat is less shiny than you’d like, then you may want to add in a supplement for purely aesthetic reasons.
- Dogs with dry or itchy skin – If you see dry skin on your dog or notice him licking or scratching, a daily skin and coat supplement may help reduce these symptoms. But first, see your vet to rule out underlying conditions.
Who Should Not Take a Dog Skin and Coat Supplement
- Any dog with severe allergies – If your pup has allergic reactions that lead to severe itching or skin lesions, then a supplement alone will probably not be enough to fix the problem.2 With that said, supplements can play a role in a comprehensive treatment plan for dogs with severe allergies.
- Dogs with undiagnosed skin problems – If your dog’s skin or coat has significant undiagnosed problems, he or she should get checked by a vet before you take matters into your own hands.
Research Tips (From a Veterinarian)
Pet parents often ask veterinarians if they should consider skin and coat supplements for their dog and what to look for. Here are some tips and best practices to consider when selecting supplements for your dog.
- Find the omegas – Omega-3 fatty acids—from fish oil, a common ingredient in skin and coat supplements—are particularly good for allergies due to their anti-inflammatory effects.3 Omega-6 fatty acids also have benefits for the skin, but most dog diets contain more than enough omega-6 fatty acids. The ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is important, so supplementing more omega-6 may not be necessary.4
- Look for vitamins and minerals – You may also want to consider supplements that include vitamins and minerals. Some, such as vitamin E and zinc, may promote skin and coat health, and such ingredients used in combinationg may give you a faster result.5
- Consider your dog’s specific needs – Pick the right skin and coat supplement based on your dog’s specific needs. For example, if your dog has allergies, a supplement containing high levels of omega-3 is desirable.6
- Company’s reputation – Purchase products made by reputable companies with a history of making safe and effective supplements. Avoid supplements that are made by companies without a good (or any) track record or that contain ingredients that don’t have evidence supporting their use.
- Check with your vet – If your veterinarian has recommended a specific product, use it. If it doesn’t seem to be working, talk to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help you pick the right product for your dog and answer any questions you might have.
How Much Do They Cost?
The cost of dog skin and coat supplements varies based on quantity and quality. The type of supplement also impacts the cost – you’ll typically pay more per serving for chews than powders, and oils look like they cost even more but usually contain more doses per bottle. However, as a general rule, you can expect to get at least a month’s supply of daily supplements for right around $25.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet Life Today
I have only recommended products made by companies with a well-deserved reputation for their excellent quality control standards and/or those that meet industry-imposed standards and pass a third-party audit (NASC, for example). The products I’ve selected are commonly recommended by veterinarians. Vets report having had good success using the products listed, which has led me to these picks. – Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
The Best Dog Skin and Coat Supplements: Full Reviews
Sogeval Labs Derma-3 Softgels contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins E, D, and A, which help promote healthy skin and coat. The omega-3s will keep inflammation down and provide the lasting effect of healthier coat and skin.
The product mentioned above is formulated for large breeds, and one bottle includes 250 capsules, but formulations are also available for small and medium-sized dogs as well as for cats. You’ll dose your pet according to weight, and you’ll know you’ve reached the optimal dosage when you notice improvements in your pet’s skin and coat and in symptoms such as itching and dryness. You can give less than the label directs if that is all that is needed, but not more, unless you are told to do so by your veterinarian.
- Includes vitamins A, D3, and E
- Includes omega-3 fatty acids, EPA & DHA
- Bulk purchase ~4-month supply
- Helps prevent and ease skin irritation
- Softgels can be difficult to administer
- Heat exposure can melt the product
This Dechra 60 Capsules EicosaCaps Fish Oil Nutritional Supplement is specially formulated for dogs and cats that weigh as much as 40 pounds, but formulations are also available for large dogs. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and zinc to keep your dog’s skin healthy and fur smooth and shiny.
You’ll be able to give these capsules to your pup as a treat, or, if administering pills is challenging, you can always keep it your little secret by opening the capsule and sprinkling the contents on his food. You’re still making sure your dog gets his supplement, and you won’t have to struggle each day to get him to take the pills.
- Made in the USA
- Includes omega-3 fatty acids
- Includes zinc and vitamin E
- 60 capsules; two month supply
- Lower in omega-3s; higher in omega-6s
- No weight-specific dosage
Nutramax Welactin for Dogs will help your pup’s itchy skin, but it also offers a few additional perks. With 1,770 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids in each 6 ml dose, this supplement can promote a healthy heart, kidneys, and joints too. This level of omega-3 supplementation can improve activity levels and even support brain function and alertness.
Nutramax uses small cold-water fish oil, which is typically better for your pup than that from older, larger fish that have accumulated more toxins over time.
- 2 packaging options
- Rich source of omega-3s like EPA and DHA
- Easily apply to your dog’s food
- Strong fish odor
- Smell makes it difficult to disguise in food
VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9 for Cats and Dogs contains enough omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids to ease discomfort from dry skin.
The 90 soft gels in each bottle will give you as much as a 90-day supply, but the dosage is entirely dependent on your dog’s (or cat’s) weight. The adjustable dosage listed on the bottle means that you won’t be under or over-dosing your dog by giving him a standard “one a day” that many of this product’s competitors suggest.
- Dosage customizable by weight
- Made with non-GMO ingredients
- Includes the omega-3s DHA and EPA
- Includes vitamin E
- Large pill difficult for smaller pets
- Omega-6 & 9 supplementation not always necessary
- Strict expiration dates
Dermoscent 6 Spot On Skin Care is a topical solution that contains omega-3s, omega-6s, and plant oils, making the supplement perfect for fast relief of irritated skin. When used consistently over time, it helps promote normal hair coat turnover and skin barrier functioning while also improving coat manageability and luster.
If your dog has had skin and coat troubles in the past, this topical oil can help get him back on track to a healthier coat and skin.
- Pleasantly scented with only natural ingredients
- Easy application; no fights over administering pills
- Minimizes shedding and hair loss
- Restores hydration to improve the skin barrier
- 1-month supply
- No benefits to other parts of body
- Essential oils can be irritating to some dogs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog skin and coat supplement and how does it benefit my dog?
How long does it take for skin and coat supplements to work?
Can I use skin and coat supplements with other medications if my pet has health problems?
Are there any side effects from skin and coat supplements?
- Marchegiani A, Fruganti A, Spaterna A, et al. Impact of Nutritional Supplementation on Canine Dermatological Disorders. Vet Sci. 2020;7(2):38. Published 2020 Apr 3. doi:10.3390/vetsci7020038
- Scott DW, Miller WH Jr. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents in the management of canine allergic pruritus. J S Afr Vet Assoc. 1993 Mar;64(1):52-6. PMID: 8496898.
- Arford K. Fish Oil for Dogs. Akc.org. Published May 29, 2020. Accessed February 27, 2021.
- Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002;56(8):365-379. doi:10.1016/s0753-3322(02)00253-6
- Jewell D, Yu S, Joshi D. Effects of Serum Vitamin E Levels on Skin Vitamin E Levels in Dogs and Cats. Vetfolio.com. Published March 8, 2019. Accessed February 27, 2021.
- Scott DW, Miller WH Jr, Reinhart GA, Mohammed HO, Bagladi MS. Effect of an omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid-containing commercial lamb and rice diet on pruritus in atopic dogs: results of a single-blinded study. Can J Vet Res. 1997;61(2):145-153.
- Putting a Stop to Your Dog’s Excess Shedding. Vetomaha.com. Published October 1, 2017. Accessed February 27, 2021.
- Gollakner R. Fish Oil. Vcahospitals.com. Accessed February 27, 2021.