Fur the Love of Dogs: Supporting Skin Health

Read time: 3 mins

11 Jan 2023

Is your dog struggling with skin conditions or irritations? If so, you're among the countless pet parents turning to the internet for hypoallergenic dog food or diets to alleviate itching and skin-related issues.

Your dog's skin isn't just a coat - it's their armour. Serving as the first line of defence against external threats, it plays all sorts of crucial roles, from protecting against environmental hazards to regulating temperature. It even helps with communicating socially through the release of pheromones. Now that’s some smart skin.

This skin barrier is a complex and delicate ecosystem that functions to retain moisture, guard against allergens and irritants, and maintain a balanced bacterial and yeast microflora.

Keeping it healthy relies on a delicate balance between three key components, all working in harmony:

The Mechanical Skin Barrier

Comprising skin cells and fats, this protective wall acts like a fortress. It keeps vital moisture in while keeping allergens and irritants at bay.

The Immunological Skin Barrier

This is made up of the cells and molecules that defend your pet's body from environmental threats and regulate interactions with the outside world.

The Microbiological Skin Barrier

This barrier consists of beneficial bacteria and yeast that live on the skin, playing a crucial role in its protection.

Supporting Dogs with Skin Sensitivities

At Butternut Box, we've heard plenty of stories from pet parents who've seen real improvements in their dogs' skin conditions and coat appearance. Customers report decreased instances of itchy skin, sore ears, and irritated paws.

Surveys of over 500 Butternut customers have reported visible improvements in their dogs' skin and coat after eating our meals for as little as two to three and a half months.

Butternut Box could be a great choice for dogs battling skin conditions, thanks to these key advantages:


Our single source protein options and a transparent list of ingredients mean that dogs with allergies or sensitivities can avoid potential triggers.

Free from Storage Mites

Dogs with atopic dermatitis can benefit from our meals, as our food is served fresh from the fridge - so we can guarantee there’s no chance of storage mites.

Highly Digestible with Essential Nutrients

Our meals boast excellent digestibility and provide bioavailable, high-quality proteins, essential fatty acids, and vital minerals such as zinc and selenium - all known to support improved skin health.

Diving Deeper: A Quantitative Examination of Diet and Skin Health in Dogs

Here comes the science. Going beyond reported improvements, we decided to quantitatively examine the link between our diets and skin health. We conducted an in-depth analysis involving 21 healthy dogs that had been consuming Butternut Box for a minimum of three months. Using two non-invasive, medical-grade devices - the Corneometer CM825 and Tewameter TMHex - we measured skin hydration and skin barrier function (as indicated by transepidermal water loss). 

For comparison, we also conducted the same measurements on 9 dogs consuming alternative premium diets. This scientific approach aimed to validate the positive effects we've been seeing and hearing from our Butternut community.

Hydrated and Healthy: Skin Benefits in Dogs on a Butternut Box Diet

Our investigation showed promising results. We found that dogs eating Butternut Box diets exhibited:

  1. Higher levels of skin hydration, and
  2. A more intact skin barrier

These results were notably better when compared to dogs consuming alternative diets, and even surpassed the levels reported in scientific literature. This suggests that a Butternut Box diet may significantly contribute to better skin health in dogs.

What does this mean for your dog?

Regardless of fur colour or thickness, all dogs can be susceptible to skin issues. Healthy skin signifies a well-hydrated and robust epidermal barrier. However, when the skin gets damaged, this barrier weakens and develops gaps. Such disruptions can let allergens in and moisture out, leading to dry, itchy skin. Worse still, it could pave the way for bacteria and yeast to multiply, resulting in skin infections.

Dogs with a compromised skin barrier and low moisture levels are more prone to discomfort from itching, irritation, and infections. The good news is that our study demonstrates that dogs eating Butternut Box meals maintain healthier, more hydrated skin. That means your dog doesn't just look their best - they feel their best too.