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Everything You Need To Know About Treating Your Dog’s Dry Skin

Everything You Need To Know About Treating Your Dog’s Dry Skin

If you’re like most dog owners, you’ll want to make sure your pup is happy and healthy. And if you’ve noticed that your furry friend has been scratching a lot or seems to have dry skin, don’t worry - you’re not alone. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of dry skin in dogs and some treatment options. So read on for all the information you need to help your dog feel better!

Dry skin in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, environmental factors, and parasites. Several treatment options are available for dry dog skin, including topical medications, dietary changes, and supplements. Some simple steps you can take to help improve your dog's dry skin include using a humidifier, avoiding harsh chemicals and detergents, and providing plenty of fresh water.

Dry Skin on Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Dog Dry Skin Treatment

Dry skin on dogs is a common problem that can have several causes. To treat dry skin issues in dogs effectively, you'll need to identify the cause of your dog's dry skin.

Dry skin on dogs can be caused by a lack of moisture in the air, a shampoo that’s too harsh, or conditions like allergies and thyroid problems. Symptoms of dry skin in dogs include itchiness, redness, flaking, and even hair loss. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet for an evaluation.

Treatment for dry skin in dogs will vary depending on the underlying cause. For example, if your dog has dry skin due to allergies, they may be prescribed a special diet or medication. If their dry skin is due to a lack of moisture in the air, you may be advised to use a humidifier.

No matter the cause of your dog's dry skin, treatment options are available to help soothe their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Causes of Dry Skin on Dogs

Many dog owners have dealt with the frustration of their dog's dry, itchy skin. While there are a number of possible causes, the most common culprits are allergies, parasites, infections, and systemic disorders. In some cases, the cause may be due to breed-specific skin conditions.

Allergies

One of the most common causes of dry skin in dogs is allergies. A number of things can cause allergies, including environmental allergens like pollen or mould, food, and other substances. 

If your dog is allergic to something in his environment, you may notice that his skin is dry and irritated during certain seasons or in specific locations. Seasonal allergies may also affect your best friend. Or, if your dog has food allergies, you may notice that his skin improves when you change his diet. Contact allergies usually occur when your dog comes into contact with something he's allergic to, such as a new laundry detergent or shampoo.

Parasites

Another common cause of dry skin in dogs is parasites. Parasites like fleas and mites can cause your dog's skin to become dry and irritated. You may notice that your dog is scratching more than usual if he has parasitic dermatitis. 

Parasitic dermatitis is a condition caused by an infestation of parasites on the skin. It can be very uncomfortable for your dog, leading to secondary bacterial infections.

Infections

In some cases, dry skin may be caused by an underlying infection. For example, bacterial infections can cause your dog's skin to become irritated and inflamed. Yeast infections can lead to dry, itchy skin in dogs. Fungal infections like ringworm can also cause dry, flaky skin. 

If you suspect your dog's dry skin is due to an infection, it's important to see your vet immediately so that he can prescribe appropriate treatment. Left untreated, infections can spread and cause serious health problems for your dog.

Systemic Disorders

Systemic disorders like thyroid disease and Cushing's disease can also cause your dog's skin to become dry and irritated. With thyroid disease, the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones, which can lead to a number of problems, including dry skin. 

Cushing's disease occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, leading to problems like thinning hair and dry skin. 

If you think your dog's dry skin may be due to a systemic disorder, see your vet for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Breed-Specific Skin Conditions

Some breeds are predisposed to certain types of skin conditions that cause dryness and irritation. For example, Chinese Shar-Peis are prone to Shar-Pei fever, a condition that causes skin inflammation. Bulldogs are susceptible to hereditary ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic condition that leads to problems with the development of hair follicles and sweat glands. And hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested are prone to skin conditions, including dryness, simply because their skin is more exposed. If you own a breed predisposed to certain skin conditions, it's important to be aware of the signs so that you can seek treatment early if necessary.

As we’ve mentioned before, a number of things, including allergies, parasites, infections, systemic disorders, and breed-specific conditions, can cause dry skin on dogs. If you're concerned about your dog's dry skin, it's important to consult with your vet so that they can help you determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Treating Dry Skin on Dogs

If your dog is scratching more than normal, it could be due to dry skin. As we’ve mentioned, many things can cause dry skin in dogs, including environmental allergies, dietary changes, parasitic infestations, fungal infections and weather. The good news is that you can do several things to help soothe your dog's dry skin. 

Read on to learn more.

Giving Them a Small Dose of Vitamin E

You can do this by adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to their food or rubbing it into their coat.

Adding Some Olive Oil to Their Diet

This will help add moisture from the inside out. Just add a teaspoon or two to their food once a day.

Start your dog on an omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplement to boost his skin and coat health.

Groom Them Regularly

This will remove any dead skin cells and promote new growth. Be sure to use a gentle shampoo and conditioner made for dogs with sensitive skin.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

Dry air can exacerbate dry skin, so try to keep your dog indoors on days when the humidity is low.

Bathe Them Properly

Don’t overwash your dog, as this can strip away natural oils and make dry skin worse. When bathing them, use warm water and a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free shampoo for dogs with sensitive skin. Afterwards, apply a moisturising cream or lotion to their coat and brush it in well.

Excessive bathing can also lead to dry skin, especially when a moisturiser does not follow the shampoo.

Salmon Oil

Dogs can't produce Omega-3 fatty acids on their own and must get them from their diet. Our Omega-rich salmon oil helps maintain your dog’s skin hydration, coat, joints and heart health. It’s also gentle on their tummy whilst supporting their brain development for vibrant ageing.

  • Maintains skin, coat, digestive, heart, joint and cognitive health
  • It may help protect against seasonal allergens, like pollen and dust
  • It helps boost coat growth and coat condition to reduce moulting

How to Prevent Dry Skin on Dogs

Dogs with dry skin can be miserable. They may scratch incessantly, have dull coats, and some may even develop skin infections. While there are many possible causes of dry skin on dogs (including allergies, parasites, and certain medical conditions), there are also ways to prevent it. 

Here are a few tips:

Feed your dog a high-quality, balanced diet from puppyhood. Proper nutrition is essential for all dogs, but it’s especially important for those with dry skin. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your dog’s skin healthy and hydrated.

Prevent parasites by keeping up-to-date on preventives. Fleas and ticks can not only cause discomfort for your dog, but they can also lead to dry skin. You can help keep your dog’s skin healthy by staying on top of parasite prevention.

Groom your dog regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris. Keeping your dog clean is an important part of preventing dry skin. Be sure to brush them frequently and bathe them as needed using a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo.

Give supplements when necessary as prescribed by your vet. If your dog’s dry skin is the result of a deficiency in essential fatty acids, your vet may recommend giving them a supplement. This is typically done through fish oil capsules you can give with meals.

Schedule regular checkups with the vet to monitor your dog’s overall health. Your vet can help you determine if there’s an underlying medical condition causing your dog’s dry skin and recommend treatment options. 

Regular checkups will also allow your vet to catch any potential problems early on before they become more serious.

Moisturise Your Dog's Dry, Flaky Skin to Ease Itchiness and Redness

Many pet owners struggle with moisturising their dog's skin to relieve itchiness and redness. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ease your dog's discomfort. Let's take a look at some tips for moisturising your dog's dry skin.

Bathe Your Dog Less Frequently 

One of the most common mistakes pet parents make is bathing their dogs too often. While it's important to keep your dog clean, over-bathing can strip away the natural oils in your dog's skin, making the problem worse. 

Instead of bathing your dog every week, try doing it every two weeks or even once a month. And when you do bathe your dog, use a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo that won't irritate your pup's sensitive skin. 

Avoid shampoos containing harsh chemicals, as these can further dry out your dog's skin. Next, after shampooing, rinse thoroughly and apply a conditioner designed for dogs. Leave the conditioner on for three to five minutes before rinsing.

In addition to using a hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner, you can also give your dog an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and itch-relieving properties that can help soothe your dog's dry, flaky skin. 

To give your dog an oatmeal bath, simply add one cup of oatmeal to a tub of warm water. Let your dog soak for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Use a Humidifier 

Another way to help ease your dog's discomfort is to use a humidifier in your home. This will add moisture to the air, which can help hydrate your dog's skin and prevent further irritation. Just be sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.

FAQs

My dog's dry skin is making him miserable. Is there anything I can do to help him feel better?

The first thing you'll want to do is identify the cause of your dog's dry skin. For example, if your dog is scratching more than usual, it could be a sign of allergies or parasites.

Once you've ruled out these possibilities, you can focus on treating the underlying cause of your dog's dry skin. If a lack of moisture causes your dog's dry skin, you'll need to increase the amount of water he drinks and add some humidity to his environment.

You can also try using a humidifier or giving him frequent baths with a moisturising shampoo. If an excess of oil causes your dog's dry skin, you'll need to use a medicated shampoo to help control the oil production. In either case, you should see an improvement within a few weeks.

What are some home remedies for dry skin in dogs?

One simple home remedy is to add a bit of olive oil or coconut oil to your dog's food. These oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to moisturise the skin and prevent flakes.

You can also add some oatmeal to your dog's bathwater. Oatmeal has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve dry and itchy skin. 

Create a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water and apply with a spray bottle or cotton ball to specific dry spots. You can also use neutral teas. The tea bag can then be applied to hot spots or itchy, dry patches as needed.

Finally, make sure you’re brushing your dog’s coat regularly. Brushing helps to stimulate circulation and remove dead skin cells, both of which can help to keep the skin healthy and hydrated. 

By trying one or more of these home remedies, you can help your furry friend find relief from dry skin.

Should I see a vet if my dog has dry skin?

Just like people, dogs can suffer from dry skin. The causes can range from simple things like weather changes to more serious conditions like allergies or infections. So if your dog is scratching more than usual or you notice their fur is looking dull and lifeless, it's time to consult a vet.

The vet can rule out any possible health concerns and recommend the best course of treatment. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help soothe your dog's dry skin.

Regular brushing will help remove dead skin cells and stimulate blood circulation. You can also use a hypoallergenic shampoo during baths - make sure to use lukewarm water. By taking these steps, you'll soon have your furry friend feeling comfortable again.

Final Thoughts

There are various ways to treat your dog's dry skin. 

Dry skin can be a symptom of something more serious, like a parasitic infection. Bacterial and fungal infections are caused by a preexisting condition, including skin problems as a result of chronic licking and scratching.

Dry skin on dogs could also be linked to environmental factors, like cold winter air or low humidity. It could also be due to a nutritional deficiency. Once you know the cause, you can begin treatment.
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