Dogs are susceptible to dry skin, just like humans. As a dog owner, you need to spot the symptoms before they get worse. Some causes for dry skin in humans also cause the same condition in dogs. Once your dog has dry skin, it will only cause discomfort rather than pose a danger to the dog.

Dry skin on your dog can be frustrating to the dog and you. Since there are several causes for dry skin, you may find it difficult to find why your dog is suffering. If your dog’s skin is flaky or itchy, the chances are that it may have dry skin.

Best Remedies to treat dry skin

Dry Flaky Skin On Dogs remedies

It’s always important to consult with a veterinarian if you spot severe dry skin symptoms on your dog. If the condition doesn’t require further treatment, follow the veterinarian’s advice to keep the dog’s skin free from flakes.

Gentle Shampoo For Dog

Consider using a gentle and moisturizing shampoo, followed by a conditioner. Using shampoo alone leaves your pet’s skin dry. There are shampoos made specifically for dogs which we recommend in our guide for which shampoo dog groomers prefer to use.

Leave-In Conditioner

For added help, you can start using a leave-in condition when bathing your dog. It helps by moisturizing their coat and helping to keep existing moisturizer in their fur. This moisture will pass along to their skin and help with dryness.

Fish Oil

Fish oil has been known to improve a dog’s coat. It works by providing a cocktail of nutrients that improves more than just their coat. It helps a dog to grow a healthier heart, eyes, and skin. By adding some fish oil to every meal, your dog will be happier to eat with the bonus of getting healthier skin over time.

Lotion

Lotion, just like a leave-in conditioner can help to create an added layer of moisture in your dog’s coat. Use a lotion that is safe for dogs and is proven to help with their coat and dry skin.

Can You Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil for your dog’s skin can help if used lightly. Dogs don’t need a lot of coconut oil to treat their skin problems. You can choose to apply it directly to their skin and fur or you can add it to their food since it has tons of nutrients that help dogs to be healthy.

Will Essential Oils Help

Many dog owners swear by using essential oils for dog issues. One of the best essential oils for treating dry skin is Lavendar, but it isn’t the only one. Essential oils should never be applied directly to your dog’s skin as it is highly potent. It should be diffused.

Aquaphor/Petroleum Jelly

Aquaphor is a petroleum jelly product that is safe to use on dogs. It can be applied directly to your skin and coat. It works by providing moisture and trapping existing moisture. It can be used anywhere on your dog’s body to treat dry skin, skin patches, redness, and scabs.

Use a Towel for drying

Avoid using cool blow dryers on your dog’s fur since they leave the skin dry and susceptible to flaking. Instead, use a towel to absorb the moisture on the hair. Don’t apply a lot of pressure on the dog’s coat when toweling it down.

Change In Diet

Your dog should take a nutritionally-balanced diet. A good diet will help maintain healthy fur and prevent dry skin. When shopping for pet food, buy products with the AAFCO symbol. Foods that don’t have the mark on the packaging are likely not to meet dogs’ nutritional requirements.

Supplementing your dog’s diet with probiotics and fish oil can help treat the skin condition and promote a healthy coat. You can also consider dog supplements such as antioxidants and glucosamine. Supplying freshwater and adding moist food in small quantities can improve your dog’s water intake and keep the skin moist.

Signs Of Dry Skin On Dogs

Dry skin on dogs is manageable if you spot the symptoms early enough. Below is a list of the common signs you should look out for. Then, we will tell you what the best remedies are for treating dry skin. The symptoms include:

Itchy Skin

Itchy skin that makes the dog uncomfortable. As the skin dries up, it becomes flaky and scabby. This process means a lot of dead skin is building up and it’s starting to become itchy. It’s important to prevent your dog from licking and scratching. You can stop your dog from licking and scratching by using a no-lick spray and a shirt to put on your dog.

Flaky Skin and Dandruff

Dandruff is characterized by flakes of dead skin on your pet’s fur. Flaking of dead skin on underarms or the belly. Scaling is characterized by large sections of the dog’s skin coming off. It’s normal for dogs to have flaking when they have dry skin. The only thing to be concerned about is scratching and licking, which can lead to redness and inflammation.

Shedding and Losing Hair

Shedding of hair all over the body can happen for two reasons mainly. Either your dog’s skin is getting worse and won’t even hold hair, or your dog is scratching a lot. If it’s the latter, then your dog is simply ripping its hair off during scratching. If it’s the former, then you should become proactive about treating dry skin in your dog.

Scabs and Skin Patches

Scabs develop when your dog scratches and breaks swollen pimples. As dry skin progresses through dead skin cells and scratching by your dog, he may develop red, inflamed skin. With worsening conditions, your dog will start to get skin patches created by scabbing.

This is when your dog has been scratching for far too long and has damaged its skin.

Common Dry Skin Areas

Every dog is unique. Where one dog will have severely dry skin issues, another may not see any issues at all. Where and how your dog gets dry skin depends on its habits and climate. Below is a list of the most common dry skin areas on dogs.

Paws and Pads

A dog’s paws are pretty resilient, but they too are at risk of dry skin issues. Paws are mostly at risk during the winter because of ice and snow. Paws can also dry out from being wet or damp from snow or rain. The dampness removes their protective oil and causes the skin to dry out.

A dog’s pads are one of the driest areas on your dog’s body. It’s meant to be dry, but even healthy pads have some moisture to them. Luckily, this is one of the easiest places to treat. The cure is to simply apply something like lotion or coconut oil to their ads. The best part is that they’re allowed to lick their pads all they want. This way, you get to make it more appealing.

Elbows

Elbows are the most common of them all. Because many dogs sit a certain way, it usually means their elbow is against the floor, supporting their full body weight. It’s also located in a very convenient spot for them to lick while they’re relaxing.

Back

Dogs will see dry and flaky skin on their back if they scratch it often enough. It doesn’t that we’re looking at a dog’s skin. All skin can become irritated and needs a break from time to time. This is also a common area for lice and ticks to camp out since the hair is thicker and harder to reach for your dog.

Just a few good reasons to scratch his back and your dog can start developing dry skin that worsens each day. It’s good to catch if your dog is scratching his back too often.

Stomach and Underarms

A dog’s stomach has the least amount of fur if any. This skin is often licked by dogs as they will often pass this area when they move to clean themselves. It also shares a space with the underarm area of the hind legs. It’s a satisfying area to lick for most dogs, so if the skin starts to dry out even a little, there is a high chance your dog will lick these areas.

Causes for Dry Skin On Dogs

Weather changes such as cold weather may make your dog vulnerable to dry skin. The infection may also stem from the dog’s food. If your canine doesn’t eat enough essential fatty acids, vitamins, or protein, it may develop flaky, itchy skin. Ingestion of certain foods, liquids, or dust may also contribute to the problem.

Excessive Bathing

Excessive bathing may lead to the condition, especially if you don’t use a shampoo that is made with a dog’s coat in mind. Because dogs’ coats are protected by special oils on their skin, you can be stripping these oils without realizing it. Once in a while is fine, but bathing your dog too often can lead to dry skin.

Dry climate (usually During Winter)

A dry climate can be harsh on a dog’s skin. Many dogs experience dry skin during the winter and if not treated, can be carried into the warmer months. Dogs are known to scratch and lick dry skin so they will always have a hard time healing.

Poor Diet

If your dog isn’t getting enough nutrition in his diet, his coat will show it immediately. Your dog’s skin will dry out, leaving you with a game of catch-up where you will try to get enough nutrients entering your dog’s system on a regular basis. Until then, he will be dealing with the discomfort.

Infection

Parasitic infestations (Cheyletiella, lice, or mange), skin infections, and skin allergies may also cause dry skin on your dog. One sign of infection is an odor that suggests the presence of a yeast or bacterial infection.

Look out for any signs of infection in your dog so that you catch any problems as quickly as possible.

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