Dogs are susceptible to dry skin, just like humans. As a dog owner, you need to spot the symptoms before they get worse. Some of the agents that cause dry skin in humans also cause the same condition in dogs. Once your dog becomes a victim, the infection will only cause discomfort rather than posing a danger to the dog.
Dry skin on your dog can be frustrating to the dog and you. Since there are several causes for this ailment, you may find it difficult to establish why your dog is suffering. If your dog’s skin is flaky or itchy, the chances are that it may have dry skin.
What Causes 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 may lead to the condition, especially if you fail to apply moisturizer after washing your dog with shampoo. At times, dry skin may suggest that your dog is suffering from illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s syndrome, and underactive thyroid. Parasitic infestations (Cheyletiella, lice, or mange), skin infections, and skin allergies may also cause dry skin on your pet.
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Dry Skin On Dogs?
Dry skin on dogs is manageable if you spot the symptoms early enough. These symptoms include:
• Dandruff characterized by flakes of dead skin on your pet’s fur
• Flaking of dead skin on underarms or the belly
• Shedding of hair all over the body
• Scaling characterized by large sections of the dog’s skin coming off
• Scabs that develop when your dog scratches and breaks swollen pimples
• Small red pimples on the chin
• An odor that suggests the presence of a yeast or bacterial infection
• Itchy skin that makes the dog uncomfortable
• Red, inflamed skin
What Are The Best Treatments/Remedies For Dry Skin On Dogs?
It’s always important to consult with a veterinarian once you spot 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. Consider using a gentle and moisturizing shampoo, followed with a conditioner. Using shampoo alone leaves your pet’s skin dry.
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.
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.