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Dog dry skin

Dog Dry Skin

You may be dismayed to find your pet scratching himself incessantly.

This may not always be because of any serious dog skin disease, but a simple case of dry skin. Dry or itchy skin in dogs is a common health problem. Many of the causes of dry skin in humans, when present in dogs could also lead to dog dry skin, because their skin is equally sensitive.

Dog Dry Skin Causes


While dog dry skin causes are quite simple, it is important to rule out any other chronic or more serious infection in your dog, such as bacterial infections, skin allergies, scabies, ringworm, mites, fleas and parasites, or even cancer or tumors of the skin.

Dogs, who spend a lot of time outdoors, are more prone to dry skin, since environmental factors and pollution can cause dryness, itching and flaking of skin. Nutritional deficiencies may also lead to dry itchy skin.

While itchiness and constant scratching may alert you to the fact that your dog is suffering from dry skin, the condition of the coat is also a good indicator. Your dog’s coat may appear patchy, dull and lifeless.

Sometimes there could be rashes or redness, and in acute cases of dry skin, your dog could have dandruff.

While you may need to take your pet to a vet, who may prescribe drugs, here are a few simple remedies with oils and herbs, which you can try at home.

  • Make a soothing wash by mixing a teaspoon each of dried thyme and sage, with a pinch of Epsom salts in your dog’s bath water. Cold chamomile tea is also a very effective dog dry skin remedy.
  • Another dog dry skin treatment is to make a thick paste of oatmeal and water, and apply it to your dog’s skin. Placing a warm towel over this area will make the treatment more effective. Do this every day, until you see some improvement.
  • Use only mild shampoos for your dog, as harsh ones will strip its skin of essential oils. Special canine oatmeal shampoos or cream rinses, which have hydrocortisone, will help relieve itching. Proper dog hair care which involves proper hair rinsing with vinegar will help in getting rid of dandruff.
  • Aloe vera has skin soothing qualities. Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the patches of itchy skin. Since it has a bitter taste, it will prevent your dog from licking that area.

Nutrition: For dog skin care, ensure that your dog gets a balanced diet with plenty of fatty acids. This will help combat dry skin. Add sunflower, peanut or corn oil, or Omega-3 fatty acids supplements, which are natural skin hydrators, to your dog’s diet. Zinc supplements are also helpful in reversing dry skin.

  Submitted on May 27, 2010  

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