Dry skin affects both humans and dogs. Sometimes similar causes for this condition are the same for both.
Generally, dry skin on dogs is more of a discomfort than a danger to their health, especially if it is accompanied by mild itching or flaking.
This condition can materialize during winter or when your dog is exposed to a lot of wind or dry air.
Additional signs of the dog's discomfort could mean a severe underlying problem that needs immediate examination and fixing.
Read on for the causes, symptoms, treatment, and home remedies for dry skin on your dog.
Why does my dog have dry skin?
Dry skin in dogs results from parasitic, allergic, or bacterial reactions to their diets, environment, or season making them scratch, lick excessively or rub up against the floor or furniture.
For owners, direct knowledge of what dry skin is like in dogs should be dandruff, red patches, and flaky skin, which becomes irritated at the slightest touch.
Different dog breeds, health, and ages result in additional symptoms of dry skin depending on the factors that caused the condition.
The symptoms of dry skin in dogs include:
- Uncontrolled biting, scratching, and licking caused by itching
- Scabs are caused by pimples breaking open when the dog itches.
- Dandruff is coming off in pieces as white flakes of dead skin.
- Pimples appearing as small red bumps
- Flakes that result from dead skin falling off the dog
- Scaly patches formed from dead skin coming off in large sections
- Hot spots caused by inflammation leaving the skin red
- Bald patches from hair loss all over the dog's body
- Odor which may be caused by bacterial or yeast infection
Does my dog have dandruff or mites?
Sometimes dry skin is never a big deal, brought about by changes in the dog's environment or low air humidity. Still, in other situations, it could mean parasites and bacterial infections.
Illnesses or allergies lead to dry skin changes in the dog's coating and skin conditions.
Mites, fleas, and ticks are dangerous for your dog's health as they irritate, exposing it to severe infections like fungi and yeast.
Other causes of dry skin infections in dogs include:
- Excessive bathing: Frequently bathing your dog can wash away the necessary oils it requires for healthy skin, leaving it dry and fragile.
- Allergies: Seasonal, environmental, and food allergies are typical for dogs. Grass, pollen, feathers, dust, and grain can cause itching, redness, and inflammation in dogs, all symptoms of dry skin.
- Flea saliva allergy reaction is also common for dogs.
- Dry air: Dogs need moisture to maintain good skin health. Low humidity, which is dry air often during winter, can cause mild itching and flake in dogs' skins.
- Infections: A variety of skin-related conditions can be caused by bacteria and fungal infections (ringworms and yeast). These conditions are often signs of more underlying problems, and it is good to check with your vet for a detailed examination.
- Nutritional needs: Nutrient deficiency in your dog's diet can be a problem. The diet content can fail to provide the required or enough fatty acids to keep the dog's skin healthy. It is good to seek a veterinary nutritionist's advice on a balanced diet.
- Parasites: Mange, dry, and flaky skin is a common sign of parasites such as canine scabies, lice, and Demodex mite.
- Systematic disorders: Hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease, which are mainly metabolic, can be underlying causes of dry skin on your dog. Weak hair, hair loss, and skin infections are other symptoms that can accompany dry skin.
- Specific breed conditions: Hairless dog breeds are more prone to skin conditions than other dogs, dehydrated skin. Seeking a veterinarian's advice on your dog's breed and immunity to diseases should be a priority.
How do I fix my dog's dry skin problem?
Dealing with your dog's dry skin depends on the cause. Consulting your vet for proper diagnosis should be your first step.
The diagnosis can isolate particular allergens that need management or avoiding.
For recurring orders, Demodex mange associated with Cushing's disease. The vet is to treat both of them separately as their treatment and testing vary but can be medically controlled.
Allergy treatment can be challenging, but an elimination diet can be recommended for food allergies. Dairy, beef, corn, wheat, eggs, and chicken cause allergies.
Consequently, allergy shots and controlling symptoms such as itching can opt for treatments.
Here are tips to prevent dry skin in dogs:
- Regular checkups by a vet to monitor your dog's health
- Give high quality balanced diet
- Groom your dog to keep away debris and dirt
- Use preventives to eliminate parasites
- Give necessary supplements
- Keep your dog away from other dogs with ringtone symptoms
- Do thorough research on your dog's breed to know of any possible skin conditions
A raw diet equips your dog with the necessary nutrients and oil to improve the quality of their skin and general health.
Raw meat and bones, especially grass-fed beef and chicken carcasses, are perfect. Chicken wings and necks have fats and should be fed with something else with the skins removed.
On the other hand, chicken legs help with the dog's joints as they are good sources of glucosamine and calcium.
Organ meat, including liver, spleen, lungs, and kidney, is desirable for healing dry skin.
Soft meat given to a dog should be half the amount of bone. If not, you should consider adding beef cheeks, tongue, heart, or other soft meat sources to the diet.
Vegetables are not much of a requirement but mixing them with the dog's main diet is good. They should be steamed, well chopped, or blended to allow for digestion.
You can include carrots, spinach, broccoli, and other dark leafy veggies.
How can I treat my dog's skin at home?
- Brush your dog regularly to remove dirt and help distribute the dog's natural oils
- Use a humidifier in your home to help with dry air
- Use vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant for protection against UV radiation.
- Rub coconut oil on your dog's coat as it is a natural tropical moisturizer
- Feed the dog a completely balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and plenty of fresh water
- Give a green tea bath to help relieve inflamed, irritated skin
- After bathing, please do not use a hairdryer to dry off the dog but pat it with a clean, soft towel
- Use apple cider vinegar that eliminates the overgrowth of yeast and improves the dog's flora
- Give plain yogurt, which has healthy bacteria that helps balance the dog's gut
- Use safe moisturizing shampoo when bathing your dog and rinse well with conditioner
- Use olive oil as an additive in your dog's daily meal to help protect their skin
- Use oatmeal to relieve the dog's skin from itchiness
- Inquire with your vet on nutritional values and environmental changes
How Safe Guard ingredients can help
Adding Safe Guard's soil-based probiotic helps increase the number of healthy bacteria your dog needs for a healthy gut and helps in intestinal balance.
Immunity-vet-approved mushroom also helps with the dog's digestive and immune system and serves as an anti-inflammatory to help resist possible underlying conditions for dry skin.
Dry skin in dogs, in many cases, is not easily prevented, but the good news is that regular checkups can help notice the issue before it worsens.
Regularly grooming your dog and giving a balanced diet has proved to be the most basic ways of helping and preventing dry skin in dogs.
A dog frequently scratching or biting their skin calls for attention, and if given none, it can cause discomfort for your dog and, far worse, result in severe infections.
If any of the remedies listed above prove not to work, you are to book an appointment with your vet to rule out possibilities of what could be happening with your dog.
For more on dog health and possible problems and solutions, click here.