How to Help That Dog Dry Skin The Right Way!

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Pug with flaky Dog Dry SkinNo one likes dog dry skin—not you or your dog! Dry skin in dogs is uncomfortable and itchy. Think of how your eyes itch on a long haul flight, which is a sign of dryness due to air conditioning. Now imagine how distressing it is when the entire surface of your skin is dry. This is how your dog feels with dry skin.

“What Does It Mean When My Dog Has Dry Skin?”

Dog dry skin is a symptom rather than a diagnosis. Sometimes the answer is simple, such as a diet that lacks in essential fatty acids. But dry skin can also be a sign your dog is unwell. This may be a problem with the skin itself or a deeper problem with the dog’s health.

It’s wise to speak to your vet, especially if the problem is new. Remember, most problems have a treatment, and those that don’t can usually be managed so your dog has something to wag about.

How to Help Dog Itchy Skin: Coconut Oil Treat Style!

At the moment there’s a big buzz around the use of coconut oil. Anecdotally pet parents report it gives a coat a great shine and helps dry skin.

Sadly, there is a lack of scientific evidence to back this up. But this doesn’t mean coconut can’t help dry skin. The main issue with research is that it is the big pharma companies who invest money in research and development. They have little to gain by promoting such natural therapy.

If you want to give coconut oil a crack at treating your dog’s dry skin, this is what you do.

To apply it directly to dry skin, use a pea-sized amount for each 10lb body weight. Warm the oil between your palms to soften it. Then gently massage into the skin, working it well to spread it over the body.

Then distract the dog! Coconut oil smells and tastes nice, so Fido may try to lick it off. Take his mind off things by going for a walk or feeding him.

Coconut oil can also be mixed in food, to moisturize from the inside out. Mix a quarter of a teaspoon per 10lb body weight, into the dog food. This can help improve skin and coat condition and soothe dry itchy skin.

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A tasty alternative that is Honest Paws Coco Nut Oil. As well as providing the moisturizing effects of medium chain fatty acids, it gives your dog something to wag about. Why not pack Honest Paws as a training treat!

CBD Oil for Dog Dry Skin? Yes Please!

Cannabidiol oil is a natural substance distilled from the cannabis plant but is lacking in psychoactive substances. It is well tolerated by dogs and is non-toxic.

Evidence suggests that CBD oil acts on receptors in the skin that regulate the rate of skin cell turnover. This helps the skin to grow strong, healthy and moisturized.

Simply give your dog a daily supplement of CBD oil to improve skin vitality and reduce dryness. However, don’t expect to see results straight away. The CBD oil promotes healthy skin production. You need to wait for 3 – 4 weeks before those baby skin layers travel up to the surface, as supple, moisturized skin.

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The Many Dog Skin Conditions That Can Affect All Puppers

french bulldog with itchy skin no dog rash

So what kind of problems are linked to skin conditions in dogs? Let’s start with those affecting the skin’s surface. These include:

  •  Parasitic Infections: Mites that burrow into the skin can cause inflammation and scaling. Indeed, there are several different sorts of parasites that love to live on canine skin, making it itchy, irritated, and prone to dryness.
  • Seborrhea: Ironically, imbalances in the skin can lead to both dry flaky skin and an excess of grease. The condition known as seborrhea is characterized by flaky but greasy skin.
  • Infections: Repeated bacterial infection or hot spots can be a sign the local immunity is low because of poor skin condition. These infections can be bacterial, yeasty, or even fungal in the case of ringworm.
  • Wrong Product: Excessive washing or using a harsh shampoo is a fast way to cause skin dryness. Bathing too frequently strips away the natural oils that are needed to condition the skin, leaving it dry and sore

As for those deeper seated problems to dog dry skin these include:

  • Underactive thyroid glands: A lack of thyroid hormone leads to weight gain and poor skin condition.
  • Cushings Disease: The body produces too much natural steroid, which leads to symptoms of excessive steroid use, such as thin or dry skin.
  • Breed-related disorders: Dogs such as the Chinese Crested or Siberian Husky are prone to certain conditions that lead to dog’s dry skin.
  • Autoimmune Conditions: The body’s immune system can attack the skin, and results in dry flakes, ulcers, and other skin problems.

What’s Causes Dog Hair Loss aka Alopecia!

Dry skin of itself doesn’t cause hair loss. But the itchiness linked to dry skin can lead to the dog scratching and breaking hair shafts. If the problem is severe enough to cause hair loss (or alopecia) then Fido should definitely see a veterinarian.

Talk to Your Vet About Anti Itch for Dogs!

Whilst it’s tempting to go it alone when your dog has dry skin, resist the urge.  Dry flaky skin can skin can be a sign your dog is sick, under the weather, or has a skin condition which needs treatment.

If your dog has recently developed dry skin and this is out of character, then be sure to see a veterinarian.

The vet takes a history and asks questions about the dog’s appetite, thirst, and energy levels. This is because some health conditions, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid glands, can impact on skin health. The way to improve the dry skin is to treat the underlying health problem and give the dog their bounce back.

The vet examines the dog from nose to tail, taking special notice of the skin and coat. The veterinarian is looking for clues such as redness, soreness, hot spots, baldness, scabs, and dryness. This helps the vet decide which tests are most useful to get the answer.

If an investigation is needed the vet is likely to suggest skin scrapes (to look for parasites), impression smears (for yeast or fungi) and skin biopsies (for skin allergies or cancer.)

Sometimes All Your Furry Friend Need is a Better Diet!

But let’s imagine your dog is fit and well but has developed dog dry skin. Do you need to go to the hassle of a vet workup?

To answer this question, have a think about any recent changes. For example, have you recently put the heating on (which can dry out dog skin) or changed Fido’s food?

Food plays an important part in feeding the skin. A diet deficient in essential fatty acids will deprive the baby skin cells of what they need to grow plump and healthy.

If your dog is firing on all cylinders and the picture of health apart from their skin, then consider either changing to a high-quality diet or adding in Vets Preferred Salmon oil to their diet.

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This high-quality Wild Alaskan salmon oil is rich in omega three and six essential fatty acids. These are the big hitters are far as healthy skin (and brain function) are concerned. Not only are they super-internal moisturizers but they interrupt the inflammatory pathway that leads to itching. A definite tick in two boxes!

“Help! My Dog has Dry Flaky Skin and Scabs!”

A dry skin with scabs takes things to a whole new level. Scabs are not normal and you should definitely get the dog checked by a vet.

mites under microscope, my dog has dry flaky skin and scabs

Possibly Skin Allergies in Dogs?

Conditions such as flea allergic dermatitis can present with itchiness and scabs. Allergic skin disorders need treatment. Without it, the dog may self-traumatize and damage their skin. This can result in open sores and skin infections.

Top 5 Allergy Medicine for Dogs

There are many effective medications that relieve the distressing itch of skin allergies.

  1.  Cytopoint: This latest treatment uses antigens to take out the hormone that causes inflammation
  2. Apoquel: A state of the art anti-inflammatory
  3. Atopica: Related to the family of drugs that prevents organ rejection, atopica switches off an inappropriate immune response.
  4. Steroids: Cheap and effective, when used with care they provide much-needed relief from itchiness.

Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy: What Works and What Doesn’t!

Dog dry skin can take sometime to heal!

Sadly, things that work for people don’t necessarily help dogs with itchy skin.

Olive Oil for Dogs

Olive oil isn’t the best choice for correcting dog dry skin. This plant-based oil lacks the vital omega 3 & 6 balance linked to good skin health. Instead, aim for those fish oils for a shiny, healthy coat.

3 Tips on How to Deal with a Dog Scratching

  1. Think ‘Parasites‘: Is your dog adequately protected against common pests such as fleas. If not, get up to scratch with their anti-flea medication.
  2. Think ‘Environment‘: Does your dog love to heat bathe in front of the fire? If the heating recently went on this could account for recent dry skin. Likewise, consider things such as how frequently you bathe the dog when looking to possible causes. A  moisturizing shampoo may be all it takes to redress the balance.
  3. Moisturize the Skin: Physically adding moisture, like coconut oil, can help. Replacing lost moisture helps condition the skin and prevent itchiness.

Dog Skin Issues … Your Vet Will Know Best!

Just because a problem appears simple, such as dry skin, doesn’t mean you should overlook it. Get the expert opinion of your veterinarian. A diagnosis of dog dry skin can make the difference between successful treatment and an uncomfortable itchy dog.

Puppy itching, dog has dry skin on ear

Common Questions on Dog Dry Skin

Why Do Dogs Get Dry Skin

What are some Home Remedies to Dry Skin in Dogs

What Causes Dog Dry Skin

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