What Can I Put on My Dog for Dry Skin?

Dry skin can be irritating for both dogs and their owners. If it’s left untreated, dry skin can cause infections and be a source of immense stress for our four-legged friends. Even the most tolerant of owners can find the constant scratching to be challenging to live with.

There are several causes of dry skin in dogs, and an equally wide number of treatments. If the itching isn’t relieved or it gets worse, it’s essential to get professional advice and treatment options from your veterinarian.

What Causes Dry Skin for Dogs?

Just like humans, there are many reasons as to why our dogs develop dry skin. These causes can include:

Allergies

Food, grass, and grain can all cause allergic reactions, which result in dry skin. Then there are allergic reactions to flea saliva. Now, this isn’t caused by the flea moving around in our dog’s coat, but instead, it’s a reaction caused by the flea bite.

Medical Conditions

Dry skin can be a symptom of a bigger problem. Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism are both metabolic conditions resulting in dry skin as one of the main symptoms.

Leishmaniasis, caused by the bite of an infected sand fly, is another condition that can cause our dogs to develop bald patches and dry skin.

Parasites

Demodex mites and canine scabies can also be the causes of dry skin in dogs. These mites are so tiny that it’s likely that your vet will want to carry out a skin scrape so that they can check the sample under a microscope. Then, they’ll be able to see what parasites are present and causing the skin problems.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Omega 3 and 6 and vitamins A and B2 are essential for your dog to develop healthy skin. When your dog’s diet doesn’t provide enough of these crucial elements, then dry, scaly skin can be the outcome.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Skin for Dogs?

Dry skin often causes our dogs to get itchy. Often, the first sign that you’ll see is your dog scratching more often. You might also notice the skin becoming dry when your dog is being groomed.

Dry skin can cause other problems, including pimples, inflammation or oiliness of the skin, and the development of scabs where the skin has become infected.

How to Relieve Dry Skin for Dogs

Assuming there are no other symptoms and your dog is on a good quality diet, then there are several options to help relieve the dry skin and stop the scratching cycle.

Remember to use products specially designed for dogs to make sure that you don’t cause any further irritation, or problems should they lick them off. If you’re unsure about the safety of a product, ask your veterinarian before using it.

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Lotions & Sprays

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Conditioning Spray
This product contains aloe, chamomile, and panthenol to moisturize dry skin and coats. John Paul is the co-founder of the Paul Mitchell human hair care range, and their expertise in hair and skin care formulations has now transferred across to the world of pets.

Using it is a straightforward product to use as you just need to spray it onto your dog’s coat and then gently massage or brush it through.

Vet’s Best Moisture Mist Dog Dry Skin Conditioner
This spray conditioner is designed to moisturize dry and itchy skin. The main ingredients include sage, aloe, and cucumber, along with vitamin B-5. This product can be used every day to relieve the problem and is simply sprayed directly onto any areas of dry skin.

Salves

Shea Butter
Shea butter is a fantastic product that is a fat that comes from the African shea tree’s nut. Well known for its moisturizing ability, shea butter also has remarkable anti-inflammatory and healing properties for both our dogs and us.

You only need to use a little bit at a time as it’s so rich. While it’s usually solid at room temperature, you just take a little onto your fingers where your body temperature will cause it to melt, and then you can gently rub it into your dog’s dry skin.

ResQ Organics Skin Treatment
This is a combination of organic aloe vera, manuka honey, coconut oil, and other antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. We love the non-greasy formulae of this one, which makes it easier to rub into your dog’s skin gently.

Oils

Coconut Oil
An effective moisturizer, coconut oil has the benefit of being completely safe for our dogs. You only need to use a little bit, which can be gently rubbed into dry skin areas. It can also be added to your dog’s diet to boost their immune system while also improving their skin and coat.

Olive Oil
This is another safe option for your dog’s skin that you probably already have at home. Simply add five to 10 drops of olive oil to one cup of water, and then gently massage the solution into wherever your dog’s skin looks dry. Have some paper towels to hand to soak up any excess oil and to prevent your dog from licking too much. It won’t harm your dog, but it could cause an upset stomach if they consume too much.

Final Notes

While there are many natural, at-home remedies you can use for your dog’s dry skin, it’s important to visit your veterinarian if the symptoms do not go away or get worse.

If dry skin and itching persists, be sure to book an appointment. Your veterinarian will be able to check and see if there’s a larger problem present and prescribe any medications or treatments that will help treat your dog’s dry skin.