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How can you best treat dry skin on dogs?

It’s a fact that owning a dog presents one of the best but at the same time one of the most responsible roles in your life. You need to take care of your furry friend’s health, nutrition, and feelings as well. In other words, your dog presents the reflection both of your personality and your life habits. On the other hand, dog ownership includes experiencing certain problems as well, and dry skin on dogs is only one of them. Dog’s itchy and inflamed skin can be frustrating both for you and for your dog. Seeing a dull dog’s hair tells a lot about the care it gets, and its overall health condition. Therefore, you need to know what would be the best solution for this kind of issue.

What are the main causes of dry skin on dogs?

No matter what dog breed you own, skin issues affect almost all dog breeds at least once in through their lifetimes. In order to successfully solve your dog’s suffering, it’s important to discover the root of the problem.


Unfortunately, allergies affect not only people but also dogs. When we talk about allergies in general, there are 2 types - environmental and food.

dog allergies

Food type of allergy is caused by poor nutrition when a dog doesn’t get enough vitamins or is fed with certain allergy triggers. By talking about dog food in general, it’s advisable to choose the one that is free of by-products, corn, wheat, soy, and excessive fat. These ingredients are in most cases the main culprits for a dog’s itchy skin. That’s why is important to ask your vet for advice on how to tailor your dog’s diet. Not every food fits every dog breed. Does your pooch need a dry-kibble or canned food? Do you need to switch him to the BARF diet? These can be only some of the questions you can ask your vet.

Environmental allergies may be caused by a number of factors. It can be seasonal pollen, grass, dust, shampoo, and other house chemicals. This type of condition requires special care of your dog’s coat and we will talk about it in the continuation of the article.


There are intestinal and external types of parasites however, the external one cause skin issues in dogs.

All of us would admit that fleabites are definitely one of the most irritating feelings in the World. Fleas bite not only animals but also people. The good news is that our body temperature doesn’t allow them to stay there forever. Those tiny sesame-seed sized creatures enjoy biting dogs because of their fur where they can deeply hide. Their favorite spots to attack are base of the ears and the rump.

Ticks live from drinking the blood of the mammals and birds. We can find them in nature mostly in the spring. There are more than 800 species of ticks that can cause a number of serious diseases if they’re not removed on time. Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are only some of them. It’s advisable to take your dog to the vet if you notice there’re ticks on his skin, because in case you don’t remove it correctly, your pooch may experience worsening of symptoms.

Lice are insects that live on a doggie’s infected fur and skin. It’s otherwise known as ‘canine pediculosis’ and this kind of condition is followed by lice’s chewing the skin and sucking the dog’s blood. They cause a serious itching, nervousness in dogs, and possible anemia. If it’s not treated on time, it can even lead to spreading over the entire dog’s body. In order to prevent your pooch not to get lice, it’s advisable to take care of his hygiene. Another way is to regularly clean your pet’s toys because it can be transferred between dogs in that way as well. Luckily, they can be killed by using topical insecticides.

Demodex Mites are inhabitants of a dog’s skin however, the problems occur when they take over and lead to a condition called Demodectic Mange. It is followed by a hair loss, scaly and odorous skin that presents the perfect spot to developing other infections. Demodectic Mange develops in the case when a dog has a hormonal imbalance or weak immune system. Luckily (or not), Demodectic Mange is not contagious to people and other animals. They mostly occur in young puppies from their mothers when their immune systems aren’t properly developed yet.


Yeast infection mostly occurs on a dog’s ears and paws because it searches for a hidden place to grow. Yeast belongs to Malassezia specie and it’s followed by irritated, itchy and discolored skin. It is a normal inhabitant of the skin. However, the infection develops where the yeast starts to invade lightless areas on the body of higher humidity.

Folliculitis is a bacterial infection of the hair follicles that is followed by scabs, sores, and bumps on the skin. It’s easier to be noticed in dogs with a short coat and hair loss is one of the most common symptoms of this health issue.

Fungus infection called Ringworm is usually found on a dog’s forelegs, ears, paws, and heads. Young puppies are more susceptible to suffer from this infection which is followed by hair loss in patches, and crusty covering. It’s very easy to become transmitted to other dogs and a person, so that’s why is extremely important to use gloves when treating an inflamed spot. Keeping a dog in a crate until the treatment is finished is also advisable.

Impetigo is another bacterial infection that affects dogs. It causes filled blisters that crack after some time. The place where dogs usually show symptoms are on their bellies that are most exposed to dirt. Fortunately, impetigo can be easily solved by prescribed antibiotic cream treatment.


Besides previously mentioned possible reasons for your dog’s dry skin, hormonal imbalance and metabolic issues may lead to color and texture changes of the skin. If you’ve noticed any dark spots on your dog’s skin and you’re sure he doesn’t have any bacterial infection, then you might consider taking a simple blood test that will identify the underlying cause.


If you bathe your dog too often or you use inappropriate dog shampoo then he may face with some of the skin issues. By bathing a pooch frequently, you remove a natural moist that actually help his fur to look healthy and shiny. Therefore, don’t exaggerate. It’s enough to clean your dog’s coat with baby wet wipes or a wet towel if you want to clean him from outside dirt and other smells. Vets recommend dog bathing once a month for keeping a dog’s coat healthy.


Depending on what dog breed you own, your pooch may shed more or less. However, it’s good to keep a limit in grooming the fur once a week. Different soft brush gloves present a better solution for short-coated dogs, while hard brush combs should be used for long-haired pooches.

Symptoms of dry skin on dogs


When a dog suffers from dry skin, he shows a number of symptoms and itchy and flaky skin are the most common one. In some cases, those shouldn’t be the signs to worry, especially if you noticed your dog got it in winter. Winter season is the time when most of the dogs experience dry skin due to cold weather and wind.


In case you’ve noticed that your pooch started to roll around excessively, it’s time to check his skin. Your carpet or grass may present the perfect comb for his itchy problem, so you’d better search for the root of it.


Fleas are the most common reason for a dog’s biting and scratching the skin. However, when the dog scratches the skin, he can make bloody wounds that present a perfect place for bacterial growth.


This kind of condition usually presents the first sign of your dog’s dry skin. Right after, goes itching and the rest of the symptoms. A dog’s red skin may also point to other problems that are happening underneath the skin.


In a case you’ve noticed your dog started to feel tired and not interested in play, it’s time for detail examination. Note that itching, biting a and scratching draw a lot of energy from your dog’s body. Therefore, it’s not anything unusual to see him lying all day long.


Unlike lethargy, some dogs may develop nervousness and aggressiveness more often. How many times have you felt nervous when there was some uncomfortable itchiness on your skin? Well, it’s time to understand your dog’s feelings now. He can’t escape from his own fur. Try to calm your pooch down by cuddling him and telling kind words. Besides using the prescribed medication, your love means a lot to your dog.


Not only the dog’s dirty coat can smell bad. In the case when a dog goes through some skin issue, his coat can become smelly. It happens especially in the case when there’s a hormonal imbalance going around. The ‘inappropriate work’ of Sebaceous glands usually cause the different and unusual odor of a dog’s skin. In other cases, the root of the problem may present an infection.


When there’s a bacterial or fungal infection going around, a dog experiences pimples and sores. Unfortunately, they can sometimes be very painful. In the case when those sores and pimples release a yellow liquid, the condition is more than alarming. Note that some bacteria, parasites, and fungus can be easily transmitted to people too.


This presents an essential part of every dog’s skin issue and it’s followed by a number of other symptoms too. Depending on the level of illness, a dog may show hair fall in patches or excessive shedding. It’s recommended to perform a blood test to check whether there ’s hormonal imbalance united with some other problem.

dog ear before and after healing balm


Most of us would agree that seborrhea is one of the ‘ugliest’ conditions that can be seen on a dog. The symptoms of seborrhea are the same as in people. Greasy skin and dandruff are definitely something that dog owners don’t want to see on their pooches. We don’t even need to mention a sticky and oily feeling when you put a hand on your dog’s coat. Seborrhea occurs due to hormonal imbalance, genetics, and allergies. By using the right anti-dandruff shampoo, your pooch will definitely have a shiny coat again.


These symptoms present the main trademark of an environmental type of allergy. Usually, it’s a seasonal type when there’s the highest concentration of pollen outside.


Dogs may experience diarrhea in case they are allergic to specific kind of food. It’s usually the human’s food or a dog food rich in excessive fat, by-products, chicken skin, and eggs. If it’s not treated on time, a dog may get to the stage to lose his optimal range of body fluids.

How to treat dry skin on dogs?

Your vet is the only person who should tell you how the treatment should look like. Of course, it depends on the level of your dog’s dry skin issue.


In case your furry friend suffers from an allergy, your vet will tell you what type of food to avoid giving to your dog. In most cases, dogs with determined food allergy need to switch to a raw food diet (BARF). It’s true that it requires some extra time for preparing, however, your pet’s health much depends on what he eats. Raw food diet presents the food of dogs’ ancestors-wolfs. Let us make one thing clear. Dogs are carnivores that used to eat only raw food in history. There were not different types of food that used to be served in a bowl in a minute.

Another solution may present a homemade food. It includes cooked veggies and raw or cooked meat. Both diets present a great way to control what your dog eats.


This kind of therapy is prescribed when your four-legged friend suffers from an environmental type of allergies such as dust, and pollen. Since the symptoms are usually the same as in people, antihistamines will work best to help your pooch in issue relieving.


It’s widely known that Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids leave a beneficial effect on everyone’s skin. Therefore, adding these supplements to your dog’s diet will definitely help his skin to look better. On the other hand, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can be found in different food as well.

Fish, especially fatty one, such as tuna, salmon, and sardines are high in Omega 3 oils. When we talk about plants, it can be found in chia seeds and flaxseed.


Different kind of skin infections on dogs can’t be solved without using the prescribed antibiotic therapy. Your vet may prescribe you an antibiotic cream, syrup, or spray for treating your dog’s inflamed skin.


Corticosteroid creams and gels are provenly the best remedies for dry skin on dogs. However, you shouldn’t use them for more than 7 days, otherwise, you’ll weaken your dog’s skin. That’s why using some natural cures is always a better solution.

Preventing dry skin on dogs


In case you own a bully dog breed or some other breed with folds, it’s highly important to regularly clean his folds from food, dirt, dust, and other small pieces. Moist and dark dog’s folds present the perfect place for developing different infections. Therefore, we advise you to check your pet’s folds regularly. You can perform cleaning by using a simple baby wet wipe or a wet cloth. Baby wet wipes are more preferable because they don’t contain alcohol and other harmful ingredients.


Not only humans need a special cosmetic, our dogs need it too. Since not every shampoo will fit every dog, we recommend you to always choose a hypoallergenic dog shampoo. Those kinds of products are specially made for a dog’s sensitive skin and are rich in different essential oils. Castor, Coconut and Almond oils are great for your dog’s skin and coat, so you can also spray it occasionally with the mix of these 3 ingredients.


It’s widely known that yogurt has the largest number of natural probiotics that leave a beneficial effect on everyone’s digestive system. You can add 50-100 ml of yogurt to your dog’s meal and provide him with enough number of useful ingredients. Besides adding probiotic supplements, you can also find yogurt that is suitable for a sensitive dog’s stomach.


If you already own a breed that is prone to develop an allergy, then it’s advisable to daily clean his coat every time you get back from a walk. It maybe sounds silly but, in that way, you will remove all the environmental allergens from your dog’s skin. Instead of bathing him, using a wet towel and baby wet wipes can do the work. After all, frequent bathing is not recommended at all.


By investing in your dog’s food, you invest in his health too. Therefore, don’t save money on that part of your furry friend’s care. Otherwise, you’ll cause problems by yourself. By feeding your dog with cheap food that is usually rich in corn and wheat, you’ll take him into problems with allergy. After all, instead of giving reasonable money on his food, you’ll need to give ‘reasonable’ money on your dog’s treatment.


One of the best remedies for dry skin on dogs is certainly the Oatmeal. Oatmeal is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties such as avenanthramides and phenols. Bathing a dog in an oatmeal bath or buying a shampoo with the oatmeal for the first ingredient will surely keep a dog’s skin in an optimal level of health. For inflamed spots and areas, it’s advisable to apply oatmeal powder mixed with water.


Natural antioxidants include vitamins C, E, and citric acid. They present powerful ingredients that help age fighting and skin to look healthy. That’s why is important to add to your dog’s diet fresh fruits and veggies rich in different antioxidants. Here is the list of ingredients that dogs are allowed to eat:

  • Apples- Slices of apples can be served as a tasty snack for your furry friend. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C as well. When feeding your pet with an apple, always make sure you’ve removed all the seeds and skin. Seeds contain cyanide while apple skin is usually threatened with different pesticides.
  • Berries- Blueberries and raspberries are considered for super fruits that will help your dog to keep healthy skin and normal body pressure. At the same time, they help painful dogs’ joints and prevent them from arthritis and not only from dry skin.
  • Watermelon- This great veggie is especially delicious in summer months when dogs need to drink more water. It contains 92% of water and is rich in vitamin B6, A, C, and potassium.
  • Banana- Since bananas contain more calories from other fruits, be careful not to overfeed a dog. Besides they are great sources of vitamin B6 and C, they are also rich in fiber that helps your four-legged friend’s digestive system. In case your pooch has got diarrhea due to food allergy, banana can serve as the first aid.

Despite the fact fruits present great sources of energy and vitamins, you need to keep a limit when feeding a pooch with them. Fruits are usually rich in sugar and can cause diabetes. Therefore, occasionally feeding a dog with these healthy snacks will not develop any problems.


After all, observing your dog’s body language presents the key for providing him a happy life. If something bothers your pooch, he will always show you certain mood differences and unusual behavior. Note that all the previously mentioned advice doesn’t work the same on every dog. It’s true that they can help, but taking a dog to the vet always presents the right solution.