Dry skin is a common problem with dogs, especially if they spend a lot of time in the outdoors. Dry skin in dogs is also prevalent during cold winter weather, when even humans need extra moisturizing. Aside from dryness of skin, your dog will usually experience flaking and itching. He will usually scratch himself frequently, and this might result in bald spots, hot spots or even scrapes and cuts.
Curing dry skin in dogs will require you to watch several aspects of his routine: grooming, diet and activities.
Assess the reason behind dryness
Before you use any home remedy or even medicinal soaps, you will first need to asses whether your dog’s dry skin is due to environmental factors and hygiene, or if it’s due to other problems. Dry skin can result from allergies, fleas, and even bacterial infections. You will need to visit your veterinarian so you can rule out these more serious conditions.
Overbathing your dog can result in dry skin. This is because bathing him too frequently will strip off natural moisturizing oils from his skin. Have a regular bathing schedule and stick to it, unless your dog becomes very dirty and a bath is badly needed.
Keep circulation through your dog’s skin healthy by brushing him regularly. Regular brushing will help deal with dryness, tangles and flaking. This doesn’t only promote a healthy, matt-free fur, but will also improve the condition of his skin.
If you’re using a harsh shampoo, this could also be the cause of dryness. Go for a pet shampoo that has natural ingredients, and that includes moisturizing ingredients like essential oils. If your dog is experiencing itchiness, you can get a shampoo with hydrocortisone—this will help relieve itchiness on your dog’s skin.
What your dog eats can also have an effect on the condition of his skin. Give him food that contains enough Vitamins A and E. Check if the dog food you’re feeding him contains enough of these. Also, give him enough Omega-3 fatty acids. Some veterinarians would suggest fish oil as a supplement that can help with dry skin. Consult with your veterinarian, in case your dog needs a special diet. You might have to give him some vitamin supplements, at least until his skin condition improves.
Some remedies you can try include the oatmeal bath. Add instant oatmeal to your dog’s bath water. This can help alleviate itchiness and dryness. You can also mix oatmeal with a little water to form a paste. This can help soothe severe itchiness and dryness on your dog’s skin. You can also find shampoos with oatmeal included in the ingredients.
If your dog is prone to dry skin, you should also assess his activities. He might have allergic reactions to plants or foliage from your yard. He might also be exposed to extremely cold or hot weather from outdoors. If you are using an air conditioner during hot weather, have your dog stay or sleep under a humidifier. Dry air will often result in dry skin, especially in dogs.