Home Remedies for Flaky Skin on Dogs

Dry, flaky skin on dogs is a problem that pet owners frequently have to deal with. Fortunately, there are a few home remedies that allow minor skin problems to be treated without needing a costly visit to the vet.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic that can clean allergens off a dog’s coat. It needs to be applied on a daily basis by either spraying or brushing it on.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E acts as a skin moisturizer. The liquid comes in both bottle form and encased in gel caps. Your dog can either be given the pill orally or the gel cap can be popped open and the liquid can be applied directly to the dog’s skin. Vitamin E can also be purchased in a bottle and can be applied either by brushing it on, spraying it on, rubbing it in by hand, or pouring it over dog food. Applying Vitamin E directly to the skin provides faster results than ingesting it.

Olive Oil

Olive oil can be applied either externally or internally. A tablespoon of olive oil applied over food 2 or 3 times a week can result in both smooth skin and a shiny coat. For faster results, the olive oil can be rubbed into the skin by hand.

Oatmeal Baths

An oatmeal bath can relieve dryness and itchiness by rubbing a mixture of water and oatmeal onto the dog’s skin and leaving it on for ten minutes. Rinse off with warm water after the required time has passed.

Frequent Bathing

Clean skin is healthy skin so baths on a regular schedule can prevent dry or flaky skin problems. Chemicals and plants can leave an oily residue on the skin that can cause an allergic reaction. Normal shampoos might not be able to remove this residue, but occasionally using dish soap while bathing can remove any oils that might be acting as skin irritants. While bathing should be done on a regular basis, it can have a negative effect on a dog’s skin if baths are given more than once every two weeks. Excessive bathing can remove essential oils from the skin.

Garlic Powder

Fleas can cause skin problems for dogs if left untreated. Sprinkling a tablespoon of garlic powder onto dog food provides an easy way to remove any potential problems with flea infestation.

Proper Diet

Dog food that includes essential vitamins and minerals can promote healthy skin in dogs. Try switching dog foods if a particular type seems to cause flaky skin because something in the food could be causing an allergic reaction.


Dry air can dry out the skin, resulting in flaking. Placing a humidifier in the room where your dog spends most of his time can reduce the effects of humidity and keep your dog’s skin flake-free.

When Home Remedies Aren’t Enough

Sometimes flaky skin can be an indication of a more serious skin problem. If moisturizers and bathing don’t provide any long-term relief, then the condition could be a sign of something more severe, such as:

  • mange
  • yeast infections
  • fungal infections
  • ringworm

In these cases, a visit with a veterinarian should be considered.