What To Do If Your Dog Has Dry Skin

If your dog has dry skin he may display unusual behavior such as excessive scratching of skin or agitation. The dog will also shed a lot of dander and may develop secondary skin infections. Dry skin can be prevented, so that the dog is comfortable.

Get Treatment

Even though some dogs have dryer skin, it may be caused by a number of medical conditions including allergies, skin infections, immune system mediated skin diseases, external parasites, impaired thyroid gland function or liver disease. Getting treatment for these underlying conditions can reduce the skin dryness. Contact the vet when you notice any symptoms or when your dog develops dry skin all of a sudden.

Keep Your Dog Indoors

Your dog may be affected by dry skin mostly during windy and wintry seasons. It may be a good idea to keep your dog indoors as much as possible during these times. Avoiding harsh weather conditions can improve the quality of the skin and keep it more hydrated.

Moisturizing Cream

A moisturizing cream specially formulated for pets with dry skin can hydrate the skin and relieve the dog's discomfort. Apply the cream twice per day and opt for a waterproof formula, so that it won't be eliminated when the dog is bathing or swimming. The dog may also get some extra creams that contain steroids or anti-inflammatory medicines, if the itching is severe.

Improve the Dog's Diet

The dog's diet can be a leading cause for dry skin. A lack of essential proteins and fats can cause excessive flakiness. Talk to the vet and establish the right type of diet that can keep your dog healthy and take care of his skin. A few supplements (such as omega 3 fatty acids) can be beneficial for the dog's skin.

Water Intake

The amount of water the dog drinks can help keep the skin hydrated. However, if the dog doesn't drink sufficient water, his skin can become dry. The amount of water each dog requires is different, depending on his activity level, size and breed. On average, the dog needs at least ½ liter of water per day. If the dog's is on a wet food diet, this accounts for some liquids as well.

Change the Shampoo

Some shampoos can cause dry skin. The chemicals used in commercial shampoos can make the skin scaly and irritated. Choose a shampoo containing natural ingredients. You should also ask the vet about how frequently you can bathe your dog. Bathing your dog too frequently can result in dry skin. Instead of bathing the dog on a weekly basis, you should groom him at least twice per week or as indicated by the vet, depending on the breed of the dog.

Natural Remedies

Certain natural remedies are known to improve the quality of the dog's skin. Purchase shampoos or rinses that contain:

  • Oatmeal
  • Wheat
  • Aloe vera

These soothe the skin and restore the normal pH, reducing dryness.