Does your dog have dry and itchy skin?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin can be a symptom of multiple conditions, from parasites to allergies to severe medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease.
Just like people, dogs can get allergies too. Seasonal allergies, environmental allergies, and food allergies can be some of the reasons why your dog may have dry skin. If left untreated, allergies can lead to atopic dermatitis, a type of skin condition causing dry skin, inflammation, redness, and itching.
Fungal and bacterial infections can also cause skin-related problems. Yeast is a common example. These infections, which don't seem to be dangerous at first, could lead to a larger problem; that's why one must take dry skin issues in dogs seriously.
Dry skin is sometimes of sign of hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease. In this case, dry skin will often be accompanied by brittle hair, skin infection, hair loss, etc.
Breed-Specific Skin Conditions
When it comes to dry skin, a few breeds are more prone to dry skin conditions. Hairless breeds, in general, are more prone to have a dry skin problem.
Another potential reason for dry skin could be parasites. Flaky and dry skin can be a sign of parasites. To diagnose parasites, a dog owner may have to take a trip to the veterinarian.
Symptoms of Dry Skin
The symptoms of dry skin may vary from one dog to another and from one breed to another. Some of the common symptoms associated are scabs, excessive oiliness, odor, inflammation, hair loss, scaling, pimples, flaking, dandruff, and itchiness. Some dogs might have only one of the symptoms; however, other dogs may have multiple symptoms. Keep an eye on your dog so that the veterinarian can determine the cause and treat it accordingly.
Treating your Dog's Dry Skin Problem
Apart from allergies, parasites, hormonal imbalances, and bacterial/fungal infections, there are other reasons that can contribute to dry skin problems.
Over bathing with soap, under bathing or lack of proper grooming, and environmental conditions, such as low humidity and exposure to heat, can also make your dog's skin dry
There are a number of things that you can do at home to treat these dry skin problems.
Vitamin E to the rescue
You can give your dog a massage with Vitamin E oil and add a few drops in the bathtub and let your dog relax in the water. Vitamin E can make your dog's skin healthier and shinier. Before adding Vitamin E to your dog's diet, better to speak to your veterinarian.
Fish oil for dogs dry skin
One of the best supplements you can give to your dog is fish oil for dogs' dry skin issues. Fish oil not only promotes a silky coat, but it boosts your canine's heart health as well. It reduces flakiness and itchiness. Fish oil is necessary to strengthen your dog's immune system.
Read more on the importance of omega oils for dogs in this article here.
What's the best dog food for dry skin and allergies? Sardines are a great natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help hydrate your pup’s skin and support a healthy coat.
Pay attention to grooming
Grooming is an essential part of your dog's health. Oil and dirt can quickly build up in your dog's skin, which may lead to skin issues. Routine grooming is necessary, which includes regular brushing of your dog's coat. These are the steps that you need to follow:
Brush often: When you brush your dog's hair/coat, it removes debris. Mats and tangles can restrict airflow to the skin, making your dog's skin feel dry and uncomfortable. Brushing will also let you distribute the natural doggy oils evenly all over the skin.
Massage more often: Wear a pair of rubber gloves to massage your dog. This will evenly distribute your dog's body oils and increase blood flow to the skin. Doggo deserves self-care too ;)
Bathe regularly: Dogs can get dirty, that's why you need to wash them at least one to two times every month, but over bathing can also cause dry skin issues. Common dry skin problems are a build up of dirt and oil.
Moisturizing bath products are the best: When bathing your dog, use moisturizing and dog-safe shampoo. Never use human shampoos or conditioners to clean your dogs.
Here are some conditioning ideas:
Oatmeal shampoo: You can buy shampoo and conditioner with oatmeal to bathe your dogs. You can also add in some oils to fight against dry skin. NOTE: If you have a dog with a yeast infection of the skin, do not use oatmeal-based products as this will feed the yeast.
Use vinegar: Use some apple cider vinegar to rinse your dog. Mix equal quantities of water and vinegar.
Apply coconut oil: You can apply some coconut oil and massage it through your dog’s hair.
Moisturize paws and nose: Coconut oil also makes for a great nose and paw moisturizer :)
Watch out for weather conditions
Dry skin can be worse in low humidity conditions. During the winter season, it’s best to keep your dog inside as much as possible. Winters can also make your home dry, so getting a humidifier can help bring moisture back into your home during the dry winter season.
Apply calendula flower extract to dogs
Calendula extract is considered to be a herbal remedy, and it is derived from Calendula officinalis, which is a pot marigold plant. Calendula is nontoxic and hence safe for your dogs. Many people use calendula flowers to treat different dog's health problems, including dry skin. You can apply calendula flower extract directly to the affected area. Ensure to trim the fur and clean the fur properly before applying it. You can also apply it to the affected skin that your dog frequently chews, licks, or scratches.
This ancient herb is added in our BetterSkin wellness chews.
Make some changes in their diet
Diet is a leading cause of dry skin issues in dogs. Cheap retailer food products often lack essential nutrients due to the extreme heating process. The best dog food for dry skin and coat is feeding real, wholesome foods.
Let’s put it this way… would you feed your child pantry-based foods their whole life? Meaning, packaged foods that could last months on a shelf? The answer is likely, no. That’s what you’re doing when feeding kibble.
Now, we believe that every pet parent should make educated decisions on their own, but our advice is fresh is always best :) If you’re looking to change to a more fresh food diet, please consult with a dog nutritionist and do proper research to make sure that you’re feeding your dog a balanced diet.
Try our BetterSkin wellness chews for a convenient way to improve the overall health and wellness of your dog’s skin.
BetterSkin helps hydrate dry skin, boosts the liver, and is an effective natural shiny dog coat supplements.
Strengthen your dog's skin by boosting their liver
Another way to enhance your dog's skin and coat health is by strengthening their liver.
Flea and tick medicine, antibiotics and all other medication that you give to your dogs get processed by their liver. These products can upset the immune system and digestive system of your dog. The liver is the detoxification pathway of your dog's system. A balanced liver will let your dog's skin shine and become healthy.
The liver helps in removing toxins from the blood.
The liver helps in stabilizing the dog's autonomic nervous system.
The liver detoxifies and filters metabolic waste.
The liver supports good thyroid function.
It promotes good small intestine work, thereby promoting digestion.
There are a few herbs available, which can support both your dog's liver and skin. Here are a few that you can take note of:
Burdock root or Arctium lappa enhances a dog's liver detoxification function. It helps balance the digestive system, clears heat from the gallbladder and kidneys, works to decrease itching, and even helps in constipation, which can cause internal dryness.
If you have a tiny dog, one drop of burdock root will be enough. If you have a medium-size dog, you can give them 4 to 5 drops; for large drops, 6 to 9 drops will be the ideal amount.
Peach Leaf and Twig
Peach leaf can be given to a dog to improve the digestive system, eliminate skin issues and liver problems. Peach leaf can also support dogs that have food sensitivities.
The dosage will remain the same as Burdock Root.
Yellow Dock Root
Another useful herb that you can give to your dog is yellow dock root. Some people combine it with dandelion to treat challenging skin conditions. The taste of yellow dock root will be slightly bitter, but it expels heat out of the dog's liver and also tightens tissues.
For an extra small and small dog, one drop is good enough. A medium, large, and extra dog should take two, three, and four drops simultaneously.
NOTE: Please consult with your holistic vet for assistance on herbs as medicine.
Last Few Words
There are a number of different remedies you can do to help ease your dog’s dry skin.
Always consult with a vet if the issue continues.
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