No one likes dry, itchy skin. Dry skin causes frustration for dogs and owners. Not only is it uncomfortable for pooches, but it can also be the symptom of an underlying health condition that needs to be cured as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.
I know that consulting a vet is a bit expensive for some dog owners. The bills, not to mention the costly allergy medicines the vet may prescribe, can be frustrating, so there are owners who prefer to find other ways to help their dog when they suffer from dry skin.
Doing your research is fine; however, choosing a legit treatment for your dog’s dry skin is a challenge.
Some sites claim to have the best solution, while others claim they have the cheapest treatment for your dog’s condition. Trusting these sites can be tempting, but these unproven ways of curing your pet can make the situation worse.
In this article, I compiled all the best home remedies that you can use to help your dog get relief from dry skin. So, you’d better prepare your pen and pad to list down the treatments that you think are right for your dog.
Why do dogs get dry skin?
According to Dorwest, the skin has a moisture barrier that helps keep moisture inside. Sometimes this barrier becomes compromised or is just not as good in some pooches, and this causes dry skin.
Causes of dry skin on dog
Dehydration and allergies are the common causes of dry skin, BUT the condition can also occur because of parasites, serious medical conditions, and infections. Sometimes dry skin is also caused by the weather conditions – cold temperatures and dry air. Other than that, excessive bathing, poor nutrition, and harsh cleaning products can also cause skin disorders.
Keep in mind that some dog breeds are more prone to dry skin conditions. Just like some humans, pooches have sensitive skin, too, so do not just buy something you think is legit — don’t judge a book by its cover.
Symptoms of dog with dry skin
There are different symptoms of dry skin. The condition can be easily noticed on dogs with short hair, unlike on pooches with thick and long hair. Make sure to check your pet regularly so that you will know whether they need treatment or not.
These are the common symptoms of dry skin:
- Hair loss
Once you see a sign, bring your dog to the vet to get proper treatment or prepare homemade remedies you found on credible websites. Never let dry skin get worse, because it may lead to serious skin disease.
How will my vet determine the cause of my pet’s dry skin?
Veterinarians have their way of examining your dog’s skin condition. There will be tests that help the specialist determine where the problem lies.
Do not be surprised if your vet asks you many questions about your dog, because this is all part of the initial test. Vets would want to know initial details about your dog to get a picture of the state of your dog’s skin and why the condition has affected them.
Ways to relieve and manage your dog’s skin condition
There are ways to relieve your dog’s skin condition. Although there is no quick fix for this issue, there are steps you can follow to at least ease the frustrations of your dog and help them deal with their dry skin condition.
1. You are what you eat. Be mindful of your dog’s food.
Nutrition is very important, as it helps maintain healthy skin. So, make sure that the food you feed to your dog has enough nutrients to keep them healthy. If you think your favorite dog food product contains the nutrients that your dog needs, then think twice. Do your research and always check the labels. Do not only rely on what you hear, see, or read about the product.
Avoid junk foods and treatments that have colorings, additives, and synthetic ingredients. Feed dogs moist food and give them lots of water.
2. Bedding. Always wash your pet’s bed.
Dogs love sleeping, lying around and staying on their sleeping quarters, so obviously, it is important to keep everything clean. The sleeping area is a haven for germs and bacteria such as dust with dust mites that commonly cause skin disorders.
Keep in mind that where they sleep plays a big role in their skin health.
3. Groom your dog regularly. Keep it natural.
Having a hygienic routine can help prevent skin disorders and maintain the health of this organ. By checking on your dog daily and having a grooming regime, you can easily notice the changes in your pet’s skin condition.
Grooming using natural dog shampoo without SLS is advisable. Using a natural dog shampoo that is free of chemicals will help wash away allergens and dirt on your dog’s skin and hair. Other than that, by using natural dog shampoo, you can prevent allergies and itchy skin as well.
Never use products that have been created for humans. Dogs have different skin types by comparison with humans, so using products made for us on our pets can cause dry skin.
If you want to manage your dog’s dry skin, improving their skin condition by changing their lifestyle and introducing a healthier routine are important steps. These are the indications you should follow in order to see immediate changes:
1. Bathe and brush your dog regularly. NEVER skip or else…
This step is already a given. As a pet owner, you should always prioritize your dog’s health and hygiene. This is your number one strategy. Brushing your dog helps remove dead skin and bathing them can lessen the risk of contracting skin diseases, by getting them rid of the dirt they’ve come into contact with while playing or lying around.
It is advisable to use dry shampoo in order to relieve itchiness. Most pet owners make their own natural shampoo, using dry oatmeal and blending it until it turns into a fine powder. Once you have this oatmeal powder, massage it into your dog’s itchy areas. Usually, dog owners leave it about 20 minutes before washing it out.
2. Be traditional. Use herbs.
If you noticed that your dog is itchy even after taking a shower and if it seems like the oatmeal bath is not helpful enough to relieve the itchiness, you can try using herbs. Soak your dog’s body in herbs after bath and leave them there for 15 minutes. Make sure the water is neither too cold nor too hot.
3. Apply apple cider vinegar or baking powder on your dog’s itchy body parts
It has not yet been proven that apple cider vinegar can help dogs with dry skin, but according to PetHelpful, pet owners who have tried it and have seen the changes in their pet’s skin condition will definitely recommend it; they have noticed the benefits of this product as a humectant, which can lessen the loss of moisture. Moreover, ACV can also act like an acidifier and may improve blood flow to the skin.
If you do not have apple cider, you can use baking powder as an ointment. You can apply the baking powder paste to the itchy parts of your pooch’s skin. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and wipe it off with cool water.
I did everything but nothing changes. What should I do?
Okay, so you are still having problems with your dog’s dry skin issues. As previously mentioned, you don’t need to worry, because I will give you remedies that you can use to help your pet. Here are a few steps you can follow:
Steps for dog with dry skin home remedy
1. Use vitamin E. You can use Vitamin E capsules that we usually buy over the counter and squeeze them out in order to apply the contents on your dog’s dry skin.
2. Add fish oil to your pooch’s diet. Aside from dehydration, dry skin could also be a sign that something is lacking from your pet’s diet. So, to help your dog fight against dry skin, you can add fresh fish or supplements with liquid fish oil to their diet. Omega-3 fatty acids will improve the condition of your dog’s skin.
3. Yogurt. Feeding your pooch plain, low-fat yogurt is advisable if your dog has dry skin. Yogurt is a moisturizer and therefore helps improve your dog’s skin condition. Adding on, yogurt can improve your pet’s GI system and keep them from having diarrhea.
4. Olive oil. Olive oil is both a source of vitamins and moisturizers. Some vets recommend it because it helps improve dogs’ skin condition.
5. Chamomile tea. Chilled chamomile tea can ease any minor skin allergies, as it kills yeast and bacteria on the skin and relieves inflammation. Meanwhile, warm chamomile tea bags can relieve irritated eyes for both you and your pooch.
6. Epsom salt. Epsom salt can relieve your pet’s itchy dry skin. A bath with Epsom salt mixed in lukewarm water speeds up the healing process of any open sores.
7. Evening primrose oil. Essential oils such as evening primrose oil are effective in treating dry skin. This type of oil has active anti-inflammatory and anti-itchiness properties that help ease the effects of the skin disorder. Pet owners can apply it directly onto their dogs’ skin or administer it through the mouth.
The best way to avoid the dry-skin condition is to make sure that your pet is healthy and living in a happy and safe environment. Some skin disorders cannot be stopped, but as pet owners, it is your duty to always check on your dog and to never skip regular check-ups with your vets.
Keep in mind that, although dry skin is theoretically a minor skin disorder, it can get worse if it is not treated in due time.