Itchy

Lucky for your pup, mild cases of dry skin can often be resolved at home. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Advertisement

Just like us humans, dogs can sometimes suffer from the seasonal perils of dry skin. This usually happens in the winter or when exposed to a lot of wind or dry air. Dry skin that is just accompanied by mild itchiness and flaking is nothing to worry about, but additional symptoms or signs of discomfort could indicate something more serious.

While there are a wide variety of potential reasons why your dog has dry skin, some are easy to fix while others are more challenging.

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Dry skin on dogs is frustrating for dogs and owners alike. There are many potential causes for dry skin, which can make diagnosing skin conditions in dogs tricky. If dry, itchy, or flaky skin is making your dog uncomfortable, here is what you need to know about the causes, symptoms, and best treatment options for your pet.

Step 1

dry skin on puppies what to do

Brush your puppy regularly to help alleviate the itchy feeling your puppy has, and get rid of the dry flakes that can collect in its fur. Brushing regularly not only gets the puppy used to being handled and groomed, but also helps to stimulate the growing and developing oil glands in its skin.

Step 2

dry skin on puppies what to do

Shampoo your puppy with an oatmeal-based shampoo, which is gentle and will help to restore moisture and conserve natural oils in the puppys coat. Work the shampoo into the fur gently, and leave it on for several minutes before thoroughly rinsing.

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Apply a special kind of moisturizing conditioner or rinse to your puppys coat after the bath. Look for a conditioner that contains a moisturizer such as vitamin E, chamomile or natural oils like sunflower seed oil. Leave the conditioner on for several minutes before rinsing.

Make sure the shampoos and conditioners used are specfically designed for dogs, as human shampoos can dry out skin further.

What causes dry skin on dogs?

When the weather changes — or even when the conditions within a dog’s indoor environment change — dry skin can strike. “Dry skin in dogs can be due to environmental changes, such as cold weather in the winter [or low air humidity],” says Dr. Juliette Bouillon, assistant professor at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Another factor could be your dog’s food. She notes that “poor nutrition,” including deficiencies in protein, vitamins, or essential fatty acids, could be a culprit.

Just like people, dogs can suffer allergies to a number of different factors in their environment. “Because allergies can cause excessive itching in dogs and cats, it is one of the major causes of dry skin,” says Dr. Amanda Nascimento, the head of integrative veterinary medicine and research at NHV Natural Pet. “It can be caused by ingestion of food, dust, or liquids, for example.”

Similarly, all those baths you think are helping your dog stay in top condition might actually have the opposite effect on their skin. “Excessive bathing can also lead to dry skin, especially when the shampoo is not followed by a moisturizer,” Bouillon notes.

In some cases, your dog’s dry skin could be something more serious. “Ultimately, scaling can develop in association with some illnesses such as endocrine diseases (hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes mellitus), skin allergies, resolving skin infections, parasitic infestations (mange, lice, Cheyletiella) and, more rarely, cancer or genetic diseases like ichthyosis (fish scale disease),” Bouillon warns.

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Lucky for your pup, mild cases of dry skin can often be resolved at home. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Advertisement

Just like us humans, dogs can sometimes suffer from the seasonal perils of dry skin. This usually happens in the winter or when exposed to a lot of wind or dry air. Dry skin that is just accompanied by mild itchiness and flaking is nothing to worry about, but additional symptoms or signs of discomfort could indicate something more serious.

While there are a wide variety of potential reasons why your dog has dry skin, some are easy to fix while others are more challenging.

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