A few years back my boyfriend made a remark about my dog’s skin and how smooth it was. “She doesn’t have dry, flaky skin like a lot of other dogs.” It was true, she didn’t. For the first few years she had the shiniest, healthiest coat I’ve seen — but this winter changed all that.
Does your dog have some dry flakes on his skin? Are his elbows a bit dry? Looking for a simple remedy for your puppies itchy skin?
My dog had some extra dry skin this winter. After taking her to the vet and ruling out any medical issues such as allergies we decided to try using olive oil for my dog’s dry skin.
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The 10 Best Oils for Your Dog’s Skin & Coat:
The Paws & Pals Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is our best overall choice because it’s made from wild Alaskan salmon. This oil contains both omega-3 EPA and DHA, as well as omega-6 fatty acids, which support your dog’s overall good health. It’s also a great source of biotin to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin. This oil is made in the U.S.A., so you can feel confident about its ingredients and manufacturing process.
The pump dispenser leaks, so it’s easy to waste the oil if you’re not careful. Pros
Healthy Oils for Dogs
Fish oil is highly recommended by vets because it’s packed with two essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These omega-3 fatty acids are great for helping to ease inflammation in some dogs due to allergies, which means less itchy skin, dandruff, and hot spots.
It also can help soothe arthritis, allergies, and may even help improve fido’s memory. And the supplements can make dogs’ coats healthier and shinier—and perfect for lots of cuddles.
Luckily, it’s easy to give to your pooch as a pill, or as liquid—poured on top of their kibble.
Is your dog suffering from digestion issues? Coconut oil just may save the day! It can also improve your dog’s coat (helping flaky, itchy skin) and may benefit their cognitive function—not to mention it even makes that stinky breath a little bit sweeter.
Look for organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil for dogs.
See this post for safety tips and coconut oil servings (which should be quite small).
Like many of the other healthy oils, flaxseed oil can also help with mobility issues for some dogs with arthritis, and may also help with both blood pressure and kidney function. Flaxseed is great as a substitute supplement for fish oil (for dogs who have allergies to fish)—and still helps to reduce inflammation and bring allergy relief to sneezy dogs.
Just make sure to research the correct portion for your dog, since too much can cause diarrhea; yikes.
This one is easy to find—there are plenty of olive oil options at your local grocery store (though we recommend sticking with 100% olive oil rather than a mixed version). Olive oil is wonderful for dogs’ overall health because it can help keep their coats moisturized and shiny, improve their immune systems, and help prevent and lessen the effects of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Great for pups whose systems aren’t able to digest omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids well.
Want your four-legged friend to have an extra-shiny coat? Then this may be the oil for you. A wonderful source of omega-6 fatty acids, this supplement helps keep that skin moisturized and boosts energy, plus it can help maintain a healthy heart.
As always, before you give your dog supplements, make sure to check with your veterinarian and make sure to start small. For most dogs, this means just a few drops to a teaspoonful with their kibble. Too much of any oil can give your pup a case of the runs (oh no!).
Also, make sure to store fish oil and olive oils in dark, cool areas to prevent them from going rancid.
Heather Logue is a retail and arts writer who goes camping whenever she can. A lifelong dog lover, she misses her epileptic dog Sammy every day. Original article by
The Best Essential Oils for Dry and Itchy Dog Skin
While you’ve been petting your dog, you may have noticed something like dandruff in their fur.
That means they have dry skin, although they may not scratch at it like you’d assume.
If your dog has basic dry skin, check out these essential oils that can get your dog’s skin back to normal.
Lavender is one of those scents that you can find in just about anything.
Soap, air fresheners and even laundry detergents are all made in lavender scents because it’s so fresh and pleasing.
When lavender essential oil is used, it has amazing healing properties for dry skin.
Natural lavender oil has antioxidant and analgesic properties, which is what makes it so great for skin that’s dried out.
It also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, making it good for fighting ear infections as well.
Lavender oil heals and moisturizes, all while leaving a popular scent wherever it’s absorbed.
The various healing properties in the oil work quickly to relieve any inflammation and soothe pain.
As long as it’s absorbed, it will keep the skin moisturized and protected from dryness.
Dilute this oil in a carrier oil then rub a few drops of oil into your dog’s skin and keep them from licking at it until it’s completely dried.
Repeat daily as needed.
Some symptoms of lavender oil that aren’t common but can still occur can be:
Watch your dog carefully after applying lavender oil for the first time to monitor for any of these side effects.
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If your dog were to grab the container of lavender oil off the counter and drink all of it, they may get lavender poisoning.
The symptoms listed as possible side effects are the same for lavender poisoning, but your dog would have to consume a lot of oil to experience any bad side effects.
You may already use coconut oil in your daily beauty or even cooking routine, but coconut essential oil is great for dogs to use when they have dry skin too.
Coconut oil natural repairs your dog’s skin from dryness and even minor abrasions that occur from particularly dry skin.
The secret to coconut oil is the Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTs.
They contain lauric acid, which is anti-viral and anti-fungal. Because it’s also a fat, it’s extra moisturizing for skin.
You can apply coconut oil on your dog once every week.
Leave it on for at least five minutes before washing the area clean with soap and water.
If any oil still resides, clean the area again with a gentle shampoo.
Some dogs that lick the coconut oil off after it’s applied experience greasy stools or diarrhea.
Excessive MCTs can irritate a dog’s stomach, which is why it’s advised that your dog not lick the area until after it’s been washed clean.
There are a few dogs who should be wary of using too much coconut oil, depending on their situation.
Dogs that gain weight easily or have pancreatitis may be advised to stay away from coconut oil.
Consult your vet if you have any concerns before using coconut oil on your dog.
Avocado oil is another natural oil that people have become more aware of in recent years.
Because it’s a healthy, natural oil, your dog can benefit from it as well.
After your dog’s skin comes into contact with avocado oil, it will be naturally moisturized and less likely to become dry and flake off.
Avocado oil contains essential nutrients like vitamin E, lecithin, and potassium.
These are all great for dry skin and easily absorbed, so they act quickly after application.
Take a little bit of this oil and rub into your dog’s dry skin.
It will spread well on its own, so you won’t need to use much at first.
Keep your dog from licking it off and wash the area after ten minutes if your dog insists on figuring out why their skin suddenly smells so good.
On its own, avocado oil won’t harm your dog unless they happen to swallow a large amount of it.
The danger comes in when dog owners think their dog can eat avocados because they can use the oil, but the two aren’t the same.
The skin, fruit, pit, and even the leaves are poisonous to dogs because they contain persin. Persin will result in extreme vomiting and diarrhea, in addition to pancreatitis.
Avocado oil doesn’t have persin in it, which is why it’s okay for dogs to use.
Remember to keep the fruit away from your dog and they’ll be safe from any bad side effects.
The Most Common Causes of Dry Skin in Dogs
Many dogs experience dry or flaky skin throughout their life, and it’s especially common in the winter when the humidity drops. But it’s important to remember that not all dry skin is caused by a drop in humidity.
Before trying something new for your dog’s dry skin it’s important to figure out what’s causing it to begin with. For example, if your dog has food allergies adding a little bit of olive oil to their diet won’t solve the underlying problem and your dog is still gonna have itchy skin.
Figuring out what’s causing your dogs dry skin is the first step, and a trip to the vet is recommended because finding the underlying problem isn’t always simple. There’s a long list of potential medical issues that can cause your dog’s skin to become dry. It’s best to have your veterinarian examine your dog and to help rule out any medical problems.
Your vet can take a sample of your dogs skin to diagnose or rule out many different skin conditions. The most common causes for a dogs dry skin are:
Luckily for my dog it wasn’t a food allergy or an infection; our vet thinks it’s related to the low humidity of winter. Just like us our dogs can get dry, flaky skin during winter. Remember that itchy skin is a symptom, not a disease.