Would you be surprised to learn that the average woman spends over $ 300 on beauty products and services every month? A year of doing your best will set you back $ 3,756 annually. That’s a lot of serums and snail mucin! And if you think most men can get by on a bar of soap, think again – the guys have lost a cool $ 2,928 every year too.
But for dogs, having a fabulous coat and supple skin is beyond just looks. In fact, itchy, dry skin and a dull coat can be one of the first signs of an underlying health condition, including allergies and nutritional deficiencies. Instead of looking shiny and soft to the touch, the fur feels coarser and more brittle, while the skin can be flaky and itchy. And don’t necessarily assume that you can give your dog a good brush to manage skin problems and get the coat back in tip-top shape. it often takes more than that. Fortunately, many of the treatments for dry, itchy, or inflamed skin also have positive effects on a dog’s coat.
Curious what causes dogs’ dry skin and shabby fur, how to calm them down, and when is it a sign of something more serious? Have a cup of coffee and read on.
Related: Do you want your dog to have a shiny coat and healthy skin? Try these 8 foods.
Symptoms and Signs of Skin Discomfort in Dogs
It is normal to feel an itch or two here and there, but watch out for frequent, prolonged, or very intense scratching. If your puppy is constantly scratching, it could be a sign that something is wrong with their skin. You can also lick or bite the area to stop the itching. Your dog may also be concerned about the area and give continued attention to one point.
If you notice this, take your dog to a brightly lit area of the house and take a closer look. Part the fur to see the skin underneath and scan the entire body. Don’t forget to look between the toes, under the tail, behind or under the ears, and around the collar. Look out for:
- Wounds or scratches
- Red, sore-looking spots or discoloration
- Scaly patches or crusts
- Skin that is flaky or visibly dry
- Swelling, lumps, or bumps
- hot spots
- Bald patches or thinning fur
- Chapped or broken skin
- Fur that feels greasy or oily
You may want to snap photos of any aberrations you find, especially if your furry friend isn’t enjoying the exam. This can help your veterinarian to remotely assess the situation if necessary.
What Makes My Dog Itchy?
Let’s dig deeper into the reasons why your dog appears to be starring on the “Itchy and Scratchy Show”. Dry skin is a very common condition in dogs. Before you start treatment, however, you should rule out other causes. These include:
- Fleas and ticks
- Mange, an infection caused by external parasites
- Acute wet dermatitis, also known as hot spots
- Yeast infections, impetigo and folliculitis
- Allergic dermatitis
It is important to identify the underlying problem of your dog’s itchiness. Certain skin problems can be signs of a serious illness such as Lyme disease or lupus. Excessive scratching or biting that breaks the skin can not only be painful or uncomfortable for your dog, but it can also lead to infection, which further exacerbates the problem.
Related: 4 Ways To Prevent Your Dog From Having Itchy Skin
Contact your veterinarian if the itching is severe, persistent, or accompanied by the symptoms above. Observe all patterns, e.g. For example, if your pooch scratches after being outside, eating certain foods or treats, or doing housework. These can help identify your dog’s possible allergies.
Prevention of dry skin
They know how irritating it can be when your skin is dry and itchy and your dog is no different. She would much rather play a tug of war, look out the window, or chase rabbits while snuggled into her cozy bed than constantly scratching. Take these steps to cut a solid figure for yourself and your dog.
Good health starts with good nutrition, and dogs are no exception. Would you just feed your human child processed chicken nuggets and french fries? It’s essentially the same thing shoveling cheaply made, highly processed nibbles into your dog’s bowl day in and day out. What type of food to choose for Fido – raw, homemade, freeze-dried, organic, open pasture – is a complicated, controversial topic and ultimately a personal choice, but it is definitely worth researching and exercising the necessary care . After all, diet is an important factor in a dog’s health and wellbeing.
Make sure you have enough clean drinking water. Even moderate dehydration can alert our furry friends – a loss of as little as 15% of the water in their bodies is enough to make them seriously ill. To stay properly hydrated, a pooch needs an ounce of water for every pound it weighs. Fill the bowl regularly, clean it daily, and take water with you when you go on adventures, especially in warm weather.
What is the air quality like in your home? If you’ve been cranking up the heat all winter, the humidity may not be as high as it could be, leading to dehydration. A couple of portable humidifiers could make all the difference.
As mentioned earlier, itchy, dry skin and dull fur can be one of the first signs of a nutritional deficiency. Instead of looking shiny and soft to the touch, the fur feels coarser and more brittle, while the skin can be flaky and itchy.
Diet supplements can be a great addition to your dog’s daily routine as they can help heal your dog from the inside out. Look for those that are full of omegas, including those that come from fish. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your pup’s inflammatory response, which can help reduce itching and scratches. Flaxseed is also an excellent source of omega-3s, along with vitamins B1, B2, C, E and beta-carotene, as well as minerals like iron, zinc and potassium.
Safflower oil is another great ingredient for skin and coat as it is an excellent source of linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Safflower oil ensures that the skin remains supple and gives the coat a shine.
Other powerful ingredients in nutritional supplements include biotin, seaweed, and vitamin A.
All-natural treatment options to try
Once you’ve ruled out more serious conditions and spoken to your veterinarian, it’s time to tackle that itch along with the drab coat. Chances are, you can already try a few home remedies. So shop for anti-itch ingredients in your pantry.
For example, oatmeal can be very comforting – that is, if you skip the bowl and put it in a bath. Oats have anti-inflammatory properties and help a puppy’s skin retain moisture. Use your blender or coffee grinder to pulverize ½ – 1 cup of unflavoured oats until it is a powder. Add to your buddy’s bath; If you can get him to indulge in it for a while, so much the better.
Another option for your dog’s itchiness is coconut oil. It works well when massaged well into dry skin, but coconut oil is also beneficial from the inside out. Incorporate the best organic oil you can find into some homemade dog treats, or just add something to their food – but only after you have clarified this supplement with your veterinarian.
For patches of dry, hasty, itchy skin, baking soda may be just the thing for reducing redness and relieving itchiness. To try, make a paste of equal parts of baking soda and water, apply it to the affected areas, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
When you have a bottle of pure aloe vera left over from last summer’s fun in the sun, use it to treat your pup’s troubled skin. Just like on your sunburned shoulders, aloe cools down comfortably as it relieves inflammation and irritation.
And of course, if your puppy has additional symptoms that indicate a more serious problem, you will need to contact your veterinarian to rule out those possibilities.
Related: Why Your Dog Has Itchy Skin and What To Do About It
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor should it be used as a substitute for specific medical advice.