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Just like us humans, dogs can sometimes suffer from the seasonal dangers of dry skin. This usually happens in winter or when there is a lot of wind or dry air. Dry skin, accompanied by just mild itching and flaking, isn’t a cause for concern, but additional symptoms or signs of discomfort may indicate something more serious.
While there are a variety of possible reasons your dog may have dry skin, some are easy to repair while others are more difficult.
Reasons Your Dog Has Dry Skin
The most common reason for ordinary dry skin is low humidity. Your dog’s skin needs some moisture to maintain its elasticity and resilience, and really dry air can cause it to lose that moisture.
If you notice your dog itchy and peeling skin easily in winter, or if you live in a dry climate, try a humidifier in your home. Forced air heat, in particular, can really dry out your dog’s skin. Using a humidifier can help everyone feel more comfortable including you and your human family members!
Malnutrition can lead to dry skin in dogs too. Your dog’s diet may not contain enough fatty acids to help keep the skin healthy. Check your dog’s food to make sure it has an AAFCO statement stating that proper work has been done to make sure it contains all of the nutrients your dog needs. When feeding a homemade diet, you are working with a veterinary nutritionist to come up with a recipe that will meet all of your dog’s needs. Do not trust recipes from the internet.
In many cases of dry skin, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements work wonders for skin and coat health. These supplements are available in liquid and capsule forms. Choose a supplement that is approved by the National Animal Supplement Council or recommended by your veterinarian.
Too many bathrooms
Another cause of dry skin in dogs is too frequent bathing. This can remove the necessary oils on your dog’s skin, making him fragile and dry. Most dogs only need one bath when needed, usually a couple of times a year. If you bathe your dog more often because of the odor or oiliness, contact your veterinarian to see if your dog has a skin condition that is causing the symptoms you are seeing.
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Oatmeal-based shampoos are a great option for soothing dry skin and can be used on most dogs. Always make sure to rinse your dog thoroughly after bathing to remove any shampoo residue.
Parasites and diseases
Canine parasites can cause many serious health problems for your dog. Some common skin conditions caused by scary crawfish include:
In addition to parasites, more serious chronic conditions such as food and environmental allergies, Cushing’s disease, and hypothyroidism can also dry out your dog’s skin. However, all of these conditions are typically associated with other symptoms besides dry skin.
See a veterinarian if your dog has hair loss, pustules, crusts, open sores, oily skin, excessive flaking, itching, paw licking, ear infections, lethargy, weight gain, vomiting, or diarrhea. The underlying disease needs to be treated as well as dry skin.
Home remedies for dry skin in dogs
As long as your dog is not showing other signs of illness or discomfort, there are some remedies you can try at home to relieve their dry skin without necessarily planning a trip to the vet.
Start your dog off with an omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplement to improve skin and coat health. Dietary supplements are not regulated in the same way as drugs, so not all dietary supplements are created equal. For best results, choose a product that bears the National Animal Supplement Council Seal of Approval or is recommended by your veterinarian.
If you find that you need to repeat any of these remedies frequently, or if it doesn’t help, make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure nothing else is happening to your dog’s skin.