If you see your dog scratching often, your first thought may be a dreaded flea infestation. But it’s just as likely that your dog could have dry skin. Dry skin is just as uncomfortable for a dog as having fleas in many cases, because dogs can’t just swipe on some lotion to make their dry skin feel better. However, even with all the fur in the way, there are still many options for a dog dry skin treatment that works.
What Causes Dry Skin in Dogs?
Dry skin can be caused by many things, including just simple genetics. However, here are four very common reasons that a dog may have issues with dry, itchy skin:
- They aren’t getting the right nutrients in their diet. Having healthy skin is a sign that a dog is getting a completely balanced diet filled with all the vitamins and minerals they need.
- They aren’t being groomed regularly enough. Just like human skin, dog skin naturally gets replaced with new skin often. Old skin cells flake away from the surface. On humans, these can just fall off. But a dog has all that hair holding the old skin cells in place. If dogs don’t get brushed and washed often enough, this can cause the skin to remain dry as old skin cells aren’t shed.
- They are being groomed too often, and with the wrong shampoo. Alternatively, you can groom a dog too much. They don’t need a bath every day, because the chemicals in shampoo can dry out their skin. Be sure you are using a shampoo meant for dogs, because these have less soap that dries skin.
- They are living in a very dry climate, or they are often inside a heated building. Indoor heating can be very drying for the skin, as can a dry climate. The climate often gets drier in the winter, which is why you may see your dog scratching more during the colder weather.
Other causes that could be behind dry skin include allergies, bacteria like mange, and other skin conditions.
At-Home Dog Dry Skin Treatment
Now that you know what could be causing dry skin in your dog, you can begin treating it. Here are some examples of excellent dog dry skin treatment options:
- Brush your dog every day, especially in the winter. Brushing your dog’s fur does two things for dry skin. First, it helps to get rid of old skin cells on the surface, removing them from the fur where they’ve been trapped. Second, it helps to distribute the natural oils in a dog’s coat, which in turn moisturizes their skin. The more often you brush your dog, the less often you need to bathe them to help with dry skin – and as a bonus, you and your dog get some great bonding time!
- Keep your dog up-to-date on their vaccinations and vet checkups. This is the best way to ensure that they aren’t suffering from parasites, bacteria, or undiagnosed allergies.
- Give your dog a very high-quality diet that uses natural, real food ingredients. It’s best to find a food that includes meat, vegetables, and fruits, and that excludes a lot of grain fillers or meat byproducts. If corn is the first ingredient, chances are the food is not going to offer your dog the most balanced nutrients.
- If your dog has wrinkled or folded skin, be sure to keep the folds and wrinkles clean and dry all the time. Make it routine to clean their facial folds after every meal.
- Use a humidifier in your home to help keep your dog’s skin moisturized and prevent dehydration. This can be used in the winter when the weather tends to get drier, or all year long if you live in a dry climate.
- Try an elimination diet if the itching and dry skin persists. It could be that your dog has an allergy to something in their dog food. Your vet can help you create a plan for an elimination diet, but for most dogs with food allergies, the big culprits are soy, corn, wheat, dairy, and eggs.
Consider Healthy Skin Supplements
In addition to trying all of the dog dry skin treatment options above, you can also add a supplement to their diet to help with their overall skin health. This is a fantastic way to give your dog’s skin a healthy boost and prevent dry skin from becoming a problem. Vivamune works to keep your dog’s skin healthy, while also preventing issues with the joints, helping heal the digestive system, and more, using holistic ingredients that boost your dog’s natural immune system. This is an easy addition to your dog’s daily routine that can do wonders for their dry skin.