Dry skin on dogs is a result of an allergic, parasitic or bacterial reaction to the environment, nutrition, or season, causing dogs to scratch, rub-up, bite or lick excessively. Signs of dry skin include flaky, red or dandruff patches that can become irritated or sensitive to touch.
Dry skin is uncomfortable for a dog and may indicate it’s time to visit your veterinarian to help make sure he is healthy and happy. There are many causes for why a dog has dry skin and signs of a skin issue may include:
- Excessive scratching, biting or licking
- Frequently rubbing his face or body against furniture and carpeting.
- Scaly patches
- Hot spots
- Bald patches
- Skin discoloration
Which allergens cause dry skin on dogs?
Dogs, like humans, are sensitive to their environment, parasite and bacterial infections. When a dog has dry skin, it can be an indication of an allergy or illness, which changes the skin and coat condition.
Recurring dryness can be prevented with the right treatment before it becomes a long-term problem. When a dog shows signs of dry skin, understanding where the problem begins is the key to the best treatment plan for your pet.
Causes for dry skin on dogs
|Parasitic||Fleas, lice, Sarcoptes scabiei mite||Mange|
|Seasonal||Changes in weather||Flaky, dry skin or moist eczema|
|Fungal infection||Ringworm and yeast||Numerous skin issues|
|Behavioral||Stress, boredom, and anxiety||Licking, hair loss, skin infections|
|Nutritional||Food||Itching or rashes|
|Hormonal||Disorders or fluctuations||Numerous skin issues|
|Environmental||Cleaning or grooming products||Chews on paws, constant licking|
|Bacteria||Excessively licking skin||Tender, red patches, hair loss|
|Yeast infection||Chewing on the skin, mostly paws||Oily or scaly skin, body odor|
Dog dry skin: Treatment
A clinical exam is needed to identify the cause of a dog’s skin problems. If your dog is showing signs of a skin disorder, have a veterinarian check him out and provide next steps to a treatment plan.
A professional diagnosis of what’s causing the irritation helps to isolate specific allergens that need to be avoided or managed, as well ensure the appropriate treatment that could include topical or oral medications to help ease any discomfort.
How to prevent dog dry skin
The most common cause of dry skin is dehydration. Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water and is drinking throughout the day.
The best way to prevent dry skin is to maintain your dog’s coat and skin so that it’s healthy and he is comfortable in it. Take a look at some of the easy ways to prevent dry skin on dogs.
- Be sure to use a flea and tick preventive.
- Use hypoallergenic dog shampoo when grooming him, and pet-friendly solutions when cleaning your home.
- Ensure his dog food has no artificial ingredients and consider a supplement or specialty food containing essential fatty acids.
- Keep him away from other dogs who may be exhibiting signs of ringworm.
- Brush his coat frequently.
- Keep your home humidified.