All dogs scratch themselves from time to time, but excessive clawing can be a sign of a more serious condition. You may have to take your dog to the vet to determine what the underlying cause is and to get a treatment plan.
A lack of nutrients in a dog’s diet can also cause its skin to become itchy and flaky. Adding omega-3 oils to their diet or taking fish oil supplements can help alleviate this problem.
Using harsh shampoos or bathing your dog too often can also strip its skin of its natural oils and leave it dry and itchy. Try oatmeal-based shampoos instead to soothe the skin and keep it hydrated.
Applying aloe vera gel directly to itchy areas can also help relieve itching. Rubbing a few drops of coconut oil onto itchy areas can also be beneficial as it’s a natural moisturizer.
Getting a humidifier in your home can help prevent dry air inside the house from drying out your dog’s skin, especially during the winter. Keeping your dog’s bedding and any other rugs in the house clean can also help keep their skin and coat healthy.
In this article, we are going to discuss the best shampoos, creams, and natural treatment options for dry skin and itching in dogs.
About Dry Skin and Itching In Dogs
An occasional scratch is normal for dogs, but when their itching becomes frequent and severe, or they develop flaky skin, scabs, pustules, inflammation, or an unpleasant odor – there may be something seriously wrong.
Dry and itchy skin in your pup could be due to various reasons; it could simply be due to changes in weather or nutritional issues; however, it could also be indicative of something more serious.
The initial step to treating itchy, dry skin in your dog is scheduling an appointment with a vet. They can accurately diagnose the cause and administer appropriate treatments accordingly.
Dry skin can be caused by various factors, including seasonal changes, diet modifications, and parasitic infections. They may also be indicative of an underlying condition like Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, or skin allergies.
Age can also contribute to dry skin in older dogs. As they get older, their bodies lose oil, and their coat becomes dull, leading to itchy, flaky patches of skin.
Your vet can suggest a moisturizing shampoo to reduce your pup’s dryness. They may also assist you in creating an at-home skin-care routine to keep your coat healthy and vibrant. Home remedies are an excellent way to combat dry skin on your pup.
Symptoms of Dry Skin and Itching in Dogs
Dry skin can often lead to itching and other problems in dogs. Therefore, it’s essential to identify what is causing your pup’s dry, itchy patches so you can address the underlying cause and prevent further issues from arising.
You also need to identify the symptoms of dry skin and itching in dogs. It will help in early diagnosis, and you can avoid serious health complications. Here are the common symptoms of dry skin and itching in dogs.
- Hair loss
- Increased oiliness
Reasons behind Dry Skin and Itching In Dogs
Food allergies, environmental allergies, parasites, and metabolic conditions can all cause itching and dry skin. Testing for these issues will help identify the source of the issue.
Here are the common causes of dry skin and itching in dogs.
- Dry Air
Winter, in particular, can be harsh on your dog’s skin, particularly in cold climates. Dry air, both indoors and outside, makes for a harsh environment that’s hard to bear. It can often lead to dry skin and itching in dogs. You can add an air humidifier to your home during winter to avoid this problem.
- Nutritional Needs
Dry skin in dogs can also be a result of nutritional deficiency. To make sure they get all of the necessary nutrition, check their food for an AAFCO statement stating it to be a complete and balanced diet. If your pup’s dry skin is due to a nutritional deficiency, then it may be time for a diet change. Look for dietary supplements that contain biotin, which has been known to promote supple skin and an attractive coat.
- Too Many Baths
Washing your dog frequently is important, but too much can actually harm them. Bathing too frequently strips away the natural oils from his coat and skin, leading to dryness, irritation, and itching. Ideally, most dogs only require baths once every couple of months.
- Food Allergy
Food allergies can also lead to dry skin and itching in dogs. If you think your dog might have a food allergy, ask your veterinarian about an elimination trial. This will help identify which foods are causing your pup’s itchy skin and ensure they avoid them in the future.
Parasites are one of the most frequent causes of health issues for dogs, both internal and external. External parasites like fleas and mites can often cause dry skin and itching in dogs. You need to use medicated shampoo to get rid of them.
- Other Causes
Parasites aren’t the only things that can cause itching and flaky skin in dogs. Other conditions such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, medications taken for other reasons (hypo- or hyperthyroidism), Cushing’s disease, and autoimmune diseases also play a role.
What Can I Put On My Dog For Dry Skin and Itching?
Dry skin is a common issue for many dogs. This can be caused by various factors, such as allergies or parasites.
Here are some natural ingredients you can put on your dog for dry skin and itching.
- Oatmeal Bath
By adding oatmeal to your bathwater, you can soothe dry, itchy skin in dogs. It acts as an additional humectant, helping your dog’s skin retain moisture better, and contains emollient properties which soften the skin barrier and protect it from further irritations.
You can buy colloidal oatmeal at most grocery stores or make it yourself with the right oats that dissolve when wet.
The key to successful colloidal oatmeal making is finding fine grains of oats that will dissolve completely when placed in water. You can apply this mixture to your dog’s skin to treat dry and itchy skin.
- Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E commonly referred to as d-alpha-tocopherol, is one of the most frequently recommended vitamins by veterinarians for helping dogs with skin issues. This powerful antioxidant can provide relief from dryness, itching, dandruff, and minor skin abrasions.
Though not all dogs get enough vitamin E from their food intake, some can benefit from an occasional supplement or topical application of this fat-soluble nutrient to keep their coat shiny and healthy.
Vitamin E not only moisturizes your pet’s skin, but it also supports their heart health, immune system, and joint health.
- Olive Oil
When your dog’s skin cells lack moisture, they will shrivel and shrink. These layers peel away from the surface of your pup, leading to dandruff or skin flakes. You can use olive oil to moisturize your dog’s skin to prevent scaling and itching.
When your dog’s skin is properly hydrated, the cells stick together to form a healthy and attractive coat. This helps prevent dryness and irritation as well as reduce shedding and dander production.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil’s greasy texture is ideal for softening dry, itchy skin. Plus, it acts as a natural topical antifungal and antibacterial agent. You can use it to heal ear infections, wounds, hot spots, and cracked paw pads.
You can liquify some coconut oil in your hands and massage it into the affected areas. Allow it to penetrate for around five minutes before rinsing away.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an all-natural remedy with numerous health benefits. If your dog suffers from dry skin, bathing them in an apple cider vinegar solution can provide much-needed comfort and itching relief.
The acidity of the vinegar helps balance pH levels in your pup’s system and soothe irritation, while its antiseptic properties help heal infections and quench itching. Apple cider vinegar can also be used to soothe itchy ears that may develop due to skin conditions.
- Epsom Salt Soak
Epsom Salt Soak is an ideal therapeutic choice for dogs with dry skin. Not only does it soothe itching and soften and moisturize the skin, but it can also relax sore muscles.
Add about one cup of Epsom salt to each gallon of water. Stir the ingredients together, and then let your dog soak for around 10 minutes. Once the time is up, rinse your dog’s salt-soaked skin with clear water and then pat him dry with a towel.
- Unsweetened Yogurt
Yogurt is an increasingly popular dietary choice, packed with protein and probiotics as well as calcium for bone building. But it also has natural benefits that can be used to improve skin health. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which exfoliates dry skin, controls dandruff and soothes itching.
For a natural, effective treatment for dry skin and itching, mix two tablespoons of fresh, unflavored yogurt with half a teaspoon of honey. Apply the mixture to your dog’s skin.
- Chamomile or Green Tea Bath
If your dog suffers from dry skin, a chamomile or green tea bath can help reduce inflammation and redness. Not only that, but it also softens their coat and encourages healing.
Chamomile can be used in a dilution (1 part tea to 3 parts saline solution) to wash your dog’s face as an all-natural way to soothe dry, itchy skin or remove gunky eyes. This is an issue common among canines, and chamomile has antiseptic properties which help heal the skin.
- Oatmeal & Honey Shampoo
Oatmeal and Honey shampoo for dogs (affiliate link) can keep their skin healthy and soft, as well as provide relief from itchy or inflamed areas. This shampoo is particularly helpful for pets with allergies or sensitivities. Oatmeal contains natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, helping to relieve itching and inflammation.
Additionally, oatmeal helps your dog create a protective barrier that locks in moisture while slowing the loss of hydrating compounds – thus avoiding dry skin.
- Zymox Enzymatic Shampoo
Zymox Enzymatic Shampoo (affiliate link) is an effective antimicrobial that helps manage skin infections and soothe itchy, irritated skin. It contains three enzymes that strengthen your immune system against harmful bacteria and fungi.
This shampoo is safe and gentle on pets of all ages, making it the perfect choice for regular bathing needs. It uses non-drying ingredients that are pH-balanced, tear-free, and paraben free for added convenience.
- Douxo Medicated Shampoo
If your pup is suffering from dry and itchy skin due to allergies or has a more serious skin condition, medicated shampoo can provide much-needed relief.
Douxo Medicated Shampoo (affiliate link) utilizes Chlorhexidine to soothe itching and reduce inflammation in your dog’s skin while helping maintain a healthy skin barrier.
- HyLyt Essential Fatty Acids Shampoo
If you’re searching for a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo to help manage your dog’s dry and itchy skin, HyLyt Essential Fatty Acids Shampoo is an ideal option. It contains emollients and proteins which moisturize skin and coat while controlling flaking and scaling.
This hypoallergenic, soap-free shampoo is great for general grooming and can be combined with topical treatments for dry or itchy skin.
- Sulfodene Ointment
Sulfodene ointment is used to address various skin-related problems in dogs. It helps prevent infection, relieves pain, and serves as a shield against insects and germs. It also treats hot spots caused by scratching or hair loss.
With Benzocaine 1.5% and Salicylic Acid 1.5%), this lotion helps to relax the skin and promote healing.
- Snout Soother
Snout-softening balm (affiliate link) is a 100% natural, vegan, organic blend of robust plants and supple butter that soothes, softens, and revitalizes dry or itchy noses in just days.
It is an effective remedy for brachycephalic dog breeds and puppies with sensitive, irritated noses. It helps heal dry, cracked, or scaly noses, skin overgrowth, hyperkeratosis, and more.
How to Prevent Dry Skin and Itching In Dogs?
Dry skin is an all-too-common issue for dogs. However, there are many ways to prevent this problem. Here are some of the best tips to prevent dry skin and itching in dogs.
- Diet Full Of Omega-6 And Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Avoiding Parasites And Infection
- Grooming Regularly
- Attending Routine Checkups
- Providing Dog Supplements
Conclusion What Can I Put On My Dog for Dry Skin and Itching
Itchy and scratchy skin in dogs is a common issue that can be caused by various things. Itching could be due to allergies, an infection, or simply a lack of moisture in the skin.
Fortunately, itchy dog skin is easily treatable, and there are plenty of effective solutions that can help soothe your pup’s coat and eliminate the itching.
We’ve rounded up the best treatment options for dry and itchy skin to make finding the right one easier.
From natural remedies to shampoos to tropical treatments, you can use any of the options to treat your dog’s dry skin and itching.
- Title: Canine atopic dermatitis: detailed guidelines for diagnosis and allergen identification Authors: Thierry Olivry, Ralf S. Mueller, and Pascal Prélaud Published in: BMC Veterinary Research, August 2015 Link: https://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-015-0515-8
- Title: The Skin Barrier in Healthy and Allergic Dogs Author: Peter Hill Published in: The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, January 2014 Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878650/
- Title: Cutaneous manifestations of nutritional deficiencies in dogs: a review Authors: Bensignor, E., Fabriès, L., & Hidalgo, A. Published in: The Journal of Small Animal Practice, July 2018 Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jsap.12892
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
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If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!