Does your dog frequently scratch or bite at their skin, or do you often find dandruff in their fur while you pet them? Just like humans, many dogs suffer from dry skin. And without the proper treatment, the condition can cause discomfort and lead to further problems like skin infections.
Fortunately, with a little knowledge and some easy-to-find ingredients, you can help your furry friend find relief from dry skin. Keep reading to learn about the symptoms of dry skin. And if you're searching for a dog dry skin home remedy that works, you're in the right place!
Dry Skin on Dogs
Not all dogs with dry skin will show the same symptoms. This is because the condition can be caused by various factors, including environmental conditions, allergies, or a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet.
Symptoms of dry skin can also vary from dog to dog, based on factors such as age, breed, and overall health. However, there are several common signs of dry skin in dogs. Here are a few to look out for:
- Hair loss
- Increased Oiliness
How To Help Dogs with Dry Skin
Now you know a little about the symptoms of dry skin in dogs, it's time to explore some home remedies. Here are 10 simple solutions that can help soothe your pup's dry skin:
1. A Well-Balanced Diet
Optimal skin and coat health are achieved from the outside in. So, before trying other treatments, it's important to examine your dog's diet.
To stay healthy, your dog needs a complete and balanced diet that includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and plenty of water for hydration. If your dog's diet lacks any of these essential nutrients, it can lead to dry skin and other health problems. Fats are essential for maintaining healthy, moisturized skin.
2. Coconut Oil
Even when fed a healthy diet, some dogs will still experience dry skin. In these cases, coconut oil can be a great dog dry skin home remedy. Not only does it make a fantastic natural moisturizer, but it also has potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Warm up the oil in your hands and apply it to your dog's dry skin to moisturize and soothe.
For many dog owners, applying any kind of topical cream can be tough, since most dogs just want to lick it off. But with coconut oil, even if your dog does lick at it, the fatty acids in the oil also moisturize your dog's skin from the inside out!
3. Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is another healthy oil that's great for moisturizing your dog's skin. Apply the oil directly to dry patches of skin to moisturize and promote healing.
It's also an antioxidant and can be administered orally to help relieve inflammation and protect your dog from cellular damage.
4. Chamomile or Green Tea Bath
Chamomile and green tea help soothe irritated and inflamed skin. Brew a single tea bag in an 8-ounce glass of water, then let the tea bag cool. The tea bag can then be applied to hot spots or itchy, dry patches as needed.
If your dog has dry, itchy skin all over their body, you can run a warm bath and steep several bags of tea in it. After a few minutes, remove the tea bags and let your dog soak for 5-10 minutes.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Create a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water and apply with a spray bottle or cotton ball to specific dry spots. One word of caution: if your dog has scratched or rubbed raw spots into their skin, do not apply this solution, as it will cause painful stinging. Hot spots need to be seen by a vet.
6. DIY Oatmeal Shampoo
Oatmeal contains avenanthramides and phenols, anti-inflammatory components that help relieve and protect the skin from irritation. Oatmeal also helps form a protective barrier on your dog's skin to keep the moisture in.
To prepare an oatmeal bath, grind ⅓ of a cup to 1 cup of oats (depending on your dog's size) in a grinder or food processor until they're a fine powder. Next, mix the powder into a warm bath until the water looks milky. Add a cup of milk or a tablespoon of olive oil to increase the moisturizing effects even further.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil is another moisturizing oil that helps to soothe and protect dry skin. As with other oils, it can be used topically to moisturize your dog's skin, but olive oil is most commonly recommended by vets as an additive to your dog's daily meals.
Adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your dog's meals 2-3 times per week is a great way to moisturize their skin and leave them with a shiny, healthy coat.
8. Plain, Unsweetened Yogurt
While it may not seem obvious, many dog skin issues are caused by the digestive system. If your dog's microbiome is unbalanced, yeast and harmful bacteria can build up on their skin.
Yogurt is a probiotic, and the healthy bacteria it contains can help balance your dog's GI tract. Like olive oil, many vets recommend adding a teaspoon or two of plain, unsweetened yogurt to your dog's meals 2-3 times a week.
Keep in mind, however, that some dogs have trouble digesting yogurt. Always consult your vet before adding this food to your pup's diet.
Dry skin in dogs is frequently caused by dry air, just like with humans. Winter can be especially damaging to your dog's skin, but summertime poses risks if you have air conditioning in your home.
A humidifier adds moisture back into the air in your home, which can naturally soothe your dog's skin. However, it's important to monitor your dog's reaction to the humidifier, as environments that are too humid can also lead to skin problems.
10. Epsom Salt Soak
The condition of the skin and coat of some older dogs may benefit from a warm soak. A warm water soak with a few tablespoons of Epsom Salt may help with rough or coarse dry paw pads and the skin around the elbows. It also helps exfoliate, making a dog’s skin and coat smoother and softer.
How To Treat Dry Skin on Dogs
The home remedies listed above can provide quick relief for mild cases of itchy or dry skin. But it's important to consult with your veterinarian if the problem persists or symptoms worsen. There are many potential causes of dry skin in dogs, and only a veterinarian can correctly diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Skin and coat infections can be a result of fungi and bacteria. If your dog’s dry skin also has lesions and they’re constantly itching, you’ll want to take them to the vet.
Age affects the skin and coat. A dog’s skin becomes thinner and less flexible with age, and the hair coat becomes duller and drier due to less oil production. Trying some of the above home remedies is a good place to start. A vet may also prescribe a medicated shampoo to address some of the issues your older dog is experiencing.
Pet Insurance Can Help
Dry skin isn’t just caused by environmental or dietary issues; some breeds, like West Highland Terriers and American Cocker Spaniels, are predisposed to skin conditions. Accident and Illness Coverage offered by AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) doesn’t just protect your pet in case of an unexpected accident or illness, it even offers optional coverage for hereditary conditions like dry skin*. Click here for a quote and let the pet insurance of champions worry about the what ifs.
*Available at an additional cost. Waiting periods may apply. Coverage subject to deductible and coinsurance. Pre-existing conditions covered after 365 days.