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Home Remedies for Dry Dog Skin

Pet Health and Safety  •   Richard Rowlands  •   Mar 10, 2022


Does your dog frequently scratch or bite at their skin, or do you often find flakes 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 to watch out for. And if you're searching for a dog dry skin home remedy that works, you're in the right place – we have nine of them for you!

Symptoms of Dry Skin in Dogs

Not all dogs with dry skin will show the same symptoms. This is because the condition can be caused by a variety of 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:

  • Itchiness
  • Dandruff
  • Flaking
  • Pimples
  • Scabs
  • Scaling
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation
  • Odor
  • Increased Oiliness

9 Dog Dry Skin Home Remedies You've Gotta Try

Now you know a little about the symptoms of dry skin in dogs, it's time to explore some home remedies. Here are 9 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 you try any 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 is lacking in any of these essential nutrients, it can lead to dry skin and other health problems. Fats are especially important 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. Simply 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 work to 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.

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant, and it 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. Simply 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

Yeast infections can lead to dry, itchy skin in dogs. Apple cider vinegar is a great dog dry skin home remedy that can help improve the flora on your dog's skin and eliminate yeast overgrowth.

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.

6. Oatmeal Bath

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 - 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 has a milky appearance. 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 skin issues in dogs 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 will 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 with your vet before adding this food to your pup's diet.

9. Humidifier

Dry skin in dogs is frequently caused by dry air, just as it is in humans. Winter can be especially damaging to your dog's skin, but summertime poses risks as well 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.

Consult Your Veterinarian if Dry Skin Persists

The home remedies listed above can often provide quick relief for mild cases of itchy or dry skin in dogs. 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.

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