How to Treat Dry Skin on Dogs: Shampoos, Oils, and Dog Food that Can Help
How to treat dry skin on dogs greatly depends on the cause of the itching and scratching. Several health problems can cause dry skin in dogs including allergic reactions, fleas, ringworm, and systemic illnesses. So if Fido is constantly itching and seems to need a dandruff shampoo, the first stop should be your veterinarian’s office. Once your vet has evaluated your dog and found the cause, you can take steps to ease your canine’s discomfort at home while treating the underlying health condition causing the dry skin.
Veterinarian recommendations for how often you should bathe your dog will range from once a month to once a year. Essentially, dogs don’t need bathing unless they are visibly dirty or you have a long-haired dog and need to prevent matting. Bathe your dog less often and your dog’s natural oils will build up and moisturize his skin. If you feel the need to bathe your dog more than once a month, try using just water as it’s the shampoo that removes the oils from the dog’s skin. When you do use shampoo, use one with oatmeal to help moisturize the skin.
Adding vitamin E tablets, fish oil tablets, or a spoon full of olive oil to your dog’s meal two to four times a week can help. Think of this as lotion for dog’s dry skin that works from the inside out. Do ask your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your dog’s diet to get the correct dosage and ensure the supplement won’t affect any medications your dog is currently taking.
Ask your veterinarian for an evaluation of your dog’s diet. Higher quality dog foods help dogs have a healthy coat and skin. The Merck/Merial Veterinary Manual reports that some dog foods, including homemade diets, are missing nutrients essential to a dog’s health and this can affect the skin. Click here for some of the best dog foods for dry itchy skin.
When treating a dog’s dry skin there’s not usually one simple solution. The cause must be found and treated along with treating the dry skin.
*Dog Scratching Photo by fa11ing_away, Flickr
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