How to Treat Dry Skin in Dogs

Is your dog suffering from dry, itchy skin? Here’s what you need to know to give him some relief.

Does your dog suffer from dry, itchy skin? This is a common problem in dogs as they spend more time outdoors where they potentially expose themselves to environmental factors that can cause skin dryness, itching, and flaking. In addition, dogs tend to have more sensitive skin than their human companions. Before attempting to home treat dry skin in dogs, it’s important to rule out more serious causes of canine itching such as parasites, fleas, bacterial infections, mites, and skin allergies. Once your dog has a clean bill of health, you can start working with reducing his symptoms and give him relief from his incessant scratching. Here are some ways to relieve dry, itchy skin in dogs:


Nutrition can play an important role in eliminating dry, flaky skin in a dog. Be sure that you’re feeding your dog a nutritionally balanced diet. If you’re using commercial dog food, use a premium brand and supplement with Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Deficiency in essential fatty acids can often present with dry, flaky skin in dogs. A balanced diet and supplementation with high quality fatty acids can often correct the problem of dry, itchy skin in dogs.

Grooming Routine

If you’re using a harsh shampoo on your dog’s skin, it may be stripping the skin surface of essentials oils and aggravating your dog’s dry skin. Choose an all natural dog shampoo with essential oils formulated for dogs with sensitive skin. You can also purchase canine creme rinses that have added hydrocortisone to relieve severe itching and reduce inflammation. One such product is Itch Stop Crème Rinse for dogs carried by Foster and Smith. This can provide welcome relief to a dog persecuted by severe itching due to dry skin or allergies.

Exposure to the Outside

If your dog spends a great deal of time outdoors, he may be manifesting dry, itchy skin due to an allergic reaction to various plants or grasses in your yard. Unfortunately, dogs can potentially be allergic to a variety of ornamental plants and grasses as well as mold, pollen, and a multitude of other potential allergens. Determining what your dog is reacting to may be difficult. If the onset of dry, flaky skin in your dog is of recent origin, look for any recent plants that may have been planted in your yard and reduce his exposure to the outdoors when possible.

Try the Oatmeal Routine

An oatmeal paste can be quite soothing to dry, itchy skin in a dog. To make an oatmeal salve, mix oatmeal with water to form a thick paste. Apply it to your dog’s skin and place a warm towel over the area. Keep your dog calm for fifteen minutes before removing the towel and the oatmeal paste. Apply this treatment every day and you should see improvement over time. You can also purchase oatmeal dog shampoos that have a soothing effect on canine skin.

By practicing good grooming and nutritional habits, you can help to reduce the symptoms of dry, itchy skin in your dog and make him more happy and comfortable.

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