5 Ways To Help Dog's Dry Skin
October 17, 2019 | 3 min read
Updated October 4, 2023
By Clara Hallifax
Summary: In this blog, learn what helps dogs dry skin and what to use on a dog's dry skin.
Did you know that dogs can struggle with allergies and itchy skin too? Dogs can even get dandruff! As a pet parent, it’s your responsibility and duty to consider the ways in which you can make life more comfortable for your pet(s), particularly if they have dry, itchy skin.
The cold temperatures of fall and winter can exacerbate the signs of dry skin, making every day an itchy struggle for some of our canine companions. Whilst in the summer months, excess heat and dehydration can cause their skin to dry up.
If you think your dog is allergic to something in their environment, talk to your veterinarian, and try to prevent your dog from going near those things.
Or, if you suspect they’re allergic to something in their diet, it might be worth considering cutting the suspect food out (Did you know that the most common food reactions in dogs are to beef, dairy, chicken, and wheat?) If your dog seems to be allergic to food, always discuss your concerns with your vet who can advise.
But, perhaps their itchiness isn’t caused by allergies at all! So, it’s important to make your home and daily routine as irritation-free as possible!
Keep your dog from scratching with these useful tips!
What Helps Dogs Dry Skin
Although any dog, despite their breed, weight, health, or anything else, can have seasonal allergies, there is no doubt that having a healthy, nutritious diet can help with the signs of seasonal allergies for your dog.
With the right nutrients, they can maintain a healthy immune system, and strong muscles and skin. You see, a healthy immune system is effective at supporting your pup against allergens and stressors – even ones from the environment.
So, include some healthy snacks in your dog’s daily diet. Often pups love little pieces of apples or carrots, so swap their biscuits for some fruit and veg instead. They're full of vitamins and antioxidants that promote good health!
If you’re worried that your dog isn’t getting the right vitamins for optimum health, we would recommend trying out a dog-specific multivitamin supplement from a reputable, high-quality pet brand!
Control Heat & Moisture Exposure
The use of heaters in the house, and hot tools such as blow dryers, can irritate anyone’s skin, including your dog’s. The excess heat being blown onto them can cause the skin to become dry, especially when the temperature outside is cold!
The environment can play a big role in the health of your furry pal’s skin, so consider the use of humidifiers when the air is dry and keep the house at a mild temperature as much as you can. Live in a hot climate? Utilize air conditioners and keep your dog cool with plenty of shade and nighttime walking to stop their skin drying out because of the sun outside.
It’s also important to stay hydrated! Allow your dog easy access to a bowl of fresh water as much as possible.
PetLab Co. Pro Tip: If you feed your dog dry kibble, they’ll need to drink more water than dogs who eat wet food, due to the lack of moisture in kibble.
Dog's coats are like our hair – it needs frequent cleaning to look, feel, and smell nice. Proper grooming and hygiene will help your dog’s skin stay clear of irritants, dandruff, and allergens that could be sitting on them that cause itching. Brushing and combing will clear the skin and coat of dead skin.
The presence of dead skin and allergens under the coat could sometimes deter growth. The hair follicles struggle to grow new hairs, and the existing hair loses quality - so if your dog is dealing with hair thinning or occasional loss, give them a thorough bath with a soothing, itch-relieving shampoo to help shed the dead skin cells (dandruff) that may be causing them to itch.
What To Use On Dogs Dry Skin
However, dogs who struggle from itchy, dry skin may be sensitive to certain products. For a homemade solution, use oatmeal grains mixed with water and wash their coat with it, as it’s great for soothing itchy skin!
Apple Cider Vinegar
A great, natural support against itchy skin is apple cider vinegar. It can help address the discomfort of dry skin and seasonal allergies.
The acidity of apple cider vinegar also creates an environment that yeast can’t survive in, which can help lower the likeliness of yeast overgrowth in your dog’s coat. Yeast overgrowth can be caused by seasonal allergies and it can cause other discomforts.
We suggest mixing Apple Cider Vinegar in a bottle – preferably a spray bottle for easy distribution to the coat – with water. Make sure the ratio is no more than 50% Apple Cider Vinegar, because the acidity may be too much for your dog, especially if they have sensitive skin. Apply it once or twice a day, and along with their regular flea and tick treatment, they’ll be well protected when out in flea/tick-infested areas.
Up The Omega 3 & 6 In Their Diet
Ingredients that are proven to help with the signs of dry skin are Omega 3 and Omega 6. They contain an abundance of nutrients that target the discomfort of dry skin, and they contain inflammatory balancing properties. The reason they are so effective is that the oil from the Omega oils supports the existence of the body’s natural oils.
Dry skin and doggy dandruff occur when the body’s glands don’t produce enough natural oils or hair follicles get blocked, so Omegas 3 and 6 will encourage oil production.
You can usually find Omega fatty acids in supplement form for dogs or in 100% salmon oil, squirted over their main meal.
Itchy, dry skin isn’t fun for anyone, including your pooch – it can be uncomfortable when scratched.
It’s our job, as pet parents, to make sure the environment and home we make for our dogs are as safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible!
A lover of all animals, especially dogs! I love to learn about the way they think, and what we as pet owners can do to better their lives. So what better way, than to write fun, informative content?! When I’m not typing away, you can find me trying to cook a new recipe (and failing), or of course playing with the dog