There’s a Remedy for Your Dog’s Dry Skin

When man’s best friend is itchy it can be torture to watch. I have known of dogs that wore down their front teeth over time attempting to get relief from aggravating, painful itches. When deciding how to treat a dog’s dry skin, first consider the cause. Some causes, such as flea infestation, mange, infection or ringworm, usually require the care of a veterinarian. Many can be treated with natural remedies or the proper nutrition. I will share some of the causes and possible remedies for the dry skin.


When my dog begins scratching and chewing his skin, I first suspect fleas, though a quick visual inspection does not always reveal this pesky parasite. If I do not see any fleas, I use a flea comb for a closer inspection. I suspect an allergy if I still see no fleas.

When fleas are found there are many products that can cure the problem. A visit to the veterinarian may be necessary for a cure. I prefer trying natural remedies before using harmful chemicals that could exacerbate an existing skin problem. A homemade lemon rinse could be the solution to getting rid of fleas and curing dry skin. Simply, bring to a near boil a pint of water and cut up lemon. Take off heat and allow to steep overnight. Pour the lemon rinse in a spray bottle and spray the dog’s skin. Applying it with a sponge also works. Repeat as needed to kill and repel fleas. The dog’s dry skin should heal.

Poor Diet

Dog dry skin treatment may be as simple as changing my pooch’s diet. Many commercial dog foods lack Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and certain vitamins that are needed to maintain healthy skin in dogs. High-quality dog food and possibly nutritional supplements may remedy dry skin on a dog.

Food allergies may also be the culprit for the dry skin. Poor quality dog foods have added ingredients that can cause allergies in a dog. Even if a dog has eaten a certain food for a long period of time, it can suddenly become allergic to that food. There are specially formulated dog foods, such as Iam’s Veterinarian Formula Skin and Coat and Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d, which may prevent dry skin. Some people prefer to make homemade dog food with adequate protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Olive oil is a beneficial antioxidant that will improve my dog’s immune system. Great skin begins with a healthy immune system. Choose an extra virgin olive oil that is certified organic and preferably from California. Unfortunately, there is labeling fraud in many brands, especially those not processed in the United States. My dog’s health and well-being are important to me, so I want a pure product. For healthier skin, add to your dog’s food, 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil.

Harsh Shampoos

Human shampoo should never be used on dogs. Many shampoos often contain harsh chemicals that can cause itching, redness, or flaking of a dog’s skin. An all-natural dog shampoo for sensitive skin should be used for bathtime. Shampoo containing oatmeal may also soothe a dog’s itching. Too frequent bathing, even with natural shampoos, may be the reason for dry skin on a dog. Do not bathe a dog more often than twice a week; bathe only every two months in the winter. Moisturizing sprays and lotions made especially for dogs can be added relief to a dog’s dry skin after a bath.

Cold, windy, & Dry Air

Cold or windy weather, as well as indoor heating systems, may cause excessive drying of a dog’s skin. Regularly brushing my dog will stimulate natural oil production. During the winter months, I use a moisturizing shampoo for my dog. Tea tree oil, calendula oil, vitamin E, or fish oil can also be applied directly to the dog’s skin to relieve dryness.

Thyroid Disease

Our furry friends are susceptible to some of the same diseases as humans. Hypothyroidism causes dry skin, skin thickening and darkening, a dull and brittle coat, excessive shedding of hair, lethargy, weight gain, exercise intolerance, and behavioral changes. A veterinarian can test and determine if a dog has hypothyroidism. A hormone can be prescribed and control the symptoms of dry skin.

Caring for the health needs of my dog is my responsibility. The numerous products and easily accessible information today makes it inexcusable if my dog does not get dry skin treatment.