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My Dog Has Dry Skin: How Big Of An Issue Is It?

My Dog Has Dry Skin: How Big Of An Issue Is It?

. 4 min read

There are many factors that go into keeping your dog healthy. As a pet parent, you might always be worried about your pup’s overall health and want to do everything in your power to help them live a long and healthy life. From food and nutrition to vaccines, exercise and socialization you want your pup mentally and physically to feel their best.

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One important part of your pup’s overall health is maintaining their skin and coat. What do you do if you notice that your pup’s coat is looking a little dull? Maybe your dog has dry, flaky skin. You might be wondering how big of a deal this is and when you might want to consult your vet or a veterinary dermatologist.

5 Causes of dry skin on dogs

dog-scratching-ear

    1. Overbathing or bathing with the wrong shampoo

    While you do want to keep your pup clean, it is possible to overdo it. Most dogs only need to be bathed about once a month. This might come as a relief if your pup hates taking a bath! Some pups will need fewer baths in cold weather and a few more when it is warm as they might play outside or go swimming a bit more. If you are not sure how often your dog needs a bath or their skin is looking dry and you think you could be over bathing, consult your vet or a skilled groomer. Your vet or the groomer might ask you about what kind of shampoo you use for your dog and may recommend some alternatives. You could also consider a moisturizing mud like this one from Epree.

    dog-being-shampooed

    2. Allergies

    If your pup suffers from allergies a symptom could be dry, itchy skin. You will have to do some detective work to figure out exactly what your pup is allergic to. It could be something like chicken in his food or it could be a shampoo, cleaning product you use in your home or something in nature like mold, pollen, grass or sap from a tree. It can take some work to figure out so don’t hesitate to call in a pro if you suspect allergies. Your vet may suggest you and your pup visit a specialist for testing to get to the bottom of it quickly.

    3. Parasites

    If your pup is being invaded by parasites, dry or irritated skin might be one sign. Whether it is due to an internal condition like worms or something in their skin like mites, dry skin can be a sign of something being off. If mites take over your pup’s skin they can cause a condition called mange.

    4. Poor nutrition

    In addition to food allergies, poor overall nutrition can lead to dry skin. If your dog is eating dry food with filler like corn, soy or wheat this could contribute to dry skin and a dull coat.

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    Even if this is not the case, you will want to make sure your pup’s food has enough fat, calories, carbs, protein and vitamins/minerals for their needs. You’ll also want to check to make sure your pup is getting enough food every day. If your dog is a picky eater or is having challenges with chewing due to dental pain or poor oral health, you can try wet or fresh food. You will also want to work with your vet to resolve oral issues where possible as that will help your pup eat.

    Ollie makes several recipes of fresh food using different proteins so there is something for everyone. If your dog is allergic to chicken? Try the turkey, beef or lamb recipe. You can also speak with your vet about adding some fish oil or omega3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet for a nutrient boost and to help bring back the shine in his coat and moisture to his skin.

    5. Change of seasons

    Like you might get some drier than normal skin in the winter it is possible that your dog’s skin will also get dry. Consider using dog-specific lotion or moisturizer or adding a humidifier to your home to add back some moisture to the air. Visit the dog beach? Saltwater can also be drying so try to rinse your pup with fresh water after swimming and use a moisturizing shampoo as needed.

Treatment for dry skin

The most obvious answer to this question would be a moisturizer, but it really depends on why your pup is having dry skin in the first place! If their skin is dry due to a parasite or poor nutrition, you won’t help your pup feel better with lotion alone.

The most important factor here is to figure out why your dog might have dry skin and treat the cause. If it is due to a parasite or allergies, further treatment will be required. If it is due to dietary issues, you will need to make some modifications to your dog’s diet.

This may take a bit of trial and error to get it right. Remember when changing foods, do not make a dramatic change. Switch foods gradually and let your pup’s stomach get used to the new food to avoid any upset, diarrhea or vomiting. If your dog’s skin doesn’t seem to be getting better, consult your vet or a dermatologist. They will be able to provide the best guidance to get your pup’s skin and coat looking great.

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.