Methods To Treat Dry Skin On Dogs
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Methods to Treat Dry Skin on Dogs

As a dog owner, skin care for your little pooch is probably the last thing on your mind. We fuss about what our furry babies will eat, when they can play, and how good their coat looks forgetting what is probably one of the most important aspects of caring for a dog. The reality is that your doggy’s skin deserves just as much tender loving care. This is because dogs suffer from a lot of skin issues from contact dermatitis to eczema. The most important of these issues is dryness which, if not addressed, could lead to all sorts of problems including dandruff and even infections from cracked skin. 

Fortunately for you, it is never too late to start a healing skin care routine for your dog. To help you out, we have compiled a list of 7 tips and tricks for treatments of dry dog skin including proper grooming, vitamin E oil, and oatmeal baths. That way you know exactly what to do for a truly healthy and beautiful best buddy.

7. Include vitamin supplements in the diet

As with humans, vitamins work wonders on a dog’s skin. The most important in this case are vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. They help repair damaged skin, promote regeneration of collagen, minimize outbreaks and so many other benefits. So if you are dealing with skin issues then one of the best treatments is to include such vitamins in the pooch’s diet.

One way you could do this is by introducing actual fruits into their meal plan. You just have to make sure to find fruits that the pooch will not only enjoy but that are also safe for them. In this case, mango and apple are fantastic for the nourishment of your dog dry skin. They are rich in vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants that help with promoting skin health.

You could also go for dog foods with vitamins in them. They usually include multi-nutrient formulas with proteins, carbs, vitamins and minerals. The fortified foods ensure that your dog has access to the much needed vitamins without having to introduce anything new which is particularly useful when dealing with picky eaters.

Finally, you could go the multivitamin supplement route when dealing with dry skin and other skin issues on your dog. We recommend that you try the Zesty Paws Multivitamin Treats for Dogs. It contains vitamin E and fish liver oil which are both fantastic for the skin.

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6. Keep your dog hydrated

Dogs need water too, and not feeding them enough is a common mistake made by both newbie and veteran dog owners. They actually have daily water requirements which you should definitely follow to avoid dehydration and by extension dry skin. By keeping your dog hydrated, you will heal their dry and flaky skin from the inside with astonishing results.

The amount of water needed per day depends on the age, size and level of activity of the dog. Small dogs can survive on 250 to 500ml of water per day while large dogs may need up to 2 liters or more. The best thing to do is to just present water with every meal and let your dog drink at will.

You should also consider introducing wet foods into the diet as you deal with the situation. This does not mean that the pooch will not need water. However, it lowers the daily required amount by offering supplementary hydration.

In addition to keeping your pooch hydrated to deal with dry skin, you have to replace any water losses from vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating from heat intolerance. Usually when illnesses are involved, it is best to consult your vet on your rehydrating plan, because more often than not, more water intake does not necessarily solve the problem. Electrolyte supplements may also be required.

5. Pick your shampoo carefully

The choice of shampoo for your dog is a make or break deal. This is because it exposes your pooch’s skin to chemicals and other compounds that could cause or worsen skin dryness. It is therefore really important to pick the shampoo you use very carefully to avoid doing more harm than good.

Ingredients like parabens, alcohols and sulphates are notorious when it comes to causing skin dryness when used in dog shampoos. They could also cause irritation which leads to contact dermatitis and eventually causes skin damage and dryness. It consequently goes without saying that it is best to avoid such shampoos especially if your dog already has skin problems.

Artificial fragrances in shampoos could also cause your furry best buddy a lot of problems by irritating the skin and worsening dryness and should thus be avoided at all costs.

Instead of these harsh shampoos, go for options with more organic formulas and soothing ingredients like essential oils and oatmeal.

You could also use shampoos that are specially formulated to deal with dry and itchy skin.  Isle of Dogs Coature No. 10 Dog Shampoo is perfect for the job with this in mind. It contains primrose oil and a non-harsh formula that nourishes and moisturizes your dog’s dry skin effectively.

4. Use hydrating products

In addition to using gentle shampoos, you should also incorporate hydrating grooming products into your doggy’s grooming routine. These help by moisturizing the skin from the outside to perfectly complement the consistent water consumption. In this case, here are 2 two main options that we will recommend.

Hydrating oils

The first is to apply actual hydrating oils directly on your dog’s skin. These include oils like olive oil and coconut oil. These topical oils offer relief to your dog’s dry skin while also preventing complications like cracking and flaking at the same time. They also form a sort of seal for moisture already in the skin minimizing losses through sweating that could lead to dry and itchy skin on your furry best buddy. While this is very effective, it can be a little messy and uncomfortable due to all the oiliness.

Hydrating shampoos

The second and perhaps the best option is to hydrate your dog’s skin using hydrating shampoos and conditioners. These are specially formulated with ingredients like oatmeal and others to offer moisturizing and soothing effects to dry skin.

Check out the Warren London Hydrating Butter Leave-in Conditioner for these awesome benefits. It contains oatmeal and vitamins from the mango and guava extracts. These offer the hydrating perks needed to ease your dog’s discomfort while helping you avoid greasy messes.  

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3. Oatmeal baths

Oatmeal works wonders when it comes to easing dry skin in dogs.

Oatmeal contains proteins that help seal in moisture while promoting restoration of natural and healthy skin structure.

Shampoos that contain oatmeal are fantastic if you want a convenient and easy fix to your dog’s skin problems. However, homemade oatmeal baths and rubs work a lot better especially when dealing with dryness as a result of irritation from things like parasites and allergens.

One way you can give your doggy these soothing benefits is by preparing an actual oatmeal bath. For this, take some oatmeal powder and add to the dog’s bath water. Let them soak in it for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on your dog’s size and their ability to stay still for that long. After this, wash them off with a gentle shampoo and you should be good to go.

You could also prepare a rub or a coat mask from oatmeal for your pooch. This works really well especially when dealing with patches of dry and irritated skin as opposed to the whole body. For this, simply create a paste by adding ground oatmeal to water in equal parts. The next step is to wet the hot spot areas and apply the paste. Leave it for up to 15 minutes, rinse it off, and you are good to go.  

2. Healthy diet

The skin is very sensitive to what the dog eats. One way this happens is by supplying the skin with nutrients needed to keep it healthy and supple. These include vitamins and healthy oils that come in particularly handy when it comes to dealing with dry skin.

The dog’s diet also affects the skin by affecting gut health. Without going into too much detail, this works through the gut-skin axis. In a nutshell, proper gut function means fewer toxins circulating around the body which is beneficial to all the systems especially the skin.

Both of these require a healthy diet for the dog’s sake. This means the perfect combination of quality and quantity. When it comes to quality, Heed Foods is a pet wellness company that does it way better than anyone else. They offer fantastic options with holistic formulations that will do wonders for your dog’s skin. The recipes include high quality, organic ingredients including fruits that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that are fantastic for restoring the dog’s skin from dryness. 

Heed Foods’ formulas also stand out with their gut-friendly blend of ingredients including thyme extract, chicory root, and kelp as well as probiotics to help heal damaged skin through the gut-skin axis. The correct nourishment builds up the immune system of your dog and will do wonders to alleviate their dry skin problems, amongst other health benefits.

1. Get a good grooming plan

Finally, no amount of supplements and products will ever beat good old fashioned grooming when it comes to dealing with dry skin in dogs. This includes everything from washing and trimming to brushing and clipping nails. This is because a lot of the issues that cause skin dryness can be easily managed through proper hygiene whether it is flea infestation or poor coat conditions.

The first and possibly most important step is to establish a good washing routine. Cleaning your pooch is important to ensure that they do not end up getting stinky or harboring troublemakers like fleas. However, washing too much could also cause trouble by stripping the skin and fur of their natural oils and causing dryness. To avoid the latter, it is recommended that a dog should be washed once every month or two.

Brushing also plays a huge role in promoting skin health. This is particularly the case with doggies that have long fur. If it gets matted, shedding increases greatly. This could cause dryness either through pulling on the skin or by exposure as more and more fur is lost.

To avoid this, brush your dog’s hair 2 to 4 times a week depending on their fur length. Also make sure to use brushes that are gentle on the skin. You should consider looking into the Pet Neat Dog Brush for this. It features thin but strong bristles that are perfect for detangling.

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Related Questions

Why Is My Dog Itching So Much In The Winter? Dogs itch for a number of reasons. With itching during cold seasons like winter, in particular, the irritation is as a result of dry skin due to the cold and low humidity weather and is actually referred to as winter itch in dogs. The itchiness could also be as a result of non-seasonal reactions like allergies and flea infestations. 

What Is Folliculitis In Dogs? Folliculitis refers to inflammation of hair follicles in a dog’s skin. It is more often than not due to bacterial infection and is considered the most common skin infection in dogs. It could also be due to other pathogens like fungi or parasites. It causes painful itching and skin lesions and if untreated could lead to severe skin damage including scaring and fur loss. 

Is Dog Dermatitis Contagious To Humans? How contagious dog dermatitis is depends on the cause. If it is due to things like fleas or mange from mites, there is always the risk of transfer to humans that interact with the doggy. However, for most infections especially dermatitis due to bacteria as well as allergic dermatitis, there is no proven risk of acquiring the diseases from contact with the dog. However, play it safe by getting a vet involved and minimizing handling in such cases. 

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