A common condition which affects many dogs is dry skin which can lead to itchiness and sore patches. So finding ways to resolve this for your canine pal can make life much easier for the whole family.
Luckily there are quite a few home remedies available for treating the symptoms and providing your dog with relief from the problems which dry skin can create. Firstly, how do you tell if your dog is suffering from dry skin? Here are some things to watch out for:
- Flaky skin on his belly
- Dandruff left behind wherever your dog has been lying
- Scaly skin that comes off in patches
- Hair shedding and bald patches
- Scabby areas
- Red skin which is inflamed or infected
- Itching and scratching
Resolving this condition requires expert care, so we turned to Time for Paws – an online source of pet supplies, and we asked for ways on how you can help your pawed pals get rid of the pesky dry skin.
Change his diet
One of the most common causes of dry skin and skin problems is the food they are eating so changing their diet is one of the simplest things you can do. Cheap dog food is often missing vital nutrients to support their skin so try switching to a different brand.
Brush your dog every day
If your dog’s skin is flaking or dry then you need to brush him every day to get rid of all of the dead skin and encourage oil production. Brushing will help to stop a build-up of dead skin which could result in bacteria and infection.
Give your dog a bath
If your dog is scratching and itchy then look for a moisturizing shampoo and give your dog regular baths – look for shampoos which have anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-itching properties. Look out for oatmeal and oils in the ingredients list.
Use apple cider vinegar
Try using diluted apple cider vinegar to help clear the bacteria from your dogs’ skin and keep them clear of infections.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to their shampoo
Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to the shampoo as it has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties which can help to relieve itching and soreness.
Give your dog fish oil
Missing nutrients can be a cause of dry skin so try adding fish oil to his diet, either by feeding him fresh fish if he will eat them, or by adding liquid fish oil to his food.
Try using oils for your dog
Vitamin E can help to moisturize your dog’s dry skin and provide a protective barrier for him so try applying it to his skin on the very dry areas. Adding other oils to your dog’s food can also help – such as olive oil or coconut oil – check the dosage for the size of dog you have. You can also use coconut oil on his skin as a moisturizer as it won’t harm him if he decides to lick it off.
Buy a humidifier
The dryness caused by air conditioning or heating indoors can also contribute to dry skin conditions so try buying a humidifier to help provide relief.
All of these things can help to provide relief if your dog is already suffering from dry skin, helping to provide moisture from the inside and directly onto his skin, however, the best thing for your dog is to prevent him getting skin problems in the first place.
If your dog’s skin is really sore with raw patches from his scratching then it is always advisable to take him to the vets to get any broken skin areas or wounds treated to prevent infection taking hold and creating more serious problems.
From coconut oil to vitamin E there are many home remedies which can provide relief when needed, but the key to preventing dry skin permanently is to change your dog’s diet and to make sure he is getting all of the nutrients he needs on a daily basis. Make sure you buy a variety of dog foods and ensure you give him raw meat and vegetables on a regular basis as well.
Ensure any commercial food is the right type for your dog’s size and age and make sure it is nutritionally balanced. Taking your dog outside regularly can also help, particularly if he is in an air conditioned environment most of the time.