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Do You Know the Causes of Dry Skin on Dogs?

Updated on March 20, 2013

3 Top Causes of Dry Skin on Dogs

Dry skin on dogs is an indication that something is wrong. Healthy dogs have healthy skin. If you notice your dog itching and scratching all the time, you need to discover the cause. It is not only irritating to you to listen to your dog itching and scratching, it makes your dog miserable too.

Here are the 3 top things that cause skin problems on dogs.

Cause #1 - Frequent Bathing

It's true. Dogs do tend to smell. To combat this problem, many people resort to giving their dog too many baths. While it doesn't hurt for your dog to get wet or go swimming often, it does cause problems when pet owners give their dogs baths too often with shampoo. Even if a shampoo is made specifically for dogs, it can still dry out their skin causing them to have dry patches of itchy skin.

Different dogs need to be bathed according to their size, breed, and their living conditions. Ask your vet for his opinion as to how often you should bathe your dog.

Another mistake pet owners make is bathing their dog with human shampoo. Wash your dog's coat with shampoo specifically made for dogs. Human shampoo can be too drying for dogs. If you use dog shampoo and you're not bathing your dog too often, your dog could possibly be allergic to the shampoo.

Most large pet stores carry a wide variety of dog shampoo. Try a hypoallergenic shampoo to see if this relieves your dog's skin problem.

Also, while it's not necessary to wash your dog every week, you need to be sure you brush him at least once per week. Brushing your dog helps spread his natural oils throughout his coat and skin. These natural oils protect your dog's skin and keeps him from itching.

Put a Stop to Dry Skin on Dogs

Cause #2 - Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to a wide range of things. The two things they are most allergic to are fleas and their food. Check your dogs for fleas and examine his skin. If you see fleas and he has red or swollen patches, it could be from flea bites. You can buy medicine from the pet store that has antibiotics or steroids in them. Follow the directions on the medication and treat your dog. If this medication doesn't help, you might have to take your dog to the vet for stronger steroids or an antihistamine.

If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction to his food, the only way to discover what he is allergic to is by testing different foods. Read the ingredients on your dog's food and switch to a different brand with different ingredients. By trial and error, you have to see what food your dog reacts to best and which seems to bring on bouts of itching and scratching until you know what to eliminate from his diet.

Cause #3 - General Health

You need to feed your dog the best food you possibly can. If your dog isn't getting proper nutrition from his food, it will cause health problems - one of which is skin problems in dogs. Make sure your dog is getting the nutrition he needs by feeding him good quality food and feeding him food made specifically for his age, size, breed and any medical problems he may have. To play it safe, it's a good idea to give your dog vitamin supplements with his food.

Get Rid of Dry Dog Skin

Guarding against flea and food allergies, bathing and grooming your dog properly, and being sure he is getting the right nutrition with his food and dog supplements, is a good start to putting an end to skin problems on dogs. Use this information to decide what is causing your dog's dry skin problem and put an end to it once and for all.

Dry Skin on Dogs - What's Causing It?

What is the Cause of Your Dog's Dry Skin?

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    • Debhsmomof4 profile image

      Debhsmomof4 7 years ago from New York, New York

      Thanks K9 and you're right. Olive oil or a raw egg added to your dog's food helps them have healthy skin and a shiny coat.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      We add olive oil (or Linitone oil)to our dog's food, it keeps his coat shiny and his skin moist. It also is good for his heart and digestion. Good food is the key as you note, nothing is better for your dog than a proper and healthy dog food diet to keep his skin in good condition. Good work here Deb.