How to help dogs with dry itchy skin?

When the scratching sounds become unbearable and start waking you up in the middle of the night it’s high time to act seriously.

It all starts innocently. Your dog makes those characteristic sounds of scratching and licking and scratching and chewing and scratching… And it becomes more frequent and more annoying both to you and your furry friend.  

These are the very first symptoms that indicate that your dog may suffer from dry and itchy skin. The question now is how to help your dog with dry itchy skin. There is no simple answer to this question because there are many different ways of helping dogs with dry itchy skin. The proper way to deal with this condition will be different for each dog. That’s because each pet has a different type of fur and skin sensitivity.

Dogs with dry itchy skin problems may suffer for several reasons. Veterinarians point out that the reasons for this condition may include parasites or allergies. Dry and itchy skin when not cured properly may later result in severe skin problems, which will be more difficult to heal. To stop your furry friend from scratching and release its pain, read this article and find out how to help dogs with dry itchy skin. Learn about symptoms and causes of dry itchy skin and understand which treatment will be best for your pup.

Symptoms of dry itchy skin in dogs

There are few characteristic symptoms of dry itchy skin in dogs. The easiest to spot is the most obvious one, which is scratching. If your dog scratches all the time it means that most probably it has some serious dry skin problems. 

Other significant symptoms which occur in dogs with dry itchy skin are: licking and biting the skin and fur, rubbing the whole body, or just head against floor and furniture or scaly skin. More serious symptoms which appear in severe stages of dry skin are rashes and inflammation, scabs, open sores, bald spots, and bumps. 

Causes of dry itchy skin in dogs

There is no single cause for dry itchy skin in dogs. Although skin conditions may seem like a small and insignificant issue, bear in mind that skin plays a critical role in our animal’s existence. Unhealthy or poorly looking fur in animals or visible dry skin can be a signal for bigger health problems. The most popular causes of dry itchy skin in dogs include infection, parasites, poor diet, seasonal allergies and allergies to chemicals used in shampoos, fungal infection, changing seasons, or hormonal imbalance.

When the winter season comes, the air gets colder and drier. This may result in dry itchy skin in dogs, due to lack of hydration and humidity. Another common cause is parasites such as fleas and mites which your pup may get during a walk. If you feed your dog with rather cheap and poorly balanced meals, you should not be surprised to see a deterioration in your pet’s skin and coat. Some dogs, exactly like humans, are allergic to pollen, grasses, and mold. Most of these allergies cause dry itchy skin in dogs. Also, your pup may be oversensitive to some chemicals used in its shampoo or even your own laundry detergent. Don’t underestimate dry itchy skin in dogs because it may also tell you that your pooch suffers from bacterial or fungal infections. [1]

Treatment for dogs with dry itchy skin 

If your dog shows any symptoms of dry itchy skin, first of all, examine them well by yourself or contact your veterinarian for advice. The specific treatment will always depend on the individual needs of your pet and its skin condition. Once the treatment for dry itchy skin begins, in a few days you should start seeing improvement. To help your dog cope with dry itchy skin, try to keep your dog on flea and tick preventatives. During the treatment, also take care of a better diet for your pet. Make sure that all the meals are full of nutrition and high quality. 

If you suspect any allergies, use a mild shampoo specifically designed for dogs with dry and sensitive skin. Consider using a good conditioner as well. Aloe vera shampoo promotes the healing of various skin lesions. Brushing your dog regularly may stop your pooch from scratching that often and it will help you find out any parasites in its skin. Also, it would be smart to prevent your pet from interacting with other dogs until the cause of its dry and itchy skin is well known. [2]

Natural ways to soothe dog’s dry and itchy skin

There are some treatments for dry itchy skin in dogs, which you may perform at home without buying any medications or canine specifics. The list of dog-friendly, natural itch relief products includes chamomile, apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, plain yogurt, and coconut oil.

Chamomile and green teas have certain properties which soothe and cool itchy skin. If your dog scratches vigorously all over its body, prepare a herbal bath. Fill up the tub with warm but not boiling water and put a few tea bags or tea leaves inside. Let the tea resolve in the water, remove the tea bags, and soak your dog for at least five minutes. Dry your pet. 

Another useful method of helping dogs with dry itchy skin is preparing a 50/50 apple cider vinegar/water spray. The mixture has an antiseptic and antifungal effect, so it will prevent your pooch from infections and should stop them from unnecessary scratching. Remember not to spray on raw on opened skin.

Oatmeal is often used in doggie hypoallergenic shampoos. Oatmeal is an active ingredient that soothes and fights skin irritation. You can add oatmeal powder inside your dog’s bath or prepare an oatmeal paste with a spreadable consistency. 

A better diet may also improve your dog’s skin condition. Feeding a dog with plain, unsweetened yogurt is very beneficial. Some bacteria cultures present in yogurt can stop skin irritation and improve your dog’s digestive system. Most dogs enjoy the taste of natural yogurt. Feed a small dog one teaspoon a week and big dogs two teaspoons once a week. The improvement should be seen after the first few weeks of such treatment. 

To sum up, dogs often have problems with dry itchy skin. Such problems may be a result of parasites or allergic reactions. As said before there are numerous causes for dry itchy skin in dogs. Also, many different symptoms of such conditions, mean a lot of different treatments for dogs with dry itchy skin. Each dog has different fur and skin sensitivity, so for each pet, the given treatment will be peculiar. Always remember to contact a veterinarian before applying the specific treatment on your pup. Also if you are not 100% sure whether that treatment is safe for your furry friend, don’t hesitate to call a vet or ask a canine specialist for help. 

Now that you know what are the most common symptoms and causes of dry itchy skin in dogs, you can observe your pup and give it proper treatment in advance. Never underestimate even the tiniest signs that your dog may have a problem with dry itchy skin. Acting early may help save the pet from discomfort and pain. Remember that a healthy dog ​​is a happy dog! [3]

Cynthia L. Collins

Cynthia L. Collins

Devoted dog lover, a dog mom to her two rescued Shih Tzus Romeo and Elvis, and an Australian Shepherd, Bandit. When she isn’t working, she volunteers in a local shelter and various animal welfare organizations.

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