Why Does My Dog Have Dry Itchy Skin?
Dry skin can be irritating to humans, and so with dogs. When left unresolved, it could cause great discomfort to your dogs, affecting not just their health but also their entire lifestyle.
As a dog owner, surely you wouldn’t want your dog to be inactive just because of dry skin, especially if it can easily be treated and even avoided.
What are the causes of dry skin in dogs?
Just like with humans, cold wind in winter can cause excessive dryness in a dog’s skin. This is especially true for breeds that don’t have thick coats, such as American Hairless Terrier, Peruvian Inca Orchid, and Xoloitzcuintli.
On the other hand, dogs with thick fur are more susceptible to fleas and mites, which can also cause dry skin. Their bites cause extremely flaky skin, which is very itchy for dogs.
Dogs can also have allergies, such as hayfever. Aside from sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, they also experience extremely dry skin because of the said ailment.
Fungal and bacterial infections caused by parasites could be the worst reason for a dog’s dry skin. This is because aside from the unpleasant look of the coat and extreme itchiness, it can also be accompanied by fever. The infection could easily go internal and may trigger other major diseases.
What are the symptoms of dry skin in dogs?
Excessive dry skin will look flaky and scabby. Dogs’ natural reaction to itchiness will be intense scratching. Because of their sharp nails, their scratches may result in redness, lacerations, and open wounds. These wounds may also have pimples and puss, which are also characterised by bad odour.
When left untreated, dogs’ scratching may lead to hair loss. Their open wounds can also be a good breeding ground for more bacteria that can even cause septic arthritis.
Furthermore, they may experience lethargy, lack of appetite, and unruly behaviour because of their discomfort. They may even try to resolve the itchiness by biting the affected parts of their bodies.
How do you treat dry skin in dogs?
Veterinarians will prescribe topical and oral antibiotics to treat the dry and itchy skin. They will also give you dog spray, which may contain essential oils to moisturise the skin while it heals.
On the other hand, you can also treat your dog’s skin from the inside through multivitamins. There are some dog chews that are rich in Vitamin A, C, and E that can improve the skin and coat conditions of dogs. One chew a day won’t just prevent skin problems but can also boost your dogs’ immune system.
Home remedies such as apple cider vinegar can also prevent the spread of fungal infections. However, you need to constantly soothe the skin with oatmeal to maintain skin moisture, as apple cider vinegar can also inflict dryness on the skin.
Sure enough, there are lots of more serious infections in dogs compared to dry skin. However, simple irregularities like this can cause great discomfort to your dog that can affect their entire lifestyle.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard