You can usually spot a dog with dry, flaky skin a mile away. If the dry coat and skin aren’t obvious, you’re guaranteed to notice the incessant scratching and chewing. You can easily treat this common problem at home without using prescription or over-the-counter remedies. Learning how to treat dry skin on dogs is much easier than you may think.
Not only will dry skin irritate your pet, it could lead to more serious health troubles if left untreated. Your dog will constantly scratch and bite to try to alleviate the itching. This behavior can lead to abrasions of the skin, which could quickly become infected due to bacteria on your dog’s paws and/or in his saliva.
Dry skin could be linked to environmental factors, like cold winter air, or a nutritional deficiency. The best way to ensure your dog’s skin and coat stay moisturized is to keep him well-hydrated and feed him a balanced diet. Even if you provide these things, your dog may still suffer from dry skin.
Like humans, some dogs just have dry skin for no particular reason. In these instances, learning how to treat dry skin on dogs will prove to be a useful skill. Just be sure that you’re keeping a close watch on the condition to make sure it’s not getting worse.
Veterinarians do warn that some of the causes of dog itchy skin may be serious and could lead to health issues if left untreated. Usually, if your dog’s itchiness is severe and doesn’t go away, you’ll need to do tests at your local vet clinic to rule out any serious health conditions.
How To Treat Dry Skin On Dogs
1. Oatmeal Bath
Most of the over-the-counter products you will find to treat itchy skin contain oatmeal. Studies have shown that the properties in oats have a positive effect on itchy skin. You can make your dog an oatmeal bath at home to help heal dry or itchy skin.
Add 3 cups of colloidal oatmeal to a bathtub filled with about 6 inches of warm water. Put your dog in the bathtub and use a cup to apply the oatmeal water generously to his coat. Massage the mixture in to the skin with your hands. Try to allow the oatmeal bath to sit on your pup for 20-30 minutes (if he will stay in the tub long enough).
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider has been shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. DO NOT use it directly on your dog’s skin, as the high acidity could actually be harmful to him. It could irritate the skin and cause a burning sensation for your dog.
Make a 50/50 blend of apple cider vinegar and water in an empty spray bottle. You can apply the spray to your dog 2-3 times per day until the itching stops. If your dog has chronic skin itchiness, you can use the apple cider vinegar spray once per day as a treatment remedy.
This spray should not be used if your dog has open wounds on his skin. It will sting and cause your dog pain. You should also pay close attention to the itchy areas after applying this itchy dog home remedy. If you notice any redness or the itchiness seems to get worse, stop using the spray and contact your veterinarian.
ALSO: How To Feed Dogs with Sensitive Skin
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has many effects on skin and coat health. It can help with skin conditions like eczema, contact dermatitis, itchy skin and generally improve skin health. It can reduce allergic reactions, especially when it comes to flea allergies.
Skin cuts and wounds can also be treated with coconut oil. It can disinfect cuts and promote their healing. It can also help with the treatment of dry skin, hot spots, bites and stings.
Coconut oil can be given to dogs orally or applied topically. Including coconut oil in your dog’s diet can improve their health in general, but for the best results regarding skin and coat health, it should also be used topically.
Coconut oil can be given to dogs daily with one of their meals. The serving size is dependent on your dog’s size. I recommend adding about 1/4 of a teaspoon for small dogs and up to 1 tablespoon for extra large breeds.
Using coconut oil topically is pretty simple. It is important to start with small amounts because your dog’s fur can get greasy if you apply too much. Just rub a bit of oil between your hands and put in on your dog’s fur, like you are giving him a gentle massage.
Use your fingertips to rub the oil on his skin as well. It is best to apply coconut oil once or twice a week. Coconut oil is very healthy for dogs, so you don’t have to worry if your pooch licks this dog dry skin home remedy.
6. Vitamin E Oil
You can purchase Vitamin E oil at most pharmacies or natural living stores. Applying the oil topically to sores on your pet’s skin will help them heal faster. You can also apply the oil to especially dry patches of skin to help moisturize and heal the area.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to defend against free radicals in the skin. It is also good for your dog’s immune system, heart and liver health and overall skin and coat health.
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