Dry Skin and Your Dog

What Causes Dry Skin ?


Dogs get allergies just like individuals do. Food allergies, and environmental allergies and seasonal allergies, such as pollen, dust, feathers, grass, animal dander, grain, and flea infestation can cause a lot of symptoms in dogs which often consist of dry skin. If left untreated, these allergies may produce a skin condition known as atopic dermatitis, which causes dry skin, itching, redness, and inflammation and may also result in secondary skin infections.

Flea allergy dermatitis, which can be an allergic reaction to flea saliva, is the most common skin disease in American dogs. The best way to prevent flea allergies is to maintain your pet and house free of fleas and to speak with your vet about treatment options for your dog’s allergies.


Parasites are another possible cause of dry skin . Dry, flaky skin may be a indication of parasites that cause mange, like the Demodex mite, canine scabies, and cheyletiellosis (Walking Dandruff), or it can indicate that your dog has lice.

Diagnosing parasites which cause dry skin requires a visit to the veterinarian. Your family vet may consult with an expert in veterinary dermatology if he believes your pet needs the attention of an expert.


Fungal and bacterial infections can cause an assortment of skin-related symptoms in dogs. Veterinarians usually diagnose pet skin infections by taking skin scrapes for cytology. These infections are sometimes secondary to a greater problem, which is the reason why dry skin should always be taken seriously. Some infections, like the fungal disease Ringworm, are also transmissible to people.

Systemic Disorders

From time to time, dry skin is a indication of a much bigger problem. The two primary metabolic disorders associated with dry skin on dogs are Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism. In both instances, dry skin is often accompanied by dry and brittle hair, hair loss, and skin ailments, among other symptoms. Auto-immune ailments and cancer may also lead to dry skin .

These conditions are severe. Dry skin shouldn’t be dismissed, so ensure to take your pet in to see your family veterinarian as soon as you notice symptoms of dry skin.

Breed-Specific Skin Conditions

Some breeds are more prone to skin conditions than others, particularly in regards to dry skin. Hairless breeds, like the Xoloitzcuintli and the Chinese Crested, are more prone to many different skin ailments, and Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and fast large-breed puppies can find a condition known as zinc-responsive dermatosis. Veterinarians can narrow down the probable causes of your dog’s dry skin.

Other Reasons For Dry Skin on Dogs

Sometimes dry skin is due to environmental conditions such as cold weather and dry air, or by excessive bathing, harsh soaps, and poor nourishment . If you suspect that your pet’s dry skin is caused by nutritional deficiencies, environmental conditions or bathing customs, it’s still recommended to talk with your veterinarian so as to rule out more serious problems.

Signs of Dry Skin on Dogs

Dry skin doesn’t present in precisely the exact same way for each dog, but some symptoms of dry skin include:

  • itchiness
  • dandruff
  • flaking
  • pimples
  • scaling
  • hairloss
  • inflammation
  • odor
  • increased oiliness
  • scabs

Some dogs experience just one of these symptoms while others present with several. Keeping an eye on your dog’s symptoms can help your veterinarian diagnose the cause of your pet’s dry skin.

Treatment of your pet’s dry skin depends upon the cause, so the first step is a diagnosis. While the world wide web is filled with valuable resources about canine health, consulting your vet is the best method to ascertain the cause of your pet’s skin issues.

Sometimes, dry skin may be an indication of a bigger cause, in which case your vet will treat both skin and the illness. Demadex mange (secondary demodicosis) is often related to Cushing’s disease, which means that your vet will have to treat both the mange and Cushing’s.

Treating Dry Skin

Treating allergies which cause dry skin on dogs can get tricky. For pet food allergies, your veterinarian might prescribe an elimination diet, since there’s no reliable diagnostic test for diagnosing food allergens.

Environmental allergies can be analyzed for, but there’s no cure. The 3 common treatment options for allergies are:

  • avoiding the allergen
  • controlling the itching, dry skin, etc.
  • immunotherapy (allergy shots)

Some variables, like excessive bathing, are easy to control. Buying a humidifier to use when the weather is cold and dry, using a vet approved shampoo, and decreasing the frequency of bathrooms usually resolves dry skin on dogs, provided that those factors are the cause. Switching to a high-fat diet provides the vital nutrients your dog needs for a healthy coat and skin, so speak to your vet about a nutrition program, along with any supplements, he recommends.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the saying goes, and it proves true in regards to skin conditions in dogs. While some breeds are more prone to dry skin than others, there are a few things you can do to stop dry skin on dogs:

Feed a high quality, balanced diet out of puppyhood
Prevent parasites by maintaining up-to-date on preventatives
Groom your dog regularly to prevent the buildup of grime and debris
Give nutritional supplements when necessary as prescribed by your vet
Schedule regular veterinary checkups to monitor your dog’s overall health
Keep facial skin folds clean in breeds with folds
Research your strain to find out what skin conditions They’re predisposed to and how to stop them
The best way to stop dry skin in puppies is ensuring that your pet leads a happy, healthful life. Some skin conditions can’t be prevented, but by being a conscientious owner who regularly examine her puppies, you can grab your pet’s dry skin until it gets out of control.