Symptoms of Dog Dry Skin
If your dog has dry skin, he may scratch a lot. He may also lick or bite at his skin. Your dog may also lose some hair from scratching. The skin will usually appear reddened and irritated. If left alone, the skin may eventually become infected from so much scratching.
The condition of your dog's coat is often related to the condition of his skin. If his skin is dry, his coat may also appear dull and dry.
Diagnosis of Dog Dry Skin
It can be difficult to tell if your dog is itching because of dry skin or because of other problems. If you notice your dog scratching a lot, it's a good idea to consult with your vet. Your vet can rule out skin diseases and parasites. If none of those things exist, then your dog may just have dry skin.
Treatment with Oil for Dog Dry Skin
If your dog has very dry skin, your vet may recommend oil for dog dry skin. Apply the oil twice a day until the dry skin appears healthy. Coconut, safflower, and cottonseed oils are all good choices. They will not harm your dog if he licks them, but because they are all easily and quickly absorbed by the skin, chances are he will not be able to lick much of them off. You will want to discourage your pet from licking the affected area, however, while it is healing.
If your dog has developed a skin infection from scratching, antibiotics will be prescribed. Oral antibiotics are preferred over topical ones, because your dog will likely lick off topical creams before they can be effective.
Poor nutrition can also cause your dog to have dry, itchy skin. There are certain fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy coat and healthy skin. Your dog also needs Vitamin E to keep the skin hydrated and supple. Most commercial dog foods will contain the proper nutrients that your dog needs, but if his skin is very dry, talk to your vet about your dog's diet or consider a dietary supplement made to improve skin health such as PetAlive Skin and Coat.
Carlotti, D. N.
Optimizing Topical Therapy in the Dog
Beale, K. M.