You’ve noticed your dog has dry, flaky skin. If you’re able to rule out parasites like fleas or biting lice, which can cause excessive scratching, or mange, which can lead to dry, inflamed skin, you can try to incorporate a skin and coat supplement or switch to a fish-based food to see if either improve the quality of your dog’s skin over time. Since dry skin can be indicative of an underlying health issue, if the problem persists, it’s best to take your dog to the vet to eliminate possible concerns.
What Causes Dry Skin on Your Dog?
Your dog’s dry skin could simply be caused by the environment. Just like with humans, cold weather causes dry skin in dogs. Warm environments can also dry out your dog’s skin.
Do you give your dog a bath every week? Bathing your dog too much can also contribute to dry skin. No matter how gentle a shampoo you use, the moisture in a dog’s coat is depleted with each bath, especially if you are using human shampoo. Be certain you use a shampoo and conditioner designed for dogs to reduce the risk of dry skin and decrease the frequency of the baths you give.
In some cases, dry skin can indicate nutritional deficiencies. Adding more omega-3 fatty acids may be necessary to combat dry skin in this circumstance.
Allergies or environmental factors can also play a role in skin issues. If your dog’s skin is dry and inflamed or red, this may be the case. Adding a fish oil supplement could alleviate dry, red skin but a trip to the vet for prescribed allergy medications is necessary if your dog needs immediate relief from constant scratching.
There are underlying health issues associated with dry skin that would also require veterinarian assistance. Autoimmune issues or hormonal imbalances can result in dry skin. Your vet can help narrow down to these issues with testing and hopefully rule any serious issue out.
Supplements for Dry Skin
To combat dry skin, try adding Prudence Skin and Coat or Alaska Naturals Salmon Oil or Pollock Oil for increased omega-3 fatty acid intake, which is a strong anti-inflammatory. They also help maintain the health of your dog’s skin and coat on a molecular level. Both supplements are in liquid form. You simply squirt a drop (or more depending on your dog’s size) on top of your dog’s food. They typically love the taste too.
You’ll want to try skin and coat supplements for a 60-day period in order to be able to notice the benefits. If for some reason the dry skin persists after trialing the supplements and your vet has ruled out any of the serious underlying issues like an autoimmune disorder, try switching your dog’s food to a higher quality food. Or if you’re already feeding a high-quality dog food, try changing the formula to incorporate a different protein. Any of our Feed Team members will be happy to help you select a new food for your pup!