It’s winter and you’re busy slathering your body with lotions and creams to ward off the dry skin that winter often brings, but is dry skin also a problem for your dog? Dry skin is a common problem with dogs, so it’s important to know what to look for and how treat it.
Possible causes of a dog’s dry skin
- Environmental – indoor heating, dry arid climate, bathing with the wrong shampoo or too frequently
- Parasites – fleas, ticks
- Infections – internal and external
- Diet – too low in fat, nutrient poor
- Hormonal imbalance
- Liver damage
Symptoms of a dog’s dry skin
- Itching – scratching, chewing, biting
- Dandruff (yep, they can get it too)
- Hair loss from scratching
Natural treatments for a dog’s dry skin
1. If you’re feeding your dog cheap dog food, switch to a higher quality brand or make it yourself. Keep in mind that homemade dog food should have all the necessary nutrients or your dog will pay the price. Poor nutrition can be a big contributor to dry skin and an unhealthy coat.
2. Increase the fat in your dog’s diet. One option is to add flax seed oil to your dog’s food. Add one tablespoon for every 25 pounds your dog weighs. For small dogs ½ to 1 teaspoons works well. You can also add fish oil to your dog’s diet. Add ½ to 1 capsule every day to your dog’s food. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. With flaxseed oil, your dog may not be able to properly convert the alphalinoleic acid in flaxseed oil to EPA and DHA thus making it less effective. Some dogs react to fish oil. If this happens to your dog, either reduce the dose or switch to flaxseed oil. You should see positive results within a month or so of adding oils to your dog’s diet. Don’t overdo on any supplement you give your dog. Too much of a good thing can end up very bad.
3. Shampoo your dog with a shampoo designed for a dog’s skin. Click Homemade Dog Shampoo – A must have recipe for both dogs and cats and The Perfect Doggie Rinse for Spa Day for two good recipes. You might consider shampooing your dog less frequently if his skin is dry. Bathe your dog no more than once a month in winter and twice a month in the summer. Bathe in warm water only and towel dry. Remember to brush your dog before and after his bath.
4. Sprits your dog’s coat with neem oil before brushing. This will add oil and ward off fleas and ticks and help keep your dog’s skin from becoming dry.
5. Brush your dog at least once a week or more to remove dry skin flakes and distribute oils throughout his coat.
I dedicate this post to all of our goddesses who want to own a happy and healthy dog. Dry skin is a problem that can plague both the goddess and her dog. Creams and lotions can help the goddess, but not her dog. Now she has the help she needs if the problem is simple dry skin. If you try everything and nothing seems to work, it’s time to visit the vet and see if there’s an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed.
Now go have fun and relax.