Have you noticed your dog scratching a lot? Do you see what appears to be little white flakes all over them? If so, what you’re seeing is dandruff. It’s dry skin and is very similar to what humans get on their heads. But what causes it, and is it something you need to treat? Here are things every dog owner needs to know about dry skin on dogs.
What Causes Canine Dry Skin?
There are a number of different things that can cause dry skin on your dog. One of the first things your vet may check for is allergies. Dog allergies are very similar to human allergies and can cause dry skin, itching, and other issues. Your dog may be allergic to something in their food, dust, grass, flea saliva, pollen, and even their own dander. Dog allergies can lead to atopic dermatitis, a condition that leads to dry skin and itching.
Mites, scabies, and other parasites can also cause your dog to start itching. These little creatures can usually be treated with medication, but it often takes a visit to the vet to get the necessary products for dogs with dry skin. The same goes for fungal infections and bacterial infections. These infections can not only be the cause of itching, but may also indicate that your dog has another, more serious issue such as ringworm.
There are other conditions, too, such as dry air, using harsh soap to bathe your dog, and living in a cold environment. Some breeds are even predisposed to skin conditions and itch more often than others.
Dry Skin Symptoms
While itching and seeing flaky skin are the two most obvious signs that your dog has dry skin, they’re not the only signs. In fact, some dogs don’t itch that much. Here are a few other symptoms you need to watch for:
- Oily fur
- Fur loss
Some dogs may only have a few symptoms, while others may have almost all of them.
What Can You Give a Dog for Dry, Itchy Skin?
There are a number of different dry dog skin remedies. The first thing you need to do when you see signs of dry skin is to take your dog to the vet. Each of the different causes of dry skin has its own unique treatment. If your dog is dealing with parasites, giving them dog food for dogs with dry skin may not help since the dry skin isn’t caused by allergies or other issues that can be treated with diet. Instead, you need medicine that will kill the parasites. You need to determine what’s causing the dry skin and if there’s another issue must be treated first or alongside the skin condition.
If your dog has allergies, you may need to invest in some dog lotion for dry, itchy skin. You might also need to change what they eat or try to determine what exactly it is that’s causing the allergic reaction. You can give your dog vitamins for dry skin, change how often they’re bathed, and take other steps to control what triggers the dry skin. This type of prevention is often necessary for allergies, the weather, predisposition to skin conditions, and other issues that cannot easily be treated medically.