How to Cure Dry Skin on a Rottweiler

By Jane Tyne

Rottweilers should have a shiny, soft coat. One of the first signs of dry skin and other skin problems is a dull, lifeless coat with white flakes similar to dandruff in people. You may also see a scaly appearance on the skin, and your dog may scratch excessively. Dry skin is not just uncomfortable for your dog, and unattractive to look at, it can also be a symptom of many illnesses, some serious and some less so.

Dogs have very sensitive skin and can't tolerate dish liquid or even mild human soaps.

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Bathe your dog only as often as necessary. Too much bathing can strip the natural oils from the skin, causing dryness, itching and flaking. Use only a mild, moisturizing shampoo that is made for dogs. Human shampoos or household cleaners such as dish washing liquid or bath soap can cause irritation when used on dogs. Look for a shampoo labeled hypoallergenic and mild.

The choice of dog food is important in preventing dry skin.

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Change your dog's food to one that provides higher levels of fats and fat-soluble vitamins, such as K and E. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) says dogs must have particularly linoleic acid and arachidonic acid provided in their diets. Make the change to any new food gradually, increasing the new food and slowly decreasing the amount of the old food over a period of two to four weeks.

Work with your veterinarian to plan a balanced diet that will help your dog. Too much fat can cause obesity and too little can cause skin problems, so it's not wise to add random fats without advice. A good quality dog food should be well balanced for the nutritional needs of dogs; some cheaper, lower quality foods may not be.

Take your Rottweiler to the veterinarian. Dry skin can be a symptom of many illnesses, so your dog needs a thorough examination to rule out any underlying illnesses, such as hypothyroidism, which is one of the more common causes of dry skin. Make a list of any other possible symptoms or signs of illness to show your veterinarian, and note the amount of food and water the dog has been eating and drinking. Also take the nutrition label from your dog food so the veterinarian can see what the dog's diet is like.