As a pet owner, keeping your dog comfortable and content is your top priority. Part of this is caring for his coat and skin. When treating dog dry skin, determining the cause is key to finding the right remedy. Check for rashes, make sure your pet is getting enough fluids, and be sure that the environment in which he spends the most time has the right amount of humidity. You may be wondering if you can use baby oil on dogs with dry skin, but there are other treatments that are safer and will work better to soothe discomfort.
Signs of dog dry skin
Allergens, parasites, infections, and systemic disorders can all cause dry skin and irritation in dogs. Dryness in dogs can present itself with symptoms including itchiness, a rash, odor, oiliness, and scabs. Some breeds are more prone to dermatological issues than others. These include Boston terriers, golden retrievers, Chinese Shar-Peis, West Highland white terriers, Dalmatians, boxers, Labrador retrievers, Scottish terriers, wirehaired fox terriers, and Shih Tzus.
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Some illnesses in dogs can lead to dry skin. Hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes mellitus, and in rare instances, certain cancers or genetic disorders, can all lead to irritated skin. Eczema and psoriasis are autoimmune conditions that lead to dry, scaly skin. Parasites, like mange and lice, may also result in irritated skin.
Dog dry skin and environment
Depending on where you live, the environment can be a big factor in dog skin issues. Areas with dry air can lead to dry dog skin. In colder temperatures when heat is running more frequently, using a humidifier and increasing your dog's water intake is crucial.
Adding moisture to the air can help reduce inflammation. A cold or hot steam humidifier can make a room more comfortable for your family and your dog. Anywhere between 30 and 50 percent humidity is a healthy balance.
When taking your dog for a walk in extreme temperatures, her paw pads and snoot can dry out from heat or ice or become irritated by elements like road salt. Apply paw balm before or after a walk to protect the paws and treat dryness. You can buy premade paw balms or make it yourself using natural oils, shea butter, and beeswax.
Treatments for dog dry skin
Proper grooming can help prevent dry skin. Cleaning off irritants, using dog-safe shampoos, and bathing at the right frequency will keep your dog's skin from getting dried out. Choose a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo designed for canines. Brush your dog regularly to evenly distribute his natural oils.
Olive oil can be used topically or in food to help treat dry skin. A couple drops of olive oil can be mixed in with his meal, or you can use a small amount to moisturize dry areas. Dilute olive oil in water and apply it lightly to irritated spots. Note that if your dog's dry skin is caused by an illness or medical condition, these treatments may help but won't clear up the issue.
Avoid petroleum distillate products, like baby oil and petroleum jelly, which fall in the same category as gasoline and motor oil. These products are toxic to pets when ingested. Instead, use a natural oil, like cold-pressed olive oil or coconut oil. To use coconut oil topically, choose an unrefined blend and apply it to your pet's skin. Let it sit for a few minutes to absorb and then gently clean off the excess.
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