How to Get Rid of Dry Skin on Puppies

Dry skin can be a common health concern in puppies of all colors, breeds and backgrounds. While the telltale flakes are more easily seen in puppies with darker coats, it can affect all puppies. Many puppies outgrow dry skin conditions as they grow, allowing time for the oil glands in the skin to mature. Until then, though, dry skin can be an irritating condition that can provide periods of itchy discomfort for a puppy. Fortunately, it's something that can be relieved.

puppy with dry skin

Brush your puppy regularly to help alleviate the itchy feeling your puppy has, and get rid of the dry flakes that can collect in its fur. Brushing regularly not only gets the puppy used to being handled and groomed, but also helps to stimulate the growing and developing oil glands in its skin.


Shampoo your puppy with an oatmeal-based shampoo, which is gentle and will help to restore moisture and conserve natural oils in the puppy's coat. Work the shampoo into the fur gently, and leave it on for several minutes before thoroughly rinsing.

Step 3

Apply a special kind of moisturizing conditioner or rinse to your puppy's coat after the bath. Look for a conditioner that contains a moisturizer such as vitamin E, chamomile or natural oils like sunflower seed oil. Leave the conditioner on for several minutes before rinsing.

Make sure the shampoos and conditioners used are specfically designed for dogs, as human shampoos can dry out skin further.


Add a teaspoon of olive oil to your puppy's food to provide much-needed moisture to its diet, which will help its body produce more of the essential oils that keep its skin supple.


Make sure your puppy is drinking enough water. Puppies--and dogs of all ages--should have constant access to fresh, clean water. Add a few spoonfuls of water to each of your puppy's meals if you have your doubts about how much water it is getting.

aloe vera plant

Apply a light coating of aloe vera gel to particularly stubborn sections of your puppy's skin. Incessant scratching can bruise or break already damaged skin, which can lead to a whole other set of problems.

Note that commercially prepared aloe vera gels are fine to use on your dog, but never apply aloe straight from the aloe leaf, as this could be harmful if the dog licks it. Pure aloe contains saponins, which can be toxic to dogs. Be especially careful with puppies, who tend to lick everything in sight.