German Shepherd dogs, affectionately known as German Shedders, tend to shed a lot. They also battle bouts of dry, itchy skin. Shepherds have a double coat: the outer coat is a rather coarse, straight hair and the undercoat is soft and fluffy. This tends to keep the coat dry, contributing to dry, itchy skin.
How to Treat a German Shepherd With Dry Itchy Skin
Give the dog a bath once every six months. Bathing the dog strips its skin of the oils, which dries out the skin. If it doesn't get too dirty, or swims often, you might bathe it once a year.
Change the dog's diet. If at all possible, convert to a raw diet. A raw diet does wonders for the skin, coat and teeth. A raw diet consists of raw meat including chicken, pork, beef, lamb, venison--whatever your dog will eat. If you are hesitant about feeding raw, a cooked diet is the next best thing.
Add fish oil, vitamin E and vitamin C to the dog's diet to help combat dry, itchy skin. The fish oil must be pure fish oil. If he will eat canned mackerel, you should feed him canned jack mackerel twice a week. Feeding canned mackerel is easier than trying to get your dog to take vitamins, but the effects take longer to see.
Add extra fat to the dog's diet. If you convert to raw, it will get plenty of extra fat via chicken skin or fat on pork and beef cuts. If you decide not to convert to raw, pour some cool bacon grease (one to two tablespoons) on his food once a week. Bacon fat is rather salty, so though it does the job, it isn't the best thing to give your dog (it's a bit like you eating junk food).
Wash the dog in oatmeal shampoo. If the dry skin problem is extremely bad, you might try an oatmeal shampoo regiment. Depending on the brand of shampoo you use, you could be instructed to wash the dog every other day for a period of a week or more. Then cut down on the weekly baths until the skin problem clears up, at which time, you can revert to twice yearly or yearly bathing.