If your doggie has itchy, dry skin, it can be an irritating situation for both you and your canine. Solving this problem can be a difficult one because there are so many different causes for it. If your dog has become distressed from all the itchiness, here is what you should know about what might be causing it, and the best way that you might clear up the problem.
Just like people, dogs are allergic to certain substances. Some are allergic to the foods that they eat, others struggle with environmental and seasonal allergies which may include pollen, grass, dust, feathers, and animal dander.
Don’t forget flea saliva, as it can bring in many undesirable symptoms such as dry skin in dogs. If this is not taken care of, it can cause flea allergy dermatitis. This condition causes inflammation, dry skin, itching, and redness. Secondary skin infections may also occur.
If you have ruled out allergies, parasites are another possibility of why your dog has dry, itchy skin. This will require a diagnosis from your veterinarian. Your dog could have the parasite that causes mange, which is known as the Demodex mite. Canine scabies, walking dandruff, or lice are other possibilities.
When dogs have bacterial or fungal infections, skin-related problems often accompany them. In this case, your veterinarian will need to take a skin scrape to diagnose it. Ringworm is one example of this type of situation.
Dry skin can also signal a larger problem happening underneath the surface. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease are the two main conditions that are known to be associated with dry skin on dogs. Accompanying both of these include hair loss, skin infections, and dry and brittle hair. Cancer and auto-immune diseases may also cause your dog’s skin to become dry.
Sometimes your dog’s dry skin is as simple as the weather is cold and the air is too dry. If you give your dog too many baths or with soap that is not meant for their skin, this can also be a problem. Poor nutrition may also be the cause. No matter what you suspect is causing your dog’s dry skin, a visit to the vet is in order so that you can rule out anything that is serious.
Treating Dogs With Dry Skin
The way that you will need to solve your dog’s dry skin problem depends upon what the cause of it is. This is why the first step must be getting its cause diagnosed. If your dog’s dry skin is due to some larger condition, your vet will treat both the condition and the dry skin along with it.
If your dog’s dry skin is caused by a food allergy, your vet may recommend a specific food that eliminates the suspected allergens. Environmental allergies can be tested for, but unfortunately, there isn’t a cure. Options for your dog include avoiding the allergen, controlling the symptoms, and receiving allergy shots.
Another way to help your dog may include utilizing a humidifier when the weather turns cold and dry. Using a shampoo that has been recommended by your veterinarian may be helpful, as well as receiving advice on how often to bathe your dog. Using a natural dog skin moisturizer such as coconut oil may be particularly beneficial in improving the situation.