How to Prevent a Dog's Dry Skin

Medium
10 - 30 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

You're trying to get some sleep, but all you can hear is your dog scratching at her dry skin! If you have a dog with dry skin you know just how annoying this can be. Dry skin frequently becomes itchy, causing your dog to scratch, further exacerbating the condition and resulting in secondary infections. Symptoms such as itchiness, dandruff, flaking, pimples, scaling, hair loss, inflammation, redness, sores, scabs, and odor can all manifest when your dog has dry skin. 

There are several causes of dry skin in dogs. Parasites, endocrine conditions, allergies, and infections can all contribute to dry skin conditions. If your dog is experiencing excessively dry skin with severe symptoms you should seek veterinary advice to get medical treatment for any existing medical conditions. Diet and dietary supplements can also help with your dog's overall health and improve skin and coat condition to prevent dry skin, as can several grooming techniques.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog is suffering from dry skin, he will often be very uncomfortable, itchy, and suffering from secondary skin conditions. Because your dog will be uncomfortable, he may be difficult to groom and will avoid grooming techniques that contribute to discomfort. For this reason, you may need to use patience while grooming your dog to reduce and prevent dry skin from developing.

The Regular Brushing Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Comb
Step
1
Get the right tools
Dogs should be brushed daily to prevent dry skin. Make sure you use the correct tools for your dog's hair and skin type. You can obtain advice from professional groomers and veterinarians.
Step
2
Position
Have your dog sit, stand, or lie down so you can access all parts of his body. If you have a grooming table available with neck restraints, this is ideal.
Step
3
Part hair and brush
Use a slicker or bristle brush to part your dog's hair and get down to skin. Start at the neck and work backwards.
Step
4
Reach everywhere
Manipulate limbs and skin folds as necessary to get all over your dog's body and remove dead skin cells, loose hair, and debris that contribute to dry skin.
Step
5
Massage
Use a rubber grooming glove and massage over the entire body to distribute natural oils and increase blood flow to tissues.
Recommend grooming method?

The Clean Regularly Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Use wipes
Keep your dog clean between baths and prevent over-bathing, which can be drying to skin, with dog or baby wipes, especially on the face, paws and back end of your dog.
Step
2
Bathe
Bathe your dog monthly with high-quality shampoo to remove dead skin cells and hair. Avoid harsh detergents and ensure the shampoo is the correct pH for your dog's skin type. Many pet owners recommend colloidal oatmeal shampoos.
Step
3
Condition
Use a high-quality conditioner to moisturize the skin and hair coat of your dog after bathing.
Step
4
Rinse well
Ensure you rinse all products out thoroughly so that detergent residue does not build up on your dog's coat.
Step
5
Use moisturizers
Apply leave-on conditioner or moisturizing products to your dog after bathing to counteract the drying effects of water. Do not brush your dog when wet. If necessary, brush before bathing.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If your dog has dry skin, investigate medical conditions that may be contributing to the skin condition.

  • Be careful bathing a dog with dry skin, as products and water may make dry skin worse. Do not over-bathe or use harsh detergents.

  • Be cautious brushing and combing dogs with dry skin so as not to interfere with sores from dry skin.

  • Thoroughly go over your dog's skin with special care when grooming, looking for sores, scabs, and infections that require treatment.

  • If your dog has itchy sore skin, use patience when grooming, as it can be uncomfortable for your dog and you do not want to create a negative association.

Conclusion

Dogs that are regularly groomed and bathed with appropriate tools, products, and techniques are less likely to develop dry skin. Using the correct brush to daily remove dead skin and hair, and distribute natural oils, prevents dry skin. Overbathing or under bathing can both result in dry skin. Finding the correct bathing schedule for your dog, and using high-quality products that prevent dry skin, such as mild soaps and moisturizing conditioners, will also help prevent your dog's skin from drying out and minimize the drying effects of water.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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