How to Prevent a Dog's Dry Skin

10 - 30 Minutes
1 Day


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.

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.


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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