Dry skin problems in the pet are a source of irritation not only for the dog, but also for the pet owner himself. The dryness of the skin causes irritation for the dog, and leads him to behave weirdly, which can cause the owner lots of trouble.
When the dog develops any health problems, his skin is often the first to show the changes. Hence, it becomes important for the dog owner to be conscious about such problems. So let us take a look at some of the common reasons that can lead to the skin of your dog turn flaky or dry.
Common causes of the dry skin on dogs
1. Dehydrated Skin
Dryness or flakiness of skin can be the result of simply dehydrated skin. The skin of dogs is much more sensitive to such hydration problems. As most of the dog food is dry and low in water content, the dog may suffer from dehydration if he does not drink a sufficient amount of water on a regular basis.
2. Fatty Acids
Improper diet can be another reason for dryness of the skin. This is often due to an imbalance of different types of fatty acids. Nowadays, as dog foods are being processed rather very extensively, they may fall short of some vital nutrients, resulting in improper nutrition and dandruff formation on the skin. Also, if your dog is already on a fat-free diet, then he may be more prone to such deficiency.
3. Food Additives
Artificial additives in the foodstuff nowadays, like the dyes or preservatives can be another cause for dry skin.
Allergy to certain food ingredient can cause the skin to have rashes or cause dry skin.
5. Microbial Infection
Fungal or bacterial infections can also cause dry skin. Skin infections due to ringworms, yeast or mites can even go on to cause hair loss and more serious dry skin problems.
Seborrhea is one of the skin problems, in which the hair coat may become very dry and skin can turn flaky.
7. Hormonal imbalance
Hormonal problems like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or diabetes mellitus can cause the skin to turn dry and flaky.
8. Serious ailments
Much more serious disorders like Lymphoma (form of cancer) or some other immune problems can cause problems associated with dry skin.
Solutions to the dry hair problems
As we are now aware of the various causes of dry skin problems in dogs, let us also take a look at some of the possible solutions to such problems:
It is first important to diagnose the cause of this skin problem. It is hence important to visit a vet or a specialist in order to find out the cause of dryness of the skin in your dog. He may then perform some simple tests to discover the cause and possible treatments for it.
2. Regular Bath
If the dryness is caused due to simple dehydration of the skin, then a bath can work wonders. One should be careful to ensure that the shampoo used is a detergent free and contains natural contents. Also, none of the ingredients in the shampoo should cause an allergic reaction in the dog. For pets who do not like bathing at all, spraying conditioners with similar features can be a great substitute. Using a shampoo is also recommended due to the pH issues. The pH required for human scalp is different from that required for the dog’s fur coat.
Hence, the use of a wrong shampoo could cause trouble and result in dry skin.
3. Water intake
Again, if your dog is suffering from dry skin due to dehydration issues, then a simply increase in his regular water intake can be more than enough to help him cope with his dry skin problems.
4. Proper Diet
Taking care of the diet intake of your pet is also important. The food provided to the dog should include the proper balance of nutrients including the essential minerals. Also, it is observed that most of the times, dogs are left in a state of dehydration due to lack of sufficient water intake and a dry food diet. Hence, one should try to ensure that the food provides sufficient water content to the pet.
Canned food is an excellent choice in this context. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the food should not contain any ingredient that the dog is allergic to. Also, it should contain as low artificial ingredients as possible as they are a big no for dogs suffering from dry skin.
5. Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are important for the nourishment of the skin, and hence in case of skin problems, adding supplements for providing this nutrient to the dog can also help in treating the health problems.
Grooming the dog can also help in moisturizing the skin of your pet. The professional groomers are quite experienced and may possess the required level of knowledge needed to treat such dry skin problems in your dog. These grooming sessions can also enhance the look and the texture of the coat of your dog. Hence, it also makes sense to go for a session of grooming before going for other remedies.
Sometimes, taking care of the hygiene of your pet can help them keep a lot of problems at bay. For example;
Brushing the dog’s hair from time to time is also considered helpful. This is because by brushing the skin, all the loose hair and the dead, dry skin is removed or re-energized. It helps in exposing the skin to fresh atmosphere and hence increases the blood circulation in a particular area, helping the dog get rid of the dry skin there.
8. Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E oil massage is considered to be one of the best things to avoid dry skin in dogs. Also, the supplement pills for vitamin E may help in adding the necessary nutrient to your pet’s diet.
9. Oatmeal in the diet
Ground oatmeal is another one of the ingenious home solution which provides relief to your pet from many skin related troubles.
10. The health Expert
Your veterinarian is most helpful is such situations. Not only will he be able to know the reason for dryness of the skin, but also help in avoiding the same problem in the future.
The Final Word
The skin problems in dogs are not a real health hazard to the pet.
However, it could be just a symptom of some other serious ailment. It acts like an early indicator to various other problems. Hence, dry skin on dogs can become a serious problem if not treated at the initial stage itself and one should take the necessary steps to treat such problems as soon as observed.