Dry skin happens, and when it does it’s definitely irritating. For a dog who explores his world with a wet nose and tough-but-soft paw pads, it can be an even bigger issue. Dry skin may start out as a flaky spot, become itchy, and eventually crack and cause your dog more pain than irritation. Luckily, it’s easily avoided, and can be relieved with simple remedies people have relied on for themselves and their dogs for ages!
Oatmeal baths may bring back memories summers past. The same home remedy your elders used when you got a little too friendly with poison ivy outdoors will work for your dog’s dry, itchy skin too! You can buy shampoos and conditioners for your dog that contain oatmeal or if he doesn’t mind bath time, grind up some oats in your food processor at home, pour into a warm bath, and let your pup soak.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is useful for keeping hair, skin, and nails healthy. It can be taken orally, but it comes in nifty little capsules that can be broken and rubbed into the skin. It’s gentle and natural, so it shouldn’t irritate your dog’s skin if you’re massaging it in, but if you’re planning on adding a Vitamin E supplement to your dog’s diet, be sure to speak with your vet first as too much of this fat-soluable vitamin can cause health issues.
3. Coconut Oil
People will tell you that coconut oil is some kind of miracle cure for all kinds of issues. It’s been used as a natural way to lose weight, thicken hair, remove makeup – some people even use it as a deodorant!
It’s effectiveness for some uses is questionable, but it’s been proven to be useful for dry skin. Rubbing some on to your dog’s skin after a bath can help moisture stay put and keep your dog smelling a little better. Excellent if you like the smell of pina coladas.
4. Baking Soda
Inexpensive and handy, it’s likely you already have baking soda in your cabinet, whether you use it for cooking, keeping your teeth clean, or making miniature volcanoes explode. A paste made of baking soda and water, left on the affected area for 15 minutes is said to help alleviate dry skin. However, be careful and keep a close eye on your dog if you choose to use this method – it’s safe for his skin, but when ingested in large quantities it can be harmful to your pet. Make sure it stays on his skin and out of his mouth.
5. Shea Butter
Shea Butter is found as an ingredient in all kinds of products like shampoos and conditioners, lotions, and body washes because of it’s amazing moisturizing properties. The moisturizers found in shea butter are similar to the ones produced naturally by the human body. It’s safe to use on areas where there may be wounds, or the skin may have opened – in fact, shea butter is said to accelerate the healing of wounds, which is good news if your dog’s skin is dry to the point that it has cracked. You can be confident that you’re not causing him any pain by applying a shea butter cream made for dogs to his dry, broken skin.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, often derived from fish or krill oil, are an absolutely vital component to a healthy immune response and managing allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, virtually all commercial dog foods contain insufficient biologically available omega-3 oils, since the heat used in manufacturing of the food destroys these fragile fats. If you feed your dog a raw diet, they may receive enough omega-3 in their diet, but if not, many pet owners consider omega-3 supplementation.