Dry skin can be annoying to not only humans, but also our furry pets. If your furry friend suffers from dry, flaky and itchy skin, you may be wondering what home remedies you can use to help them regain their healthy skin. The good news is, there are a number of home remedies and products you can use to ease their suffering.
Offer a Well-Balanced Diet
Your dog’s optimal skin and coat health are achieved from the outside in. That being said, the initial focus of your pet’s dry skin should be to examine his diet. Not only should your dog be drinking plenty of water for hydration, he should be eating a complete and balanced diet which includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. If any of these essential nutrients are lacking from your dog’s diet, it can lead to not only skin problems but other health problems.
Always try to choose 100% organic food options, and for extra moisture in his diet, you can provide a balance of dry and wet foods. Furthermore, you can choose foods that contain salmon oil, flaxseed oil, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids. All of these ingredients support a healthy and moisturized coat.
Vitamin E Oil
Just as Vitamin E is an important nutrient in your dog’s diet, Vitamin E Oil is a healthy oil that’s great for moisturizing your dog’s skin. You can apply the oil directly to your dog’s skin to help moisturize and promote healing. Since different breed sizes require different amounts of Vitamin E (both orally and topically), you should consult with your veterinarian regarding the amount of Vitamin E to use for your dog.
Olive oil is commonly recommended by vets as an additive to your dog’s daily meals. Just mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil per 20 pounds of body weight into your dog’s food, 2-3 times per week. Since olive oil is high in fat and calories, you should not give your dog olive oil more than 3 times per week. Olive oil is high in antioxidants, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are great for a dog’s dry skin.
Just like olive oil, coconut oil can also be used both orally or topically for your dog’s dry skin. Not only does it make a great natural moisturizer, but it also has potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. To use topically, warm up the coconut oil in your hands and apply it directly to your dog’s dry skin to help moisturize and soothe.
It can be frustrating to dog owners since most dog’s enjoy licking topical products off their skin. However, with coconut oil, even if your dog licks it, the oil is still highly effective, since the fatty acids in the oil also moisturize your dog’s skin from the inside out.
An oatmeal bath is a natural remedy that’s been used for centuries to help soothe dry, irritated skin in both humans and animals. Oatmeal is effective because it contains avenanthramides, anti-inflammatory compounds that help relieve and protect skin from irritation. Oatmeal also helps form a protective barrier on the skin to help keep the moisture in.
To prepare an oatmeal bath for your dog, grind 1 cup of oatmeal in a blender to a fine powder. Mix the powder in a warm water bath and let your dog soak for 10 minutes. For additional moisturizing effects, add a cup of milk or a tablespoon of olive oil to the oatmeal bath.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Using apple cider vinegar for your dog’s dry skin is another great home remedy. If your dog has specific dry spots, you can create a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water, and apply directly with a spray bottle or cotton balls to the dry areas. You can also use apple cider vinegar orally, which acts as a natural acidifier and may increase blood flow to the skin. If your dog has more severe cases of dry skin, you should consult your veterinarian before using apple cider vinegar, since the vinegar could cause painful stinging.
Plain, Unsweetened Yogurt
Since some of your dog’s skin issues may be caused by the digestive system, yeast and harmful bacteria can build up on their skin. Giving your dog yogurt, which is a probiotic, contains healthy bacteria which can help balance your dog’s GI tract. Many vets recommend mixing in 1-2 teaspoons of plain, unsweetened yogurt into your dog’s meals 2-3 times per week.
Just like with humans, a dog’s dry skin may be caused by the dry air. Both wintertime and summertime can expose your dog to this dry air. You can naturally soothe your dog’s skin by using a humidifier in your home which adds moisture back into the air. However, be sure to monitor your dog’s reaction to the humidifier, since having too much humidity in the air can also lead to skin problems.
Using a Combination of Treatments
All of the above home remedies can provide quick relief for mild cases of your dog’s itchy or dry skin. However, the best overall treatment plan may be to use a combination of the above options. The outcome of the treatment may be different for different sizes and breeds of dogs, so sometimes, combining different treatments and techniques is the best option.
Seeking an Expert’s Opinion
Obviously, the most important thing to do if your dog is experiencing prolonged dry skin issues is to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend food options and work with you to develop a customized treatment plan for your furry friend. The longer you wait to seek help, the more damaging your dog’s skin condition will be, and since there are many potential causes for your dog’s dry skin, only a veterinarian can correctly diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Some skin conditions cannot be prevented, but being a conscientious dog owner who regularly examines their dog is the best way to prevent their dry skin and ensure your pet will lead a happy and healthy life…free of irritations!