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Dry Skin in Dogs

Dry Skin in Dogs

As Winter approaches and the temperature begins to drop, you notice a new behavior with your dog: he is constantly scratching, biting or licking his fur. As each day grows cooler, his behavior worsens. Does this sound familiar? To many dog-owners, it does.

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Any dog can have dry skin; it is not an exclusively human condition. Just like us, dogs need good skin care to prevent itching and flaking. To give your pet an itch-free scalp, follow these four easy tips:

  • do not bathe your dog too often; keep his coat clean but that is all–this will help with the scratching and, also, keep them from being uncomfortable during winter months. Water and winter do not mix well with your pet.
  • brush your dog often to remove dead hair and dander; if possible, a quick brushing every day will help your pet immensely.
  • when you must bathe your dog, be sure to use a dog shampoo. A dog’s ph level is different from our own and human shampoos can be harsh on their skin. Instead, buy a dog shampoo that can offer moisturizing effects. Besides providing moisture, many shampoos can also offer flea and parasite protection, which can also help lessen scratching.
  • healthy skin, ultimately, reflects a dog’s lifestyle. By using quality foods and adding fatty supplements to their food (oil, etc), you can guarantee your dog to have a flake-free coat.

It should be noted, however, that not all skin related problems can be solved with these steps; some problems have nothing to do with the skin itself. Instead, dry skin is simply a by-product of a larger problem. Allergies, infections and parasites are just a few reasons to why your pet may be scratching constantly. If you pet’s problems persist after you have treated him for dry-skin, then you should contact your veterinarian. Do not attempt home-remedies; only a vet can determine the exact nature of your dog’s problem. By seeking a vet’s help, you can find out just what your pet is living with.

Also, if, while treating for dry-skin, you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your vet immediately:

  • your dog has skin irritation. This can include redness, bumps, rashes or other unusual inflammations.
  • your dog has open sores on his body.
  • your dog’s hair is falling out excessively (you must remember that, in some breeds, extreme shedding is normal. Make sure of your breed’s typical hair loss rate before jumping to any conclusions).
  • you dog’s hair can easily be pulled out and is very dry.
  • your dog seems to always be licking his foot or rubbing his face.

These can be symptoms of larger problems and should be looked over by your vet immediately.

Dry skin is a problem for many dogs but it does not have to be; with a little help from you, you pet can have a healthy coat and a scratch-free life. Four easy tips are all it takes.

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