If you notice your dog scratching, licking, chewing, and gnawing themselves often and in a distressed manner then it is likely that they are suffering from dry skin, and potentially dandruff.
It’s normal for dogs to scratch themselves but if they start to do this all the time to the point that you’re kept awake at night, for example, then the scratching is likely to be a result of an underlying issue.
A visit to the vet is highly recommended, but there are also many home treatments available that are very effective, especially if the condition is not severe.
Dry skin, known medically as pruritus, has many causes including the condition of the skin; it could be infected, too oily, or as is most often the case simply be dry. Another common cause is allergies.
If you live in a place where humidity levels are low, then this in itself can cause dry skin. Other causes include diet. Some pet foods, especially commercial dry food, result in poor digestion and hydration, and can take the essential oils out of your dog's fur.
The good news is that it is fairly easy to spot dry skin. Your dog may have flaky dandruff, their skin can be cracked and tough (and very sensitive to the touch) and they may show signs of irritation such as scratching. Dry skin can also translate into dry hair.
There are many solutions and approaches to relieving your dog's dry skin. A change to diet, added digestive enzymes, and the use of gentle moisturizing shampoos and products can all help to soothe your dog and bring their skin and fur back to a beautiful healthy shine.
Soos Pets offers an Anti-Itch Pet Shampoo infused with green tea, tea tree oil, and chamomile, which is great for use on dogs that have dry skin. Another excellent option is our Dead Sea Mineral Rich Mud Pet Shampoo for improved hydration, circulation and chronic skin issues. Finish off with our Deep Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner to deeply moisturize skin and hair, bringing it back to life without leaving a greasy residue.
Your dog could also be itching and scratching because of allergies. In this case, they may have a slightly oily or greasy feeling skin, but it will still be very dry and irritable. They will probably lick, scratch, and chew the affected area in an effort to relieve the irritation.
An allergy can be difficult to identify, and is rarely completely controlled. Blood tests and vet visits might be required, and pharmaceuticals could be given to your dog in some cases. Mainly, you should try to identify and remove the allergen.
Changes to diet can also help, such as Omega 3 fish oils, and flax seeds. Anti-allergen shampoos and conditioners, like our Hypoallergenic Shampoo and our Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner are very useful if your dog is having a reaction to their usual shampoo, and contain hypoallergenic properties that can decrease the effects of allergens, as well as being moisturizing, soothing, and suitable for sensitive skin.
Many dogs suffer from dry skin from time to time, and often the problem is very mild. If you suspect a more serious underlying problem, then you should visit your vet, but in the case of dry skin and dandruff you can provide relief for your dog at home: