Puppy scratching its ear

Everything You Need to Know About Dry Skin in Dogs

Don’t you hate the feeling of dry skin? The lack of moisture in your skin can be incredibly uncomfortable, especially when your skin starts getting itchy and patchy.


Dry skin isn’t an issue exclusive to humans. Your beloved dogs can suffer from dehydrated, itchy skin as well—and it’s just as uncomfortable for them. So, if you notice your pet suffering from dry skin, don't wait to do something about it.


Today, we’ll give you the lowdown on dry skin in dogs, from what causes it to how to remedy the condition and make your dog feel great again.

Symptoms of Dry Skin in Dogs

Any responsible dog parent must know how to tell if a dog has dry skin. There are plenty of symptoms of dry skin—you just need to keep an eye out for them to help your dog out.


The first sign that your dog has dry skin is that their coat and fur will start to look lackluster. Don’t write this off as dirt or dust every single time. Sometimes, dull-looking fur can be caused by skin flakiness, similar to how humans develop dandruff.


If you’re a concerned fur parent, you may be thinking, can dry skin cause hair loss in dogs? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, which is why hair loss is yet another symptom to watch out for.


Here are some other signs you should be wary of:

  • Wounds and scabs appearing seemingly out of nowhere
  • Frequent itching and scratching, especially on furniture
  • Oilier skin than usual
  • Red, inflamed-looking skin 

Common Causes of Dry Skin in Dogs

What causes dry skin in dogs differs from case to case. Here are some probable causes of your dog’s dry skin.

Weather Changes

The air becomes incredibly dry when it gets colder and chillier. When there’s no humidity in the air, your dog’s skin can lose what little moisturize it still has, leaving it dry, rough, and less elastic. It’s similar to how our skin and hair feel more dehydrated in wintertime.

Too Many Baths

It would be best to think twice before bathing your dog more than once a week. Frequent baths can dry out your dog’s skin, especially when using harsh shampoos and soaps.


These bathing products might do a stellar job at washing away all the sweat and grime your dog has managed to get on themselves, but they also may strip your pet's skin of natural oils that keep the fur soft and shiny. The results are dry, flaky, patchy, clean yet uncomfortable, itchy skin.

Underlying Skin Conditions

Your dog’s dry skin might also indicate an underlying skin condition. Parasites like fleas or lice may be making a home in your dog’s fur. In other cases, a yeast infection can also lead to itchy, dry skin.


Another possibility is that your dog is allergic to something they’ve eaten or played with recently. Dryness might be a manifestation of their allergy. If this might apply to your dog, we recommend checking with your vet to see if your dog has any food or pollen allergies to get the proper treatment.

How to Treat Dry Skin in Dogs

If your pet is experiencing any of these issues, here are some common ways on how to treat dry skin in dogs.

A Balanced Diet

Healthy, hydrated, glowing skin starts from the inside. If you want your dog’s coat to be soft and shiny, they must have a well-balanced diet. Give them all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins they need to be strong and healthy. For dry skin, make sure they’re eating food rich in fatty acids.

An easy way to incorporate healthy fats in your dog’s diet and consequently moisturize their coat more is by giving them fish oil as a supplement.


Fish oil is rich in omega fatty acids, which are amazing at moisturizing the skin. It can also reduce inflammation, a key symptom of dry skin in dogs. Other benefits of fish oil for dogs include improving cognitive abilities and reducing the risk of heart disease. Add the supplement to your pet's meals a few times a week to reap the benefits.

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier is a great device to set up in your home during the colder months, and it works for both you and your pets. The device maintains the moisture in the air when there’s hardly any. As a result, your dog’s skin will become softer and more hydrated.

Moisturize with Natural Oils

If people have lotions and creams to cure their dry skin, dogs have natural oils like coconut and vitamin E oil to help with theirs. The awesome thing is that it’s very easy to moisturize your dog’s skin with oils.


Simply warm up the oil of your choice in your hands and swipe it directly on your dog’s skin. Focus the application on areas that are extra patchy and itchy. Not only will your dog’s skin be moisturized, but it will look shiny and new, too.

Switch Up Their Bath Products

If you’re using harsh shampoos and soaps with chemicals like sulfates, you could be making your dog’s dry skin even worse. Try switching to gentler formulations, like ones made with organic oils or colloidal oatmeal. They won’t strip your dog’s skin of its natural oils, and they’ll even soothe some of the itchiness and scabbing in the driest parts of the skin.


Dry Skin Can be Very Uncomfortable for Dogs

When left untreated, your dog’s dry skin can lead to scabs, unbearable itching, and even inflammation. Don’t put your dog through all that! Improve their environment and moisturize their skin to ensure it’s never dehydrated. Remember to add fish oil to your dog’s diet to boost soft, healthy skin.


Not sure how much fish oil to give your dog? Check our dosage calculator at www.strydevet.com to give your dog the right amount of nutrients to make their skin healthy and moisturized again.

For more information on how fish oil improves the overall well-being of our pets, visit our blog today.