Dry skin remedies for dogs are available at most pet stores and, for severe cases, through veterinarians. Home remedies often work just as well for pet owners who prefer natural products for their dog. Ingredients contained in the most common remedies for dry skin in dogs include lanolin, vitamin E, oils and other soothing ingredients that prevent itching and heal the skin. It is important to determine the cause of the skin problem before using any remedy, because dry skin remedies differ by condition.
Dogs develop dry skin for several reasons. Internal and external parasite infestations, fungal and yeast infections, allergies, dietary insufficiencies and frequent bathing are the most common causes of dry skin. Dry skin remedies for dogs should treat the condition rather than simply eliminate the symptoms. Pet owners can help prevent dry skin by feeding their dog a balanced diet consisting of a high-quality pet food that contains less grain and more meat and by incorporating fresh meat, vegetables and olive oil into the dog’s diet. Multivitamins and lanolin skin-and-coat supplements, which are available at pet supply stores, also can be beneficial.
Natural dry skin remedies for dogs can be made at home using common ingredients and should be used in combination with treatments designed to eliminate the cause. Commercially produced shampoos may cause dry skin, particularly if the dog is bathed more than once a month. Olive oil, vitamin E oil, liquid glycerin or lanolin applied to the dog’s coat can help prevent and treat dry skin conditions. Using a rosemary infusion after the dog’s bath will also help soothe and treat dry patches. Most natural dry skin remedies for dogs can be used to cover the entire coat or for treatment of dry patches by rubbing small amounts into the coat until it penetrates to the skin.
Other ways to treat a dog's dry skin include trying to keep the dog from scratching or chewing on dry areas, which can worsen the condition and cause sores or infections. Rosemary, chamomile, lavender and tea tree oil are soothing to the skin and will help heal the skin and relieve itching. Commercially produced products should be used according to the package directions or as directed by a veterinarian. Anyone purchasing dry skin remedies for dogs should always check the ingredients and product information for pet safety and only use products designed for treating the specific cause of the dry skin. Pet owners should consult with a qualified veterinarian to determine the cause and rule out thyroid or auto-immune disorders, parasite and fungal infections, and allergies.