How to Prevent Coat Dryness in Dogs

Three Methods:Determining Dry SkinTaking Care of His SkinUsing Nutrition

Many dogs are plagued by dry skin and coats. This condition is especially bad during cold weather, which is when temperatures indoors are hotter and there is a lack of humidity. You can prevent this in many ways, but you need to discover the cause first. The following article can help you figure out ways to help your dog.

Method 1
Determining Dry Skin

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    Notice the symptoms. There are some common symptoms that occur when your dog has dry skin. Your dog will likely spend great amounts of time itching or licking himself. He may also rub his skin against furniture or the carpet.
    • If this behavior happens for long periods of time or every day, your dog likely has dry skin or another skin condition.[1]
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    Check for dry skin. If your dog exhibits symptoms of dry skin, you should check him to ensure this is the problem. While petting your dog, gently part the fur of his coat and look at the skin underneath. If he is suffering from dry skin, the area will be flakey and look dry or dull.
    • If your dog's case is severe, the skin may be cracked, red, or bleeding.[2]
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    Recognize skin allergies. There are larger skin issues that can start with the same symptoms as dry skin. Allergies are commonly disguised as dry skin at first. There are additional symptoms that signify allergies instead of just dry skin. These include:
    • Small blisters filled with pus
    • Skin with a musty or unpleasant odor
    • Thick, leathery skin
    • Sores with crusts on them
    • Skin darkening on dog with light skin
    • Presence of hives or wheals on the skin[3]
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    See your veterinarian. If your dog's skin issues continue despite home treatment, see your veterinarian to check for a more serious underlying cause. If you suspect allergies in your dog, you should also consult your vet to figure out the cause of the allergies.
    • There are more intense issues that may also start as dry skin, such as mange, Alopecia, dandruff, and bacteria infections such as folliculitis and impetigo.
    • If it is allergies or a large issue, the treatment will be much more involved than treating dry skin.[4]

Method 2
Taking Care of His Skin

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    Bathe your dog less. One common cause of dry skin is extraneous bathing. If you bathe your dog too often, you can cause his skin to dry out, even during warm weather. Unless under the advice of your vet, you only need to bathe your dog every three months. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, you may need to bathe him more often.
    • If this is the case, only bathe your dog when absolutely necessary. The extra baths will pull much needed moisture from your dog's skin.[5]
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    Use better shampoo. Another common cause of dry skin is harsh dog shampoo. Look for better quality shampoos with conditioners such as vitamin E, aloe vera, or tree tea oil. To avoid additional skin irritation, use warm, clean water to rinse off the suds.
    • No not use dishwashing detergent. These soaps have harsh ingredients that will remove protective oils from your dog's skin.[6]
    • Always follow label instructions on the shampoo you buy.
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    Brush his fur. In between baths, brushing your dog's hair can help keep his skin healthy. Make a routine to brush your dog every couple of days. Brushing the fur will help calm your dog and move around natural skin oils to prevent dryness.
    • You may need to brush him every day if his fur is long and thick.[7]
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    Expose his skin to more humidity. To prevent dryness in your dog's skin, you can expose his skin to more humidity. Dry air is common in certain situations where natural humidity is lacking, such as the northeast and southwest regions of the United States, during the winter months, and in houses that use central heating and air.[8] Use a humidifier in your home, especially in the room where your dog spends most of his time. This will add moisture into the air.
    • Also make sure that your dog always has fresh water. His skin will also be helped through this hydration as well.

Method 3
Using Nutrition

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    Feed your dog high quality food. The food that you feed your dog can have a huge effect on his skin health. In order for your dog's skin to have the adequate nutrients, he needs to be fed high quality food. Buy him the highest quality dog food you can afford.
    • When you buy foods, always read the ingredient's label. Look for foods with the first ingredient is meat, not meat by-product.
    • If you can't afford all natural food, look for the best food you can. Meat by-products as well as grains can be in his food, but these ingredients shouldn't appear as the first three ingredients in his food.[9]
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    Give him omega fatty acids. Some nutrients can help prevent dry skin. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help your dog's skin when the nutrient is ingested. Look for foods with these as an additive. There are some foods that are specifically made for skin and coat, so also look for those, which will have omega fatty acids in it as well as other helpful nutrients.
    • Since dogs don't produce this nutrient naturally, they have to get it from food.[10]
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    Try omega fatty acid supplements. If your dog can't get omega-3s from foods, you can try giving him supplements instead. The best kinds of omega fatty acids for dogs include cold water fish oils and a few different types of algae derived oils.[11] These supplements come in chews, liquids, and capsules and can be bought at your local pharmacy or health food store.
    • To give your dog the right amount, give him between 25 to 110 mgs per pound of body weight in your dog.[12] For example, this would be about 225 to 1,000 mg of omega-3s per day for a 10 pound dog.
    • Never give your dog more than the upper amount. This can lead to dangerous side effects such as an upset stomach, bleeding, and wounds that have trouble healing.[13]
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    Use vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E is another substance that you can give your dog to help prevent his skin dryness. These vitamins come in gel capsules and can be bought at your local pharmacy. For the proper dosage for your dog, you can ask your veterinarian for advice.
    • You can also use vitamin E on your dog's skin or in his bath water. It can soak in to the skin this way as well as through ingestion.
    • If you have a diabetic dog or he has any other disease, avoid giving him any supplements until you talk to your vet.[14]

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Categories: Dog Grooming