Dry skin on dogs can be frustrating for both the dog and its owner. There are several causes of dry skin, and diagnosing the exact cause can be tricky. If itchy and dry skin is making your dog uncomfortable, here is what you should know about the causes of dry skin and the treatment options. Initially, dry skin might seem like a minor issue. However, it could be a sign of a bigger underlying problem that needs addressing. Some of the leading causes of dry skin on dogs are:


Like people, dogs are prone to allergies, including environmental allergies, food allergies, and seasonal allergies. Exposure to dust, pollen, grain, animal dander, and flea saliva could have varying effects on dog skin. If not addressed, it could result in atomic dermatitis, which causes dry and itchy skin. This condition causes skin redness and inflammation; it could lead to a secondary skin infection.

The most common form of allergic reaction in dogs in flea allergy dermatitis; flea allergy dermatitis is a reaction to flea saliva. You can avoid this condition by keeping your dog free from fleas. If your dog already has flea dermatitis, you should talk to your veterinarian about an ideal treatment option.


Parasites are also a leading cause of dry skin in dogs. Common parasites like canine scabies, Walking Dandruff, and Demodex mite could cause dry and flaky skin. Dry skin could also be an indication that your dog has mice. You need a trip to the veterinarian to diagnose the cause of dry skin in dogs. If your family vet cannot handle the condition, they may refer you to a veterinary dermatology specialist.


Fungal and bacterial infections could also cause dry skin in dogs. Your veterinarian may take skin scraps for cytology to diagnose a canine skin infection. You should never ignore a skin infection because, at times, the infection could be due to a larger problem. Some fungal infections like Ringworm are transferrable to humans.

Systemic Disorders

Dry skin could be a sign of a large problem. Two primary metabolic diseases associated with dry skins in dogs are hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. A veterinarian will help determine the specific disorder.

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