12 Dog Shampoos To Help Combat Dry, Itchy Skin
Your pup might know how to "speak" when treats are involved, but that doesn't exactly mean he knows how to talk. And since dry, itchy skin can be tough to pinpoint (unless it's your own, of course!), you'll need to pay attention to signs of potential skin issues.
Determining whether your dog has dry, itchy skin doesn't have to be difficult, as long as you know what to watch out for. That way, if your pup's dry skin becomes an issue, you can incorporate products like specially-formulated soaps and shampoos into his routine that provide some relief.
How To Tell if Your Dog Has Dry Skin
Symptoms of doggie dry skin are not that far off from how our human dry skin shows up. But unlike us, dogs can't just slather on lotion when winter weather chaps their epidermis! They need your help in noticing the signs of dryness, so you can address with vet-approved treatments and solutions.
Watch for visual clues that may mean your dog has dry skin, like itching, dandruff or flaky skin, pimple-like lesions, and even hair loss. Other signs that could mean your dog's dealing with dryness: excessive scratching, licking, or biting at their skin. It's also possible your pup will try to rub their face and body against furniture or the rug to get a good scratch in.
If you notice your dog exhibit these symptoms, talk with your vet. They'll be able to help determine the cause of their itchy skin and recommend treatment options if needed.
Reasons Dogs Might Have Dry Skin
Dogs can experience dry skin for a multitude of reasons. Cold, dry weather, harsh shampoos, or poor nutrition can all be factors. Another is allergies—canines get allergies just like humans do, from food, their environment, or seasonally. If left untreated, allergies can result in a skin condition called atopic dermatitis. If your pup is experiencing dermatitis, your vet may suggest giving your pet a weekly bath with a soothing shampoo to help remove allergens. Your vet may also recommend a treatment, like a topical ointment or medicine, to provide additional relief.
But even with specially-formulated shampoos, the "rinse" step in "wash, rinse, repeat" is key to keeping your pup's skin comfortable. "Keeping in mind when you wash with any kind of shampoo … [If you] don't rinse it thoroughly enough, it can actually cause more dry and itchy skin," Allison Brooks Sebastian, a professional dog groomer in Georgetown, Ky., says. Both the quality of the soap and the bathing technique play a role in combating dryness.
What To Look for in Dog Shampoo
Pet parents whose dog suffers from dry or itchy skin will want to be selective when choosing bath products. There are many options that are formulated to prevent itching. Paraben- and dye-free shampoos can help keep your pup's naturally-occurring oils in their skin and fur, and keep dryness at bay. Read on for our top picks for dog shampoo to soothe itchy, dry skin.