Imagine your dog lying down in front of you with their tummy exposed, anticipating your belly rubs and cuddles. This leaves you with no choice but to oblige. I think we can all agree that cuddling time with our furry friends is one of the best things in life.

Petting and cuddling our dogs is a great way for us to bond while releasing that much-needed serotonin. On the other hand, it can also give us an indication of possible physical changes in our dogs, including changes in their skin.

For instance, what if you notice your dog’s normally smooth skin has become dry, rough, and flaky in some areas? What gives? Dry skin can be uncomfortable for your dog, more so if it has accompanying symptoms such as itchiness. It can be caused by a multitude of things, making it a bit challenging to diagnose. In this article, we’ll be talking about the various possible causes, and symptoms, and what to do for your dog’s dry skin.

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  1. Why Is My Dog Skin Dry
  2. Other Possible Causes
  3. Dog Supplements for Dry Skin
  4. Home Remedies for Dry Skin on Dogs
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Why Is My Dog Skin Dry

While dry skin may not seem like much of an issue, in some cases, it may be a symptom of something more serious. As it turns out, dry skin can be one of the manifestations of a whole range of conditions, from parasites and allergies to systemic disorders such as autoimmune diseases or Cushing’s disease.


Dry, crusty dog ears and skin in general may be a symptom of parasites that can lead to canine scabies, mange, and cheyletiellosis. It may also be a sign of lice on your dog.

If needed, your vet may recommend your dog to someone who specializes in veterinary dermatology.


Infections due to bacteria and fungi may also cause dry skin in dogs. Sometimes, it may be caused by a more serious underlying issue.


Like people, dogs can get allergies too. Food, environmental, or seasonal allergies may have several symptoms, often including dry skin. If allergies are left untreated, they may lead to atopic dermatitis, which has symptoms such as redness, itchiness, and dry skin. Secondary infections may develop as a result.

In American dogs, the most common allergic condition is flea allergy dermatitis, which is caused by flea saliva. With food allergies that cause dry skin in dogs, the most common include beef, corn, soy, wheat, chicken, eggs, and dairy.

There are specific dog breeds that are more prone to skin issues, particularly dry skin. For instance, hairless dog breeds like the Chinese Crested and Xoloitzcuintli tend to develop different skin conditions. Large breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, on the other hand, are more susceptible to zinc-responsive dermatitis.

Systemic Disorders

In some cases, dry skin may be a symptom of something bigger. Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism, for example, are among the main metabolic diseases that have dry skin as one of their symptoms. Other symptoms may include hair loss, dry and brittle hair, and skin infections, among others. Cancer, as well as auto-immune diseases, can also cause skin dryness in dogs.

Because dry skin can be a symptom of the above serious conditions, it is important to have your dog checked by their veterinarian if you notice their skin getting dry.

Monitoring your dog regularly may help you detect signs of dry skin and other accompanying symptoms early on. The Petcube Cam may surely help in this area. Along with the high-quality features that make it possible for you to quickly sense when something’s off, it also gives you access to Petcube’s online vet service, which allows you to consult with certified veterinarians anytime and anywhere you may be.

Other Possible Causes

Environmental factors may also play a role in why your skin is dry. Dry air, cold weather, harsh soaps, too much bathing, and a lack of nutrition, for example, may cause dry skin in dogs.

How to Help Dogs with Dry Skin

“What can I do for my dog’s dry skin?” You might be wondering. If a dog has dry skin, treatment would depend on what is causing it. If the dry skin is a symptom of an underlying condition, treatment would involve addressing both the underlying condition and the dry skin.

If your dog’s dry skin is due to allergies, it may be complicated to diagnose, particularly when it’s a food allergy. An elimination diet may be recommended by your vet to pinpoint the exact food allergy since there is currently no reliable diagnostic tool for food allergens. Treatment options for allergies include avoiding the particular allergen, managing the symptoms (e.g., dry skin, itchiness, inflammation), and immunotherapy.

Options for dry skin treatment for dogs may also include particular shampoos, supplements, and various home remedies.

Because dry skin can be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue, having support and assurance in case of pet emergencies will help. Petcube’s Pet Emergency Fund provides coverage of $3000 annually for up to six pets, regardless of age, breed, and medical history. That way, you’ll be prepared in case of pet emergencies. As one of our dear blog readers, we are giving you an exclusive 27% off on subscriptions if you follow this link.

Dog Supplements for Dry Skin

Omega-3 as well as omega-6 fatty acid supplements may help make your dog’s skin and coat healthy. However note that since the regulation of supplements is not as stringent as that of medications, the content of supplements may vary. To be safe, supplements that have the National Animal Supplement Council Quality Seal would be best. Remember to consult with your veterinarian first before giving any supplement to your dog, especially if they are taking other medications.

Meanwhile, does diet play a role in a dog’s skin health? What is the best dog food for dry, itchy skin? A high-quality and balanced diet may help provide nutrients to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Consult with your veterinarian regarding your dog’s diet as well as any dog supplements for dry skin that they may recommend.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin on Dogs

If there are no other conditions associated with your dog’s dry skin, there are some home remedies that you can apply to help relieve your dog’s dry skin. These include:


“What is the best dog shampoo for dry skin?”, you might ask. There are several dog shampoos available that have ingredients that aid the skin. One of which is an oatmeal-based shampoo with properties known to soothe the skin. Also, do not use human shampoo, as this may contain ingredients that are harmful to them.

Oils and Lotions

Among the other home remedies are coconut oil or dog lotion for dry skin. When choosing products for your dog’s dry skin, remember to only use veterinarian-approved products to ensure that they are safe for your dog.

Frequency of Baths

While bathing your dog is important for maintaining good hygiene, note that one possible cause of dry skin is excessive bathing. If so, fewer baths may be recommended.


If air circulation is a problem in your home, it may cause dry skin in your dog (and you too). If so, a humidifier may help resolve the dryness. This may help prevent dry skin.

If your dog still has dry skin after trying the above home remedies, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to check if there’s another thing causing your dog’s dry skin.


==**How to tell if your dog has fleas or just dry skin?

Determining whether your dog has fleas or just dry skin comes down to differentiating the symptoms that they’re exhibiting. A dog with fleas, for example, may have flea dirt (or tiny black flakes or flea droppings) that may appear on their fur. Such nuances may help you determine which is which.

==**Why is my puppy’s nose dry?

Among the possible causes of dry noses are sunburn, dehydration, overexertion, allergies, and an autoimmune disease. Treating a dry nose in dogs is important to avoid infection.

==**What causes dry elbows in dogs?

Dry elbows on dogs are often caused by repeatedly lying down on hard surfaces. While dry elbows on dogs are usually harmless, they may be susceptible to infection, so treatment may be recommended.


When it comes to preventing dry skin in dogs, making sure that your dog is healthy and happy would go a long way. While some skin issues causing dry skin cannot be prevented, regular monitoring may help you detect and address your dog’s dry skin for better chances of a positive prognosis.

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