At Evendale-Blue Ash Pet Hospital, we believe that keeping your canine companion comfortable in his or her own skin is integral to overall pet health. If your dog is excessively scratching, licking, or chewing a spot on the body; or has dandruff, bare patches, or inflammation, it could mean that your dog’s itch is more than skin deep, and it warrants a closer look.
Common Causes of Dry or Irritated Skin
Chronically dry or irritated skin not only makes dogs uncomfortable, but it can also be a symptom of a much more serious problem. Read on for reasons why your pup might be itchier than usual:
Problem: Cold winters can impact more than pet paws. Long walks in dry, frigid temps can also lead to dry dog skin, as can dry indoor air.
Solution: Place a humidifier in your dog’s favorite room, and make sure your dog has plenty of clean water to drink.
Problem: Your dog might love bath time, but too much bathing, or using the wrong shampoo, can dry out your dog’s skin.
Solution: Use a soothing shampoo made just for dogs, and cut down on the number of baths, particularly during cold weather when your dog’s skin is already at risk of being dry.
Problem: Food and environmental allergies can make our dogs itchy, and too much scratching can cause secondary infections. Additionally, dogs can be allergic to flea bites, which causes a condition called flea allergy dermatitis.
Solution: Many allergy treatment options are available for dogs. Schedule an examination at Evendale-Blue Ash Pet Hospital so we can uncover the cause of your pet’s allergy and prescribe an appropriate treatment.
Problem: Fleas, ticks, and mites can cause numerous skin issues for dogs, including dry skin.
Solution: Use appropriate parasite control year-round. Your veterinarian will help you choose the solution that is best for your individual dog.
Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Problem: Ringworm is a common, fungal skin infection that can also spread to humans, as can the most common bacterial skin infection in dogs: staph.
Solution: Skin infections require diagnoses by your veterinarian. Skin scrapes with cytology may be necessary.
Underlying Health Conditions
Problem: Pet health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, auto-immune disorders, and certain cancers can cause dry dog skin.
Solution: Maintaining regular wellness visits with appropriate bloodwork (when necessary) can help us spot serious health conditions early on so we can better manage the symptoms.
The first step in properly treating your dog’s dry or irritated skin is an accurate diagnosis. Your pup’s Cincinnati doctor will examine the coat and skin at every wellness visit, but please contact us between appointments if your dog has an itch that just won’t quit.