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Dry Skin on Dogs – What Causes it and Treatments

dry skin on dogsDry skin on dogs is irritating and can be such a nuisance to your dog. Dry or flaky skin is caused by various reasons. In most cases it makes your dog uncomfortable due to the constant itching and twitching. So what are the possible causes of dry skin on dogs?

1. Allergies

Allergies are the most common causes of dry or itchy skin on dogs. They are caused by a skin condition called dermatitis or due to consuming certain kinds of foods. Dermatitis is triggered off when dogs come into contact with substances or material that causes its skin to become raw or inflamed.

Allergies may again be caused by use of certain products on your dog such as perfumes, laundry detergents, shampoos or other typical chemicals at home. Food allergies results from your dog’s inability to digest certain foods. These extreme allergies make your dog’s skin to dry up and become flaky.

2. Lack of enough nutrients in your dog’s diet

Dogs require a significant amount of fatty acids in their diet so as to maintain a healthy skin. Lack of these fatty acids will cause the skin to dry out . Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 which is essential at combating dry skin on dogs.

Again avoid over heating your dog’s food. This is because high temperature makes these fatty acids to become inactive thus virtually rendering them useless.

3. Under-grooming

Dogs, like human beings, require regular grooming so as to remove the dead skin. This is most common with dogs that have a thick fur, long coats or a double coat. If not properly groomed, these dry skins will accumulate under the coat which will result into tons of dead flakes. These flakes are usually visible from the skin surface and the build-up of flakes results into a dry skin.

4. Bacterial and fungal infections

Bacterial and fungal infections are another cause of dry skin on dogs. Yeast infections for instance cause your dog’s skin to become dry, scaly and itchy. Oozing sores, red rashes and raw wounds can all be attributed to bacterial and fungal infection of dogs.

These skin infections can be easily diagnosed by veterinarians by taking skin scrapes. In most situations, these infections may be an indication of a much bigger problem therefore should be taken with seriousness. Other ailments such as ringworm can also cause these infections and what’s even more alarming is that they can be transferred to other animals or to human beings.

5. Dry climate

Dogs that live in dry climate areas are more prone to dry skins than those that live in wet climate areas. This can be attributed to the dry air. Forced indoor heating during cold seasons may likewise contribute to dry skin for your dog. It is therefore recommended to have a humidifier at your home so as to save your pet friend the struggle of having to deal with an itchy and dry skin.

Other causes of dry skin on dogs include:

1. Thyroid condition: – this refers to a certain skin condition that results from lack of essential hormones. Its characterized by dull and brittle coats, excessive shedding, weight gain and lethargy.

2. Your dog’s skin type: – Some dog breeds such as the Chinese Crested and Alaskan Malamutes are more prone to skin conditions that may cause their skins to dry out compared to other breeds.

3. Over exposure to water can likewise limit your dog’s natural ability to protect its skin with essential oils produced by the skin.

Symptoms of dry skin on dogs.

1. Dry, flaky skin

2. Inflammation of the skin

3. Hair loss

4. Diagnosis or apparent Eczema of skin

5. Occurrence of pimples

6. Lifeless or dull appearance of coat

7. Bad odor

How to treat dry skin in dogs

Determining the cause of the dry skin on dogs. will go a great way in curing and preventing such skin conditions. There are various treatment methods available to cure skin dryness in dogs. They involve both home remedies and drug prescriptions from the veterinary. Some of these remedies include: –

1. Use an Oatmeal conditioner.

Oatmeal conditioner is a standout among st the best skin items for dogs since oats contains properties that help to soothe and to reduce the itching of the skin. In case you cannot find an oatmeal conditioner, you can essentially make a home-made oatmeal paste and rub it all over your dog. Allow it to be absorbed for a few minutes then wash it off.

2. Salmon oil.

Salmon oil is an excellent source of Omega 3 which is an essential fatty acid required to maintain a healthy skin on dogs. Supplement your dog’s meal with 1 teaspoon of salmon oil.

Since this supplements take time before they can effectively support the skin, it is recommended that you start feeding your dog early enough before the winter season, so as to give the omega3 supplements enough time to become fully effective.

3. Tea Tree oil.

Tea Tree oil contains essential properties that help to kill fungi and bacteria that causes skin dryness on dogs.

4. Olive oil moisturizers.

After shampooing you dog with appropriate shampoos containing Oatmeal, it is recommended that you use a good moisturizing rinse to help relieve your dog’s skin. Olive oilmoisturizers are most used. Its moisturizing effect would help to enhance your dog’s skin and also stop the dryness in a matter of few days.

5. Stick to hypoallergenic foods.

If your dog is allergic to certain foods then offer him hypoallergenic foods or maintain a healthy diet prescribed to you by the veterinarian. Injections, supplements and other medications maybe administered for other forms of allergies.

6. Get antibiotics from the veterinary

There are available antibiotics to cure skin dryness in dogs and they are prescribed depending on the cause of the dryness. Off the counter medication is not recommended since you might be treating you dog for the wrong illness.

How to prevent dry skins on dogs

1. Put in place effective measure to control parasites by use of anti-parasitic shampoos and dips to get rid of parasites whose bites cause itchiness to your dig’s skin.

2. Observe regular grooming which involves washing and brushing your dog’s fur so as to prevent build-up of debris and dandruff under its coat.

3. Regularly take your dog for medical check-ups to guarantee its overall well being.

4. Always feed you dog with a balanced diet rich in essential supplements prescribed to you by the veterinary.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil For Fleas

tea tree oilTea tree Oil for fleas has been used for years.Tea tree is also called Australian tree tea oil. During the past few years, this oil has become very popular .Tea tree Oil for fleas has been used for years. . During the past few years, this oil has become very popular for treating many kinds of skin conditions. Due to this, tea tree oil has also been added to a few veterinary skin care products. However, they are added in very small concentrations, .1% to 1%, this oil is considered safe for dogs and cats.

One thing which pet parents must remember is that ingestion of high concentrations of tea tree oil like 100 percent tea tree oil is harmful for the pets and lead to toxicity.

 

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil is oil which is extracted from the leaves of a tree which is native to Australia. The tree is quite similar to myrtle tree. The oil has a pale yellow color and camphor like smell. It has bacterial and fungicidal properties which make it a great remedy to treat acne, burns, boils and insect bites in human beings as well as pets. Many times it is added to vaporizers to treat infections. In the past few years due to its increasing popularity, the oil has been added to many cosmetic products like soaps, toothpaste, lotions, creams and shampoos.

If taken orally, it can lead to toxicity in pets as well as human beings. People often feel that using this oil is safe as it is natural. This is a major problem due to lack of labeling.

Spraying of Tea Tree oil For Fleas

 

If your dog has flea infestation, then spraying him with a solution of tea tree oil and water can work very well. Add 1 tsp of tea tree oil into 1 cup of warm water. Pour the mixture in clean spray bottle which is readily available in pharmaceutical and health food stores.

Do not spray inside the home, take your dog outside and give him a good spray. Some fleas will die immediately and others might leap off. Spay the entire coat with this mixture and keep him outside for at least 15 minutes till the mixture dries. Keep doing this for few days until you see that all fleas have gone. This treatment with tea tree oil for fleas is a very good and natural way of treating fleas.

Using tea tree oil Shampoo

There is another option if you want to use tea tree oil for fleas in your pet’s coat. Add a few drops of oil to the regular pet shampoo. The main problem which fleas face because of tea tree oil is that they do not like the smell of it and will remove themselves from it. Shampoo your pet well in each and every corner of the skin. You will be able to see fleas leaving the skin immediately. To treat fleas in your pet’s body, give him a shampoo everyday using this mixture for about a week or even more until you see that the fleas have gone and there is not more o disturb them

tea tree oil for fleasPrecautions

Always remember to use tea tree oil in a diluted form with shampoo or any other substance before applying it on your pet. If you apply it in concentrated form, you might kill the fleas but it will be extremely irritating for your pet. You will see them scratching themselves more ad that would hurt them more than the fleas. You will see them coming back to normal only after there is no more tea tree oil in the skin.

Tea tree oil Toxicity for Pets

There are various types of chemicals called terpenes present in tea tree oil. These chemicals make the oil effective in fighting against bacteria and fungi. They are also the toxic ones which are rapidly absorbed into the body whether taken orally or applied over the skin. Applying tea tree oil for fleas topically or ingesting it will have the same result.

The symptoms in your pet will vary according to the amount of terseness which have been ingested. Vomiting and drooling are minor symptoms which can be seen even when small dose or the oil is ingested. Some animals which have already been ill will have life threatening symptoms like tremors, seizures, coma etc. The symptoms will continue for 2 to 12 hours after the exposure.

What is the treatment for toxicity?

Unfortunately there is no antidote for terpenes. It depends how much toxicity has been spread into the body. Mild contamination will be cleaned by washing the skin with a detergent. Trying to make your pet vomit on purpose is not recommended because this will increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia.

People have often tried to administer activated charcoal after oral ingestion of terpenes, but the results are unknown, but it is still important to administer medicine for vomiting before giving your pet activated charcoal or it will be of no use.

The standard support therapy is to do skin decontamination with intravenous fluids. Other symptoms need to be taken care of by medication only. The treatments should be continues for 3 days after the exposure. As the terpenes are toxic, use liver protection medicines from vets also. This would include silymarin for two weeks.

How to protect tea tree oil poisoning in pets?

Even though tea tree oil for fleas is highly effective in treating skin condition sin pets, it is a home remedy and is not proven to be above other kinds of treatments. The concentrations which are recommended for skin problems for tea tree oil far exceeds the concentration which are found in most pet products. It is good to use natural products but it is not worth the risky at all. It is very difficult to calculate how much tea tree oil is to be used and most of the times miscalculations occur and finally if you have tea tree oil at home for own personal purpose, please store them away from your pets at any cost.

Overall if you see then tea tree oil is not bad, but there aren’t any chemically proven dosages so that pet parents may be guided as to what to do and how much to add. There isn’t much information also available to understand what to do in case of over dose or oral ingestion. Hence it becomes dangerous for pets and it is recommended to stick to other treatments for fleas.