Question: My dog has dry skin, is losing a little hair and is itching more than normal. He does swim a lot. What can you recommend?

Answer: Dry skin, hair loss and itchiness can actually have medical causes—for example hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, allergies (e.g. fleas, food or inhaled particles), mites and skin infections to name a few. I would recommend seeing your veterinarian for a general health examination and further evaluation with skin scrapes at a minimum.

Check out my articles titled “Nix the Skin Itch of Summer” and “Dry Skin in Pets” for additional ideas about what might be going on with your dog.

Basic tips for treating the dry skin of summer:

• Add canned food and extra water to a pet’s diet to improve overall hydration

• Try a fatty acid supplement like Halo’s Dream Coat. Fatty acids can help ease itchiness and help resolve dry skin regardless of the underlying skin condition

• Brush your pet regularly to remove dry, dead hair and stimulate the skin to produce its natural moisturizing oils

• Select a natural, detergent-free shampoo like Halo’s Cloud Nine Herbal Shampoo that nourishes the skin and coat instead of stripping the skin of its essential oils. Sometimes oatmeal-based shampoo and conditioners are great for soothing and controlling the mild itch of dry, sensitive skin. Don’t bathe too frequently—ideally no more than once weekly to prevent excessive skin dryness

• Limit exposure to the pool—chlorine and chemicals can be very irritating to dogs’ skin in addition to posing unnecessary chemical exposure.

Hope this helps.
Dr. Donna Spector

Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency. Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via

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