There are many things that can cause your dog to develop dry, scaly skin. The most common causes are environmental or flea allergy dermatitis and/or a result of a bacterial infection. When your dog has dry skin, he will begin to scratch more often. This will put your pet at risk for a variety of secondary infections. Because of this, you will want to immediately get to the root of the problem in order to determine the proper treatment.
If your pet suffers from an allergy, the best course of treatment is to avoid the allergen. However, that is not always possible, especially in the case of environmental allergies. Your veterinarian may prescribe oral or topical steroids to control the itching. Your dog may also be prescribed a daily dose of an allergy medication. To help your pet remain free from itching, you may also decide to switch your pet to a sensitive skin dog food along with a daily Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. For a flea allergy, your veterinarian can suggest a number of products to kill fleas and eggs.
If your pet’s itching is due to a bacterial infection, he may require more extensive treatment to alleviate the itching. First, the veterinarian will examine the organism under a microscope to determine if bacteria is the causitive agent. Your pet will then likely be prescribed an oral antibiotic as well as an antibiotic shampoo that you will have to bathe your dog with two or three times a week.
Although allergies are the most common cause of dry, itchy skin in dogs, there are other more serious problems that can also cause dry skin. It’s always important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your pet.