Remember that a dog’s skin is composed of only one layer, so it is much more delicate than a human’s skin, which has three layers.
A dog’s skin depends on the hair and oils on it to keep it in good condition.
Some preventive steps:
- Keep your dog properly fed to prevent dry skin.
- When bathing your dog, use dog-formulated shampoo to prevent dry skin.
- Groom your dog regularly. Some problems are caused by matted hair that provides a breeding ground for a variety of skin diseases. Regular grooming also helps keep you aware of any recurring problems.
- Keep your dog flea and parasite free.
- Check your dog regularly for foxtails, burrs, and other sharp objects picked up while outside.
Relieving Dry Skin
Some things to try:
- Shampoos with lanolin
- A good soak in cool water
- Non-drying shampoo: e.g., HyLyt Shampoo (affiliate link) with essential fatty acids is said to be nonallergenic
- Medicated shampoos may help with allergy-induced problems
- Avon’s Skin So Soft added to the rinse water
Allergies Followed by Staph Infections
Once a dog has an allergic reaction, it is quite common to have a secondary staph infection. Many veterinarians aren’t familiar with this. The staph infection may stay around long after the allergy is gone.
A vet who specializes in dermatology can be of great help in dealing with skin problems. See if your vet can refer you to such a specialist.
Some studies on primrose and fish oil in helping relieve or cure secondary infections from allergies have been documented.
Next, in Part 2 of this article, we go down a very big list of possible skin problems in dogs.