June 26, 2017

How to help your dog with dry skin this summer

Does your dog have dry skin? Do you know how to spot the signs of doggie skin irritation? And what do you need to watch out in the warmer months when it comes to canine skincare? 

Before heading out in the summer sunshine, it’s likely that you consider your skin. Though you may not wear SPF every day, you still know it’s important to protect your skin. But what about your dog? We’re taking a closer look at how to care for their skin and avoid dry skin on dogs this summer.

White dog smiles while lying down on grass

What are the signs of dog dry skin?

First, how do you know if your dog has dry skin? If your dog’s skin is healthy, it will be:
  • Pink, black, grey or brown – depending on their colour.
  • Pest free – no fleas, mites or ticks.
  • Clean and flake-free.
However, signs of dry skin include:
  • Flakes or scurf
  • Crusty areas
  • Spotty skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Greasy skin
  • Unpleasant smell

How can you help dog dry skin?

Here are five ways that you can help your dog’s skin this summer if he’s got on of the signs of dry skin: 

1. Protect from within

One of the best ways to avoid dog dry skin is to provide the right combination of Omega 3 & 6 oils to maintain a healthy skin and coat.
YuDERM Dog, our premium skin and coat supplement, is packed with exactly the right blend, and is proven to improve condition in 3-6 weeks. What’s more, it’s recommended by thousands of vets, breeders and owners – so could be a great first port of call to protect their skin and coat all year round.

These clever oils support your dog's skin health by increasing essential fatty acids that can be lacking in their diet. These fatty acids help to replenish your dog's skin barrier. And that’s good news, because a strong barrier reduces the likelihood of allergens entering their system through their skin, preventing itching and inflammation

2. Remember, dogs get hay fever too!

Did you know dogs get hay fever? Much like humans, dogs react to different allergens at different times of year. Rather than sneezing, canine hay fever can manifest as itchy skin problems. A good Omega 3&6 oil – like YuDERM Itchy Dog – can help to calm things down when your dog is experiencing a more acute reaction.

Read more about dog hay fever here.

3. Always wear sunscreen

Can dogs tan? In a word, yes. If your dog has dark skin and a fine coat, you might have noticed that their pigmentation gets deeper in summertime. Conversely, dogs with pale coats can get sunburn. Though it’s a good idea to keep your dog out of the hottest midday sun, it’s not always practical, so protect areas with short or no fur – noses, ears and bellies if they sunbathe – with a dog-safe SPF. Just like with people, remember to reapply if they have a swim!

Though some people use human sunscreen on dogs, we don’t recommend it. Your dog may lick the cream off, and some human formulations contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, including para-aminobenzoic acid and zinc oxide. Fragrances can be irritating to your dog’s skin too, so best to be safe.

4. Sooth any insect bites

Some dogs love to chase insects and can get a nasty surprise if they meet a wasp or bee. If they get stung, try and remove the stinger with tweezers, then calm the sting with a soothing, antibacterial spray. If your dog has been stung more than once, contact your vet for advice.

5. Avoid those hot pavements

Hot pavements can lead to sore paws, we generally go by the rule of if it’s too hot to walk on a pavement barefoot, it’s too hot for a dog walk – so do your best friend a favour and enjoy some time in the shade instead!

Dog looks at the camera while lying down in the shade.

When to visit your vet

If you spot any of the following skin problems, it’s worth talking to your vet. Though many skin and coat niggles can often be simply solved through nutrition and changes to your routine, some can be a sign that there’s something more serious going on...

Lumps and bumps
Don’t worry or assume the worst – most lumps are benign cysts, warts or skintags – but do always get your vet to check.

Changes in pigmentation
Like humans, dogs can get skin cancer, so watch out for changes in pigmentation. An overall darkening of a large area (tanning) is probably fine, but suddenly changing or appearing spots – like human moles – are a cause for a check-up.

Repeated hotspots
A single hotspot that heals quickly is usually nothing to worry about, but if your dog has more than one – or gets them regularly – it could be a sign of an allergy, food sensitivity or underlying issues, especially if your dog is older and has never had hotspots before.

Alopecia (bald patches)
This can be caused by over-grooming (licking and chewing at an area) and hormonal changes (‘blowing the coat’ when a female is pregnant or in heat), but can also be the result of ringworm, ticks or fleas.

Are there any other skin and coat care topics that you’d like to know more about? Or do you have some ideas for coat care to share? We always love to hear from you, so please do leave a comment below – or say hello on our Facebook page.