Dogs are healthy playful creatures that brighten up one’s day and bring joy around everywhere. But sometimes, they may be suffering themselves which makes them dull and inactive. One such leading problem that is faced by many dogs today is the issue of dry and flaky skin. Due to this condition, the dogs are itching and scratching themselves incessantly during which they may hurt themselves. They cannot do anything else about it and hence, they resort to this technique however, it is up to the owner to recognize the telltale signs and get the correct treatment for the same. The following sections briefly elaborate more on the issue for dry skin and how certain shampoos can help in eradicating this problem.
What is dog shampoo?
Dog shampoos are the regular cleansing agents designed especially for the dogs for maintaining their regular hygiene. They are formulated different from the human shampoos as the dog’s skin is more sensitive and responsive towards harsh chemicals. They come in a variety of types which deal with all of the different problems but can broadly be classified as medicated and non-medicated shampoos.
Why do some dogs have dry skin?
The following are some causes that reflect on why some dogs have dry skin.
- Bacterial Infection : This is often a result of some termite bite or parasitic attack.
- Alopecia: This is a rare hereditary disease in which the common symptoms include hair loss and scaling.
- Canine Distemper: The symptoms of this disease are thickening at the end of the nose and the foot pads. The end result is dry, flaky and scaly skin.
- Castration Responsive Dermatitis: This can occur in unneutered puppies and the common symptoms are loss of hair around the genital area, skin appears darker, the hair color may fade and severe scaling all across the body.
- Rabbit Fur Mite Mange: This is due to the infection of Cheyletiella mite. The symptoms are severe itching and scaling.
- Cushing’s Disease: This is caused due to hormonal and glandular changes. The common reason is the imbalance in the production and regulation of corticosteroids.
- Demodectic Mange: This is caused due to infection with the Demodex mite and occurs easily with a low immune system efficiency.
- Flea Bit Hypersensitivity: The scaling and crusting of the skin occurs due to a severe allergic reaction towards the saliva of fleas.
- Fish Scale Disease: This disease is particularly characterized by the excessive scaling of the skin.
- Ringworm: This usually causes the skin to grow crusty and there is increased hair loss and itchiness.
- Vitamin A responsive dermatitis: The deficiency of Vitamin A causes the skin to grow flaky. The dog also starts to shed more hair and there are odor problems.
- Zinc responsive dermatitis: The deficiency of zinc also causes redness and increased oiliness of the skin alongwith rapid hair loss.
If your dog lives in a region of low humidity, it can lead to dry skin. The dryness can also be caused by improper diet and ingestion of unsuitable food.
One can easily see that a few of these problems are genetic, hereditary or dietary or caused due to various external and internal factors. The scaling that is caused by external factors can be corrected by using the proper medicated shampoo available for addressing the dry skin issue.
How shampoos can help in dry skin?
The following are certain points that elaborate how shampoos can help with dry skin problems.
- Certain shampoos are designed to contain moisturizing agents which hydrate the skin and fur thus, effectively removing the dryness and flakiness of the skin.
- Shampooing with the correct shampoo stimulates the sebaceous glands to secrete the proper amount of natural oils that should be present on the skin’s surface.
- Shampooing removes the infestation of parasites like fleas and ticks which may be present. Since, some of the dryness and scaling is caused by the reaction towards the saliva of these parasites; removal of these can at once improve the condition of the pet.
- Shampooing also helps to treat bacterial and fungal infections (eg. Ringworm) which are sometimes the case of the scaling and dandruff. The use of these shampoos will lead to an instantaneous improvement in the skin condition.
- Shampoos also act to restore the pH of the skin to the normal range and when this pH is out of the required range, flakiness occurs.
- The specially formulated medicated shampoos can treat whatever is ailing the dog to improve its condition by soothing it’s itching and scratching. Excessive itching can also damage the skin and aggravate the condition.
Why dry skin shampoos for dogs help?
Dog shampoos that treat dry skin contain oatmeal or aloe vera. These ingredients help in soothing the skin. The following points demonstrate how they help.
Oatmeal is effective when it comes to providing relief from itching because it contains chemicals like avenanthramides and phenols. It also balances the pH of the dog’s skin. Often many problems are caused by the imbalance in pH levels. Oatmeal resolves this issue. It relieves the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. Its grainy structure helps in removing flaky skin and softening the dog’s coat. It also helps in treating the symptoms of hot spots, allergies and tick problems.
Aloe vera is often applied on the dog’s wounds. It has healing and soothing properties. It contains several vitamins and minerals that enrich the dog’s skin and it treats the flea bites and allergies of the dog.
Popular Dog Shampoos for Dry Skin
The following is a list of some popular shampoos that have gathered a huge customer base because of their effectiveness in treating dry skin problems.
Pet Head Life's an Itch Skin Soothing Shampoo : This is a watermelon based soothing shampoo. The oatmeal and aloe vera work together to soothe the skin whereas, the tea tree oil purifies and cleanses the hair follicles. It is pH adjusted and completely free of chemicals like parabens and petroleum derivatives. It is safe and mild on the skin and will not cause any harm if the dog ingests it accidently. It is also pleasantly fragranced.
Pet Head feeling Flaky Dry and Sensitive Shampoo : It has a special rehydrating formula which is perfect for dry and flaky skin. It moisturizes and revitalizes every inch of the skin and hair surface to reduce the dandruff and flaky skin. It is also scented with strawberry yoghurt which not only makes it a fragranced experience but also a nutrient enriched one.
Bio-Groom Natural Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo : It cleans the skin and coat without any irritating or harsh chemicals. It also contains colloidal oatmeal to prevent and cure dry and irritated skin. It leaves a pleasant fragrance after each wash and mild enough to be used safely for dogs above 12 weeks of age.
All 4 Pets Aloe Vera Moisturizing Pet Shampoo : It nourishes and revitalizes dull and dry hair. The product hydrates the hair from the root and thus, also effectively works on hydrating the skin which reduces the dryness and thereby, the flakiness of the skin. Aloe vera and other herbal ingredients also help in strengthening the hair which becomes brittle due to dandruff.
Beaphar Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo : The shampoo contains lemon grass oil and menthol which has a soothing and cooling effect on the skin. It is effective in treating insect bites and the aloe vera keeps the coat healthy.
Critter Comfort Shampoo for Dogs with Allergies, Dry, Itchy and Sensitive Skin : It is an all-natural shampoo that has received a lot of positive customer feedback regarding its work towards soothing itchiness and scaling. It promotes the healing of hot spots and contains natural ingredients like tea tree oil, shea butter and sunflower oil.
Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo : When the itching and dry skin is due to allergies then this shampoo is the perfect choice. It contains natural ingredients like oatmeal, tea tree oil, neem oil and aloe vera that not only soothe but also nourish with their nutrients.
The only precautions that should be kept in mind before buying these products are that it should not contain any ingredient that the pet is allergic to. Also, if one notices any kind of side effects, the vet should be consulted immediately.
In the end..
One can easily infer that dry skin can be caused due to a variety of reasons and one should first consult with a vet to know the exact cause. Only then a suitable course of action and shampoo can be decided.