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February 01, 2022

Dogs are the most popular pet in the world, with more than 30% of households housing a combined total of 12.5 million dogs. That is a lot of fur to clean up, but we do it because they are family, and dogs are living beings too. And just like people, they can suffer from dermatological issues and dry skin. That is why it is important to pick the best dog shampoo to prevent, or improve dry skin. 

Here are the more common signs and symptoms of dry skin that can signal there is a problem, and hopefully it can be taken care of before it gets too severe. 

  • Itching: If your dog is scratching more than normal, rolling around to itch, or biting their skin. 
  • Sores: Scabs, pimples, and sores, can be a sign of dry skin. 
  • Hair Loss: Repetitive itching in a localized area can cause hair loss, as can licking.  
  • Dandruff: Flaking or peeling skin under the fur.
  • Inflammation: Including redness and irritation.
  • Change in a dog’s body odor: Unpleasant odors can accompany many skin conditions.
  • These are the usual signs of dry, itchy skin in dogs. Unfortunately, there are numerous reasons why it could be happening. Here are some of the more common causes for dry skin in dogs, and some ways to treat and prevent them. 

    Neutering and Spaying

    Spaying and neutering pets is a very responsible thing for a pet parent to do. It helps reduce the population of pets that end up in shelters and pounds, it also curbs hormone driven behavioral problems, but most importantly can greatly reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. However, for about three weeks or so, dogs’ hormones can become imbalanced which can cause a disruption in the natural skin oil production. Which in turn can cause skin issues, such as dry skin and itching. The imbalance may likely resolve itself, but it may need some help to do so, and symptoms can be relieved to keep them comfortable and from harming themselves. 

    Cold Weather and Dry Air

    Just like humans, dogs are affected by the long winter months. The cold, combined with low humidity, can leech moisture from a dog’s skin, causing itching, cracking, sores, and bleeding. This is worsened by indoor heating because the dry heat draws the moisture away from their skin. Keep in mind that the cold and the dry air can be more problematic in those with other skin conditions. 


    Experts say that up to 20% of dogs will develop allergies in their lifetime with half of those being food allergies. Which means that the other half of allergy afflictions will be due to environmental triggers. Possible causes include, but are not limited to grasses, pollen, mold, dust, smoke, and chemicals. Typically allergies develop between 1 and 2 years of age. Which may be important to keep in mind when deciding if it could be an allergy or something more severe. 


    Pests are another dog skin irritant that can cause mild to severe discomfort caused by inflammation. The most common culprits for skin problems are fleas, mites, and ticks but any biting or stinging insect can cause irritation. Some dogs are more sensitive to pests, while others may not have an issue. Removing pests, and keeping them away is the best way to keep skin from becoming irritated, or possibly infected if there are open sores. 


    If your dog is experiencing skin irritation, itching, or any of the above mentioned problems, the issue could be the shampoo causing your dog’s skin irritation. Whether you are bathing them personally or taking them to a groomer, it is important to know what chemicals are in the products being used. Artificial fragrances can consist of hundreds of separate chemicals that aren’t listed on the bottle and any one of them could be an irritant, and the same goes for artificial colors. The list for ingredients to avoid is a very long one and includes preservatives, phthalates, and even mineral oils that can stop your dog’s skin from producing its own natural oils. Avoiding these ingredients can minimize skin irritation, but most shampoos can be problematic if used too often, or used incorrectly. 

    Solving Skin Irritation

    Skin irritation caused by chemicals is easy to remedy simply by switching to a natural shampoo that is safe to use daily, without the mess of added ingredients.Earth Animal Dog Nupro Herbal Shampoo is an all around great shampoo that can help be used on a daily basis without worry of drying out skin from overbathing. It is suitable for all stages of life, contains no parabens, perfumes, dyes, or chemical insecticides, yet has a fresh minty scent to deter pests. 

    If pests are the problem, an anti-flea and tick shampoo that uses essential oils like Lavender, Sage, and Rosewood, can help keep them away while also nourishing skin with essential vitamins, and oils. To avoid irritation, this should not be used as a daily shampoo. 

    The other skin problems on the list are harder to solve. Winter air, allergies, and hormonal imbalances are things that can’t just be avoided. However, to help soothe your distressed pup, switching to Mauro Pet Care’sDry Skin & Anti-itch Essential Elements Dog Shampoo. It is formulated specifically for dry skin, and has natural ingredients to soothe and hydrate the skin. Switching shampoo does not protect against food allergies. 

    Having dry skin can really affect a dog’s quality of life, and even cause depression and lethargy, so using the right shampoo to help them feel better is important. Having said that, if your dog’s condition does not improve, gets worse, or is bad to begin with, seek a veterinarian diagnosis. There are other conditions that can cause dry skin in dogs as a symptom and some of them can be serious, and they could require medication to fix and help your fur baby live the longest and happiest life possible.