Also known as Pruritus, itchy skin is one of the common reasons pet parents seek veterinary care. All dogs can get itchy skin, but some breeds are genetically predisposed to the condition.
Dogs That Have Dry Itchy Skin
Some dogs are more prone to dry itchy skin than others. This is usually due to yeast/bacterial infections and allergies.
Dog breeds with dry, itchy skin include:
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Shih Tzus
Assessing Dog Skin to See Why My Dog Is Itching
There are many possible reasons for your dog's itching. For effective treatment, you need to be sure of the underlying cause of your dog's dry, itchy skin. Luckily, there are many tests your vet can recommend to help you figure this out.
1. Skin Cytology
In this test, your vet takes a skin sample from your dog and observes it under a microscope for mites or infections.
2. Intradermal Testing
This test determines if your dog's itching is due to skin allergies. Your vet will prick your dog's skin with a small amount of common allergens and wait for 30 minutes. If the area swells, it confirms that your dog is allergic to that substance.
3. Radioallergosorbent Test
This is a blood test that looks for specific IgE antibodies. These are always present in case of "true" allergic reactions.
4. Food Trial
Sometimes, your dog's itchy skin may be due to a food allergy. To confirm this, your vet will suggest a prescription diet without any additional treats. If the itching goes away, food is the problem.
Simple Remedies to Cure Dry Itchy Dog Skin
Oatmeal shampoos are often considered the best dog shampoos for dry itchy dog skin. This is because oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a protectant for the skin, soothing irritation and itchiness.
2. Chamomile and Herbal Tea Soak
Chamomile and green tea soothe irritated skin and reduce inflammation. To make a tea soak for your dog, steep several herbal tea bags in warm water for three minutes.
3. Coconut Oil
If nothing else works, try coconut oil. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which soothe irritated dog skin. It's also a good moisturizer.
Comfortable is Happy
It's important to tend to your dog's needs, to keep them healthy and happy. So never ignore scratching, and always consult your local veterinarian if symptoms persist.