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How Do I Care for a Dog with Flaky Skin?

Higher quality dog food might help a dog get the vitamins and minerals he needs and prevent flaky skin.
A veterinarian may recommend medication for a dog's flaky skin.
A small amount of petroleum jelly can be dabbed onto flaky patches.
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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2014
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If you have a dog with flaky skin, there are a number of things you can try to clear the condition. Sometimes, flaky skin is the result of inadequate nutrition, so switching to a higher quality dog food to ensure that your pet's diet includes enough vitamins, minerals, and fat can help. It is important to keep your dog clean and well-groomed, and you can also moisturize his or her skin, making sure to use products that will not aggravate the dry skin. Allergies can sometimes cause a dog's skin to flake, in which case you will need to determine the allergen and keep it away from your dog. If you suspect the flaking is due to an infection, parasite, or fungus, check with a veterinarian to see if your dog needs medication.

One simple way to help a dog with flaky skin is to feed him or her well. Cheap, low quality dog foods may be lacking in the vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A and B and manganese, your pet requires to stay healthy, resulting in dull, dry skin that flakes. Read pet food labels to make sure the brand you are using has the right nutrients. You should also make sure your dog is getting enough fat, either from your pet food or through some other means like adding olive oil to his or her diet.

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Good grooming is also important for a dog with flaky skin. Bathe your dog regularly with a mild shampoo, or one designed to control pet dandruff, and be sure to avoid harsh products like flea shampoos or ones made for people. Brush him or her regularly to remove flakes and distribute the dog's natural oils. Applying an oil rinse or lotion can also help moisturize the skin.

Allergies can sometimes be the cause of flaky skin in dogs. You will first need to determine what is causing the reaction; if it is something the dog is eating, such as a certain dog treat or even his daily food, remove it from his diet, and if it is something external, such as his bedding or flea collar, remove it from his environment. If this is not possible, an antihistamine may help.

Sometimes a dog with flaky skin requires treatment by a veterinarian. Parasites like fleas, scabies, or mites often cause skin to flake, and usually require special medications to clear. Fungal infections like yeast or ringworm can be the problem, as can bacterial infections, so your vet may recommend antibiotics or anti-fungals to clear it up.

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