A dog scratching because of dry skin is not an easy thing to experience, both for you and your dog. The obvious discomfort on my dog’s face when she started getting itchy because of her dry skin was enough to make me itch in sympathy.
Okay, not necessarily, but my concern was definitely raised, especially when my dog couldn’t seem to stop to the point of some bleeding.
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Dry skin can lead to flaking and/or itching, which could then lead to discomfort.
When a dog’s skin is dry, not only is it really uncomfortable but it can also pose problems for the state of the dog’s coat. As there are many different reasons as to why a dog can have dry skin, it’s not always easy to address the problem immediately.
Even when the problem is diagnosed and is already being treated accordingly, your pooch may still feel some discomfort as the dry skin heals. Luckily, there are dog shampoos to help address these causes and symptoms in order to bring more relief to dogs with dry skin.
1. One of the most common reasons for a dog to have dry skin is because of nutritional deficiencies in their diets. Healthy skins and coats are usually aided by the presence of fatty acids in your dog’s food, but the process of making commercial dog food can affect the amounts of fatty acids in them.
That means that what your dog gets versus what he should be getting has a discrepancy that needs to be addressed. In this case, getting your dog an organic source of omega fatty acids can help pave the way for a healthier skin and coat.
2. As we have mentioned before, there is such a thing as over (or under) bathing your dog, and this is another plausible reason as to why your dog has dry skin. Dogs who are bathed very often are more exposed to the chemical ingredients in dog soaps and shampoos, which could strip off the layers of natural oils on their skin and thus lead to dry skin.
Underbathing is just as problematic, as it allows dead skin and hair to build up on your dog’s skin which can cause it to be flaky.
This review is important because dog shampoos which are specially designed for dry skin are often formulated to reduce, heal, and prevent any more dry skin problems for your dog. Often, they do not have the harsh ingredients present in some shampoos that put your dog’s skin in danger in the first place.
3. The lack of proper grooming can also make dogs’ skins dry, especially if they are of the long coated, thick coated, or double coated breeds. If you don’t regularly brush your dog, the dry skin flakes will build up close to the undercoat and make your dog feel itchy.
4. Dogs living in hotter climates or are exposed to dry air conditions are also susceptible to getting dry skin. The drier the air is around them, the drier their skin would likely be. A humidifier can help relieve your dog (and you) from getting dry skin.
5. Interestingly, dogs who get spayed or neutered are at higher risk of getting dry skin. This is because their hormone regulation can be affected by the process and thus cause the loss or reduction of production of natural oils which keep their skin from being dry. This is not an argument against neutering or spaying, it’s just beneficial to know that this is a likely side effect of getting your dog neutered or spayed.
6. Other health issues like yeast, dandruff, allergies, skin infection, or mange can be what you’re dealing with and not really dry skin. You should also rule these out first before attempting to treat your dog’s dry skin as overlooking these may keep you from getting to the bottom of the real problem that needs to be addressed. For instance, allergies can be addressed simply by changing up your dog's diet.
Until your dog’s cause for dry skin is properly treated (with medications, health supplements, or environmental adjustments), you’ll still want to help them feel relief from the dry skin symptoms. You can do this by bathing them with a dog shampoo that’s specifically formulated for dogs suffering from dry skin.
Sometimes, these shampoo options are the actual treatment to your dog’s dry skin as well.
Either way, I had to find one to stop my dog from scratching, and to address the already irritated skin from too much scratching.
And because I know how difficult it is to find a dog shampoo that would help address my own dog’s dry skin problems, I wrote up this review to help you with your own search.
The first product we’re going to be looking at is the Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo. It’s available in a lot of different varieties that help with itchy skin, skin irritation, and other similar conditions, but the Oatmeal and Aloe one is the one best suited for a dog’s dry skin.
My favorite thing about this brand is that it’s all-natural. The ingredients and materials are all organic and cruelty free. The main ingredients in the shampoo, oatmeal and aloe, are both highly advised by veterinarians to ease the symptoms of skin irritation as well as to heal and moisturize dry skin.
It also has some vanilla and almond oils that give off a fragrant smell that fits the wellness that your dog feels once you give them a bath with this shampoo. It’s also soap-free, which reduces the chance of any harsh chemicals making your dog’s skin worse.
The shampoo doesn’t dry up my dog’s skin or coat, in fact, once we’re done with this shampoo she has a gleaming coat and an obvious relief from the itchiness that the dry skin makes her feel. Plus, it smells good!
One thing though, my other dog who has a grain allergy didn’t fare quite as well with this shampoo, probably because of the oatmeal content in it. While this treated my other dog’s dry skin, the allergen only triggered a reaction for my allergic one.
Amazon reviewers also state the same thing, while this treated the skin irritations for some dogs, other dog owners also claim that the product caused reactions on otherwise healthy dogs. Some other dogs also had their skin irritations worsen after using this shampoo.
That being said, this shampoo is not advisable for dogs with grain allergies. Plus, the oatmeal ingredient can also be a precursor for yeast and bacteria growth on your dog.
Next one on the list is the OxGord Natural Dog Shampoo and Conditioner. It also has aloe vera that helps relieve and re-moisturize dry and itchy skin in dogs. Once again, the ingredients are natural and organic, albeit not entirely. I liked it because it’s environmentally friendly and also helps a lot with my dog’s dry skin.
Another added bonus is that this is tear free, which certainly makes for a more comfortable bath for my dogs. There is no need for a conditioner either because this product is two-in-one. While it smells good from the bottle, the scent usually fades from my dog’s coat after a while.
A lot of Amazon reviewers also agree that this did wonders for their dogs’ skins. However, a common problem that I share with them is the fact that the ingredient list on Amazon isn’t exactly forthright. While it does state that the shampoo comes with organic and natural ingredients, there are also chemicals like a sulfate ingredient which are included in it.
While I didn’t experience any problems with this shampoo (even with my dog with grain allergies as this had oatmeal in it as well), I didn’t want to stick around after the first bottle because of the issue with the sulfate ingredient.
I’m sure it works really well for the other people who bought it, and they certainly outnumber the ones who say that this didn’t work for their dogs, but I decided to try another shampoo that was relatively safer than this one.
Upon seeing the positive reviews for the SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs, as well as its distinctly cheaper price, I decided to try out this one.
Like its name states, this is a shampoo for more skin problems than just dry itchy skin. However, it was worth a try as it also helps prevent any other skin problems from affecting my dogs. It does so with medication provided by coal tar, salicylic acid, and micronized sulfur.
I know you’re probably asking why I decided to go for a shampoo with sulfur in its ingredients after I distinctly avoided another with sulfates, but at least this one was stated by the manufacturers outright. It’s also labeled safe and non-toxic, apart from being just cruelty free
It works pretty well and does as it claims, and the colloidal oatmeal ingredient doesn’t seem to be affecting my allergic dog either. As for my dog with dry skin, this works just as well as the OxGord shampoo. Based on the other reviews on Amazon, it’s also pretty helpful with the other skin conditions that it’s supposed to address.
All except mange, that is. Several reviews have said that this isn’t effective against mange. Luckily my dog’s only problem was dry skin and it worked well for that.
The negative side of this is the smell. Because it’s medicated with sulfur, this shampoo has a pretty distinct odor. But that’s a small price to pay for the effectivity that this shampoo offers, if you get what I mean.
At the end of this review, I’d say you’d get the best bargain with either the OxGord shampoo or the SynergyLabs shampoo. While there is a distinct difference between these two because the SynergyLabs one is medicated and the OxGord is a shampoo and conditioner in one, they both seemed to have similar effects on my dogs.
Oxgord smells a lot better despite the fact that the scent does not last long, but it’s definitely better than the heavily sulfuric smell of the SynergyLabs shampoo. Either way, both have good value for the price, but the SynergyLabs is so much cheaper.
The Earthbath shampoo also has its own merits, except for the oatmeal content that can cause allergic reactions for some dogs. But it does pretty well with dry skin as well, if that’s what you’re worried about. Of course, however, the other two have oatmeal content as well that did not trigger a reaction in my own dog.
That being said, I definitely think your best bet is either of the other two products. They both treated my dog’s dry skin pretty well, and I’m sure they’ll do just as well for yours.