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Dry skin in dog?

Any ideas for how to treat dry skin in an older Yorkie? Vet says he is scratching due to dry skin. Looking for ideas.

I would talk to my vet and make sure that they don’t think it’s a symptom of a larger issue- mange, ectoparasites, food or environmental allergies, Cushing’s or thyroid disorders, skin infections, etc. If the underlying issue isn’t treated, the skin won’t clear up. If they think it’s really just dry skin, you can try giving fish oil, the same capsules you can buy for people at any pharmacy. If he gets bathed often, you could try bathing less or using a more moisturizing shampoo. Some people also like to put things like coconut oil on hairless areas to help moisturize, like noses, paw pads, etc.

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The vet looked for mange, parasites, allergies etc. We decided he might be allergic to flea bites, and he is getting steroids for that. But, he did note the dry skin. I tried giving him fish oil in his food and that was a disaster, as he snubbed the idea. I will try to add it some other way.

I was just looking for what other people have done.

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So, my late girl had a million digestive issues plus other things. At one point, one of her meds was drying out her skin badly. Because we didn’t want to upset her gut, her vets had me put a humidifier by where she slept. That helped her a lot. If you have one, maybe give that a shot?

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Wellactin is a fish oil capsule that might help
If you want to feed it whole, a schmear of peanut butter or cheese works.
Mine eats them whole in her food

Spirulina has made a huge difference in my dogs. I make a batch of “nutrition ingots” every 10-14 days and each dog gets one in the morning. They consist of:

  • MSM
  • glucosamine
  • healthy dollop of spirulina, enough to make the treats a dark green
  • olive oil
  • rolled oats
  • chia seeds
  • 2 whole eggs
  • whatever fruit/ herb/ veggie I have on hand and want to add.

Spirulina smells pretty fishy so you may have better success sneaking it in via homemade treats vs feeding the powder straight

Have you tried tinned fish? I give my dogs a tin of sardines/ mackerel, etc in the winter to help with dry skin in the NE once a week. (my dogs are large and split a 3oz can) and I subtact from their “normal” food on those days.

Thanks all. I am adding some butter to his wet food and the suggestion of feeding canned sardines may work. I’m having flashbacks. I used to eat them on crackers with my grandfather.

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I would worry that butter would cause GI upset ,and I can not see how it would help with dry skin by eating it.


I guess we will see. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’m sure the dog won’t mind a little butter with his lunch.

Here is NIH on fats and skin health…bottom line is that there is very little research on this

My vet gave one of my dogs an allergy shot (that was not a steroid) that seemed to help a lot with her itching. In her case, the itching began with an allergy to some mite bites, but it persisted even after we had dealt with the mites.

I also give both my dogs, as a topper to their dry food, the Stella and Chewy’s Skin and Coat nuggets:

They’re pricey (even used as a topper), but you can decrease the amount of regular food you’re feeding and they seem to help a lot.

The Keto people call putting butter in your coffee bulletproof, right/… so is this bulletproof kibble? :rofl:

Sounds interesting…he gets his main meal at lunch, so I might try this for his evening kibble.

The verdict is in. Mr. Picky Eater loves the Stella Skin and Coat nuggets! We will see how this sorts out long term. For now, he is on a steroid for 10 days. This has helped a lot as he has quit scratching holes in his fur.

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