What causes flaky skin in dogs?
An allergy to something in the environment or to their diet is a possible trigger for skin problems in dogs. Pollen, fleabites and certain foods are all capable of turning that skin itchy and scaly. Grains and certain protein sources such as beef, chicken, wheat, corn, milk and eggs have all been known to create an allergic reaction in dogs.
It’s common for dry skin to appear in the winter months when homes are artificially heated and humidity is low. Air conditioning can also dehydrate the skin.
Beauty isn’t just skin deep and your dog’s skin needs nourishment from within. Essential oils like omega-3 and omega-6 are key to healthy skin and coat so if they’re not getting enough from their diet, this can cause skin problems.
Frequent shampooing can strip the skin of its natural oils so over-zealous bathing of your dog can actually do more harm than good. Too little attention to their hygiene can also be bad for their skin so achieving a balance is key.
Certain conditions like diabetes, Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism can all lead to dry, flaky skin so it’s important to rule these out as possible causes.
- Rodrigues Hoffmann A, Patterson AP, Diesel A, Lawhon SD, Ly HJ, Stephenson CE, et al. (2014) The Skin Microbiome in Healthy and Allergic Dogs. PLoS ONE 9(1): e83197
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- Glos K, Linek M, Loewenstein C, Mayer U, Mueller RS. The efficacy of commercially available veterinary diets recommended for dogs with atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol. 2008 Oct;19(5):280-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2008.00688.x. Epub 2008 Aug 7. PMID: 18699815.