How to Moisturize a Dog’s Dry Skin

How to Moisturize a Dog’s Dry Skin - Animals Matter, Inc.

Does your dog have dry skin? Poor pooch! Dry, itchy, scaly skin is simply awful whether you have two feet or four. To make matters worse, your pet can't convey her discomfort in words so she's depending on you to notice her ordeal and take steps to fix it.

Your first indication that she's suffering from dry skin might be when you notice that she's constantly scratching, licking, or even biting herself. She may also rub parts of her body against the carpet or upholstered furniture in a desperate attempt to scratch a maddening itch. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to relieve your dog's dry skin problem.

How Do You Moisturize a Dog With Dry Skin?

Organic dog moisturizers work best when applied to clean, moist skin. So start off by bathing your dog the right way using high-quality organic dog shampoo and conditioner. Gentle, veterinarian-approved hypoallergenic bath products will safely cleanse and soothe your pet's skin, getting rid of dirt and other irritants while leaving her skin and coat delightfully soft and fresh.

If your pup has super sensitive skin, you may prefer an unscented bath bar rather than shampoo. Choose a bar that's non-toxic, made with organic ingredients, and easy to rinse off.

Protect Those Precious Paws and Noses

Follow up your pet's bath with nose balm and paw balm. Choose products made using only organic, dog-safe ingredients and produced under strict quality control standards. After all, you know your dog is going to lick her nose and paws, especially the first time you coat them with something. You'll want to only use products that you know are safe for her.

Is your dog suffering from sore, dry, cracked, rough, or irritated skin on her nose and paws? These balms will help soothe and heal them. They're also good at protecting the tender skin of the nose from chapping due to extreme weather.

Any balms you use on your pet should be formulated using only natural, dog-safe waxes and oils and have a veterinarian's stamp of approval. The addition of colloidal silver provides antibacterial properties that will help heal any raw spots.

What's Safe to Put on My Dog's Skin?

Always choose an all-natural, certified organic dog shampoo and organic dog moisturizer for use on your pet. It should be made with only top-quality ingredients that you would use on your own skin. Of course, it should also be formaldehyde-free and contain no synthetic dyes or chemical scents. If it's hypoallergenic and biodegradable, so much the better!

What Causes Dry Skin on Dogs?

According to, the leading causes of dry skin in dogs can vary from unpleasant weather to unwanted parasites (eww!) to an allergy triggered by a new coat or brand of kibble. It may take some sleuthing from both you and your vet to find the root cause of that unbearable itch and put a stop to it.

Common causes of dry, itchy skin:

  • An allergic reaction to items like foods, plants (dogs can get poison ivy and hay fever too!), laundry products, or a new bed or shampoo.
  • Bites from parasites like fleas can cause itching. Flea saliva can also produce an allergic reaction that causes severe itchiness.
  • Mange is another parasitic infestation (this time from mites) that causes extreme itching, skin damage, and hair loss.
  • Bacterial and fungal infections like ringworm.
  • Medical conditions such as canine hypothyroidism can also cause dry, itchy skin.
  • Exposure to harsh weather conditions. Extreme sun, wind, or cold can all irritate your pet's skin.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends having a vet check your dog out if she develops dry, itchy skin. It might be something minor that a good shampoo can solve but it could also be an indication of a major underlying problem. Only your vet will know which it is for sure.


Dry, flaky, itchy skin can make your dog miserable. As a loving pet parent, you'll want to do everything you can to stop the torment. Keep reading for more suggestions on how you can help.

Should you use oil on your dog's dry skin?

Organic dog moisturizers containing the right kinds of all-natural oils can help soothe, heal, and protect dry skin.

Look for products containing these oils:

  • Avocado
  • Calendula
  • Castor seed
  • Coconut
  • Comfrey leaf
  • Kukui
  • Olive
  • Palm kernel

If a product also contains Aloe vera and Vitamin E, you'll know you've found a winner in your fight against your pet's itchy skin!

How do you fix a dog with a dry nose or dry paws?

Walking on rough surfaces, hot asphalt, or icy sidewalks is hard on a dog's paws. Protect those hard-working feet with an all-natural paw balm both before and after your walks. Your protected pup will thank you!

Dogs with pink noses are especially susceptible to sunburn and will need dog-safe sunscreen protection. A great nose balm will help soothe and heal her sensitive nose if it gets sunburnt anyway, develops crusty dermatitis due to sun exposure, or has other issues. Protect your pup's adorable nose (of any color) with nose balm!

Should you go to the vet if your dog has dry skin?

The answer is yes, especially if you've tried unsuccessfully to treat it yourself, the problem is getting worse, or her condition is extreme. You'll also want to see the vet if your dog is biting, rubbing, or scratching herself enough to cause open sores. The last thing she needs is a skin infection on top of her dry skin problem!

Your vet will be able to evaluate her condition, identify the underlying cause, and provide a treatment plan for getting your pet back to normal. With the proper diagnosis and treatment, your pet (and you!) will finally be able to rest easy.

For help solving your dog's dry skin worries, visit the Animals Matter dog spa. There you'll find the carefully crafted, all-natural, and organic dog shampoo and other skin care products your pet deserves — whether she has dry skin or not! If you have questions about the ingredients we use or how our products might be able to help your beloved dog, contact us today.

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