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Remedies for Pets' Dry Skin

Category Advice
It is advised for you to contact your veterinarian concerning your pet's health issues. This guide is about remedies for pet's dry skin.


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By 4 found this helpful
September 17, 2011

Our Beagle starts scratching anywhere he can reach by late summer. Other than scratching for him, we found at least a helpful solution. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of mineral oil at feeding time. It may not stop the itches entirely, but will stop the constant irritation. Happier pet, happier owner.

By sandies from Torrington, CT

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August 4, 20120 found this helpful

Be very careful how you give the mineral oil to your dog. If any of it is inhaled, it causes a persistent pneumonia. Most Vets will caution you against its use. Since mineral oil has no nutrition (generally used as a laxative and passes thru the digestive tract undigested); why not try a fish oil, or canola oil. If these oils agree with your dog, it is a safer choice.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
January 10, 2017

I have three Xolo (Mexican hairless) dogs; two of them, my minis, have recently developed a red rash with dry chapped skin and it's peeling like a sunburn. I've tried coconut oil on them it doesn't seem to help it actually makes one of them look worse.

And I have a Labradoodle chewing and scratching his skin. There are no fleas, ticks, or other parasites on him. What should I do for my dogs? My standard Xoloitzcuintli has excessive blackheads now which have just developed in the last 6 months along with pimples and and hard lumps under the skin.

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January 10, 20170 found this helpful

Your dog may have allergies. Allergies can be environmental or to their food. You need to have a vet look at the dogs.

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

Omega 3 fish oil capsules and feed a grain free dog food. Oatmeal baths are soothing as well.

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

You say there are no fleas, ticks, etc. but they may have mites. Mites are microscopic so you wouldn't see it. This seems to be catching because, even though Mexican hairless are known for skin conditions, your Labrador seems to have it, too. So I'd take them to the vet for skin scrapings to rule out mange mites. If you catch mange early it can be treated, but if it goes on it can be devastating.

I would not suggest using any home remedy unless you have ruled out anything serious first.

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February 27, 2011

I need something for my Chihuahua's, dry skin. I've tried fish oil, vitamin E oil, and just about everything over the counter. It's not fleas; he's on a monthly flea pill. He's the only one effected out of the 4 Chihuahuas I have. I bought some sulfur cream that's for dry itchy scalp and it says I can use it as often as needed. The vet gave me steroids, but that's $50.00 a month, a little costly.

By Ethel from Boyd, TX

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March 6, 20110 found this helpful

My schnauzer sometimes has dry skin and my vet recommended spritzing him with distilled water regularly. It worked for him. You can also use one of the skin conditioners/grooming sprays. I have used a product called Minute Groom and it has a nice clean scent plus conditioners.

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March 12, 20110 found this helpful

What is the ratio of Listerine, baby oil and water? I can't find the site I used to have bookmarked that gave the recipe. My female shepherd is scratching and chewing herself to death! I need to try this. Thanks!

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March 16, 20140 found this helpful

2 tablesspoons of Listerine, 2 teaspoons mineral oil, 2 teaspoons vitam e, and 1 cup water shake in bottle well add teaspoon vinegar. Shake and spray all over the dog working it in on sides and around the buttocks.

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September 22, 2015

I have a domestic hairless male kitten of 9 weeks age. His skin is very dried and sometimes some powder like substance spreads over it. I think he was a day or two old when I found him in my yard. I fed him milk replacement formula until ten days ago. From that time up to now he eats from his dish formula milk, chicken soup, and chicken.


Some ten days ago he suffered from digestive issues since he accidentally ate from our lunch dish which had green peas mixed with potatoes and cream in it.

The jumping kitty lost energy and could hardly walk, but ate his food well. The vet prescribed one CC of Ranitidine syrup every eight hours, one CC multivitamin syrup per day, and one third of a sorbitol powder pack solved in water at wake up time. The prescription was prescribed for one week. The vet also suggested we mix the liquid of an Omega 3 in his chicken soup for his skin and hair and overall health. And he mentioned not to wash or wet his skin during medication period. The kitty is feeling healthy now, but the same white powder like substance has increased over his shoulders. It looks like dried skin. His skin condition has become worse since his digestive problem.

It's very hard to find a vet around where I live and the one we found, prescribed the medicine through a phone call. I have not been able to reach the vet for sometime.
I attached a photo of the white powder shape like and the kitty's pictures for people who may be a great help to this lovely kitty.

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September 22, 20151 found this helpful

Thank you for the info. Will try your advice

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September 23, 20150 found this helpful

I would be VERY suspicious of ringworm (a fungal skin infection). Typically ringworm is treated with dips, topicals, and sometimes oral anti-fungals. Ringworm is zoonotic, so you would possibly develop small circular rashes. I would get her to a vet and have them take a look. The only way to confirm ringworm is to do a fungal culture, which can be somewhat expensive and it takes about 5 days for results to come back. Your veterinarian might also look at the skin under a black light; ringworm will typically glow under a black light, however, this is not a perfect diagnostic tool.

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September 24, 20150 found this helpful

What a beautiful kitten. Abigail gave you very good advice. I think you need to find a vet who can diagnose your problem. There are many things that look like what you cat has. It will be hard to choose the treatment until you know exactly is wrong. Bless you for making a home for this little girl.

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September 17, 20131 found this helpful

I have been feeding my dog different foods which say they contain essential fatty acids, but they did not help with the flaky skin they have. I bought hemp seed oil which was recommended by this site, but I am not sure what to do. Krill oil is bit cheaper than hemp seed oil, but does it really matter?

By Mark S. from Berlin

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September 18, 20130 found this helpful

That is because those fatty acids don't make it through the processing of the dog food. Personally I would use coconut oil. Check this out...

There is some concern that maybe, perhaps, fish oil can deplete vitamins d and e. I like coconut oil anyway for it's many, wonderful properties.

http://www.only  kCFc4-MgodviYAdg

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September 19, 20130 found this helpful

My vet recommended fish oil. I puncture a capsule and put it on his dry food every morning.

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September 19, 20130 found this helpful

Fish oil is what my vet told me to use on my dog who had dry skin. Just use one capsule in food every other day until you see a change .Then give only one capsule every three to four days.You can go to the dollar store and get it. Hope this was helpful!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 30, 2014

I have a Chihuahua with chronically dry skin. Is there anything I can do that works to remedy it?

By Carolyn from Jacksonville, FL

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September 27, 20140 found this helpful

He needs a food that contains added oils, such as fish oil or avocado oil. If you can't afford these foods, ask your vet about safely adding oils to his diet.

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March 28, 20160 found this helpful

Careful with the avocado as it can be dangerous for little dogs. Especially Yorkshire terriers

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By 0 found this helpful
June 1, 2015

I have a standard size Dachshund and a Chi- Winnie. The Dachshund is always licking his paws, they both shed a lot, so would fish oil help with these issues and if so how much do I give and how often? The Dachshund's weight is 21 and the Chi-Winnie 14.

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June 17, 20150 found this helpful

I would recommend switching their food to AvoDerm. It is specifically for this problem. Here is their page on Amazon. Read the customer reviews and decide whether this is right for your dogs:  avoderm+dog+food

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By 0 found this helpful
January 10, 2008

I am looking for a treatment for dry skin for my pet cat.

Deb from Terre Haute, IN

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January 14, 20080 found this helpful

Try Grizzly salmon oil too!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 25, 20080 found this helpful

All pets wearing fur coats need raw eggs and tuna in their diets. Also, watch that they are not lying down on a heater vent/register, or are too close to the fireplace which definitely will dry them out. Add a pat of butter to their bowl and let it melt a bit for them to snack on. Never use human soaps/shampoos on pet hair. Pet's PH is different from humans and it can truly mess them up, getting their own pH out of balance. I'd back way off from giving more than 1/2 cup of dry food a day, regardless of size of pet until

the hair improves. There is a slim chance the pet may have fleas, as well, which often will leave balding

patches. Go to Gardens Alive and view their pictures, if you can find it. It's not cheap,since it's organic, but it is better than losing the pet. God bless you. : )

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 26, 20090 found this helpful

Oils are important, whether it be coconut, flax, salmon, whatever, always be careful of the amount as they'll make a mess of the litter box otherwise!

Someone else here posted that they now just feed their cats only wet cat food...this can cause gingivitis and tooth decay. The dry stuff builds strong teeth. You must remember that the wild cats will eat mice..they chew the bones, and eat the organs and everything. This is why you can buy raw cat food and they love it.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2009

Can you use dry skin moisturizer or dry skin lotion for a dog that has dry skin? Thanks.

Larry from Snellville, GA

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

You can give your dog a teaspoon or more of oil every day, or I give my dog one or two fish oil liquid tablets. He loves the taste. He has beautiful fur and hair IMO :). He is very glossy.

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

We give our dog 1 raw egg with her dry food every other week to help with skin and coat. We used to give it to her once a week but we decided to go to every other week. After 2 weeks, we noticed a difference. We got the idea from a lady we ran into who said she has raised dogs for 20 years and that's what she has always done.

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, Larry!

Last spring our 2 little furry terriers had trouble with ticks, even though they've been on Revolution every month for a couple of years. When I contacted 1800PETMEDS, they said that when a dog has dry skin, the medication doesn't spread from the application site as well. Now I use an olive-oil sprayer and squirt 5 or 6 squirts of vegetable oil on their dry food when I feed them in the morning. They love it, and this has decreased their scratching and improved their coats.

Good luck!

Nancy in NC

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September 30, 20130 found this helpful

I have a 5yr old Pit. I have never had a problem with his skin being this dry until we moved about six months ago. He doesn't have fleas and I haven't changed anything. He's always been very well taken care of, with vitamins and a good diet. So I was thinking of using a little mineral oil. Please let me know if this will help my poor baby.

By Telina A.

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October 4, 20130 found this helpful

An excellent product is "Royal Coat Express". This stuff is great and I give it to my three dogs every day. It is very concentrated so a little goes a long way. You can get it at Click on dog then click on skin and coat. Hope this helps you and your pet.

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August 19, 20110 found this helpful

Can I use sweet almond oil on my dog to help with dry skin?

By Krissy B

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August 20, 20110 found this helpful

I've never heard of using that. But I would recommend fish oil. You can break it up in half and pour it on top of your dogs food. It works great.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 27, 20110 found this helpful

Feed plenty of good whole foods, such as turkey, chicken, beef, black beans, kidney beans, green beans, yogurt, part of bananas, pumpkin (canned), squash, sweet potatoes, mayo, and infant vitamins, one dropper full for a large 100 pound or more dog and half that for a fifty pound dog, and 1/4 that for a 25 pound dog, etc.

Make any items of this with a meat source listed above. Wet it down with water to the point it will form into little balls and squish them into cookies about normal size hamburger patties, and freeze these and then when they are frozen put them in a plastic bag. I give two or three a day. I do my scraps like this that I know are good for the dogs, and that way, they get a wholesome meal.

I also give my huge dogs about a tablespoon of olive oil a day in the place of fish oil pills or give fish oil pills if I have pill pockets (a treat with a pocket to put a pill in). Medium dogs would have a half tablespoon of olive oil a day and small dogs would have 1/4 of a tablespoon of olive oil a day. I will figure that out later, what that amounts to.

Dove baths are comforting to my dachshund mix who is plagued with terrible skin. Lather their wet skin up with a Dove bar that is a quarter cleansing cream and rub that in for a little and rinse off.

Making oatmeal water is a soothing thing to pour over dry skin. Put about a cup of oatmeal in a bowl and then soak it in water as much as you like. Then collect the water from that and pour that over the skin.

I give Benadryl to my dogs, when they are really upset in their skin, 1 mg per pound of weight. You could do 2 mg per pound of weight, but it knocks them out. Cats usually don't respond well to Benadryl, but you could Google it.

Frontline doesn't do any good for my dogs anymore. I suspect it has changed formula for some reason. I am waiting for about a month to try the brewers yeast on them and I am going to research which vitamins are good for dogs and which ones are toxic.

Dogs with itchy skin need to be brushed, bathed, and blow dried often, because it keeps their skin clean and soft and not as likely to suffer irritation, at least this is true with my dogs.


By Robyn Fed from Hampton


Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

Listerine, baby oil, and warm water. It sounded greasy, but I was amazed at how somehow this all worked together to make a fabulous dry skin cure. It soaked in instantly, and my poor German Shepherd was so much happier within 24 hours that she actually has come to me whenever she's seen the squirt bottle in my hands. I went out on a limb and put it directly on a hot spot. Within days the hot spot was healed and gone. No more flaky skin on the surface of her now shiny black coat. Thank you so much! I follow up now and then with a perfect bath made of half clear anti-bacterial soap, and half white vinegar. Shake it up in an old bottle and use as shampoo. No wet dog smell! Thank God for the internet and helpful sites like these for low cost cures. (04/04/2010)

By kandimark

Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

I have used Listerene as a topical on ringworm or other yeast infections and also on any itchy like infection. When using on dogs, just get a small amount on a cotton ball and let it sit for a few seconds and then if it is where they can lick it; wipe it off. Also the dogs like to have their fur wiped down, which is a soft massage with a wet rag all the way down to their skin. It refreshes them so much.

I am going to make this spray stuff with the baby oil, etc. I am also going to try to find out why Skin so Soft is so good against bugs! (05/22/2010)

By Robyn Fed

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December 17, 20090 found this helpful

My dog has dry itching skin to the point that he has begun chewing on him self. Is there a home cure for this?

By Red from Frankfort, IN


Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

Our vet recommended oatmeal shampoo found at pet stores, but this can not get into their eyes. We've also used human quality cooking oats (quick oats) and added them to a tub full of warm water and worked them onto his fur. Just rinse well after you have bathed the dog. (11/30/2009)

By ScottishYankee

Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

Tried the Baby Oil, Listerine and water for dry skin on my dog. Works immediately but my dog is not real wound up about me applying it to him. Not real sure how often to apply it to him and can't see anything anywhere in hear on that issue. (12/01/2009)

By James

Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

Our vet had us use Ivory dish soap to wash our puppies in. I had a kennel and had to wash them once a week at times to get pictures and never had a problem. It didn't hurt their eyes but I was careful and washed their heads with a cloth.

The photo is of Max drying off on my lap. Who wouldn't love that Bullmastiff face?

By latrtatr

RE: Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

I would spritz him with extra virgin olive oil and massage it into his skin. It is also a skin softner for adults or children with dry skin, I use it mostly during the winter months when furnace makes my skin dry and itchy. (12/02/2009)

By Paula Jo

Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

Also just add dry cooking oatmeal into a tube sock and use that to wash doggie with.

Brewer's yeast is good for dog's coat so I give my doggie one tablet daily and he likes it. I get mine at WalMart, as the price is the best there.

By meoowmom

Remedy for Pets Dry Skin

Yes! Diet! Internally, once in awhile, (depending on the dogs size about once a month or so,) I cook an egg or two for my dogs. Also, have you checked out the brand of dog food you feed your pet? My vet only recommends 3 brands of dog food, and there are many brands on the markets.

I have a dog with arthritis, and after many talks with the Vet,(and expensive shots,) I have him on one omega 3-6-9 capsule a day. It alleviates the arthritis, and helps his coat. His coat was kind of oily, and actually got less oily, and softer when I put him on one Omega 3-6-9 capsule (the kind we buy for ourselves.)

Even though everyone knows that getting too much fats in the system are bad, there are good fats, and those fats can help the skin and coat, and alleviate arthritis pain.

Feeding a pet dry food all of the time may or may not aggravate dry skin, and promote arthritis.

Also, in the winter, when we are using a furnace, the air is much drier, and I like using a humidifier to help moisturize the air. It could be that simple. Also, I give my dogs table scraps, like drained hamburger, turkey, chicken (no bones,) I never just let them eat dry (cereal) food. I also let them eat some veggies--like green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, and peas, and carrots. I've heard that garlic, onions, mushrooms, grapes, can really mess up their metabolism to the point of needing an emergency vet, or worse.

I hope this helps your dogs itchy skin and chewing. Even though a dogs metabolism is different from ours, they still need some good oils in their system.

Since all of the expensive (30 dollar shots every two weeks) for our dog with arthritis, he is happy with one omega 3-6-9 capsule a day, no more shots, however, he does weigh in around 40-50 pounds. So, you really need to consult your Vet about your dogs dry skin. It really isn't just a matter of bathing, it really could be a matter of what the dog is getting to eat and not getting in their diet.

Dry winter air does cause dry skin, but diet is really important when it comes to dry skin. And if a pet isn't getting the right nutrients to begin with, a ton of oatmeal in the bath won't solve the problem. I'm not knocking people that have found relief with oatmeal, I'm saying it may not be the solution, like with my dog who has to have an omega 3-6-9 for arthritis, and the strangest to me, is that my dog had oily skin and fur prior to the omega 3-6-9, then when I put him on the omega 3-6-9,(which is a type of oil,) his fur stopped being oily, and became soft. Really nice and soft. Instead of oily, and he hasn't complained about his arthritis anymore. (12/08/2009)

By Carol L.

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November 28, 20090 found this helpful

My recipe is for pets that have dry skin and itch a lot. In a spray bottle (I got at Walmart in beauty supplies) add 1/3 cup of baby oil, 1/3 cup of original Listerine...

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