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If you live in dry climate areas (whether hot and dry or cold and dry) I bet you are familiar with dry, itchy skin. Our dogs aren’t immune to dry skin either—even if they are covered in fur or hair.
If anything, dry skin is often itchy and uncomfortable for most dogs. Even worse, repeated scratching can result in chronic wounds and infections, especially if treatment is delayed.
The effects are the same in humans but whenever we detect dry skin problems, we simply slather on lotions and moisturizers and feel a lot better.
Unfortunately, it is a bit challenging to do the same with our pups given all the fur and hair that they have. Nonetheless, there still a lot of things we can do to give them relief.
One of the best things to do when dry skin in your pup becomes a concern is to take him to the veterinarian for diagnosis and proper medication. However, if the problem is not dire and you simply want to cleanse and moisturize your dog’s skin, you can always do so at the comfort of your home with dry skin lotion for dogs.
Before we delve deeper into the nitty-gritties of dry and itchy skin problems in dogs, here is a quick list of the best dog-friendly lotions we recommend.
- Best 15 Dog Lotions For Dry Skin
- 1.Natural Dog Company Organic Skin Soother
- 2. DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion
- 3. BotaniVet KeraSnout Organic Pet Balm
- 4. Organic Nose & Paw Wax Balm for Dogs
- 5. All Natural Dog Paw Balm
- 6. Pet Head Paw Oatmeal Butter
- 7. Vet Formulated Paw and Nose Balm Wax
- 8. Coconut Oil for Dogs Alpha Pet Zone
- 9. Dog Paw Balm Protection Wax
- 10. Unique Dog Paw Protective
- 11. 4-Legger Organic Nose and Paw Pad Balm
- 12. Pawlife Dog Paw Balm
- 13. Anicura Natural Spray for Dogs
- 14. Espree Natural Paw Balm
- Causes of Dry and Itchy Skin in Dogs
- How do you establish that your dog has a dry skin problem?
- Do Dog Lotions Work?
- What Kind Of Dog Lotions Should You Use?
- Can You Use Vaseline Or Baby Lotion For Dry Skin In Dogs?
- What about Topical Sprays?
- Can you make a homemade dog lotion for dry skin?
- How to Apply Dog Lotion
- How to Prevent Your Dog from Licking the Lotion
- Using dog lotion: Cautions and Considerations
Best 15 Dog Lotions For Dry Skin
The first entry in our list is this herbal lotion by Natural Dog Company. Whether you are looking for dog lotion for itchy skin, cuts, bug bites, burns abrasions or surgical wounds, this antibiotic treatment balm has you covered. Formulated with natural herbs with potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, you can apply this lotion on your dog’s wounds, burns, scarring, and other types of injuries for fast healing and recovery. It not only creates a nourishing barrier on the affected area but also protects it from potential contamination. It is made with natural, vegan ingredients and it is fragrance-free, making it safe for your canine friend.
Why we love it: Perfect solution for all dry and itchy skin issues in dogs and can help you protect your pooch from bacterial infections.
Whether your dog is suffering from dry skin problems, hot spots, black skin disease, dermatitis, flea allergies, or skin irritations, DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion is the solution that you need.
The main ingredients of the lotion are Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, which work together to ensure fast healing of your dog’s skin. The lotion also contains sulfur, which is known to reduce itching and flaking in dogs due to its potent antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The only issue with this lotion is that there can be a scent due to one of its ingredients—sulfur.
- Can get rid of skin conditions/infections
- Doesn’t contain perfumes or artificial ingredients
- Non-toxic, which means that it won’t harm your dog if licked off
- High-quality as all ingredients are sourced/manufactured in the USA
Why We Love It: Besides its moisturizing effect, the lotion can help you get rid of skin infections.
Coconut Oil for Dogs by Alpha Pet Zone is made from high-quality natural ingredients. It’s a good balm for itching skin, yeast and fungus problems, abrasions, flaky dryness, and bad breath. This balm leaves your dog with a shiny, healthy coat that smells and feels good.
This lotion can be applied to rashes or hot spots areas, or you can directly feed it to your dog.
- Uses all-natural ingredients
- Recommended by vets
Why We Love It: You can choose to apply the lotion to the affected areas or feed it to your puppy.
This Pet Balm is made from 100% natural ingredients, including organic coconut oils, beeswax, rosemary extract, shea butter, and vitamin E. It is best used to soothe and protect the dry and cracked nose and paw pads. This organic pet balm is veterinary or dermatologist organic certified.
The balm can be applied during the cold and hot seasons to protect your dog, especially those with delicate paws and dry skin.
- Organic Ingredients
- Natural skin moisturizer
Ruff Relief is designed for rough skin. Whether it’s the dry, cracked, or itchy skin on the nose, elbows, or paws, this wax balm is the perfect way to soothe your dog. Besides, it helps protect your dog on rough surfaces and all types of weather.
This balm is made for all dogs. It contains non-allergenic, all-natural ingredients that are non-toxic, hence recommended even for sensitive dogs. This product is also USDA organic certified and has a 30-day guarantee, so be sure you are purchasing a healthy balm for your dog.
- Certified USDA organic
- Made from natural ingredients
Why We Love It: It serves the main purposes of curing your dog’s problems and protecting your dog from further issues.
This product isn’t slippery when applied on the paws, making it perfect for dogs that love walking. It moistens dry paws very fast and provides fast healing because it hydrates so quickly.
This balm can be applied to wounds, inflammation, and dry nose and paw to help retain moisture. The ingredients used to manufacture this product are human grade. It’s made using ingredients like bamboo extract, Abyssinian oil, and kale extract.
- Works fast
- Easy to apply
- Gets absorbed quickly
Why We Love It: Gets absorbed in the palms very fast and it’s more intense and provides fast healing.
This is an Oatmeal-based balm that you can apply to your dog during any weather. It helps to moisturize and soothe your dog’s dry skin on the paws and nose. It also protects the paws from too much heat or snow and keeps your dog’s nose healthy and free from cracks.
This balm is made using quality ingredients like shea butter, mango, Oatmeal, coconut oil, mango, Vitamin E, and many more.
- Simple to use
- Comes with a sweet oatmeal smell
- Contains quality ingredients
Why We Love It: Made to human quality standards, which simply implies that the balm will not harm your dog if he accidentally licks it.
Vetro Complete Paw Balm is made from 100% natural ingredients that are harmless to your dog. The balm repairs cracked paws and dry skin.
With this product, you are guaranteed a high-quality balm because it’s made in the USA using locally available quality ingredients. And it also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
- All-natural, hypoallergenic and non-toxic ingredients
- Mad in the USA with the highest quality ingredients
Why We Love It: Uses not only high quality but also safe ingredients.
Dog Paw Balm Protection wax is made in the USA using the highest quality all-natural ingredients. The balm is a perfect moisturizer and helps in healing cracked paws. In addition, this balm does not stain surfaces when your dog is moving.
- Serves two purposes of healing and protection
- Made in the USA using locally sourced quality ingredients
- Uses 100% natural ingredients
- Non-staining on all surfaces
Why We Love It: Made using a blend of beeswax which moisturizes the dry skin and promotes healing of cracked paws. This Balm is also non-staining, so it leaves your surfaces clean.
This balm nourishes and protects your dog’s paw from injury. It offers adequate protection against injuries from all surfaces, including rocky, hot, grass, cold rand salty surfaces.
The Paw Balm is made from 100% natural ingredients and is effective for dry, chapped, and cracked paws, dry elbows, and scars.
- All-natural ingredients
- Nourishes and protects your dog’s paw from injury
- Scientifically proven to be effective
Why We Love It: It offers protection to your dog’s paw against all surfaces and conditions. Whether it is on grass or rocky terrain, hot surfaces, or salty places, your dog will stay protected.
The 4-legger Certified Organic is made using natural ingredients, including Shea butter, beeswax, and calendula. It contains hemp, which has powerful healing properties making it a good balm for healing dry, cracked skin.
The Balm is also non-toxic, just in case your dog loves licking everything. This product can be used to nourish, protect, and heal your dog’s chapped and dry paws, dry itchy skin, and sensitive nose.
- Made from organic ingredients making it safe for your pup friend
- Contains hemp oil that has a healing property
- USDA Certified Organic
Why We Love It: It is made from natural ingredients and hemp which has powerful healing properties.
Pawlife Dog Paw Balm is a natural moisturizer and healing balm. It heals cracked dry and even sensitive paws. This product is also made using natural ingredients such as pure coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter.
The Balm comes with a sweet vanilla smell, which makes it excellent for nose application. Besides, the Balm is non-staining to ensure your surfaces remain clean when your dog walks on them.
- Contains 100% natural ingredients
- No additives
Why We Love It: It is very effective in treating all Paw-related problems, including cracked, dry, and sensitive paws. It also protects the paws from the effects of heat, salt, and snow.
Anicura Natural Spray contains natural ingredients, including oils, minerals, and vitamins. Therefore, it is safe for your dog even when licked. The spray is easy to apply, and it gets absorbed rapidly into the dog’s skin.
The spray is highly recommended for itching skin, inflammation, and broken skin. It can also be used on all types of dogs without any side effects.
- Contains pure and all-natural ingredients
- Can be applied on broken, dry and chapped skin
Why We Love It: It comes in the form of a spray, which makes it easier to use.
This natural Balm helps to protect your dog’s paws and elbow joints naturally. It’s made from ingredients such as Beeswax, Aloe Oil, Vitamin E, Carnauba, and sweet almond oil.
The spray is easy to apply on the affected areas. For dogs that don’t like to be sprayed, you can apply the Balm on your hand and massage it on the affected areas. This ensures it is absorbed rapidly into the skin, and it creates a coat for maximum protection.
- Help reduce slippage
- Softens and moisturizes
- Natural protector
Why We Love It: It has an added advantage of lowering slippage, making it perfect for slippery surfaces.
As its name suggests, this lotion is enriched with a wide range of herbs, including wormwood, polygonum, sage, and myrtle, so it not only softens your dog’s skin but also heals and clam irritation. It has also been tested in several labs and found to be effective in solving a myriad of skin issues in dogs. So, if your canine friend is scratching its dry or damaged skin, this is the best lotion to opt for.
- Rich in vitamins and antioxidants
- Smells good and feels great on hand
- Can be used in dogs with allergies or sensitive skins
Why we love it: 99 percent of its ingredients are extracted from medicinal plants, so it not only moisturizes your dog but treats and heals any underlying skin condition.
Causes of Dry and Itchy Skin in Dogs
Dry skin in dogs is caused by a number of factors, including:
- Allergies: Common allergic reactions in dogs are triggered by food insensitivities and contact with certain chemicals such as floor cleaners, fertilizer, or garden sprays.
- Over Or Under Bathing: Washing your dog too frequently can strip off his natural skin oils, causing itching and flaking. On the flip side, not bathing your dog frequently enough allows the dead skin and his coat’s oils to build up, resulting in a matted coat and itchy skin.
- Environmental Conditions: Overexposure to heat and low humidity can cause the skin and the paws to dry out. During snow, roads and sidewalks are covered with sand and salt, which can also irritate the skin.
- Hyperkeratosis: Excessive keratin production can make your dog develop dry skin around his nose and paws.
- Nutrient Deficiency: Lack of Omega-3 fatty acids (typically found in fish oil) is a common cause of dry and flaky skin in dogs. Additionally, zinc deficiency can cause dry and cracked paws in dogs.
- Neutering or Spaying: Removing sex hormones in dogs can upset the natural balance of hormones, which play a critical role in oil production in skin or coat. So, neutering or spaying increases the risk of dry skin or coat problems in dogs.
- The buildup of toxins in the body: If the immune system of your dog is not able to eliminate waste efficiently, the body tends to push the problem towards the skin.
How do you establish that your dog has a dry skin problem?
The simplest way is to check if your dog is constantly stretching and has a dull coat or flaky skin.
According to Dr. Robert Projetto, a veterinarian based in New York, dry skin in dogs is often associated with white flaking, which is commonly visible on the dog’s dorsum or back. So, dandruff dotting in your dog’s fur is a good indicator that your dog may be suffering from dry skin.
However, it important to note that dry or scaly skin can also be a symptom of a systemic disorder or bacterial/fungal infection, so don’t ignore it. Instead, determine the best treatment plan or consult a local vet immediately.
Do Dog Lotions Work?
Dog lotions for dry skin work pretty well for fast relief from acute dry skin problems and itches. In other words, if your pup has minor dry skin issues or ran through a patch of poison ivy, dry skin or anti-itch dog lotion is a good option. Additionally, if you notice that your dog’s nose or paw pads are dry, a dog lotion will come in handy.
On the other hand, if your canine friend suffers from consistent dry skin issues, a dog dry skin lotion may not be the best long-term solution. This is because a lotion doesn’t actually eliminate the root cause of the problem but simply manages the symptoms.
A better option is seeking the help of a vet, who can figure out the cause of the issue and design an informed treatment plan on how to improve your dog’s skin from the inside.
What Kind Of Dog Lotions Should You Use?
To get the most out of a dog lotion, you need to know its composition or ingredients. Here are the ingredients to look out for in a good lotion for dry skin on dogs;
Since coconut oil has lauric acid and potent antifungal properties, it promotes natural healing of your pooch’s itchy skin by battling various fungal and bacterial infections that may be responsible for the itchy skin. Most importantly, coconut oil has few to no side effects, making it a safe choice for dogs with skin allergies.
Aloe Vera is known to soothe itchy skin in dogs and promote natural healing. However, avoid Aloe Vera that contains alcohol as they can burn your dog’s skin.
Olive oil has Omega-3 fatty acids, which help in reducing flakiness while improving skin quality.
Oatmeal not only helps to dry moist skin but also relieves the itching, helping your pooch to feel better. Additionally, oatmeal can eliminate common allergens such as pollen that may be trapped in your dog’s fur, further relieving your dog’s itching. It is also non-toxic, making it an ideal topical treatment option considering that your dog won’t be harmed if he accidentally licks it off.
Can You Use Vaseline Or Baby Lotion For Dry Skin In Dogs?
Vaseline and baby lotion are touted as good moisturizing solutions to dry skin and rashes. But is it also a great skin moisturizer for dogs?
Well, the answer is NO. Vaseline and baby lotion products are not intended for dogs, so they are technically not 100% pet safe. The products may contain chemicals and ingredients that can harm your dog. They may also include fragrances that can irritate your dog’s skin.
Besides, while Vaseline and baby lotion are non-toxic, they may cause diarrhea or upset tummies when licked by your pup. It can also be disturbing if you realize that your dog is consuming a lot of petroleum jelly, which is a derivative of oil refining.
Put simply, however tempting, using these products can pose certain risks to your dog. So, just avoid them or check with your vet beforehand.
What about Topical Sprays?
There are several dog sprays on the marketing with varying anti-itch and soothing properties that can go a long way in helping you relieve minor dry skin issues in dogs. Some of them utilize the gentle hydrating properties of natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal or tea tree oil. However, others are medicated with topical anesthetics, antihistamines, and sometimes steroids to relieve intense itching in dogs.
So, NEVER apply any kind of topical sprays on your dog’s skin before you consult your local veterinarian.
Can you make a homemade dog lotion for dry skin?
Short answer: Yes, you can and there are a lot of recipes that you can use. You can start with this simple recipe by Jane Manning:
- Witch hazel
- Tea tree oil
- Aloe vera gel
- Lavender (optional)
- 4-ounce spritzer bottle
You can source these ingredients from local drugstores or Amazon. Avoid aloe vera gel and witch hazel products that are alcohol-free.
- Mix aloe vera gel and with hazel in the spritzer bottle—in 1:1 ratio
- Add about 10-15 drops of tea tree oil or lavender (if prefer a better smell)
- Shake it up for a few minutes until it shows the consistency of a thin lotion.
- Apply or gently massage the lotion on the affected areas.
NB: If you have another cool homemade dog lotion for dry skin recipe, feel free to add it in the comments box.
How to Apply Dog Lotion
Here is a quick guide on how to apply a lotion or skin cream for dogs the right way:
- Ensure that your dog is clean by bathing him in a tub. For small dogs, even a sink will do. For better results, use a dog shampoo and scrub it into your dog’s hair, avoiding the ears, mouth, and eyes. Thoroughly wash off all the shampoo.
- Apply a small amount of dog conditioner to your dog’s coat and leave it for 1-2 minutes. Rinse your dog and gently dry him off with a towel.
- Apply the lotion lightly on the dog. For medium to large dogs, dispense about a tablespoon of the lotion while for smaller dogs use approximately a dime to quarter size amount of lotion.
- Lastly, groom the dog and reapply the lotion to further moisturize your dog’s skin.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Licking the Lotion
While the lotions reviewed above are non-toxic and safe for dogs, it is still critical to stop your dog from licking the lotion to allow his skin to heal properly.
Here are a few ideas that you can leverage:
- Clean your dog’s skin after a walk to get rid of any potential skin irritants.
- If you applied the lotion on his paws, cover them with appropriate clothing until the lotion is fully absorbed.
- Use your dog’s favorite treat or toy to distract him after applying the lotion.
- Apply the lotion when your dog is tired; for instance, when he is sleeping or after a walk.
Using dog lotion: Cautions and Considerations
Here are few cautions and considerations to keep in mind when applying lotion for dry skin for dogs:
- Never use dog lotion on exposed wounds or opens sores
- Before settling for a lotion for dogs as a remedy for dry skin, establish whether dietary factors, environmental factors or an allergy/ infection plays apart and address the issue accordingly.
- Whether it is a dog lotion, dog moisturizer, dry skin cream for dogs, or dog ointment for dry skin, test it before applying it on your dog’s body to eliminate potential adverse reactions.
- Ensure that the dog dry skin lotion that you apply on your dog is non-toxic so that any absorption that occurs through the skin doesn’t make your dog ill.
- If your dog’s skin doesn’t improve even after applying lotion and develops hair loss and other unusual symptoms, seek the help of a vet to diagnose the root cause of the problem.
- Dealing with dry skin in dogs is quite easy if you treat it early. So, even after applying the appropriate dogs’ dry skin lotion, check your pet’s fur regularly for scaly skin and flakes. If your dog has frequent bouts of dry skin, let your vet help you figure out the cause of the condition.
The fact that your dog is suffering from dry skin problems doesn’t make you a bad dog parent. If anything, dry skin and excessive itching (or pruritus) are cited as the second most common reason why dog owners visit the vet—gastrointestinal problems top the list. The conditions aren’t life-threatening either. They simply cause pain and discomfort for your dog and should be corrected. By using the right lotions (like the options highlighted above), your dog will have healthy and radiant skin in no time.