Is it Normal For a Dog to Have Dry Skin in Limerick, PA?

Dry skin is really common in dogs. There are many reasons that this is the case, from food allergies to winter air or things like fleas. Dogs with dry skin are often itchy, and they can smell bad due to the pH of their skin being a bit off. If your dog has dry and flaky skin, you will need to try and get to the root of the cause of this problem.

Not only will your dog look better if you resolve their dry skin, but they will also feel a lot better as well. Dogs with dry skin might be more prone to skin infections of various kinds as well, which can be a long-term problem once this kind of condition is entrenched. Knowing more about dry skin in dogs can help you to take care of your dog before they have a long-term skin problem.

dog dry skin in limerick, pa

Reasons Dogs Get Dry Skin

There are many different reasons that a dog could have dry skin including allergies, fleas, parasites and more.


Dogs can get allergies to a lot of different things in their environment. They might be allergic to their food, or they could be allergic to a cleaning product in your home. They might also be allergic to plants in the yard, or they could have seasonal allergies that they are struggling with. Seasonal allergies are not uncommon in some parts of the country, even in dogs and cats.

Allergies can be easy to treat with antihistamines and anti-inflammatories, but you will need to take the time to try and figure out what is causing the allergic reaction. Continuing exposure to something that your dog is allergic to can cause your dog to end up with things like asthma or other breathing problems over time. The sooner that you can figure out what is causing your dog to be allergic, the better off they will be.


Fleas can cause a whole host of symptoms in dogs, from obsessive grooming to scratching and rubbing their body to bleeding and swelling around the eyes, ears, and belly. In the early stages of infestation, however, many dogs just have a little dry skin. Your dog might not even seem that bothered by their dry skin related to fleas in the beginning.

Fleas need to be identified and treated right away so that your home and your other pets are not covered in fleas, just like your dog. Flea prevention can help make sure that you and your pets live in a home that is not bothered by fleas all year round. Your veterinarian can help you to treat a case of fleas and prevent further infestations from happening in the future.


Many people think of parasites causing gastric distress, diarrhea, and vomiting. This is true of many parasitic infections, but there are other symptoms that can make themselves known when your dog is first infected with parasites. In many cases, the early warning symptoms are things like dry skin and a little less appetite or a reduction in energy.

Dry skin that does not seem to be linked to any other kind of condition or change can sometimes lead back to parasites. Most vets will check your dog out for things like lice and internal parasites if they have dry skin that is not improving with normal treatment protocols. Some dogs never enter an acute phase of illness related to parasites and just seem to be not quite as healthy or shiny as their one symptom.

Being Washed Too Much

If you have been trying to keep your dog clean and have been needing to wash them on a regular basis, you might be altering the pH balance of their skin. This can lead to dry and itchy skin and a dull coat. If you have been washing your dog more than once or twice a month, you might need to explore other options for keeping them clean. Human shampoo products might not be pH balanced correctly for your dog’s skin, and you might need to switch to a dog-only shampoo product.

Washing your dog too often is not ideal for their feet either, and you might need to consider towel-drying and brushing your dog when they are dirty rather than putting them straight into the bathtub. Keeping your dog clean might be easier than you think, and bathing might not need to be your go-to plan. You can always explore options like dog booties and dog coats or a full-body dog suit that can be used to keep your dog from getting so dirty that you feel they need a bath.

Systemic Problems

Things like Cushing’s Disease or thyroid problems can also cause dry skin. These conditions impact your dog’s overall endocrine production, and this can lead to organ issues and skin and coat problems. Dry and flaky skin that does not respond to other treatment protocols should cause suspicions that there is another underlying health concern at work.

Your vet can do some simple tests to identify any kind of systemic issue that might be causing this kind of discomfort for your pet. Once your dog is treated for the systemic problem that they have, their dry skin should resolve. However, in the case of conditions like Cushing’s, your dog might suffer from dry skin on and off for the rest of their life.

Dry Skin in Dogs is Not a Normal Condition

Dry skin in dogs is not something that most dogs suffer from. While this problem is common, it should always lead you to work toward a diagnosis for the dry skin issue your dog is displaying. Your dog might just have allergies, or it could be sick with something more serious like a systemic condition. Even if your dog is not showing any other symptoms of poor health, dry skin is not normal. You will always need to consider that your dog’s dry skin could be related to a health condition that will require a visit to the vet for diagnosis.

Ready to talk with a vet about your dog’s dry skin? Call (610) 489-2848 or use the online form to book an appointment with your Limerick Veterinary Hospital vet!

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