Dog Skin Care Tips

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Part of grooming your dog is good dog skin care. Just like humans, dogs can develop skin problems.

Chamomile for Your Dog’s Dry Skin

Many dogs have dry skin. Causes can include allergies, a dry house, or diet. But whatever the cause, a simple solution is to rinse your dog with chamomile tea. Just boil some water, make the tea, let it cool down, and pour it over your dog.

If your dog has severely dry skin, rub some olive oil into the affected areas and then towel him off.

Herbal Dog Shampoo

You can make an excellent dog shampoo from a mixture of Aloe Vera gel and water. It is mild on a dog’s skin and leaves the coat shiny. Slightly dilute a handful of Aloe Vera gel with water and work the mixture into your dog’s coat (it’s best to apply the mixture to a dry coat). Rinse with warm water. If you prefer to have a foaming shampoo, add a few drops of baby shampoo to the mixture.

All-Natural Rinse

If you use a store-bought dog shampoo, follow it with this all-natural rinse to restore the pH balance of your dog’s skin and help remove any excess shampoo. Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with one pint of warm water and work into your dog’s coat. Rinse with warm water.

Dog Paw Care

Although, dogs have been roaming the earth for thousands of years with unprotected paws, they have only recently had to deal with concrete, toxic chemical residue, hot asphalt, road salt, etc. Because of these caustic elements, many dogs have paw discomfort in the form of cracked pads and dry skin.

The solution: a mixture of equal parts lanolin and petroleum jelly. Rub this mixture into your dog’s paws to moisturize dry skin and also to act as a barrier cream in the winter to protect your dog from street salt.

If the paws are cracked, add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to the mixture. This mixture will help heal the cracks and prevent infection. Both mixtures are safe if your dog eats it.

Dog Skin Care: Dandruff or Mites?

In dogs, sometimes dandruff is just that – dandruff caused by skin allergies, nutritional deficiencies, or improper grooming. But sometimes dandruff can be more. Dandruff can be a sign of a parasite called mange. There are a few different types of mange:

  • Demodectic Mange is caused by a mite that is present in all dogs but that rarely affects them adversely. Sometimes, however, an overabundance of these mites can cause skin irritation and hair loss.
  • Sarcoptic Mange is caused by another type of mite. A female mite buries herself in your dog’s skin and lays eggs. When the eggs hatch, the cycle begins again. Sarcoptic mange, also known asscabies, causes severe skin irritation and hair loss in dogs. It is easily treatable.
  • Cheyletiella Mange is caused by a large mite that lives on the surface of your dog’s skin. This infestation is also known as “walking dandruff.” Cheyletiella mange is easily treatable with topical medication and causes minor skin irritation.

Find more dog skin care tips in Dog Care Tips

Updated: July 16, 2013 — 3:56 pm

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