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A dog that is constantly scratching and licking at its skin could be suffering from dry, itchy skin. The condition is generally benign, although the dog could scratch at his skin to the point where it begins to cause fur loss and small sores. A minor case of itchy, dry skin in dogs is treated at home without the need for expensive, specialized treatments. If your dog’s scratching becomes excessive and it seems very uncomfortable, take it to the veterinarian to rule out any serious conditions, such as fungal infections and mange.
Bathe the dog at least once a week. Use a dog shampoo that is specially formulated for dry skin or contains oatmeal. Work the dog shampoo into the skin and rinse it out thoroughly, as any remaining dog shampoo could worsen the irritation.
Wet the dog’s skin and cover it with a coating of baking soda. Work the baking soda into the dog’s skin and rinse it away with cool water. The baking soda will help relieve the dog’s dry skin. Rinse the baking soda away with cooler water as warmer water will making itching worse.
Brush the dog’s fur once a day. Use a soft bristled brush and beginning at the dog’s head, brush the dog’s fur all the way to the tail. The brushing will stimulate the production of oils that will then be spread across the dog’s skin with the brushing. The oils will moisten the skin, relieving the dryness and itching.
Feed the dog a kibble that is filled with fatty acids and vitamin E. Read the label on the dog’s food to locate a quality brand that contains these ingredients essential to maintaining a healthy dog coat.
Remove any excess dog fur, especially during the warmer months when itching and dryness could be worse. Use a pet clipper at home to carefully remove the dog’s fur or take the dog to the groomer for a haircut. Depending upon the breed, the dog could require a cut every two to six weeks.
Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.