My Dog Has Dry Flaky Skin and Scabs

Once in a while, my dog will have dry flaky skin and scabs. If these are not well taken care off, a pet’s health may deteriorate quite fast. It is, therefore, vital to take action immediately you notice a problem. To see changes on the skin of your dog, regularly groom them. This way you get to save your pooch the agony of severe dryness, flaking and scabbing. We get into the causes and remedies in the post

My Dog has Dry Flaky Skin and Scabs

Dry skin may be accompanied by crusty scabs on the back, dandruff, bald spots and massive hair loss. Some home remedies such as coconut oil and olive oil can help. When a dog is well groomed and fed, dry skin may be pointing to a larger problem, some of which require medical attention. In case you are wondering: “Why does my dog have dry flaky skin?” The causes are discussed in details below.


Dogs are susceptible to different allergies. These include food allergies, seasonal allergies and environmental allergies. These make the skin of your dog dry ad greasy and make it to lick, scratch and chew. In severe cases, excessive itch will result in abrasions on the already dry flaky skin. As the injured area heals, it will form scabs.
Dog allergies are hard to address as there is no cure for the same. Afflicted pets may require strong treatments to relief the accompanying discomfort. To control allergic flareups, identify the triggers and keep your dog away from them. Feed them a quality diet and whenever you suspect they have encountered allergens, give them antihistamines to relief itch.

Dry Skin

During extreme weather conditions when there is low humidity, it is likely for the dog to develop dry skin. This manifests in symptoms that are fairly easy to recognize. The undercoat will have visible dandruff flakes and feel tough. It may also have cracked scabs which upon touch will result in violent reactions such as scratches and barking.
Other reasons why your dog may experience a dry flaky skin are a poor diet and poor grooming practices as the skin needs to be stimulated regularly to produce self-moisturizing oils.


Pests and parasites wrack havoc on a dog’s skin. Demodex mite, walking dandruff, and scabies, are some common conditions that result in dry flaky skin in dogs. Lice, ringworm, fleas, mites, and chiggers could also result in extremely dry skin. To get rid of dry skin resulting from them, the cause has to be eliminated. 

While parasites usually leave bite marks on the skin, diagnosing the exact one usually requires you to visit a veterinarian. At times, your pet may require specialized care in which case your family vet will refer you. This, however, is only necessary where the infestation is severe. To avoid this, always consult a vet whenever you notice prolonged and unusual symptoms on the skin of your dog.


Dogs are vulnerable to bacterial, fungal, and even viral skin infections. In most cases, these are secondary to other skin problems. Skin infections may be communicable and should, therefore, be dealt with swiftly. 

When infections result in dry and flaky skin, they could also be accompanied by severe itching and pain. These can be quite uncomfortable for your beloved pet. Seek professional help in clearing up the infections so the skin can go back to being healthy.

Systematic Disorders

Some major health issues could cause dry skin in dogs. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease are the main metabolic conditions associated with dry skin, brittle hair, flaky coat, skin infections, hair loss and other symptoms.

My Dog has Dry Flaky Skin and is Losing Hair

A dog with a dry flaky skin will scratch and lick, which can be rather irritating. As seen above, the possible causes range from parasites to various skin addition to these symptoms, it is also possible for your dog to lose hair. 

With folliculitis in dogs, the dog will have dry flaky scabs and shed hair. The hair loss is most obvious in long-haired breeds. Folliculitis may occur together with conditions such as allergic reactions and mange. Antibiotic shampoos, ointments and oral treatments will help clear it up. 
Ringworm forms a circular ring of lesions that are scaly. 

The circular patch is often surrounded by hair loss in the affected area. Other causes of hair loss and very dry skin include poor nutrition, stress and general illness. Where the shedding persists or if you notice abnormal bald patches in your pooch, take them to the veterinarian.

My Dog Has Dry Flaky Skin What Can I Do?

When your dog has really dry and flaky skin, the first thing you should do is establish the cause. Narrowing down to additional symptoms such as checking if the dryness is accompanied by hair loss, scabbing or dandruff. The most affected parts could also help identify the cause. While allergic reactions will mostly affect the most exposed parts such as the belly, dry flaky skin on a dog’s back and near the tail may be parasitic infestation.
Once you have established the cause, consider interventions that will help mitigate them. These include taking the dog to the veterinarian in case of extremely dry flaky skin and scabbing. Where my dog only has slight flaky skin, I prefer using natural home remedies to clear it up and restore the health of its coat.

Home Remedies for Dog Dry Flaky Skin and Scabs

Coconut Oil for Dog Dry Skin

Coconut oil is great for dogs. It aids in keeping the coat healthy, digestion, and clearing up infections. You can let your dog consume it or use it for topical treatment of dry flaky skin and scabs. When applied on the dog’s skin, it treats infections, facilitates healing of wounds, clears hot spots, scabs, stings, bites and keeps the hair moisturized to minimize shedding. When eaten, it works from the inside out to promote a healthy coat and hair in your dog.

How much coconut oil you give to your dog depends on their weight. If you decide to feed coconut oil to them, start slow with a small amount so they can adjust to the dietary change. Feeding them too much of it could lead to diarrhea. To use coconut oil for dogs topically, buy product that have it such as shampoos or use the oil to massage their skins while grooming them.

Oatmeal for Itchy Dry Flaky Skin

Where the dryness ad flaking is accompanied by itch, a perfect home remedy would be oatmeal. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe the dog’s skin. Use oatmeal for treating allergy symptoms, by adding some in their bath water. Topical treatments containing oatmeal could also go a long way.

Licorice Root for Scabbing

Licorice contains cortisone which is effective in relieving irritation and itch. It can be used to relieve symptoms resulting from fleas and other parasites. Make a herbal dip using the extract. To increase its efficacy, you may add dandelion root too.

While the above home remedies work all right whenever my dog has dry flaky skin and scabs, it is always essential to talk to a vet first. This ensures that you do not make the skin worse by using the wrong interventions or ignoring the root cause of the problem.


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