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How to treat dry skin on dogs, cats & pets

Disclaimer: Please consult with your vet before trying any of our products or recommendations.

Dogs, cats and other pets can be very prone to dry skin and there are many things that can cause this.

Dry skin doesn’t necessarily mean itchy skin, but often the two go hand in hand, which is distressing for both pet and owner.

Causes & Symptoms

You may notice flakes through your pet’s coat, or dry and sometimes red looking patches, which can be caused by a number of factors.

  • Environmental
  • Nutrition
  • Allergies
  • Infections / disease

Like us, often a change in the weather or surrounding environment can cause a change or irritation with our skin.

In cold weather, we turn on our heating, meaning a much drier environment, which can have a detrimental effect on your pet’s skin health. Whilst it’s easy for us to moisturise our skin with lotions, it’s much harder to do that with a dog or cat because of their fur.

Your pet may have seasonal allergies. In the same way that we are prone to hayfever and a range of other allergies, they are the same. Grass pollen is a particularly prevalent allergy for dogs in particular and can cause dry and itchy feet. They can also have allergies to food, cleaners, and other chemicals used in the home. This will often present with dry and itchy skin as at least one symptom.

Nutrition plays a big part in skin health too. If your dog isn’t getting the correct balance of vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids, dry skin and dull coat will be one of the first things you will notice. Unfortunately, whilst there are many brilliant foods and ways of feeding available, there is also a lot of poor quality out there too (often from companies with shiny advertising campaigns and well-known names). This low-quality food can play a large part in your pet’s skin issues as it can lead to a deficiency in Omega 3 and other vitamins and minerals. Lastly, it’s possible that your pet may have something more serious going on, like an infection, or an underlying health issue which presents dry and itchy skin as a symptom.

What to do?

It’s can be difficult to know where to start. Often your pet needs a boost, and we’ve found that these issues are better treated from the inside out. Topical treatments, such as shampoos and sprays may offer a little relief but are unlikely to ultimately solve the issue, particularly on their own.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids are a great way to start treating dry skin issues, as they treat the body from the inside. Often your pet isn’t getting enough Omega 3 in their diet, and too much Omega 6. This throws the balance of fatty acids out and can be very detrimental, causing inflammation, which leads to other problems.

Just like us, our pets really benefit from a balanced diet, rich in EFAs (essential fatty acids). The body cannot make EFAs so we have to consume them.

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There are several different types, which we’ll touch on in future posts, but for dogs and cats, the most important are EFA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid).

These are the 2 Omega 3 fatty acids that can immediately and effectively be utilised by your pet’s body. EFA in particular is fantastic for inflammation, arthritis, and skin issues.


Supplementing your pet’s diet with our Salmon oil or Omegawild fish oil, made from fresh oily fish, is a great way to get these Omega 3 fatty acids in a measured and convenient way.

All you have to do is to add to your pet’s food.

The Omega 3 works from the inside out, helping to regulate the body’s systems and in turn skin health. They do this by bringing the balance of Omega 3 back in line with Omega 6 and 9 in the optimum amounts.

Usually, the benefits can be seen in a relatively short period of time. Our Omega 3 supplements are an excellent way to ensure ongoing skin health and support for your pet, amongst the myriad other benefits they provide on a daily basis.

Whilst if your pet has a more serious underlying infection or condition that is causing the dry skin, Omega 3 on its own won’t solve the issue, it is still a very good starting point as it will be helping to support skin health, as well as immune response.

Under these circumstances, we’d always recommend a visit to your vet.

To purchase our Salmon oil for Dogs, Cats & Pets or our OmegaWild fish oil, please visit our shop page.