How Do You Treat Dry Skin On A Yorkshire Terrier?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionHow do you treat dry skin on a yorkshire terrier? (Martin Paonessa - Ontario, Canada)

Answer

The treatment of dry skin conditions in dogs is determined by firstly the cause of the dry skin and secondly whether it is localized or affects the whole animal. It is important to eliminate specific causes of dry skin before beginning treatment. For example, is the dry skin itching? If your dog seems to always be scratching the areas of dry skin, this could suggest a parasitic infection or allergy. In this case take your dog to the vet for a full examination. Also ask yourself if anything the dog is in contact with could be contributing to his condition. For example, how often do you bathe your dog and with what? Repetitive bathing of dogs using shampoo designed for humans will often create a dry skin condition

If you have satisfied yourself in the knowledge that the dry skin is not caused by parasites, allergy or over-bathing, you can look at treating the condition. There are three ways to approach the treatment of dry skin. Firstly, you can apply a topical treatment (for example a cream or ointment) to localized areas of dry or flaky skin. Secondly, you can administer dietary supplements to enhance oil production in the skin. And thirdly, you can combine these treatments.

If your dog has localized areas of dry or flaky skin - that is the condition does not affect the whole animal - you should choose a topical treatment. For small areas of flaky or chapped skin I recommend Bag Balm which was originally made over 100 years ago for farm animals. There are many other treatments available.

In terms of diet, it is important that your dog is receiving appropriate types and levels of fatty acids in his diet. These include Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. Marine fish such as Tuna are excellent sources of these. There are also various dietary supplements on the market which are added to your dog's normal food and provide some of these fatty acids. Increasing the fatty acid content of your dog's diet will not only help his coat, but also his coat and many other aspects of his general health.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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