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As the seasons change, so does your dog’s skin. Springtime can bring seasonal allergies, accompanied by itchy eyes and paws. In summer, air conditioning can dry their sensitive noses. And of course, winter brings chapped, frosty paws.
Unfortunately, you can’t just use your own lotion on the dog because human moisturisers may contain harmful chemicals and ingredients. Dogs are likely to lick topical treatments off of their noses and paws, so any skin-soothing product you use has to be 100% dog-safe.
Any skin-soothing product you use has to be 100% dog-safe.
Avoid these ingredients at all costs, because they’re toxic to dogs:
- Zinc oxide: commonly included in suncreams and nappy rash creams
- Diclofenac: used to treat joint pain
- Calcipotriene: used to treat psoriasis
Other ingredients in topical creams or skin treatments can be dangerous to dogs if ingested. Before using any cream, salve, or gel containing these ingredients with your dog, be sure to consult your vet:
- Hydrocortisone: on its own or in calamine lotion
- Lidocaine: numbing agent
Learn more at the link above as well as from the RSPCA.
Luckily, there are plenty of dog-safe products on the market to treat dry, irritated skin. From dog-specific salves to supermarket staples, it’s never been easier to find something that works for your dog. Read on for some of our favourite treatments for dry dog skin!
From the makers of the popular lip balm (and lots of other body care products) comes this dogs-only lotion made to soothe dry, cracked noses and paws. Containing soothing olive oil and rosemary, it helps repair your dog’s dry skin. As a bonus, it has a light, pleasant scent that won’t irritate you or your dog.
Paw Soother (£16.98)
This 100% organic paw balm packs ingredients like candelilla wax, shea butter, cocoa butter, vitamin E, rosemary extract, and tea tree oil. The natural ingredients mean a little lick won’t hurt. Massage a bit onto your dog’s dry, cracked paws, and let the healing begin!
ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment (£44.49)
Loaded with all-natural moisturising coconut, hempseed, and olive oils, this ointment also contains Manuka honey, long touted for its healing properties in humans and dogs alike. Use it to treat itchy paws in spring, chapped ears in winter, and minor abrasions all year long.
Coconut Oil (£7)
Coconut oil is one of nature’s safest, most effective moisturisers. Humans have been using it for generations to soothe dry skin and hair, and it’s just as useful for dogs! As a topical moisturiser, a little bit goes a long way massaged into dry doggy skin. But it’s even more effective as part of their diet, boosting the immune system and improving skin and coat health from the inside out.
This skin calming spray is designed to help soothe and calm the discomfort of itchy skin in dogs and puppies. It contains tea tree oil, lavender oil, and aloe vera, which have antibacterial, anti-fungal and soothing properties. The spray promotes natural healing for dogs. Keep in mind that dogs should not ingest tea tree oil.
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo (£11.95)
Earthbath has been making all-natural dog products for over 20 years. Their Oatmeal & Aloe shampoo is specially formulated to treat dry skin, relieve itching, and leave your dog’s coat soft, shiny, and smelling great. It’s soap-free (meaning it cleanses without drying), gentle, and safe to use on puppies six weeks and older.
To use this kitchen cupboard staple as an external treatment, apply a small amount to your dog’s dry paws, nose, and ears. Make sure to rub it in completely, and remember, a little goes a long way! It’s also effective as part of your dog’s diet. Add a teaspoon to your dog’s breakfast and dinner to promote healthy, hydrated skin and fur.
Shea Butter (£10.99)
This is one moisturiser you and your dog can share. Humans use pure shea butter to soften dry, cracked elbows and heels. It moisturises and protects skin, and best of all, it’s totally dog-safe when applied topically in small amounts. Use shea butter to soothe dry paws, noses, elbows, and other dry patches. You can moisturise your hands and your dog’s paws at the same time.
The Bottom Line
All of these products contain dog-safe ingredients, meaning it’s okay if your dog takes a little lick. But even the dog-friendliest oils can lead to an upset tummy if over-ingested. Store your dog butters, salves, and oils out of reach, and distract your dog with a treat while you apply to keep most of the moisturiser on their body, not in their mouth.