Dry Skin on German Shepherd: Nutrient Deficiency, Daily Brushing and Proper Bathing

German Shepherds are prone to dry, itchy skin. There might be various causes of this, but  at first you should ensure your dog’s appropriate living conditions and general treatment before trying to apply any remedy.

Dry Conditions

You might have too dry climate in your house, especially when using heater. There might also be overall dry environment in your geographic area.

To compensate this, try using humidifier indoors. You can buy one or just make it yourself with a plastic bottle by cutting of the neck, filling the neckless bottle with water and attaching it to your heater(not recommended to use with electric heaters).

Nutrient Deficiency

Dogs require polyunsaturated fatty acids(omega-3) for proper metabolism, as well as vitamins. Vitamin E capsules(1-2 per day) or just multi-vitamin  supplements containing vitamin E can deal with vitamin deficiency.

The omega-3 acids are found in fish oil. You can give your dog either fish oil capsules(they are more effective than liquid oil) in quantity of 1-2 per day. The fresh fish itself is also a good source of omega-3, wild Alaskan salmon being the best option.

However, sometimes it takes several months to see the initial effect from the supplements, they should always be present in your dog’s diet. You may also consult a veterinarian about proper doses and effects.

Daily Brushing

This should be  a  mandatory German Shepherd treatment, as these dogs tend to shed a lot. Brushing also removes dead skin particles, which keeps dog’s skin clean and healthy.

Long-coated dogs are especially prone to accumulating dead skin particles in their second layer of fur, which causes skin contamination, diseases and hair loss. This may cause infection and other problems long-term, which will take much more effort and money to get rid off.

Proper Bathing

Bathing your dog too often washes off the natural oils from it’s skin, which may cause it get dry and itchy.  Bathing it too seldom may result in skin contamination. The shampoo you use itself may be the problem as well.

For proper bathing use an oatmeal shampoo along with a moisturizing rinse. Keep an eye on the contents of the shampoo you use, because having too much synthetic ingredients may diminish the effect of oatmeal and dry up the skin too. Pick the natural oatmeal shampoo with a small amount of ingredients listed on it.

Wash your German Shepherd once a month using this shampoo and  moisturizing rinse afterwards  to keep your dog’s skin clean and properly hydrated.

Warning! After shampooing  make you wash ALL the shampoo of with warm water, then apply the moistening rinse.

Other Cause

  • If the dog’s skin is dry and itchy all year long. this might be allergy.
  • If your dog  chews/licks it’s paws a lot, this might be fungi infestation.
  • If there are open sores,  inflammations and pimps, this might be skin infection.

What to Do?

If you suspect one of these,  you should consult your veterinarian to  get the actual remedy. Also, if you have ensured all of the dog’s care measures above but your shepherd still has dry skiing, consult you vet as well.



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