Dry skin can be a big problem for huskies, in fact, it’s one of the main reasons they visit the vets. This article explains how to identify dry skin, the main causes, and of course what to do about it.
Dry skin on your husky can be caused by a range of things such as allergies, parasites, infections, or zinc deficiency.
Symptoms of Dry Skin in Huskies
These are the following symptoms of dry skin in huskies:
● Dull Fur
● Hair loss
● Redness on the skin
● Biting or chewing skin/fur
It’s very possible that your husky could show just one, or any of these symptoms. Paying close attention to your dog’s behavior will give you the best chance of detecting issues such as dry skin, early on.
The Causes of Dry Skin in Huskies
Let’s go through each of the causes I mentioned earlier in more detail. This should hopefully help you answer your question “why does my husky have dry skin?”
Allergies that cause dry skin in huskies
● Food Allergies
Certain foods that may not be good for your husky could be soy, wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, chicken, lamb, and beef.
You may be surprised to see chicken and beef on that list but according to a study conducted by the BMC Veterinary Research team, they are both actually one of the most common food allergens for dogs.
Perhaps the dog food you are using is causing a food allergy, leading to dry skin. Huskies, in particular, have sensitive stomachs, so their food is something you should check.
● Atopic dermatitis (Allergy)
Atopic dermatitis is sometimes known as atopy. This type of allergy is generally described as an overreaction or hypersensitivity to fairly common substances. Such things as dust, plant pollen, and mold.
Atopy can be seasonal, but also year-round. It can cause skin issues and will likely be located in areas where fur is thin, like the belly and paws.
Redness and itchiness are the two most common symptoms if your husky has a skin-related allergic reaction to atopy.
● Contact dermatitis (Allergy)
Contact dermatitis does not occur as much in huskies but still could be a cause of dry skin and other skin conditions.
Your husky could develop an allergy to certain materials, fabric, chemical products that make direct contact with his skin.
Dog shampoo falls into this category so it’s always recommended to buy an organic natural dog shampoo.
One of My Happy Husky’s best articles is all about natural dog shampoo appropriate for huskies. I really recommend checking that out.
The common symptoms of this type of contact dermatitis are redness, itchiness, and scratching.
Parasites that cause dry skin in huskies
All of these parasites are bad for your husky to have and can impact his health more severly than just dry skin.
It’s recommended you consult a professional veterinarian in these circumstances.
How do I know if my husky has parasites?
Certain parasites will cause dry flaky skin. Dandruff can also be a sign of parasites as well as excessive scratching. It can be hard to physically see some of the insects, but it can be easier to see their eggs and droppings in your husky’s coat.
Infections That Cause Dry Skin in Huskies
Dry skin can be caused by certain infections such as ringworm, yeast infection and, folliculitis. Dry skin can be one of the first signs to these more serious underlying issues.
If infections are not dealt with, they can become much larger health issues.
You should seek help from a veterinarian if you think your husky has one of these infections
Ringworm is not actually a worm, it’s fungus. It’s called “ring” because of the circular marks that form with this infection. You usually find this around the paws, legs, head, and ears.
● Yeast infections
Usually happens around the ears and paws, the perfect place for yeast to grow. So look out for constant irritation around these areas.
Folliculitis refers to one or more hair follicles that become inflamed. It happens when certain bacteria found on the dog’s skin compromise a normal healthy hair follicle. This infection can cause bumps on the skin, redness, swelling, and general irritation. You will need to visit your veterinarian to treat this infection.
Husky Zinc Deficiency & Dry Skin
Zinc-responsive dermatosis, otherwise known as zinc deficiency is a very serious condition and can be fatal. Siberian Huskies and Malamutes, in particular, can be affected by this.
Firstly, it’s important to understand how Zinc deficiency is related to dry skin. When zinc isn’t properly absorbed or digested by the body, it can interfere with normal cell division, in turn, this affects the skin causing it to become dry and flaky.
What is Zinc deficiency in dogs? Zinc deficiency is when your dog does not have adequate amounts of Zinc in their body.
Malabsorption and mal-digestion are responsible for the zinc not entering into their system properly, even if they eat foods high in Zinc. Zinc is the second most used mineral inside your dog’s body so when there isn’t enough it can lead to many serious health issues.
Dry flaky skin and dermatitis can be one of many symptoms of Zinc deficiency. Other symptoms can include digestive issues, disrupted immune system, thyroid gland issues (weight gain or weight loss), seizures and organ failure.
Treating Dry Skin in Huskies
The correct treatment for dry skin on huskies depends on the cause. Therefore you will first need to diagnose what it is that’s giving your husky dry skin.
Despite this article being super helpful 😉 Without a doubt, I recommend going to see a professional veterinarian where they are more certified to give you an accurate answer.
● Food allergies
Try an elimination diet, to remove the specific allergen that your husky doesn’t tolerate.
● Environmental allergies
Keep your husky inside more often if pollen is present and strong. Keep your house clean and dust-free. Try not to hover around your husky as it brings up dust and other insects potentially hidden in your carpets.
● Contact allergies
If you suspect your husky has any kind of parasites through their constant scratching or visible egg/poo droppings then a trip to the vet is needed asap.
Your veterinarian will give you the best advice to get rid of these parasites, whether through medication or shampoo/bathing techniques.
You will need a visit to your veterinarian to properly diagnose the type of infection. Then, your husky will likely need medication to overcome the particular infection.
It’s possible to treat infections topically with particular ointments and bathing techniques, but still, consult a veterinarian first.
Preventing Skin Conditions in Huskies
This is my cue to say, “prevention is better than cure” and it is just as relevant for your husky as it is for us.
Although some of the causes are out of your control, there are some things you can do to minimize the chances of dry skin.
Here’s what you can do to prevent dry skin on your husky:
- Keep your house and your dog’s bed free from dust
- Use high quality organic natural dog shampoo
- Use a trusted brand of high-quality dog food (without common allergens)
- Don’t give your husky your food scraps
- Bathe your husky correctly and thoroughly
- Give your husky proper grooming, especially when they shed
- Have routine check-ups with your local veterinarian to monitor their overall health
- Learn more about Siberian Huskies and what issues are specific to them.
Grooming is an essential part of keeping your husky’s skin and coat healthy. I recently created a super-detailed “ultimate guide” on the best brushes for huskies, along with some less obvious grooming tips! You can check that out here
Dry Skin FAQ Section
Let’s run through some of the most frequently asked questions I receive on this topic. Each question will come with a short, concise answer.
Are huskies prone to skin problems?
Huskies like many breeds are prone to skin problems, in particular, dry skin. Dry skin can be caused by a number of different things. Due to most huskies being sensitive to a lot of allergens and suffering from zinc-responsive dermatosis, skin issues tend to be common.
How to get rid of husky dandruff?
Frequent brushing, a fish oil supplement, and using only a natural ingredient shampoo can help to remove some dandruff in the short term. The best way to remove dandruff, however, is to identify what’s causing the dry skin to begin with and then making the necessary changes.
How can I soothe my husky’s skin?
An omega 3 supplement could help significantly in reducing skin inflammation and irritability. Along with this, try using a natural ingredient shampoo with either aloe Vera or colloidal oatmeal, as these are both known for their soothing and healing properties.
Can I bathe my husky with dry skin?
If your husky has dry skin, you can still bathe him, but only once every three to four months. Bathing more frequently than this could in fact be what’s causing the dry skin to begin with. In addition to this, only ever use a natural ingredient shampoo.
How long does it take to solve skin issues in huskies?
It depends on what skin issue is present. Skin infections will need to be seen by a veterinarian and your husky might need medication. For less serious issues like minor dry skin, this could be managed at home and solved within a few weeks depending on how quickly you find the trigger, and start remedying the dry skin
Thank you for reading and if you have experience with your husky having dry skin, comment below and share your experience!
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