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The 6 Best Dog Lotions for Dry Skin

Dog lotion is not a phrase that typically invites interest or attention. However, many puppies suffer from uncomfortable and unpleasant skin conditions that can be treated with lotion.

The key is to use a specially formulated lotion that promotes healing without causing harm if your furry friend licks it off.

Human lotions may contain scents and other substances that aggravate your pet's skin condition, so opting for a dog-specific lotion is a better choice.

Just as there are countless options for human lotion, there are also many choices available for your dog. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has reviewed the best dog lotions for dry skin.

Keep reading for more information on ingredients, effectiveness, and application. We will also explain how to apply the lotion to your furry friend's dry skin.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

Dry Dog Skin Rescue Lotion by DERMagic

DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion, 4 fl.oz.

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Dry skin irritations, yeast problems, hot spots, black skin disease, scaly and dry skin, insect allergies, dermatitis, and dandruff are common skin conditions in pets.

DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion is an organic lotion with antibacterial and antifungal properties, providing fast and effective relief for these issues.

This lotion contains natural ingredients such as organic whole leaf aloe vera, vitamin E, shea butter, and olive oil to hydrate and soothe irritated skin.

Sulfur, the primary chemical that relieves chronic itching, is also included in the formula. It is both antibacterial and antifungal, making it a potent ingredient for fighting infections.

DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion is fragrance-free and contains no artificial ingredients, making it safe for pets to ingest. It only needs to be applied once a day to eliminate underlying infections or irritations.

The lotion is safe for dogs, cats, or horses, and is made in the USA. It is important to note that while it won’t harm your pet if licked off, it works much better when applied to the skin and allowed to stay on.

If needed, covering the affected areas with a t-shirt or sock during treatment can be helpful.

In summary, DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion is a safe and effective solution for treating a variety of skin conditions in pets.

Its organic and natural ingredients make it a great choice for pet owners seeking a safe and effective solution for their furry friend’s skin health.

Pros

Multi-purpose usage

Efficient and secure

Organic formula

Possible to lick off

Gentle for canine

No fragrances or artificial colors

Cons

We cannot think of any


Hydrocortisone Lotion by Remedy+Recovery

DOGSWELL Remedy + Recovery 0.5% Hydrocortisone Lotion for Dogs, 4 oz

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For pet owners seeking an economical solution for parched skin, a 4-ounce bottle of lotion can be a good option.

This lotion contains 0.5% hydrocortisone, a topical steroid that reduces inflammation, redness, and itching associated with flea wounds.

While safe for all canines, this brand contains fragrance and alcohol, which can be drying and irritating for some dogs. However, it is effective in relieving severe eczema and great for use with an e-collar.

It is important to note that this formulation contains more drying ingredients, making it less effective for dogs with thin skin.

Nonetheless, it remains an affordable and effective option for soothing your dog’s skin irritation.

In summary, this lotion is designed to stop itching, reduce inflammation and swelling, and promote healing.

While it is safe for all dogs, pet owners should be aware of the potential for drying and irritation with the addition of fragrance and alcohol.

Pros

Multi-purpose

Safe

Effective

Good for eczema

Affordable

Cons

Contains scent

Includes drying agents


Equiderma Dry Skin Dog Lotion

EQUIDERMA, Barn Dog Skin Lotion Topical Solution for Skin Problems Dog Grooming Supplies

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Equiderma Barn Dog Lotion is a premium option for pet owners seeking relief for their dog’s dry skin from irritants such as grass allergies, flea stings, persistent itchiness, and licking.

Its formula contains neem leaf, chamomile, pine, and cherry bark, which are effective against yeast, fungi, bacteria, fungus, and scabies.

This 18-ounce container has a large capacity and can be used repeatedly, but it requires thorough cleansing and rinsing of your dog’s skin prior to application.

Although it has multiple applications, it does not reduce dandruff and has a distinct lavender scent.

This product does not contain steroids or antibiotics and does not sting or irritate. It is safe for dogs and will not harm them if they lick it off, despite not being organic.

Equiderma Barn Dog Lotion is suitable for all animals and keeps their skin healthy. It is effective in providing relief for irritated skin as a result of biting, scratching, chewing, and licking.

To use, shake well before each use and lightly saturate the affected area. Repeat once per day until the problem is resolved. No rinsing is necessary.

In summary, Equiderma Barn Dog Lotion is a premium option for pet owners seeking relief for their dog’s skin issues. Its formula contains natural ingredients and is safe for dogs of all ages.

Pros

Multi-purpose usage

Safe

Affective

Great size

Cons

Less easy to utilize

Strong lavender aroma


AtopiCream Dry Skin Leave-On Dog Lotion

VetriMAX AtopiCream HC 1% Hydrocortisone Leave-On Conditioner Lotion for Dogs

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AtopiCream lotion is a fourth option for pet owners looking to alleviate their dog’s skin irritations.

This lotion contains 2% diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that reduces allergy-related skin irritations and soothes insect stings, wounds, and dry skin.

Infused with ceramides, essential fatty acids, aloe vera, and vitamin E, AtopiCream restores healthy skin while providing relief.

It penetrates pet fur for maximum skin contact and repairs inflammations, making it effective for anti-pruritus, allergy relief, dry skin, and hot spot treatment.

AtopiCream is formulated especially for household pets and farm animals, tested safe to use on dogs, cats, horses, and other domesticated animals. Its fast-absorbing formula minimizes licking and discomfort.

Pet owners should be aware that AtopiCream is not organic and should not be ingested by dogs.

Although it contains healing ingredients, it may be too abrasive for canines with thin and sensitive skin. Additionally, it is not cruelty-free.

In summary, AtopiCream is a clinically tested and vet-approved option for pet owners seeking to soothe their dog’s skin irritations.

Its infused ingredients restore a healthier coat, skin, ears, and paws, and provide relief for itchy paws, ears, and skin.

Pros

Multi-purpose usage

Antihistamine

Includes both aloe and sunflower seed oil

Affective

Cons

Can be severe

Not biological

No-lick formulation

Need to apply regularly


Dog Fashion Spa Dry Pomade

Dog Fashion Spa Dog Lotion Skin Moisturizer for Dogs with Natural Ingredients

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Dog Fashion Spa's lotion is a natural moisturizer for dogs’ skin and coat.

While it comes in a small 4-ounce container that does not last long, it contains natural components such as semplice, aloe, palm oil, and Tuscan white tea oil.

This non-toxic lotion is great for hydrating dry or itchy dog skin and can be used as a leave-in conditioner after washing a dog.

It is designed with a non-greasy, lightweight formula for use in between grooming sessions.

However, this lotion has no effect on relieving itching or inflammation and does not treat other skin conditions.

Additionally, it contains fragrance and colorant, with a rather potent scent that some puppies may try to rub off as soon as possible.

Overall, this lotion is a good skin moisturizer for dogs, leaving their coat super soft and helping to loosen mats, free tangles, and get rid of static electricity.

Delicately scented with Tuscan white tea extract, this lotion is made in the USA.

In summary, Dog Fashion Spa’s lotion is a natural moisturizer for dogs’ skin and coat that hydrates dry or itchy skin.

While it has a lightweight formula for use between grooming sessions, it does not treat other skin conditions or relieve itching or inflammation.

Pros

Beneficial for dry skin and coats

Effective at moisturizing

Non-toxic

Cons

Is not multi-purpose

The list of components is ambiguous.

Contains perfume and colors

The scent is pungent

The limited quantity of contents


Hydrocortisone Dog Lotion by PetNC

PetNC Natural Care Hydrocortisone Lotion for All Pets, 4-Ounce

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Our final recommendation is a small, 4-ounce vial of medication for moderate itching and irritations from PetNC.

However, it should be noted that this medication is not as effective as our other options and has a limited duration of use.

This medication from PetNC is safe for humans to lick off, and the company also offers an anti-itch salve containing 0.5% hydrocortisone.

However, this salve is ineffective in this instance. Prior to administering this lotion, it is necessary to bathe your dog, and it is not recommended for large or pregnant dogs.

It should also be noted that this product contains parabens and fragrances and is not cruelty-free. It is not the best solution if your dog’s skin is irritated and inflamed.

In summary, this medication is a medicated lotion for pets that relieves minor itching and skin irritations. It is made with human-grade ingredients, laboratory tested, veterinarian formulated, and made in the USA.

However, it is not as effective as other options and has a limited duration of use, as well as containing parabens and fragrances and not being cruelty-free.

Pros

Human grade ingredients

Cons

Not efficient

Difficult to use

Little bottle

Contains parabens and fragrance

Not for big breeds or pregnant dogs

Buyer's Guide

Causes of Dogs’ Itchy and Dry Skin

Several factors contribute to canines’ dry, sensitive skin, including:

1. Allergies

Food intolerance and contact with certain compounds, such as floor cleaners, fertilizers, and garden sprays, are frequent causes of allergic reactions in dogs.

2. Too little or too much bathing

Bathing your dog too frequently can strip him of his natural skin lipids, leading to irritation and flaking.

In contrast, if you don’t clean your dog frequently enough, dead skin and lipids from his coat will accumulate, resulting in a matted coat and itchy skin.

3. Environmental conditions

Overexposure to excessive temperatures and low humidity can result in skin and coat damage, while legs can become dehydrated. During the winter, sand and salt on roads and pavements can also agitate the skin.

4. Hyperkeratosis

Excessive keratin production can cause your dog’s muzzle and feet to develop dry skin.

5. Nutrient deficiency

Deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids (found primarily in fish oil) is a common cause of dull, flaky skin in dogs. Additionally, zinc deficiency can result in dry, damaged feet in dogs.

6. Castration or spaying

Removing a dog’s reproductive hormones can disrupt the natural equilibrium of hormones necessary for oil production in the skin and coat. Therefore, neutering increases the risk of flaky skin or coat issues in dogs.

7. Accumulation of contaminants within the organism

If your dog’s immune system cannot effectively eliminate waste, the body tends to address the issue via the skin.

What Lotion is Suitable for Dogs with Dry Skin?

To get the most out of a dog-friendly lotion, it’s important to understand its composition or main constituents. Here are the ingredients you should look for in a good dog lotion:

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help hydrate and soothe your dog’s dry skin.

Additionally, because coconut oil contains lauric acid and potent antifungal properties, it can aid in the natural healing of your dog’s irritated skin by combating the various fungal and bacterial infections that cause skin irritation.

Coconut oil has minimal to no adverse effects, making it a safe option for dogs with skin allergies. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to your dog’s skin and massage it gently.

You can do this once per day, or as often as needed.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can help relieve itchy skin conditions in dogs and facilitate their natural recovery. However, aloe vera that contains alcohol can irritate your dog’s skin.

3. Oatmeal Soak

Oatmeal is a natural, gentle ingredient that can help relieve dry, itchy skin in dogs.

To give your dog an oatmeal bath, simply mix oatmeal with warm water and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Then, rinse your dog with warm water and pat them dry with a towel.

4. Essential Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil supplements and fatty fish such as salmon, can improve your dog’s skin and coat. They work by reducing inflammation and hydrating the skin from within.

5. Therapeutic Shampoo

If your dog’s dry skin is caused by an underlying medical condition, your veterinarian may recommend a medicated shampoo. These shampoos are designed to treat specific conditions, such as skin infections and allergies.

Five Methods to Relieve Your Dog’s Dry, Itchy Skin

The most common cause of itchy skin in dogs is simple dryness. During the winter months, when there is very little humidity, dehydration is a major problem. While we can use lotion, our canine companions have fewer options.

To maintain your dog’s skin health throughout the year, pay close attention to these five moisturizing tips.

1. Bathing (but not excessively)

While bathing with a balanced, veterinarian-recommended dry dog shampoo can help treat many skin conditions, including dryness, excessive bathing or using an abrasive shampoo can exacerbate the problem.

If we bathe dogs too frequently, their delicate skin would lose all its healthy oils and pH. The typical protocol for dogs with normal skin is a monthly bath.

2. Grooming

One of the most effective treatments for your dog’s skin is grooming. Regular brushing can stimulate the release of hydrating lipids.

Additionally, brushing removes dead hair and old skin cells that can clog the skin’s surface. Long-haired and double-coated dogs should be groomed frequently to avoid uncomfortable mats and dry, itchy buildup.

Even short-haired dogs can benefit from regular brushing, especially if their skin is prone to dryness.

3. Topically-Applied Sprays

Never apply a topical product to your dog’s skin without your veterinarian’s approval. There are several sprays on the market with moisturizing, anti-itching, and soothing properties that are effective in alleviating mild dryness.

Some opt for the natural route and use the hydrating properties of tea tree oil or colloidal oatmeal. Some are treated with topical antihistamines, anesthetics, and even steroids to relieve intense irritation.

4. Humidifier

Climate is the leading cause of dry skin. The arid climates of the southwestern United States and parts of Central Australia are infamous.

Similarly, the heating and cooling systems that we rely on year-round to maintain comfort can also remove moisture from the air and create a dry environment.

Adding a high-capacity humidifier to your home can restore moisture and prevent dry skin in humans and animals.

5. Dietary Supplements

Introducing supplements with specific skin-improving properties may be the best option.

Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory ingredients have been shown to promote a soft, silky coat, reduce flaking, and maintain normal skin moisture.

In conclusion, applying lotion is not as challenging as some may believe.

It all depends on the variety of fur and thickness of your friend’s garment. If your dog has short, delicate fur, for instance, you can apply the ointment directly to the fur.

If, on the other hand, your animal companion has lengthier hair, you may need to trim it down. There is no need to trim the fur. Simply use scissors to delicately trim it down.

Additionally, you should consider whether the product is safe for licking. If not, you should bandage the wound as best you can. However, even if the substance is natural and harmless to lick, it will not function from the inside out.

It is recommended, if feasible, to cover the area so that it can function effectively and recover. Avoid using an adhesive bandage. Find something that can be wrapped around them instead.

FAQs

1. How can I moisturize my dogs dry skin?

To moisturize your dog’s dry skin, you can apply a small amount of coconut oil, olive oil, or vitamin E oil to the affected area.

Never use human moisturizers on your pet, as they may be too harsh for their skin or even toxic if ingested.

2. Can you put lotion on a dog for dry skin?

No, you should not apply your preferred moisturizer to your dog for their dry skin.

Some human skin moisturizers contain compounds that can be harmful if ingested, and pets tend to lick off whatever is applied to their coat.

If pets consume moisturizers, they may experience drooling, regurgitation, and incontinence.

3. What lotion is best for dogs?

Coconut oil is one of the safest and most effective moisturizers for dogs.

It is a natural product that has been used by humans for generations to treat dry skin and hair, and it is just as beneficial for canines!

When massaged into the skin, a small amount of coconut oil goes a long way as a topical emollient for parched dog skin.

4. What lotion can I put on my dog for itching?

In most cases, you can apply hydrocortisone cream to your dog for itching. It can help treat moderate rashes, itchy skin, and insect bites in dogs, just as it does in humans.

5. Can I rub coconut oil on my dog?

Yes, you can apply coconut oil to your dog’s skin to add moisture and prevent flaking. When used sparingly, it can also help revitalize their coat.

6. Can I moisturize my dog with Vaseline?

Optional. Vaseline might be OK in a pinch for moisturizing your dog’s dry skin, but there are better products specifically designed for dogs, like paw balm or nose balm.

It’s important to note that dogs who lick excessively should avoid using Vaseline since ingesting too much of it can cause digestive issues.

7. Can I put olive oil on my dogs dry skin?

The answer is unequivocally YES, you can use olive oil on your dog’s dry skin. Olive oil has numerous benefits for dogs. Just like humans, dogs can have thin, flaky skin.

Olive oil contains phytonutrients, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, which nourish and moisturize your dog’s skin.

8. Can I put aloe vera on my dog?

Optional. It is safe to apply aloe vera to your dog’s skin, but it is not safe for them to ingest. It is important to be cautious and prevent your dog from licking or consuming it.

If your dog accidentally ingests aloe vera, closely monitor them for any adverse effects.

Conclusion

The DERMagic 2040 Skin Rescue Lotion is our top recommendation if your itchy companion requires immediate treatment.

The DERMagic 2040 Skin Rescue Lotion will deliver all the relief your friend requires.

Try the inexpensive Remedy + Recovery 42004 Hydrocortisone Lotion to stop an itch in its tracks if you’re on a tight budget yet don’t want to witness your frequent scratching.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope the preceding evaluations help you in choosing the best dog lotions for dry skin.

Remember, if your dog has an ongoing issue, you should visit your vet as there might be more dangerous situations going on under the surface.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler

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