Flaky, Oily, or Dry Skin in Dogs

The causes and treatments of a dog’s flaky, oily, or dry skin.


Endocrine disorders: Hypothyroidism (dryness, thickened folds) or hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease).

Congenital/Inherited disorders: Primary seborrhea/seborrhea oleosa (common in American Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, Basset Hounds, and other breeds), cutaneous ichthyosis (Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Irish Setters, and other breeds), congenital hypotrichosis (Chinese Crested, American Hairless Terrier), follicular dysplasia/color dilution alopecia (most common in Doberman Pinschers, but also in Dachshunds, Italian Greyhounds, Greyhounds, and other breeds), black hair follicular dysplasia (Papillons, Bearded Collies), alopecia X (Siberian Huskies and other Husky-type breeds, Pomeranians), or pinnal alopecia (Dachshunds, Whippets, and other breeds).

Parasites/Parasite-borne diseases: Demodectic mange or sarcoptic mange.

Allergies: Atopy (allergy to inhaled substances), fleas, or food.

Infectious diseases: Pyoderma (bacterial infection, often secondary to other conditions such as allergies, endocrine problems, seborrhea or parasites), dermatitis caused or complicated by bacteria, viruses, fungi (“ringworm”) and/or yeasts (often secondary infections), or secondary seborrhea due to bacterial and/or yeast infections.

Trauma: Skin irritation and abrasion (often self-inflicted) or burns.

Immune-mediated disorders: Contact hypersensitivity.

What to do: Most cases of flaky, oily, or dry skin are not emergencies, but your dog still needs veterinary care. Call your veterinarian during regular office hours to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment.

Disclaimer: DogChannel.com’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

Have a health question about your dog? Ask our 
vet expert or ask other dog owners on our forums.


4 of 54 Comments View All 54 Comments

Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on Flaky, Oily, or Dry Skin in Dogs

User Avatar

Ann   Wells, Vermont

1/1/2015 8:13:01 AM

My shisei has horrible breath , he gets dry food with a bit of soft food. Sometimes he manages to get a bit of a piece of bread from my grand child . His skin gets oily also and he gets the shakes .

Get Adobe Flash player

Leslie - 233329   Lakeside, AZ

7/18/2013 1:13:00 PM

Good information. thanks

Get Adobe Flash player

Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

1/23/2013 4:13:54 AM

Interestings, thanks for the information.

User Avatar

Janet   Ringgold, GA

2/23/2012 1:34:36 PM

I have a 15 yr. old mini-dachshund and he just recently got a spot on the inside of his hind leg that is kinda scabby and when I scratch the dried scabs off he is chew the bedspread like he is trying to get a flea. It also is on the rear of his hip but isn't scabs, but when I scratch it I can tell it itches. Also, he is loosing small patches of hair. Any help!!! He has never had anything like this until January when he turned 15. Please respond, thanks.

Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below

First Name : Email :
International :
City : State :

Captcha Image

Get New Captcha

Top Products