Does Your Dog Have Dry, Flaky Skin? Here’s The Home Remedy Our Veterinarian Recommends

Our dog, Tenor, has such a thick and luscious coat of fur. (He’s part Black Lab, part Great Pyrenees, but he mostly just looks like your average Labrador Retriever.)


His skin and coat weren’t always in such great shape, though. In fact, a few months ago he had dry, flaky, itchy skin so bad that we thought he had an incurable skin disease!

Here’s what the vet recommended. And it worked like a charm!


One Option: Antibiotics

The first time we noticed the dog’s dry skin, we probably waited a bit too long to take him to the vet.

Against our better judgment, we tried an over-the-counter remedy first. It was a spray-on leave-in conditioner specifically made for a dog’s dry skin. After a few days of that and no change, we ended up taking him to the vet for something better. (The dog smelled wonderful, but you could still see lots of small white flakes on his pitch-black coat of thick fur.)

In fact, by the time we took him to the vet, his skin problem had turned kind of scabby and itchy. NOT a good sign.

The veterinarian said it was probably allergies, but without running a lot of tests he couldn’t be sure.

At this point, it was most important that we clear up the itchy and scabby spots on his skin, so he recommended a 10-day dose of antibiotics (Cephalexin). That worked like a charm. Within 2 days, the flaky skin was pretty much gone.


But the vet had warned us… if Tenor’s dry skin was in fact due to allergies, then it would likely return. The trick then would be to selectively test a variety of foods, products, environments to determine what exactly he was allergic to. (That didn’t sound like fun!!!)

Here’s how to conduct a cheap food trial for dog allergies.


Another Option: Olive Oil

A month or so later, Tenor’s dry skin had reappeared. It wasn’t as bad as the first time — just random flakes here and there.

The vet said before we go through all the tests for allergies, let’s try a simple home remedy first: Olive Oil.

He said to pour a tablespoon or so of Olive Oil right on his food 2 to 3 times each week, and see how that worked. We did it, and boy, did his coat get thick and shiny and flake-free in no time!


I can’t recommend this stuff enough! Tenor loves it, too. It reminds me of the days when we used to add doggie gravy to his dry dog food. It was always a special treat. Now, the Olive Oil is his special treat at feeding time.

I’d have to say the best home remedy for a dog’s dry, itchy flaky skin is plain and simple Olive Oil.

UPDATE: It’s been 6 years now, and we’re still adding the Olive Oil to my dog’s food. The only change: we’re adding it to his food every single day now. I keep a squeezable condiment bottle filled with Olive Oil near his dog food bowl. I squirt enough Olive Oil to lightly coat the top of his food each time we fill up the bowl. We’ve been doing it this way for the past 2 years. No complaints. And no more dry skin! His coat is also much thicker and shinier since we’ve started adding the Olive Oil to his food.


Why Dogs Get Dry Itchy Skin

The vet said most likely our dog’s dry skin is simply due to dry air inside the house — especially since we have gas heat.

He said dogs that spend a lot of time indoors during the winter months tend to get mild skin conditions like this. It’s (usually) no big deal. And Olive Oil will typically remedy the situation throughout the entire winter season.

A good old-fashioned air humidifier would also help to remedy dry skin — for both you and your dog!


IMPORTANT: If your dog has dry flaky skin — and it persists — then then be sure to discuss it with your own veterinarian. Olive Oil won’t cure everything!

Must read: Winterizing Your Dog’s Coat With Olive Oil & Coconut Oil


To Give You An Idea Just How Well The Olive Oil Works…

We left Tenor at a dog boarding kennel last weekend, while we went out of town for a wedding. And naturally, they didn’t add anything to his dog food during his 3-day stay there. (I suppose if I’d asked them to, they would have.)

When we picked him up at the kennel, the first thing we noticed was how dry and flaky his skin was.


So now he’s back on the Olive Oil, and he’s loving it. And his coat looks great again. It works really quickly!

Here are 5 natural home remedies for dog dry skin.


Just For Laughs

Yeah well, his skin and coat may be great, but he needs a little help controlling his drool sometimes. Ah but that’s a whole ‘nother issue…


Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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  • Anonymous

    great news to hear I have two large dogs a great dane and a doberman the doberman really seems to have some issues with dry skin I cant wait to try the olive oil treatment on him. thanks so much for the info. carrie

  • Janet

    Actually, you can use baby shampoo on dogs. It’s very gentle, smells nice, and makes their coat nice and soft.

  • melissa taylor

    how much olive oil would you give a 5lb chihuahua?

    • FunTimesGuide

      Melissa – There’s not really one specific answer to your question. I would start with just 1 teaspoon sprinkled over your dog’s food — to make sure your dog will eat food that has oil on it. Then slowly increase a little bit at a time until most of your dog’s kibble has been LIGHTLY touched by the oil. You definitely don’t want so much that the oil takes on a gravy thickness in your dog’s food.

  • Danine

    So glad to read this article, my lab has SAME issue with the skin….He always and dry and has flakes . They had me give him the DMV coat pills, that worked great until the compnay went out of biz :(…Now I am using these other coat omega pills and they DONT work at all!! Excited to try the olive Oil….:) thanks….
    Oh, also my dog has the same droll issue, I am starting to wonder if that is allegery related as well….

  • doby lover

    Fish pills work wonders for my Doberman’s dry flakey skin. My vet said there is no way to over do it with fish pills. Plus they are very good for their heart. I feed my 68lb
    Doberman 3 fish pills with her food everyday and it has worked wonders. Now it may soften their stool but if it becomes too soft just give them a little less.

  • Anonymous

    hi all, I just adopted an adult collie. I have been slowly combing the under coat to help the shedding get into the trash and not the floor or food. I see what looks like tiny grass seeds, white and clings to the under coat. This does not seem to bother my dog at all.I take the time to remove what I see but that is only a small area compared to the size of her body. Does any one have an idea. It is not her skin but just above is Mindi

    • Dracwiths

      HI you probably won’t check this, but I breed and raise collies the white flakes are normal and don’t hurt, but a good way to get rid of the problem is olive oil in the food. It is the way the undercoat is setup.

  • cheri

    is Krill or flaxseed oil safe for dogs for dry skin or should I stick with olive oil or fishoil?

  • Char

    My dog has the same problem….huge flakes on her back! I brush and brush and it just doesn’t seem to get it all. I am going to give her a bath and then start the olive oil treatment too! Thanks for the suggestion! I hope it works!!

  • Ajheath

    you shouldn’t bathe your dog too often. That can dry the skin out as it is, by removing surface oils, once a month is good. If you have a messy dog use wipes to clean their face, or feet.

  • TLH

    My vet recommended the olive oil for my little Min Pin and it worked like a charm! Within days her coat was once again shiny and flake free! Hint: I have an oil dispenser so it’s very easy to just tip and add a few drops to her evening meal.

  • Silvia Terrinoni

    i have three dogs ,we live in ARIZONA ,all my dogs suffer from dry skin every winter well not really winter here like snow but cold temps,we use are heating system all day,and i think that’s the problem with indoor dogs,So i bought the best food there was and all kinds of over the counter vitamins and nothing worked,So before i went to the vet again for drugs,I add good olive oil to dry food every day just 2 tsp. for a large bowl of good food for all my dogs,for a month and a couple time a day fresh carrots and apple slices and there coats are getting better by the day,also brushing gently and oatmeal bathing ,So who ever read;s my comment i hope it will help you dog.

  • Insomnia_iam

    Was using Salmon Oil Capsules in our dogs meals, then discontinued the Salmon supplement, as we changed their diet to an even more expensive premium dog food. Now both our dogs have dry itchy skin, and a white powdery dandruff from head to tail, after only 6 weeks on the new premium grain free food. Olive Oil sounds like a pretty good home remedy, which is also used for people with dry scalp problems. You may have saved me mega bucks as a trip to the vet is never under $300., no matter what. I will post the results as soon as I see if it cures the problem. Thanks a bunch.


    I read your article after searching to find a solution for my dogs itchy, flaky skin. He’s a 9 yr old Shih-Tzu. He’s only been plagued by this for the last year or so. Each time it gets really bad we end up taking him to the vet who checks him out and says he thinks it’s probably allergies and that we could go have him tested but that it would take a bit of time and quite a bit of money. I love my dog (I have 3 male Shih-Tzu’s) but don’t always have the loads of money that it would probably take for the testing. The vet ends up giving him a steroid shot and sometimes an antibiotic (Keflex)if it’s progressed into an infection. I just don’t want to see him go through the CONSTANT itching, scratching and licking and pink skin anymore. Does this sound like what your dog went through??? I’d appreciate any idea you could give as I don’t know what numerous Steroid shots could do to his system. Please help!!

    • Tracy

      Some small dogs are allergic to poultry so if you are feeding him chicken that could cause the itching and licking. I am told that a lot of smaller dogs are actually allrgic to chicken. Some have a bad reaction and some have areaction only sometimes. I have. Two smaller dogs so I only feed them food without chicken. Blue has a great dog food for small breeds its fish and sweet potato or fish and brown rice. My two dogs love the fish also it has the omega fatty acids for the coat and skin in it. My older boston terrier has really dry skin so when I made the switch to the blue dog food her skin got a little better but I also use either flaxseed oil or olive oil a few times a week for her skin and it has gotten a lot better also the blue dog food has flaxseed in it not sure how much but it is one of the ingredients. Blue has also come out with a grain free dog food that my dogs also love. Hope this helps

  • Family4williams

    My labs coat is mildly dry and flakey so I’m bustin out the olive oil!  I have heard of that before, but forgot about it.  You did a great job writing this article!  Thanks!

  • Ashleyblair_98

    I have a lab Pyrenees mix who also has very dry skin. I was looking up treatments when I found this article so I tried it. It’s been a month now and I’m so happy to say he looks great! His fur is all back there’s no more scabs or dry skin flakes. He loves the oil and is so spoiled now he wont eat his food without the oil now :) thank you for this article its made me and my baby so happy!!

  • Knobdawg72

    This is exactly the tip Ive been looking for   for my dog,s dry, flakey, dull coat. My dog is a senior age Boxer.  All the other tips I looked through talked about special products I could buy and try on his skin/coat. But, I’ve been there   done that stuff early on and wanted more of a simple yet, natural type of home remedy. I will be buying the larger size of OliveOil next grocery trip since we also cook with it at times too.  Thanks!!!!

  • Swillfae

    We have a Golden and his skin is really bad with flakes and itchyyyy.. The vet stuff has not helped much . I did rub olive oil on his patches of dry skin, but now I’m goin to put it in his food, Thanks for the info. Will let you know how it works. I’m very hopeful…. Thanks again

  • S Mackenzie

    we are going to try this – it sounds like the right fix for our Bernese Mountain dog!! thanks so much

  • EMRoss

    Dry itchy flaky skin in the winter. One German Short haired pointer and one LabraDoodle aged 3 & 4. No problems until this fall; we have given them Olive Oil daily for over a year now and have switched food to Purina One  but to date no luck. I might add; NO fleas or pests & allergies are ruled out. Desperate in Lebanon, OR.

    • FunTimesGuide

      Ahhh – good catch – I was going to suggest possible allergies. But you’ve already ruled that out.   Have you tried fish oil? Or maybe switching their dog shampoo?

    • Stephaifley

      Olive leaf Extract is a natural antibiotic, mix it with a little sugar and water they will drink it and it did wonders for my dog where the olive oil didn’t work, u can get it at any Vitamins store.

  • Shatara

    I have a puggle, he has dry skin, I was told to put olive oil on his coat! is is better on the coat or better to put in his food?

    • FunTimesGuide

      Good question! I’d like to hear what others think… I’ve only put it in my dog’s food and can speak very highly to that success rate. Haven’t tried putting it on his coat, but I know many others do that as well. I would *think* that working from the inside out, rather than the outside in, might be a tad more effective and longer-lasting since you’re directly affecting every inch of the dog’s skin and thereby the coat (rather than mostly the coat, and thereby hit or miss on how much of the skin you’re actually making contact with).  

  • EMRoss

    We have 2 large dogs both of which are going thru winter itchy problems. We use about 1 tsp per day in their food WITH NO LUCK. We switched to fish oil and the itching is better but not gone. I’m not going to waste money to have a vet run up a large bill for allergy tests. During qa vets schooling to become one they only devote less than 5% of their learning to nutrition so how can they possible know and most of them will push the dog food that they inventory; HOGWASH.  Someone out there has to have an answer. By the way we live in the Pacific Northwest and never seem to have this problem in the summer. [email protected]

  • Belinda

    I’ve been using Egyptian Magic on my dog’s coat (long haired chihuahua) & skin. Has olive oil, bee propolis, honey and bees wax. Works wonders!

  • maria lemons

    I have a puggle who is 6years old. He has a food allergy and is on allergy free food. We are still having the same problem even on the prescription food. His skin is red very dry and always scratching we really need help.

  • Copper

    Thank you SO much for the Olive Oil tip for dogs with dry itchy skin!   Mine just developed it over the past few months too.   I was worried he had a bad skin disease.   I did start him on Vitamin E.  I heard to open up a capsule and squeeze the oil on his food.    I guess the same concept applies with Olive Oil.   I am worried he’s itching one patch on his tummy so bad that it’s going to bleed.   :(    I even rubbed itching cream on it.    I will start the olive oil tomorrow.    Thanks again!

    • FunTimesGuide

      Copper – I agree, the Vitamin E capsules squeezed onto your dog’s food are another great way to heal your dog’s skin from the inside out. Very similar to using olive oil. If the olive oil doesn’t help that one patch on his tummy, I would recommend seeing a vet – could be an allergy of some sort. From working at a vet, I know that allergies are very common in dogs (just as in humans) – and there are many great remedies for that. Best of luck! 😀

  • Huiyen

    my dog have a skin problem and it was very serious….after took it to vet but does not change anything….Instead the problem become more serious……what can i do now???

    • FunTimesGuide

      Huiyen – go back to the vet. No DIY methods are going to be better than what a veterinarian can do. Your vet needs to know that the first thing they tried didn’t work.

  • Mike Ross

    I sympathize with your problem so perhaps you should take a very close look at the dry food you offer. It more than likely has grain which is NOT GOOD. We switched to  to a dry food called “CALL OF THE WILD” and it has done wonders, absolutely no grain and my guys love it. Expensive yes but the results are good but we still provide olive oil along with lots of SAFE vegetables & fruits. I personally would rather starve than deprive our dogs of healthy food.

    • Stephanie McGuire

      I heard that a lot of dogs are allergic to corn…I will try the grain free food!

  • Lab Mama

    Finding this website was a godsend!  I have a 4-year old Yellow Lab who has dry, itchy skin so bad, he’s been scratching to bleeding around his head and neck.  I took him to the vet right away, and they said it was just a bit of dry skin, and it should go away if we just keep the area clean and dry.  They gave him some spray for hot spots and sent us home.  We live in Florida, where it’s hot and humid most of the year, so we even tried giving him a hair cut to keep him cool!  I am going to try the olive oil suggestion, and I feel very hopeful that it will work.  Our vet certainly wasn’t any help!  THANK YOU!!!  (Oh, and yes, we’ve had him tested for food allergies, and he’s on a very healthy food).

    • FunTimesGuide

      Lab Mama – Yay! So glad you found the info helpful. The olive oil has definitely worked for us… and several other dog owners. Let us know how it works for you! P.S. A Vitamin E capsule opened and poured over your dog’s food is another good option.

  • Diane

    Is it normal olive oil or olive oil for dogs,as thats what we got with an antibacterial medicated shampoo,hes still scratching I was even going to try a couple of raw eggs,as my late dad always gave our last dog a couple a week and her coat was fab.

    • FunTimesGuide

      Yes, just regular olive oil.

  • shyjukumar
  • Lauren CW

    Thanks Lynnette for the “Olive Oil” suggestion for my Lab. He’s already doing better!

    • FunTimesGuide

      Yay! So glad to hear that, Lauren. Thanks for sharing 😀

  • Christi

    I have a wire haired mini dachshund. He had dry, flaky skin, hair loss, sores and was scratching constantly. I took him to the vet and they gave him a shot of antibiotics and had me give him oral antibiotics for a couple weeks. The sores improved but the dry, flaky skin was horrible! I read this article and tried the olive oil in his food every other day and after a few weeks, I’m so happy to say that he has a full coat of shiny, healthy fur with no flakes and no more scratching. I can’t thank you enough! His coat hasn’t looked this good since he was a puppy. Thanks from Oscar and his mommy!

  • VTMT

    I have a long-haired Chihuahua and a Pomeranian. Both dogs at the same time of year for about the same length of time itch like crazy. This has been going on for about 4-5 years. We have run the gamut; they have had fish diets, we have tried all sorts of “remedies.” We have tried different shampoos for itching and products for “hot spots” and still every year around August through the end of October (no heat is on) they have the itch. Last year the pom got so bad the vet gave her a steroid shot. I think it is some sort of allergen where I live in the air or something. It is odd that it affects both animals…same length of time and same time of year.

    I am going to try the olive oil. I hope it helps…we are in the middle of the “itch” season right now.

  • juls

    i have spent loads on vets fees and still no joy, my staff has these dry scabs that look like spots on her sides and legs she does not itch or scratch then and she fit and full of life what could be the problem she is on dry food and eats well

  • robert

    my yellow lab has been itching for years and years. she’s stayed with my father up until now and he’s tried baths and everything and its never gone away. he didnt have the money to take her to the vet..but her skin is very pink she itches all the time and has even scarred her face, parts of her underside and ears are black and swollen from the constant scratching. i feel sooooo bad for her I cant bare AT ALL to watch anymore. Ive tried giving her Benadryl a couple of times to help relieve the itching for a few hours but even that doesnt help. So now Im off to try this in high HOPES that it will work. Poor baby doesnt deserve this. ALSO, I have a full prescription of Cephalexin which I read up on and is a safe antibiotic for dogs so I may try that as well because her ears itch her almost worse then he scarred body theyre swollen, black and smell. seems like an ear infection as well. but I hope feeding her olive oil helps!! is there “too much”? like could i put it in her food every night for the first week or so?

    • FunTimesGuide

      Yes you can do that. It wouldn’t be a problem

    • BlackJesus

      believe it or not, Vagisil is great for fungal ear infections, a tip from a friends vet. He said it worked great, ears cleared up in 3-4 days. make sure to clean the ears out with warm water daily before applying and don’t use qtips. there will probably be a lot shaken out by your dog shaking its head.

  • Mary

    My 5 y/o Golden Retriever is on fish oil, vit E, hypoallergenic shampoo, leave in conditioner, special food for his allergies, I brush him with the furminator almost everyday, all of these seems to help a little bit but he still scratching, has dry skin, flakes… Definitely, I’m going to start the Olive oil today, but I have a question, Can I give him both oils? Maybe,Twice a week the olive and daily the fish oil? So he can benefit of both? Thanks!!! Excellent article, glad to find your blog, I just join your facebook page.

    • FunTimesGuide

      Yes you can give him both oils. For several weeks I did the same thing

  • beth

    My dog has dry skin by the base of his tail and he bites and licks it all the time, I’ve started giving him cod liver oil tablets one a day can I also give him olive oil, he’s driving me crazy with the licking he’s been wormed and flead and the only thing I can see is one scab also been putting sudocrem on there

    • FunTimesGuide

      Beth – not sure. Might be too much oil if you combine both. Your dog obviously has something different going on and should see a vet

  • Robin Caisse Carpenter

    Thank you so much for putting this information up – our chocholate lab, Charlotte, is a mess most of the time unless we put her on steroids, which could shorten her life so I can’t wait to start with her dinner tonight – I’m sure she’ll love it! I’ve tried a few other things like fish oil, in her food, herbal supplements, all natural sprays and tonics….nothing seems to work for very long….crossing my fingers : )

  • Denise

    Update, this is actually working well for my German Shepard Mix Puppy, I have also changed his food from chicken to lamb, still same brand, when I brush him flakes are starting to diminish and his coat has a nice shine to it again, I’ve also noticed the more I brush him the better his skin gets as long as hes getting the olive oil. I was brushing him often before as well but there was no shine and major amounts of flakes aside for his bald spots and scabs. His bald spots are growing back, almost completely as of now. Thanks again for the great advise. How long should I keep up with this remedy?

  • Judy Savoie

    Today I decided to put olive oil on my YellowLab/Golden Ret. (Jake) dog food, he has been itchy scratchy for a few yrs. I feel so bad for him. I looked up dry itchy skin & found this page! I was so thrilled that olive oil was the answer!!! I also thought about (human) vit. E & fish oil. I will keep this up & see what the results are!!!! Thanks to your page I know I made the right choice!

  • Deboah

    Hi…..I have a 15 month old Standard Poodle that I rescued from the shelter. He just started with this flaky skin issue, and your olive oil remedy sound wonderful. Going to the grocery to buy some for him. Can’t wait for it to give him some relief. Thanx!!!

  • Cindy Garcia

    My dog has very thin fine hair, she is a very tiny yorkie under 3lbs.
    any tips on thickening her hair.Thanks

    • FunTimesGuide

      Cindy – The olive oil mentioned above should help to thicken your dog’s coat. In addition, oily foods (fish oils), regular use of a conditioner. You can also keep some olive oil in a spray bottle and spray your dog’s coat on the fly. For what it’s worth, I’m told that shaving a dog’s coat makes it grow back really thick.

  • Charity

    Thank you So so so much I have a 7 month old German Shepherd. Just took her to the vet and spent over $200.00 to have them tell me They really werent sure what was going on. While she was on the Table I notice a TON of Dandruff and I said something. They wanted to give her steroids in 2 weeks if it didnt get Better. You can Bet Im gonna do the olive oil. She has 3 bald spots I will let you know if it works for Her!!!!

    • FunTimesGuide

      Wow – let us know how the olive oil works!

  • disonba3

    my vet recommed cod liver oil for my sheltie, they tend to have very dry skin, not only does Aidain love the taste, his coat & eyes are bright & shining, so many people comment on his fur “coat: telling me how beautiful it is & how I must have to groom him every day; not true, two or three licks a day with his brush is all needed!

  • Larry C Draskovich

    my dog has had a cast on her leg for 3 months and the vet said when it comes off her leg will be very scaley and gross looking what can i bathe her with to help in the healing of her skin and to keep her from chewing on it?

    • FunTimesGuide

      I would recommend an oatmeal-based dog shampoo. It’s super gentle, super hydrating, mildly cleaning, and stops itching. Of course your vet is a great source for recommendations as well on the day the cast is removed 😀

    • Marky

      I just ordered and tried the ImmuneIQ test for my Puppy, Pichi.. Maybe that will work for you?

  • mr.3ric

    My 5 months old choco lab have also dry skin and dandruff. It is ok to used POMACE olive oil on my labs food?or only natural olive oil??

  • mony

    I have 2 yorkies ..they have bad allergies..right now scratching so bad she is raw..the vet gave me predisone last week for emergencies..I gave her a half like vet said.and a clavamox because looks infected now..she eats ground sirlon..I steam fresh veggies for them..and snacks I bake them yams..I’m tired of going to vet and giving them steroid injections..and it gets costly..they are also allergic to grass and pollen..somtimes they eat rx kangaroo dog food..can you suggest a brand food..with no chicken or turkey biproducts and no soy..they need help We have spent 1000’s of dollars in 4 months..please help

    • Kathy

      Use human, or dog, detox drops, first you must get the allergies out, then a great skin and coat vitamin, omega 3 oils, and get the anal glands checked. Allergies gather in that area. I also double boil three cloves of fresh minced garlic, with four table spoons of olive oil, for 40 min. and rub my dog all over. It is a natural antiseptic, and also fleas, and ticks, ect. hate it.

    • sherrie hunter

      I have a black female pit bull that is 8 yrs old. She has had allergies all her life! I haven’t been able to afford testing for her and I don’t want her on steroids etc! I found that when we lived on the farm my land lord had corn drying in silo’s that he would dry and it would get into the air! That made my girl loose her hair and constanly scratch herself bald! So I started feeding her no grain food! I use Natures Choice,or Nutro, Blue, or wellness brand foods! No grain! They also offer no chicken and other varieties and are sold at Pet Smart and Petco, and also online. Also I put hydrocortisone cream on her itchy spots (can get from any drug store or dollar store or walmart). If it gets out of hand her scratching (she is allergic to flees also) I give her a Benedryl every 12 hrs as the vet did say she can have. She is still dry skin in winter so I use the fish oil and open the capsol right over her food and mix it in! She is sooo much better and still does scratch but I at least can help her out as to not do it as bad as before! Good luck

    • Tamera Lynn

      My yorkie has done the best on Natural Balance- sweet potato and fish/salmon only.

  • Melissa

    More people should be like you! I know this was written 3 years ago but I’m just reading it now. It’s a good thing he went to you rather than someone else. It isn’t his fault that he was raised by scumbags which caused him to be scared and snappy.

    I have a male Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua. He also gets very itchy. I give him dry fish based dog food, one vitamin E capsule every day and also use an itch stop shampoo which definitely helps. But, sometimes, it still starts up again. Putting Cortizone 10 on the area stops the itch during these times. I’m going to try the olive oil and hopefully it will give that little bit of extra help that is sometimes needed.

    How did the olive oil work out for you?

  • Connie

    Reading these comments…I see that especially a lot of Labs seem to have real dry skin. I have read about other breads in the comments but more so about labs. My dog (Molly, a black lab) also has real dry skin and like most I’ve read, the vet says its allergies. Well, we’ve changed her food and I also started feeding her canned green beans and baby carrots. She has been on the same food since she was a pup and is now 7 yrs old. I decided to just see what the internet had to say about dogs with real dry skin and came across this page. Thank you so much for the olive oil tip. I too, am going to start the oil treatments. I am on a fixed income and taking her to the vet is killing me. I sure pray the olive oil works. Thanks again and I’ll let u all know how it works after a few weeks.

  • Gigi

    After reading several post, I realize Labs seem to be prone to this extremely dry skin condition. My Black Lab/Husky mix had beautiful skin and a beautiful coat until the last couple of years. I have tried several remedies and nothing has worked. My dog (Max) will not go to the vet without being sedated. He loves to ride but when we get to the vet’s office, he WILL NOT go in! He’s around 100 lbs and refuses to be pushed or coaxed in. His scratching has become almost constant and he’s beginning to pull his hair out. Recently, I’ve noticed a powdery substance over my floor only to discover its flakes of skin. I am so happy to hear that “Olive Oil” may possibly resolve his issue that I added Extra Virgin Olive Oil to his food a min ago. I use the product that Lori Turner-Brown spoke about (Olive Oil Spray) seeing on the ethnic hair care aisle. I never thought about using it on Max but it makes sense because it feels wonderful to my scalp so I am trying it on him also. I am sweeping, dust mopping and mopping daily anyway so I don’t have a problem with the oil getting on my floor. I have changed his food to a much better one and I am praying that these changes together provide him with relief. I will give it a few days and let you know. Thanks for sharing!

    • FunTimesGuide

      My pleasure! The olive oil will definitely be helpful for your dog’s dry skin. Personally, I only use the olive oil every few weeks during the spring and summer months. But I use it daily in the fall and winter months. I keep a squirt bottle of olive oil near his dog food, so it’s always handy! P.S. After filling my dog’s bowl with kibble, if I don’t add the olive oil some days, he’ll look at me like, “Hey, where’s the gravy?!” He loves it 😀

    • karen

      how about an update?

  • kdparker53

    We have adopted our “grandbeagle” while our son and family are in Okinawa… his itching is driving me crazy! Just his back, which he tries to rub on everything. I started putting olive oil on his kibble last night… then found this post this morning. I am reassured by all the positive remarks. I think Sampson’s problem stems from the change in environment. He was living down south where it’s a more temperate climate… now I have him in the snow and dry heat. Btw, he doesn’t like the taste of the olive oil, I have to mask it with a tsp. of chicken gravy. lol

    • FunTimesGuide

      kdparker53 – You’re probably right about the change in environment affecting Sampson’s skin issue. And good idea to mix with chicken gravy or something that he does like. (As long as too much gravy doesn’t make him gain weight.) Two other good options are: 1) Fish oil pills or krill oil pills. They’re usually gel-caps, so they go down REALLY easily. 2) A good quality dog food that is fish-based. I mix my dog’s regular kibble with a little bit of Salmon & Sweet Potato kibble as well. *Hugs to Sampson*

      • kdparker53

        Thanks for the reply! I do worry about weight, because beagles gain very quickly. But he won’t eat his kibble w/o something anyway. ( My son used to do this little dance and sprinkle his food around the kitchen after he got Sampson all excited… I’m just plain too old!! ) lol So I doctor it a little. I just started the olive oil, but thought about fish oil too…( how many do you suggest, 1 a day ? ) I think I’ll give this a few days and see how we make out. Adding some Salmon & Sweet potato is a good idea too. That’s what I fed my bullie Arlo… now there’s a breed with allergies! Thanks again …. <3

  • Vf Carnahan

    I have a mini fox terrier, her skin very dry and flakey, sheading badly also, I am going to try olive oil, she is only 7lbs, how much olive oil should I use and how often any one know?

  • Sandra

    Hello, I have a shih tzu mix, she constantly scratches and has flaky skin. I took her to the vet and he just gave me some vitamins and a shampoo. But it dont seem to help out a lot. He said it was normal for dogs to scratch. I feel so bad for her because that’s all she does scratch all day and night. Would olive oil help her out? Or is there something I could do to help the flaky skin and the scratching?

    • FunTimesGuide

      Can’t say for sure, but if it were me I’d definitely try it. That said, you may want to ask your vet first about using the olive oil — because he or she already knows more about your dog’s specific condition… possible allergies… and skin issues. (P.S. You might want to try a different vet.)

    • tstric01

      My mini Dachshund scratches constantly & I believe it’s dry food related….hate the stuff. I’ve tried combinations of meds & shampoos without a lot of relief for her. I am trying Salmon oil which is helping & will add Olive Oil to her food. I’m also researching the raw food diet…none of the chemicals added to the food….but not quite ready to start it yet. Just know I don’t want ANYTHING from China in her food, along with NO CHEMICALS or PRESERVATIVES either. There just HAS to be something I can do to help her….

      • FunTimesGuide

        tstric01 – Speaking from my own experience, these are the things that have helped to relieve my dog’s dry, itchy skin: all-natural Salmon & Sweet Potato dry dog food, Olive Oil on the dry dog food each time, and Fish Oil supplements daily. I also stopped bathing him as much as I used to because shampoos in general are pretty drying. (Oatmeal & Aloe ones are best.)

      • Miriam Prider


        If you are a bit reticent about a total raw food diet at the moment, try a couple of raw chicken necks a day and I make my small dog slow cooked casseroles of beef and ox liver with mixed veggies and apple blitzed in my food processor, good beef stock,a can of tomatoes and a little soy sauce – she loves it. The chicken version is chicken and chicken livers with some bacon, veggies and good chicken stock. I fry the meat first in both cases in a good slug of olive oil, and you can add some kelp and fish oil if you want. I make enough to freeze in weighed amounts in small containers, two meals each container. I weigh to allow for a small amount of Orijen dried food per day for crunch and the chicken necks, which are fantastic nutritionally for all dogs and cats. I also feed my dog raw beef, venison, chicken and canned tuna, but the casseroles are a way of getting her to eat veggies and fruit and will be great if you are nervous about an all raw foods diet. You could also make your dog a fish casserole. My dog will eat raw blitzed veggies and fruit if I mix it with some raw beef mince. Our Isla is a very healthy dog and I know exactly what I feed her and none of it is compromised in any way. Dogs don’t need grains if they are fed a variety of fresh veggies and fruit. We have an organic fruit and veggie garden so Isla gets a good variety. Good luck with your wee dachshund.


  • Betty Howell

    How much olive oil to give a a5 pound poodle with itchy skin? Nobody has mentioned weight or dosage. I used to use an oil product 40 + years ago for my 17 pound poodle but the guy I now have weighs 15 pounds. Thanks!

    • FunTimesGuide

      Betty – My dog is 90 lbs. and the vet said “pour a tablespoon or so of Olive Oil right on his food 2 to 3 times each week”. (As you can see, it’s not an exact science and there is no specific formula.) I’ve been pouring a tablespoon or so of Olive Oil right on my dog’s food every other day for years – it works. I usually take the summer’s off because his skin isn’t so dry that time of year. My opinion for a 15 lb. dog: pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil on your dog’s food 2-3 times each week. Want to know for sure specifically with your dog? Ask your vet.

  • Jennifer Ruf

    i have a 40 lb rotty. shes not even 6 mnths old yet how much olive oil do i add to her food

  • Eliza

    Mixture of Olive oil and Salmon oil is the best to overcome the dog seasonal allergies.

  • TLB335

    Great article- I use omega 3 oil capsules on my Boxer cross who can suffer from dry, itchy fur. Makes sense olive oil would work just as well.

  • The Bark

    Thanks for sharing our Winterizing Your Dog’s Coat article!

    • FunTimesGuide

      The Bark – my pleasure. It’s filled with great tips :-)

  • Louise

    I have a dog and he had the exact same problem (itchy & dry skin) he itches so bad sometimes that he causes sores…we took him to the vets and they said that he had a allergy to pollen so they also put him on antibiotics and steroids. The steroids were not fun they can have some effects (my dog had a few accidents in the house as it made him wee a lot!!!) When we wash him we use hibi scrub instead of dog shampoo…its an antiseptic wash that the vet recommended and we also started putting olive oil in his food and it has done wonders for his fur because at one point he was so patchy. The hibi scrub you can get from the chemist and it is so much better for him than the dog shampoo we used to use but ask vets before using it!!!

    • FunTimesGuide

      Louise – thanks for sharing your what worked for your dog and for the tips!

  • Lindsay Christensen

    I have two puggles and the younger is allergic to many things specifically grass pollens. Its hard to keep a dog like her off the grass so we were constantly dealing with itchiness and rashes. We tried expensive immunal therapy shots and it just did not work, as a matter of fact made it worse. It also killed me to keep giving her prednisone because of how hard it is on their bodies. Through a friend my husband was introduce to Pur03 Olive Oil and thought it would work for the dog. It did. Rubbing the olive oil salve on her nightly and a daily Claritin has reduced the need for prednisone by a lot. She still itches and the allergies will always be there but if we can give her more relief and less medication it’s worth it. I didn’t know you could also give the olive oil to her in her food. I’ll have to try it.

  • Erika Daniel

    How does the olive oil effect their bowel movements? My pup already has looser stools.

  • FunTimesGuide

    Yay! Let us know how it goes, Lori 😀

  • Lori Turner- Brown

    Ok. I’m back to report…THIS WORKED FOR MY LAB, HANK!!!! We are the end of the second week ( not sure why the post says 3 days ago, but anyway) of adding Olive oil to his food and his scratching has all stopped!!!! His sores from the previous scratching are healing and his hair is growing back. I’ve bathed him in the olive oil shampoo and leave in conditioner. The nasty smell is gone and hasn’t returned. his coat is shiny and looks beautiful!!!! Lynnette, I can not express how thankful I am to you and finding your post. Like you, I was begining to think Hank had an incurable skin disease. Thank YOU!!!! So SOOOO much :) Hank thanks you TOO!!!!! :)

  • FunTimesGuide

    Awe! love the pic of Hank 😀 Thanks for the update, Lori. I’m SOOOOO thrilled to hear this worked for you. *hugs to Hank*

  • Pam Arbour Begoske

    He looks just like our chocolate lab Murphy! Murphy has bad skin allergies and also rubs his eyes on the furniture and everything else. The vet has done the antibiotic and steroid thing too and it did help for awhile. Now it is winter and dry in the house and his flaky dandruff is terrible! I am going to try olive oil and see what happens. I was also reading online about krill oil but I don’t know much about it.

  • FunTimesGuide

    The Krill Oil is supposed to be even better, but it’s more expensive. Since the regular olive oil works so well, and it costs less, I’ve been sticking with the good old fashioned olive oil. (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.)

  • Pam Arbour Begoske

    Note on Murphy: I have been giving him krill oil tablets twice a day and also changed his food to Holistic Selects fish formula. It has been almost a month and he still has bad dandruff and he is scratching and rubbing his face/eyes on everything! Ugh! I was reading today about Flowers of Sulphur. Has anyone ever tried it? I comes in a soap or a powder and can also be ingested or added to olive oil and applied to the skin. It has been around for years and used by farmers for mange and skin conditions. I am going to try this now and see what happens. I hate having him scratching all the time!

  • FunTimesGuide

    Pam – The olive oil / krill oil isn’t going to help a bad skin allergy. It’s a good thing to try when someone first notices their dog starting to itch a lot, but it probably won’t make much of a difference in extreme cases. Unfortunately, lots of dogs have legit skin allergies and they need to receive (ongoing) treatment from a veterinarian to put an end to all the itching – as you already know, since the ‘antibiotic and steroid thing’ has helped your dog before. P.S. I’ve never tried Flowers of Sulphur