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puppy having a bath

Keeping Your Puppy’s Skin Healthy

3 min read
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Sponsored by PRO PLAN

Dry skin can be an extremely irritating problem for puppies as when skin begins to turn dry, it will also turn itchy.

Young puppies won’t be able to resist this itch and you will find them constantly scratching to try and relieve the itch. Scratching these itches can be very harmful and damaging. Scratching leads to broken skin and bleeding, which can then lead to even more severe skin issues.

The good news is there are a number of steps you can take to minimise the risk of dry skin and reduce any itching and keep your puppy’s coat at its best.



Brushing the coat is one of the best ways to prevent dry skin in dogs. Each time you brush your puppy’s coat it wipes away any dry skin flakes resting on the surface. These skin flakes can cause irritation if left to build up, and this irritation will ultimately lead to your dog scratching.

Brushing also helps to encourage oil glands in your puppy’s skin to develop. These glands are an important part of keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy and at its best. Brushing your puppy from a young age gets them used to grooming and helps make it a fun lifelong habit.

Olive oil

Olive oil is full of good fatty acids that will help nourish your dog’s skin. Fatty acids such as omega 3 are crucial to your puppy’s skin and coat development. Adding just a few drops to the daily food can make a real difference, especially if they are already suffering from dry skin.


Puppy shampoo

If you have to bath your puppy, make sure you are using a puppy-based shampoo – don’t ever use your own (even if it says it is moisturing or gentle). Our skin has a different pH balance from that of our dogs and what is perfect for us, will not suit your dog’s skin and may well make the itches far worse.

Puppy shampoo can support your puppy’s coat whilst they are developing into an adult. Most puppy shampoos contain a range of different oils and ingredients to improve the elasticity of your dog’s skin. These special ingredients also help to repair and nourish any skin that may have become slightly dry.

If your dog came from a breeder, ask them to recommend the best shampoo for your puppy’s coat type or else ask your vet to recommend the best pet shampoo for your dog’s age and breed.


Keeping your dog hydrated is important for a number of reasons. One of these reasons is that a dehydrated puppy could develop skin and coat problems. Skin issues such as loss of elasticity and wrinkles are a sign of dehydration.

Always make sure your dog always has constant access to fresh clean water. If your puppy resists drinking or you don’t think they are drinking enough, you should take them to your vet, to check they are well enough hydrated and to make sure there isn’t a more serious issue behind the problem.


Choosing the right food for a healthy puppy skin

The kind of food you feed your puppy can impact the health of their coat and skin. If you’re looking for a complete dog food that’s clinically proven to support healthy skin, consider PURINA® PRO PLAN® Dog Puppy Sensitive Skin with OPTIDERMA®. This diet has been specifically created to help puppies with skin issues.

Each bowl helps reduce possible skin discomfort associated with food sensitivity thanks to selected source of protein (more than 90% coming from salmon) and the inclusion of skin-targeting nutrients such as zinc, essential fatty acids and vitamins A, E, and B.