Petstock logo
HomeRight caret
BlogRight caret
Article Featured Image
February 2024

Why Does Your Dog’s Fur Feel Dry?

Health & NutritionGrooming

We all want our pooch to have a healthy, lustrous, shiny coat. And not just for the looks. We're all told it's a sign of good health. So, what if your dog's fur feels dry and unhealthy.

Don't fret; you can reinvigorate your dog's coat with a bit of love, attention, and, most importantly, the correct diagnosis.

With the help of our Petstock Grooming experts and resident Petstock VET, Dr Kathy Macmillan, this article unpacks the subject of dry fur in dogs.

How Do You Define Dry Fur in Dogs?

Concerned about your dog’s dry fur? Or maybe it’s always been coarse, but you’re not quite sure what’s normal? If you own a wire-haired breed, a coat with a coarse texture is perfectly normal. The coat should feel bristly when you touch it, and it’s designed this way to protect the dog from harsh weather conditions and terrains.

Think, fox terriers, Jack Russell terriers, schnauzers, Airedale terriers, Irish wolfhounds and more.

Dry fur, unrelated to breed, is when the texture becomes brittle and breaks easily – this shouldn’t occur for a dog with a healthy coat. You may also notice lots of itching, dander (dry skin) and loose, broken hair. If this is the case, it’s time to check this out further.

Causes Of Dog Fur Becoming Coarse or Dry

Article Image

No matter the breed of the dog, your dog’s coat should appear healthy – shiny and lustrous. If it looks dull and feels brittle, this can be due to several reasons.

1. Allergies and other causes of scratching

Suppose your dog’s fur or coat is dry and scratched frequently. In that case, these could be linked and indicate your dog is reacting to allergies: environmental allergens, food allergies and even external parasites.

2. Nutrient deficiencies

A poor diet or one lacking the proper nutrients can cause a flow-on effect to a poor coat and dry dog fur. Protein and some fatty acids are essential for maintaining a healthy coat. Some diets and food can lack these key elements, so it’s important you talk to your local vet with the option of switching to a more premium diet or even the addition of supplements to improve coat quality.

3. Insufficient grooming or over-grooming

Unfortunately, it is possible to overgroom your dog. A particular grooming routine may not suit your dog’s coat type and lead to dry fur with some good intentions. Avoid washing your dog too frequently, as this dries out the good oils on the skin’s surface. Overbrushing can also cause brush burn and irritation, leading to broken skin and hair.

4. Health conditions

A healthy dog often equals a healthy coat – and vice versa. If your dog has a health condition or is unwell, this can lead to a poor coat. For example, for puppies, if they have worms, it’s common they can appear to have a dull and dried coat – among other signs. A change in coat density and quality in older dogs can be the first sign of endocrine disease (a hormonal disease).

Dog Dry Coat Remedies and Solutions

Article Image

If your dog’s fur feels dry or unhealthy it doesn’t mean it’s for life. As explained, the reason for your dog’s dry fur or dull coat can be from one of many factors – all primarily treatable. It’s important to identify the reason behind your dog’s poor coat condition before trying to treat it. However, some simple grooming routine and diet changes can often make all the difference.

Home Remedies For A Shiny Dog Coat

1. Choosing the right shampoo: Sometimes, it’s the small things that count. Dogs have different pH and thickness when it comes to their skin, so you should opt for shampoos designed specifically for dogs – not humans! Even better, try hypoallergenic shampoos with no added fragrance to minimise irritation.

2. The correct grooming routine: Not every dog has the same coat or grooming requirements; ensure you find out the best grooming requirements for your dog’s breed or coat. Some long-haired breeds require regular and consistent brushing to maintain good coat health. Brushing also gets rid of tangles, removes undercoat and any dull or dry hair the dog is shedding. Oils from the hair base are dispersed along the shaft of the hair in the brushing process – keeping strands strong, protected, and healthy.

**Find the perfect grooming brush. Or visit a PETstock Grooming salon.

3. Maintaining a healthy diet: Healthy fats/essential fatty acids play a crucial role in keeping your dog’s coat and ensuring it remains healthy. Most high-quality dog foods contain Zinc, B, B3 and B6 and Omega.

4. Trying supplements: If your vet identifies your dog to have vitamin deficiencies or a health condition that can’t be catered for in their daily food intake, supplements can help give them a boost to heal dry skin and dull or dry coat.

Products For Dry Dog Fur

If your dog’s fur feels dry, listless, or unhealthy, some dog products can help. First though, before your buy, speak to a professional or vet to ensure you’re buying the right product for your dog’s coat needs.

Supplements: If your dog is missing vital nutrients in their diet and affecting their coat health, ask your vet about any supplements that may help improve coat condition. Consider some of these brands for coat and skin supplements:

Shampoos: Finding the right shampoo for your dog can make a huge difference to your dog’s dry fur or unhealthy coat. Consider some of these brands your dog’s coat needs and solutions:

Food: For dogs with sensitive skin, resulting in coat health issues, you can choose specialised food types and diets. Some brands offer food for dogs with sensitive skin, but make sure you consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet – and always make any diet changes occur gradually.

Consult a Petstock Vet
If you’re concerned about your dog’s dry fur or overall coat health, always look to consult your vet before making any drastic dietary or grooming changes. You can find Petstock VET locations across Australia, and alternatively, you can reach out via 9PETstock’s VET Chat](

“A take-home message is that your dog’s general coat appearance can be the first indicator of health problems. A healthy dog will have a healthy coat. Pairing grooming and vet visits together allow you to catch any underlying conditions and diseases early. The quicker the treatment, the less likely any issues will have a lasting effect on your pet,” says PETstock VET, Dr Kathy Macmillan.

Various sizes available