Skin Moisturizer for Dogs???

Updated on October 07, 2010
S.D. asks from Largo, FL
10 answers

Does anyone know if there is a fairly cheap skin moisturizer for dogs? My dog has bald spots on the bottom of her legs from licking. This started around April and she has been licking more lately. We believe it is related to anxiety / nervousness (prob since DS likes to "bother" her more than he used to). Apparently she wasn't really licking or picking at her legs last time we went on vacation (10 day trip & she was with my in-laws), which leads us to believe it's behavioral, not allergies - plus she's 10yrs old, why would she develop an allergy now when nothings changed? Anyway, because of the picking, she also has areas of staph on her skin. I went to the vet to get a special shampoo for that hoping to avoid antibiotics again.
But back to my original question. I've noticed the bald areas (scar tissue per the vet) look dry. Is there anything topical and over the counter, not to expensive hopefully, that we can use on her legs? It would have to be safe to lick too. We are giving her Benadryl 2x/day to help with the itching and anxiety. I have been using a Hot Spot spray on her legs sometimes too, which seems to help a little (I think). Any suggestions would be great! Thanks a bunch!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I did call the vets office today and can increase the Benadryl use up to 3x/day. Also, they said that Petsmart sells a Fish Oil spray (I couldn't find it online though). She has her food out at all times, so putting olive oil or fish oil on her food would get pretty nasty from sitting out. So for now we just stick with what we are doing and maybe try a different spray if needed. The skin doesn't look too dry today. If none of this works for the licking / picking, we'll try to switch food, but it's $325 just for allergy testing, really not possible at this time and as long as she doesn't seem uncomfortable (which she doesn't except for the licking/picking), then we are not too concerned. We really believe it's behavioral since she really had no problems at my in-laws when our son was not around her all day. The benadryl is being used for any itching at this time and for her anxiety. She has always been a "nervous nellie" her whole life, but I think our son being around her and always wanting to hug her and pet her may have her a little more anxious. Don't worry, we're watching when he's near her to make sure he gets off her when she starts to give her warning that she's had enough.
As for the Staph, I spoke with them and they said that everyone has staph on their skin (I actually knew this already from working as a nurse). They said we have nothing to worry about, especially since her she has no open wounds, just the dry staph spots in a couple places. If they get worse or she gets more and the shampoo doesn't seem to be helping, we will have them give her antibiotics again. Last time I took her to the vet and he told me what they were my 3yr old was with me. The vet never said anything about special precautions and he would have if he was truely concerned about the family getting staph infections. Oh, and just to clarify, the staph did go away the first time. She hasn't had any of those areas for a couple of months.
But thanks again to everyone for the suggestions with everything!

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answers from Naples on

I hope that you get a better response than I did when I posted needing help for my best buddy of 14+ years. My dog has had skin problems off and on for the 14+ years that he has lived with me. When I moved to Central Fl - it was more on than off. It finally got so bad that for the better part of 2 years it was a constant battle. Here is the magic combination that finally worked for my baby. #1) I changed his food - he is now on Nutro Ultra Holistic food for Senior dogs. #2) 1 more final round of antibiotics #3) Vet's Best Tea Tree Shampoo and Spray. I initially bought it @ Petsmart - but I don't think that they carry it any more. I finally called the 800# on the bottle and was told that Petco carries it - so every so often I make the pilgrimage to Lakeland to buy it. The difference was immediate when I used that shampoo and spray on him! He stopped chewing and licking immediately, slept better and through the night, and instantly seemed more comfortable. It's in a slender, round, tall green bottle with white label and it's a miracle in a bottle for us. I just wash him with the shampoo, and when he is almost dry I spray him with the spray and rub it in. I spray anything that looks suspicious right away and nothing has gotten out of control since early last December when I found this stuff. Literally - I don't think that he had been comfortable in over 2 years. Every time that we would finish an antibiotic - he would relapse within 2 days of ending the pills. Also - FYI, when he had an infection on his pinkie toe - the vet told me to wash his foot several times a day with Selsun Blue shampoo and told me that it's a really strong anti-fungal.
Good luck! I hope that this helps.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Just an fyi, if she's been diagnosed with an actual staph infection, you might want to keep her away from the kids and others, and take extra precaution to santize areas that she hangs out until she's cured. Staph infections can spread to humans. Don't knock the antibiotics in this instance...especially if you have really young ones who like to hang on the dog etc. If she's not fully recovered, I'd consider doing another round to be sure she's on the mend for the sake of the family's health.


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answers from Hartford on

Try Bag Balm, it works great for these kind of things.

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answers from New York on

i seem to remember adding fish oil or some other kind of oil to their food

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answers from Tampa on

I add olive oil to my cats food for dry skin.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you tried adding olive oil to her food?
You can also apply it right to the skin. Could use a spritzer bottle.

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answers from Los Angeles on

when my dog had a similar problem my vet told me to get fish oil capsules and open the capsule and rub it on the dry area - perfectly safe, cheap and a good moisturizer

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answers from Sarasota on

You can use peanut oil or fish oil on the food (I prefer peanut oil, as fish oil makes our dog VERY smelly!) and an oatmeal based shampoo.

Our dog has skin problems and along with the benadryl, the above always works when she has an "attack." Allergies can show up in older dogs as their immune system sometimes becomes less efficient.

I also agree with JL, staph infections can spread and should be dealt with very seriously. Topical treatment may work temporarily, but may not work in the long wrong as staph can find places to hide and pop back up again. I would do both the topical shampoo AND internal antibiotics to get rid of the staph.

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answers from Miami on

She has food allergies, they can develop at any time. Go to and find a local place that sells it. Slowly transiton her to it and you won't ever have another problem again. We use it for my 3 boys and I have all my friend's pets on it. No one ever had another problem after switching. All the toxins are pooped and peed out over the first few days. For a great wash, buy Murphy's Oil Soap and scrub with that and rinse. She will smell lemony for a few days but it is great for their coats.

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answers from Boca Raton on

really not good to have medicine. You may want to change her food. Also, take some water in a bowl, add 5 drops of lavender and tea tree oil. Get a cloth, dip in and apply the compress on your dog. It should help.

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