How to get rid of dry eczema on dogs

Updated November 21, 2016

It is not uncommon for dogs to suffer from skin conditions. Allergic reactions, fleas or even hot weather can trigger an outbreak of canine eczema, which can lead to itchy, red patches of dry, flaky skin. This can bring on rounds of vigorous scratching, which can result in hair loss, open sores and even infection. There are many ways to get rid of dry eczema in dogs.

Take your dog to be veterinarian if you suspect he has eczema. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between eczema and mange. In fact, eczema is frequently referred to as "red mange" by dog owners. While both conditions cause itchy patches of red skin, eczema is generally dry and flaky, while mange, which is caused by parasites, is weepy and generates an unpleasant aroma. Be certain you know which your dog has before starting treatment.

Treat your dog for fleas. Infestation by fleas is one of the most common causes of eczema in dogs. Apply a topical flea treatment to the dog and then treat the house and yard with insecticide. Wash the dog bedding in hot water with strong soap, and vacuum the entire house, paying particular attention to the corners and baseboards, where fleas like to hide.

Change the dog's diet for 3 to 4 weeks, while the eczema is being treated. She should be given boiled and shredded meats with rice or toast and mixed vegetables. It is possible your dog is allergic to an ingredient in her dog food. When she returns to her normal diet, watch closely for signs of recurrent eczema. If the symptoms reappear, you will need to permanently switch to a different brand of dog food. Additionally, you can add neem leaf tea to the dog food or water to bolster the healing process.

Wash the dog in a gentle shampoo. If possible choose one that has been specifically formulated to relieve itchy skin or that is labelled "for sensitive skin" (see Resources). After the bath, make sure the dog is dried properly and brushed well.

Apply aloe vera gel to inflamed areas. Alternatively, you can make a tea from marigolds and apply it to the dog's skin to reduce the itch, soothe irritation and promote the growth of healthy skin. The tea is made by placing 3 flowers in 1 cup of boiling water. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes. Remove the flowers and wait for the brew to cool. Swab the tea over the affected area with a cotton ball.

Trim the dog's toenails. By making the nails blunt, you reduce the risk of your dog making things worse by constantly scratching an itchy area.


If your dog has eczema, steer clear of dog clothing, as this only aggravates the condition. Chamomile tea can be used in place of marigold, if you prefer it, and it is readily available in most supermarkets.


Do not put human skin moisturisers on your dog, as they may trigger an allergic reaction.

Things You'll Need

  • Topical flea treatment, such as Frontline or Advantage
  • Insecticide
  • Boiled meat
  • Rice
  • Vegetables
  • Dog shampoo
  • Aloe vera gel
  • 3 marigold flowers or chamomile tea bag
  • Cotton balls
  • Dog nail clippers
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About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.