Which dog skin and coat medications are best?
Most dogs are sensitive to their environment. Anything from airborne allergens to skin conditions to parasites could cause its skin to become itchy, red or infected. When this happens, it can cause your pet’s coat to become dull and dry or even lead to bald spots. The good news is that there are dog skin and coat medications that can help treat or even prevent these problems. The best one is the Apoquel Tablets for Dogs because it can soothe itching and reduce inflammation quickly and effectively.
What to know before you buy dog skin and coat medications
Purpose and how they work
Many dogs are prone to atopic dermatitis which, according to PetMD, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition most commonly associated with allergies. It’s among the most common allergy-related skin diseases found in canines. There are many causes of atopic dermatitis, but the most common ones are:
- Mold spores
- Dead skin cells
- Dust mites
- Proteins found in certain parasites, such as fleas
- Other medications
Most medications and supplements for your dog’s skin and coat health work by providing fast or ongoing relief to itching or inflammation caused by these allergens. Medications usually contain active anti-inflammatory ingredients, vitamins and minerals to alleviate these symptoms and moisturize the skin. This can also help prevent excessive itching and hair loss while bringing back your pet’s shiny coat.
If your canine is susceptible to environmental allergens, another way to prevent and treat coat and skin conditions is with regular grooming and bathing. This includes incorporating a quality dog shampoo that adds moisture to its skin and strengthens its coat.
Skin and coat medications for canines come in the following forms:
- Tablet or capsule: Some of these can be swallowed whole, while others can be broken up into dog food. If your pet doesn’t take the medication on its own, wrap it up in a pill pouch treat and administer it that way.
- Ointment: Meant for topical use, these can usually be applied directly to the affected area.
- Oils: Some oils can be applied topically, while others should be administered using a dropper in the dog’s mouth.
- Powder: Usually found in supplements, powders can be mixed in with wet food or water. Some are flavored to make them more appealing.
- Chewable: For dogs that don’t take other forms of medication, ask your veterinarian for a chewable supplement. These often come in different flavors.
Speak with a veterinarian about your options. Also, consider your dog’s temperament and what it’s most likely to take when choosing the medication type.
Most skin and coat medications for dogs require a prescription, so consult with a veterinarian if your pet is experiencing any issues. They can help pinpoint the exact problem and prescribe something to help treat it. Once you have a prescription, you can often take it to a website such as Chewy to be filled out and delivered.
What to look for in quality dog skin and coat medications
Short-term vs. long-term relief
Many medications provide both immediate and long-term relief for itching, swelling and other skin and coat issues. It usually takes between three and 24 hours for the effects to start to kick in, though. Depending on the prescription, you could see benefits lasting for anywhere from four to eight weeks.
Although the ingredients depend on the skin and coat medication, here are the most common ones:
- Fish oil, biotin, vitamin E and B vitamins improve cell development, alleviate the symptoms of contact dermatitis and treat hair loss.
- Fatty acids, such as omega-3s combat inflammation and moisturize the skin and coat.
- Hemp seed oil heal skin infections, boost skin and coat health, reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
- Natural flavors, such as salmon or chicken, make the medication or supplement more appealing to the canine.
Prescription medications that also help combat infection often include ingredients such as nystatin and neomycin sulfate, too.
There are a few ingredients you should avoid when choosing medication, such as:
- Coconut oil
- Artificial colorants and flavorings
Quantity mostly depends on the medication type and for how long the veterinarian recommends your dog take them. Liquids are usually measured in ounces or milliliters. Supplemental chews or tablets, meanwhile, often come in 30-, 60-, 90- or 120-count containers.
If your dog has persistent skin and coat issues, consider getting a larger quantity for long-term use. On the other hand, if it only needs the occasional supplement, a smaller container could be enough.
Follow the veterinarian’s recommendation and the instructions on the label to make sure you give your pet the right dosage.
How much you can expect to spend on dog skin and coat medications
Medications usually cost $10 to $45, depending on the strength, quantity and type.
Dog skin and coat medications FAQ
What are some other ways to improve my dog’s coat and skin health?
A. Groom your pet regularly to distribute its natural oils throughout its coat and keep its skin from drying out. Also, make sure your dog’s getting enough of the right nutrients, such as proteins. Use a hydrating shampoo when bathing it, too. When in doubt, consult a veterinarian about what your dog needs based on its breed, age and health.
Can I give my dog medications meant for cats?
A. Some medications are safe for both dogs and cats, but the dosage is usually different. Follow your veterinarian’s advice before giving your pet anything new.
What are the best dog skin and coat medications to buy?
Top dog skin and coat medication
What you need to know: This concentrated medication can help combat common environmental allergens, such as pollen and dust mites, and soothe itchy or irritated skin.
What you’ll love: It’s fast-acting and can start working within 4 hours. It helps with swelling, too. And it can address the cause of skin irritation for long-term relief.
What you should consider: It’s not intended for puppies or dogs with parasitic skin infestations.
Where to buy: Sold by Petco
Top dog skin and coat medication for the money
Nutramax Welactin Omega-3 Fish Oil Skin and Coat Health Supplement For Dogs
What you need to know: This liquid supplement contains omega-3 fatty acids to help improve your pet’s skin health and coat.
What you’ll love: It can also help support a healthy heart, brain and immune system. It doesn’t require a prescription and is easy to administer as it can be added directly to your dog’s food. It comes in a pack of three.
What you should consider: This supplement doesn’t help with serious conditions, such as infections.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Salmon Bites Salmon Fish Oil Omega-3 for Dogs
What you need to know: Available in either bacon or salmon flavor, these soft chews can improve your dog’s skin condition.
What you’ll love: Each chew contains wild Alaskan salmon oil and biotin to add moisture to the skin and combat dermatitis. They also have omega-3 fatty acids to help with brain function. They come in a 90- or 250-count container.
What you should consider: They’re best when used as a supplement for mild itchy skin.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.