Why Does My Golden Retriever Have Dry Skin? Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Has your Golden Retriever been shedding excessively? Have you noticed that your Golden Retriever’s skin has been dry, and its fur coats have been dull? There are several reasons why your Golden Retriever’s skin is dry.  

Dry skin is sensitive and irritable. Your Golden Retriever has likely been itchy all over because of their dry skin. To help you understand the cause behind your Golden Retriever’s dry skin, I am going to discuss several reasons why your Golden Retriever’s skin is dry and how you should go about treating your Golden Retriever’s dry skin. 

Why Does My Golden Retriever Have Dry Skin?

Golden Retrievers develop dry skin due to several reasons. Some of the reasons include allergies, cancer, poor nourishment, parasites, infections, metabolic diseases, and the weather. However, dry skin is a symptom of other serious health issues. Golden Retrievers can worsen the problem by scratching and biting their skin.

Causes Of Dry Skin In Golden Retrievers

Causes of Dry Skin in Golden Retrievers


Like humans, dogs also suffer from several forms of allergies. Golden Retrievers are subject to environmental allergies, seasonal allergies, and food allergies. 

Environmental Allergies

Mold, pollen, dust, and grass are some commonly found examples of environmental allergens. When your Golden Retriever plays around in the grass, they are being exposed to potential allergens. Often, the more your Golden Retriever is exposed to allergens, the worse their sensitivity and reaction to those allergens become. 

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are activated once your Golden Retriever comes in contact with something that they are allergic to. This type of allergy is closely related to seasonal changes and environmental conditions present in each season.

Your Golden Retriever’s immune system is not tolerant of specific environmental conditions present in different seasons. Some of these environmental conditions are the heavy release of pollen during spring, the excessive presence of dust in spring and summer, mold bites, and flea bites.

Food Allergies

This type of allergy is less common in dogs but just as detrimental once your Golden Retriever experiences it. This allergy is known to be part of your Golden Retriever’s genetics. However, it is believed that overexposing your Golden Retriever to a specific allergen by feeding them the same food day-in-day-out can cause an allergic reaction.

Some dog foods may contain ingredients that are not biologically appropriate for dog consumption. Examples of these ingredients include grains and preservatives. In addition, some dogs are allergic to wheat, dairy, and eggs. 

Skin Allergies

The most observed causes of Golden Retriever skin allergies are flea bites, food allergies, contact allergies, and allergy to bacteria flora. When considering flea bites, fleas are not the leading cause of allergic reactions. The problem is their saliva. 

Flea bites can cause a reaction that will last between five to seven days, leaving your Golden Retriever in quite an uncomfortable state. 

You have to make sure that you have a proper Flea and Tick Treatment for your Golden. You can refer to Best Flea Medicine For Golden Retrievers to know more about it.


Parasites in the form of canine scabies, Cheyletiella mite (Walking Dandruff), and lice are responsible for your Golden Retriever’s dry skin. 

Canine scabies is an old skin disease. It is caused by the development and rapid reproduction of a superficial mite on your Golden Retriever’s skin. This mite belongs to the family of Sarcoptidae, which is responsible for between two to four present dermatology cases. In addition, this mite is one of the most commonly known causes of marked pruritus in dogs.

Metabolic diseases

Dry skin is often a symptom of a more detrimental health issue. Crushing disease and hypothyroidism are two metabolic diseases that have dry skin as common symptoms. Auto-immune health conditions can also result in your Golden Retriever’s skin is dry. 


Infections can be the cause behind your Golden Retriever’s dry skin. Unfortunately, in the cause of an infection or bacteria, dry skin is simply a symptom of a more significant problem. Infections and bacteria lead to bigger health issues, including ringworms. Ringworms are transmissible to humans, so watch out for that. And consult your veterinary surgeon for quick treatment.


Cancer is one of the leading causes behind Golden Retriever deaths. Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers are pretty susceptible to cancer. A symptom of cancer is excessive shedding and dry skin. Therefore, cancer should not be taken lightly, and if your Golden Retriever has excessively dry skin, you should consult your vet.

You can have a look at these 7 Subtle Signs of Cancer in Pets by Petmd.


During winter, the air is dry. The dry air robs your Golden Retriever’s skin of essential oils and moisture. As a result, your Golden Retriever’s now dry skin will become irritable, and they will develop dandruff. In addition, winters are often uncomfortable for Golden Retrievers; ensure that you cater to them during this time. 

Poor Nutrition

Like Humans, the Golden Retriever anatomy is incapable of producing fatty acids that are essential for your Golden Retriever’s health. These fatty acids nourish your Golden Retriever’s immune system, joints, skin, and fur. 

The only source of these essential fatty acids is through your Golden Retriever’s diet. In addition, you can find many Omega-3 fatty acid supplements that are delicious and healthy for your Golden Retriever. 

Omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids acquired from fish oil provide powerful support for your Golden Retriever’s skin and coat.

Ensuring that your Golden Retriever has a well-balanced diet that includes all the essential nutrients will have their skin looking and feeling nourished. 

Symptoms Of Dry Skin In Golden Retrievers

dry skin symptoms in golden retrievers
  • Excessive shedding
  • Inflammation
  • Scabs
  • Foul Odor
  • Dandruff
  • Itchiness
  • Sneezing
  • Irritated runny eyes

Treating Dry Skin In Golden Retrievers

Take Your Golden To The Vet

Suppose you notice that your Golden Retriever has been shedding and losing hair in clumps a lot more than usual, and they have also been scratching themselves vigorously. In that case, you should consult your veterinarian. As we have already established, dry skin is often a symptom of another health issue.

If your Golden Retriever has an allergic reaction, you should take them to your veterinarian. In severe cases, your Golden Retriever may need urgent medical attention. 

Some infections and bacteria are difficult to see with an untrained eye. However, your veterinarian will be able to diagnose your Golden Retriever and provide treatment before the condition worsens. 


Good hygiene is always recommended. Grooming is essential in maintaining your Golden Retriever’s good health. You should brush your Golden Retriever several times (3-7 times a week) to remove flakes and loose hair. Brushing your dog also stimulates the skin for more hair growth and helps to distribute oils all over your Golden Retriever’s body.

Bath your dog less frequently. Excessively bathing your dog will lead to you stripping them of essential oils needed for well-nourished skin. When you bathe your Golden Retriever, ensure that you use lukewarm water with reputable moisturizing dog shampoo and conditioner.

Good Diet

You should feed your Golden Retriever well-balanced meals to ensure that they receive all the nutrients they require. The state of your Golden Retriever’s skin is indicative of their diet. If your Golden Retriever consumes all the correct nutrients in healthy quantities, their skin will be healthy. 

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential to your Golden Retriever’s skin and fur. The inclusion of these fatty acids will improve your Golden Retriever’s skin tremendously.


Your Golden Retriever’s skin can be dry because they do not consume enough water. The best way to ensure that your Golden Retriever is hydrated is by providing them a water bowl that is constantly filled. 

Limit Your Golden From Things That Are Allergic To

Suppose your Golden Retriever experiences allergic symptoms after exposure to grass, dust, and grains. You should limit their exposure to those allergens. You can avoid purchasing dog foods that contain grains. You can also find alternative areas for your dog to play, rather than on the grass.

Preventing Skin Conditions In Golden Retrievers 

golden retriever 1

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent your Golden Retriever from developing skin conditions, such as:

  • Ensure that your home and your Golden Retriever’s sleeping area are kept dust-free.
  • Avoid giving your Golden Retriever your scrap food because we eat quite a few ingredients, but dogs should not.
  • Groom your Golden Retriever correctly and as frequently as necessary.
  • Have regular check-ups with your veterinarian.
  • Educate yourself regarding issues that Golden Retrievers are prone to and ways to prevent those specific issues.
  • Use food brands that are renowned for their high-quality and trustworthy dog food.
  • Ensure that your Golden Retriever has a well-balanced diet.


Why My Golden Retriever Has Dry Flaky Skin?

Your Golden Retriever’s skin could be dry because of allergies, cancer, infections, metabolic diseases, weather, and parasites. Dry skin is a symptom of a more severe health issue. 

If you are unsure of the exact cause behind your Golden Retriever’s dry skin, you should consult your veterinarian. You could do your Golden Retriever more harm than good if you treat their dry skin on a whim without knowing the exact cause and the correct way to treat it.

What Is Ichthyosis In Golden Retriever?

Ichthyosis is a rare skin condition that dogs experience. This skin condition results from recessive genetic mutation, preventing the outermost layer of skin from fully developing as it should. Skin affected is often rough and has thick, oily flakes that create mats with the fur.

Is Dandruff Common In Golden Retrievers?

Yes, dandruff is common in Golden Retrievers. Golden Retrievers are prone to dandruff because of skin conditions. The most common causes of dandruff in Golden Retrievers are mites, fungal infections, bacteria, dry air, and malnourishment.


Whether it is caused by a poor diet, infections, improper grooming, or other serious health issues, dry skin lets you know that your Golden Retriever requires some change.

When you notice that your Golden Retriever has developed dry skin, the best and quickest way to counter it would be to consult your veterinarian. You will spare your Golden Retriever a whole lot of suffering and discomfort.

Well, that was it for your query, “Why Does My Golden Retriever Have Dry Skin?” And I hope that I was helpful throughout the whole article. If you have any questions regarding the ‘Golden Retriever Dry Skin’ topic, then comment below, and I’ll get back to you.

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