Why Does My Cavapoo Have Dry Skin?

Why do Cavapoos have dry skin?

Dry skin is never pleasant for anyone – least of all a dog who cannot tell you that they’re suffering!

If you’ve suddenly noticed white flakes of skin on your dog, this could be a telltale sign of dry skin. 

There are a number of reasons why your Cavapoo might have dry skin, including genetics, overbathing, parasites, allergies, and more. Cavapoos might also inherit Hypothyroidism from their parent breeds, which can cause dry skin. 

It’s rather common for dogs to have dry skin, but that doesn’t make it more enjoyable for them to deal with.

Today we’re looking at why your Cavapoo might suffer from dry skin and how to treat it. 

What Is Doggy Dandruff? 

So, you’ve taken a close look at your Cavapoo’s coat, and you can see all of these tiny white flakes running through it.

These can be mistaken for dirt or pet dander that gets trapped in their hair, but it’s actually small pieces of dead skin that have flaked off. 

There are many causes of dry skin, such as health issues, allergies, parasites, and cancer.

Don’t think the worst immediately, though. Sometimes it’s as simple as over or under-grooming. 

The cause of the dry skin will determine the treatment for it. It might be as simple as swapping their shampoo or kibble, or you might need to take them to see a professional vet. 

Knowing Your Cavapoo Has Dry Skin

Other than the skin flakes through their curly coats, there are a few more telltale signs that your dog has dry skin. 

If your Cavapoo is scratching its skin a lot, it might be due to the itchiness that comes with dandruff. Itching can loosen the skin and cause even more to flake off.

Scratching should not be ignored, as excessive scratching can lead to irritation and even bleeding.  Following on from this, red skin is also a sign of dry skin. These patches can also be scaly if they’re older. 

Excessive licking is another symptom of dry skin in Cavapoos. These dogs aren’t known for grooming themselves at all, so licking themselves might be a cause for concern.

Cavapoo Dry Skin Causes

As we’ve already mentioned, there are a number of things that might cause dry skin in Cavapoos. Let’s take a look at these now. 


Cavapoos need a vigorous grooming routine thanks to their Poodle coats.

They need a good brushing session at least three times a week, as well as a professional grooming appointment for a bath and a trim every six to eight weeks. 

Cavapoos are also hypoallergenic, so plenty of hair gets stuck within their coat when it sheds. If this hair isn’t removed regularly, it might prevent the skin from breathing properly.

Oil and dirt might also get trapped underneath the hair, which can reduce the health of the skin. This can all cause it to dry out and flake. 


Despite what we’ve just said, it is possible to over-groom a Cavapoo. Their skin is very sensitive and can react to too much brushing or bathing.

Just like humans, too much water exposure can dry the skin out by removing its natural oils. There’s a thin line between under and over-bathing a Cavapoo, but creating a grooming schedule can help with this.

Make sure that you’re bathing them only when necessary. Many people find that they don’t even need to bathe their Cavapoos between professional grooming appointments! 


All dogs can be allergic to things such as food and products. If they are otherwise healthy, you might want to look into the foods they’re eating.

Many people might not know that chicken is one of the biggest allergens for dogs, and yet it is an incredibly popular ingredient in dog food. 

If you use elaborate shampoos on your Cavapoo, these also might be causing an allergic reaction. Try bathing them with just water or a sensitive dog-friendly soap


Flea and tick invasions can cause dry skin, as they crawl along the skin. Excessive itching also won’t help dry skin as this can cause irritation.

Even if you keep up to date with your dog’s parasite treatments and protection, mites and eggs can also cause dry skin. 

We’d advise you to talk to your vet if you’re concerned about a parasite infestation on your dog’s skin, as this can cause a number of other issues, too. 


Cavapoos are also prone to developing Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s Disease. They inherit these illnesses from their parent breeds.

If your Cavapoo is middle-aged and developing other symptoms of these illnesses, this might be the cause of their dry skin. Talk to your vet to get your dog diagnosed.

Even if they don’t have Hypothyroidism, your vet might then be able to recommend other reasons why your dog is suffering from dry skin. 


Much like humans, dogs’ bodies are very intelligent. Their organs can react to their emotions, and stress is one of the most sensitive emotions.

Humans might get pimples or fatigue, while dogs get dry skin. 

If you suspect your dog’s dry skin is stressed-related, first decide why they are so worried.

Dogs might feel stress due to new family members, moving house, or an owner dying. Some dogs are so emotional that they might be stressed simply because of a change in routine! 

The best way to rectify dog stress is to remove the stressor. If this is not achievable, make sure you’re giving them plenty of love and attention.

If they’re still suffering from dry skin once they become less stressed, consider another cause. 

Other Illnesses

Sometimes, dry skin can be a symptom of other dog illnesses such as Diabetes or Cancer.

However, there are many other reasons, and you shouldn’t resort to the worst-case scenario right away. 

If you cannot think of any other reason why your Cavapoo is suffering from dry skin, it might be worth asking your vet to check them for other illnesses that it might be alluding to.

However, this is often the worst-case scenario and often not the reason for your dog’s dry skin. 

How To Treat A Cavapoos Dry Skin

Now that we know a few reasons why your Cavapoo might be suffering from dry skin let’s take a look at how you can treat and prevent it. 

Keep A Grooming Schedule 

Cavapoos need a multiple-step grooming routine to keep up with their curly coat. This is one of the things owners are agreeing to by buying a Cavapoo!

But time can quickly get away from you when you’re not constantly thinking about your dog’s grooming needs. 

This is why we find it super helpful to keep a grooming schedule so that we know when our Cavapoo needs some TLC in the grooming department.

We book her in with a groomer every six weeks and brush her once every two days. Without a schedule, we might lose track of what we’ve done previously, leading to over- or under-grooming. 

Switch To Medicated Shampoos 

Medical shampoos are great for when dry skin is due to an irritant, such as pests or allergies.

Why Does My Cavapoo Have Dry Skin (1)

You can ask your vet about these shampoos on your next visit, as many Cavapoos will need a different strength of shampoo to see the best results. 

If you reserve bathing for professional groomers only, ask your vet to prescribe you a shampoo and take it to your groomers to use.

Most grooming salons are happy to use your own products. 

Use Skin Supplements 

Since dry skin is a common issue among dogs, there are quite a few skin supplements on the market for you to give them.

These offer extra support to their skin when they’re not getting the best nutrition from their food. 

The best skin supplements will contain Omega-3 and Omega-6, as well as linoleic acid. This helps to enrich the skin and maintain its health, as well as offers a skin barrier to prevent it from flaking. 

Increase Their Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an excellent supplement to give dogs who are suffering from dry skin. Vitamin E helps the skin maintain its moisture instead of allowing it to dry out.

There are plenty of Vitamin E supplements on the market you can give your Cavapoo. 

However, make sure that you consult your vet before giving your dog Vitamin E. Too high doses can lead to an upset stomach and liver damage. 

Talk To Your Vet 

When in doubt, it’s always best to talk to your vet.

While dry skin is unlikely to be caused by anything too sinister, your vet will know how to help prevent your Cavapoo from suffering from dry skin for too long.


Thanks for reading! Your Cavapoo might be dealing with dry skin for a number of reasons, such as parasites, over-bathing, or allergies.

In some rare cases, this might be a symptom of other illnesses. 

The best way to treat your dog’s dry skin is to make sure you’re grooming them the optimal amount, offering them the best nutrition, and keeping them free of pests and parasites. Good luck!

Emma Jones

Emma is the proud owner of Rosie, an F1 Cavapoo. She enjoys writing about what it's like to own a Cavapoo and hopes that you learn more about this breed of dog with her how to guides and tips.

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