Dry skin and fur

Most of the Eastern seaboard of the US either currently is under/is just coming out of a polar vortex. It's cold. And, as I'm sure everyone in here knows, with the cold comes dry air and skin. On my (human) end, I'm burning through lotion and have been supergluing the ends of my fingers to keep my skin from cracking. Have had a harder time with Sasha, whose fur is continually bristly no matter how much salmon oil I put in his food.

He gets a bath once a week with very mild shampoo and conditioner. I supplement his food with about a tbsp (15 ml) of fish oil per meal. He's otherwise regular, no known allergies (though I'm not ruling it out), and is well-hydrated. Is there anything else I can be doing? His fur is bristly enough that it gives me contact hives. (Not that that keeps me from cuddling with him.)

@dres_actually My initial reccommendation is: stop the weekly dog bath. There is a good chance that the regular bathing is stripping away natural skin oils. So, skip them... try one every 3-6 months instead. If you feel like Sasha needs more grooming than that, use a boar bristle brush, or a damp microfiber towel instead.

I would agree, no weekly baths.

Me three.... that is too many baths... if it is an allergy problem with you, you could try wipes to remove the dander...

@dres_actually I agree with the other posts, absolute max should be monthly baths, I bath mine twice a year on average...(excluding skunk problems!). There are also various skin conditioners you can purchase but I suspect they will not be as good as reducing the baths.

If you have allergy’s or some other reason for needing bathe the dog, try some of the conditioning wipes you can purchase.

Also, we run a humidifier in the winter, otherwise everyone dries out and starts to get electrocuted from the static. So might be worth a try.

last edited by Dagodingo

I think my up-to-eight-at-a-time-over-39-years pack have had less than 10 baths between them all !

Stop the baths, instantly. Why bath a self-cleaning animal like a Basenji ?

My penultimate pair, Hoover, and Keepurr until he died in July, went to the woods to run free daily. They were often extremely muddy when they jumped back into the car for the trip home. 12 minutes and 8 miles later, two pristine Basenjis emerged. Now Hoover is on her own, winter and mud are upon us with a vengeance. She gets very mucky, but arrives home clean.

My dogs have always had a small piece of lard - genuine lard (bacon dripping) not the sunflower oil stuff because they need the animal protein - daily to keep the skin and fur flexible and glossy. Just a small piece on the end of the knife. Not enough to make them fat.

Basenjis love to be groomed. Almost as much as they hate to be bathed. Get a male hair cream preparation, I use Vitapointe. Squeeze about an inch onto your hands and rub them lightly together. Then massage the cream into the dog's coat very thoroughly. Leave for a few minutes and brush it out - dogs will love the attention and coats will gleam.

As many have indicated, stop the frequent bathing.
Note I use gel caps for Omega 3/fish oil. It helps to reduce the potential for the fish oil to degrade by being exposed to air.
You may also want to have thyroid function tested. Hypothyroidism may be accompanied by a course, dry coat. How old is he?
A light coat or jacket, light enough for your inside temperatures, may polish his coat and reduce the amount of contact hives you experience while cuddling.

Thanks for the responses so far, and pardon the delay in my response to the responses. I appreciate the tips. Also, further context: the weekly baths started very, very recently. As in December. Sasha had some problems with hot spots for a couple of weeks and we started those at my vet's counsel to get those under control. I see where you guys are coming from, though. Before the hot spot episodes, he hadn't had a bath since June or July. He hasn't had a bath in two weeks and I doubled his fish oil in the days since posting the original message.

I appreciate the grooming tips so far. I'll give those a shot. What are some good brands for grooming wipes?

Age, 15 months. I don't think he has hypothyroidism...neither his behavior nor his metabolism suggest it. He's a big boy -- 24 to 25 pounds is healthy for his frame -- and I have a hard time keeping him at 24, even when he eats almost two cups of food a day (plus oil and a treat). My SO and I also have a 60-lb boxer-lab mix, and he and Sasha keep each other VERY busy.

@dres_actually - Don't discount possible Thyroid issue regardless of age

Our basenji leo just turned 14 months old and 25 pounds, we got him when he was 3 months old and thus far he did not had hair fall or dander or dry skin. he was neutered in november. All of this started since early december with winter on USA east coast. we bath him once a month otherwise his body odor turns bad. He gets regular exercise and IAM's healthy puppy food. We have not tried body oil/lotion or fish oil tablets food yet so looking for suggessions to get relief from his dry skin and hair fall.

last edited by prasadvaze

@prasadvaze - For a purebred to have body odor.... not the normal.... One thing you might want to look into a better quality of food... IAM's (I believe) the 2nd ingredient is corn? Not really good for most any dog, corn generates heat. If you think about it, that is why it is fed to livestock in the winter. Try a limited ingredient like Natural Balance or grain free. And contrary to popular opinion you read, Basenjis do shed

@prasadvaze For sure, I would not feed IAMs food, there are much better quality foods out there. Check out; https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

I feed Fromm foods, they are fairly decent quality and then supplement with chicken, steak, eggs etc.

It sounds more like a skin problem because Basenjis usually have very little odor.

@prasadvaze
The body odour would suggest to me there is something being ingested that his body doesn't approve of. I would change his diet to something grain free to start with and I would also talk to a vet who is experienced with Basenjis. Not just any vet. Find one who knows our breed and is prepared to research your problem relative to Basenjis

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.