Noticed how your skin feels dry and tight during the winter season?
This happens to your dog’s skin too.
Dog dry skin is a pretty common occurrence during winter.
- When fido goes outside, the cold, dry winter air has a drying effect on his skin.
- Drafts can come in through leaky windows and doors.
- Home heating system or furnace emits dry heat. It keeps your fur kid warm, but is drying to the skin.
Signs of Winter Dry Skin
- Dry, flaky skin
- Dog dandruff, increased dander
- Scaly skin
- Frequent itching and scratching
- Bites and licks the skin
- Cracked skin (often on paw pads)
What you can do to avoid flaky or itchy, dog dry skin during winter
1. Winter proof your home
Make sure there aren’t drafts coming in through the cracks of the windows or doors. Seal any gaps, and draft proof your windows and doors by applying caulking or installing weather stripping.
Hang heavy, or lined curtains at windows. It helps to shield cold drafts. Remember to open the curtains in the day to let the sun in, and draw the curtains as soon as it gets dark to keep the heat in.
2. Keep your home warm
Your main living room should be around 21C (70F). The bedroom temperate at around 18C (64F). And the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F).
3. Moderate indoor humidity
Winter brings cold, dry air. When dry air is heated, it becomes even drier. A humidifier in the house will add moisture to the air. No more cracked finger tips or scratchy throat for you. And it helps to reduce the drying effect on your dog’s skin.
4. Move your dog. Move his bed
Make sure he is not sleeping by the furnace or radiator. Move your dog, his bedding or crate further away from the heat sources.
5. Brush your dog
Matted hair trap dampness against your dog’s skin. This can cause irritations, odor and other skin problems.
Brushing promotes circulation, and stimulates the the distribution of natural oils in your dog’s skin. Hence, brush you dog regularly to counteract dryness and make him feel more comfortable.
6. Winter bath
Yes. Dogs still need baths in winter. They get dirty playing in the snow, or when they trudge outside to do their business.
In fact, a proper bath can help to reduce dryness, matting and other related skin problems. Use a moisturizing dog shampoo and conditioner to keep his skin and coat healthy.
After the bath, dry your dog’s coat completely before letting him outside. A wet dog can develop hypothermia or pneumonia in cold weather. You can use a hair dryer at cool setting to quickly dry his hair after a bath.
7. Put on a winter coat and booties
Even though your dog has a built-in fur coat, he will still feel the cold in adverse weather. You need to keep your dog warm and protected when he goes outside.
A dog sweater or fleece coat will keep the cold wind and snow off your dog. A pair of doggy boots helps to keep the ice, snow, and de-icing salt off your dog’s paws.
8. Give a fatty acid supplement
A dog supplement that contains essential fatty acids helps relieve skin dryness and promote a healthy, glossy coat.
9. Add olive oil to his food
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to his food, 2-3 times a week (if you are not giving a fatty acid supplement). You can also massage a small amount of olive oil onto his skin. It acts as a natural moisturizer for dry, scaly skin.
Winter offers an entirely new season of fun and experiences for your dog. If you are lucky to live where the winter is mild, head outside to build a snow man or snow dog together with your doggy. When you’ve had enough of the chill and thrill, come home to your warm, toasty den.
Take preventative measures to keep your dog warm and comfortable. Your actions will help prevent dog dry skin, itchiness, and other minor skin problems. Let your dog be safe and well throughout the cold, winter months.
For more winter skin care protection, start to support your dog’s skin and immune system naturally now.
See: Help For Dry Itchy Skin