Most of us are familiar with that lovely by-product of winter – dry skin. Between the cold temperatures outside and the warm, dry environment indoors our skin is ready to crack, literally. While we can slather on moisturizer – the situation is a little more complex for our furry friends. A coating of creams, oils or balms will not do the trick. So, what are some ways to prevent dry skin for our dogs in winter? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Start From the Inside
Make sure your pup is eating a diet of high-quality, well-balanced dog food that will provide important nutrients to keep his skin and coat healthy.
Consult your vet to see if supplements are advisable for your dog. Fish oil supplements are often recommended to promote a silky coat and to maintain the proper moisture balance in skin.
A regular, gentle brushing through your dog’s coat will have many benefits. By removing dead hair and old skin cells, stimulating hair follicles, and releasing moisturizing oils in the skin, brushing is one of the most important things you can do throughout the winter to maintain your dog’s healthy skin and coat.
Make sure you are use the appropriate type of brush for your dog’s coat for best results. (Click here to review our selection of high-quality dog brushes for every type of coat.)
How often should you bathe your dog in winter? Just enough…but not too much. Too many baths will dry out delicate skin. Too few baths will allow a buildup of irritating dirt and debris. One bath a month is typically a good rule of thumb.
If you bathe your dog at home, make sure you are using high-quality, non-soap based products that will gently remove dirt and debris while not stripping your dog’s skin of precious moisture. Also, consider using a crème rinse that will detangle hair and moisturize coat and skin.
Protect the Paws
Winter weather is brutal for a dog’s tender paws. Cold weather, snow, and ice, combined with the salt, sand, and chemicals used to melt ice can cause dryness, cracking, and trauma to paws. A few options to protect paws from winter’s natural and manmade elements include:
Applying a balm to paw pads before and after a winter walk.
Rinsing off paws after walks on roads or sidewalks.
Putting booties on dog’s feet to keep them covered.
Taking these steps can help you to take the best care of your best friend. If your dog has a serious problem with dry skin always talk with your pet groomer and/or vet to try another course of treatment.