We all know how our skin feels in the winter. Dry. Flaky. Itchy. We haven’t even had that much cold weather here and still I’ve been getting that itchy skin feeling (that makes you feel like you’re turning into a lizard!) We put lotion on our skin…but what about our dog’s skin during these winter months when the heater has dried out the air in our homes and the outdoor air further dries out his skin?
We’ve got some great tips here today from petMD.com (a super resource for all these related to your dog’s healthcare). Here are their top recommendations for both preventing and treating uncomfortable skin problems in dogs and cats:
- Avoid bathing your pet with shampoos or soaps during the winter. They can strip away natural oils and moisture and result in dandruff. Simple water baths should be sufficient.
- If shampoo is absolutely necessary, make it a moisturizing shampoo, and add in an additional moisturizing rinse.
- If you have passed the point of prevention and need to treat your pet for irritated skin, oatmeal baths are a well-regarded remedy.
- When choosing products for treatment, you need to keep in mind your pet’s age, health status, coat type, skin folds, and more. It is best to speak directly with your veterinarian or groomer for recommendations.
- Use a soft brush on your dog’s coat. This will stimulate the hair follicles and natural oil glands, removing dead skin cells and loose hair and giving the skin a better chance to heal.
- A nutritionally balanced diet year-round will keep your pet’s skin in its best condition.
- Make sure your dog is receiving adequate levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Consult your veterinarian to determine if your pet’s food contains proper levels, or if cat or dog supplements would be best.
- You can’t control the outside temperature, nor can you keep your pet indoors all the time. You can, however, maximize your indoor air quality through the use of humidifiers and fans to keep air circulating and prevent allergens from collecting.