Caring for your dog’s skin this winter
As humans, our skin needs more hydration during the colder months, but did you know your pup’s skin also needs some extra love this time of year? It’s no secret that the colder weather can wreak havoc on our skin as well as animals, which is why caring for your dog’s skin this winter is so important.
As temperatures drop outside and heating systems are on more often indoors, the dry air and lack of moisture can really affect your pup’s skin. This can cause flaking, irritation and discomfort.
Sensitive skin can be just as uncomfortable for our dog’s as it is for us, but thankfully, many of the same remedies we use can also be very helpful for both preventing and treating skin problems that occur in our dogs. Continue reading to find out more when it comes to caring for your dog’s skin this winter.
As winter brings more mud, slush and snow, our pups are likely to get dirtier much quicker than in the summer months. How often you need to bathe your dog depends on the breed and level of activity, but it’s important to choose a shampoo to suit your dog’s needs and not cause further irritation.
If your normal bathing routine involves washing your pup outdoors, this may have to change during winter as it could be too cold for them.
You should ensure your pup is completely dry before they return outside, so early morning bathing is recommended so that there’s plenty of time for your pup to dry off before their afternoon or evening walk.
Just like humans, finding products that don’t dry out your pup’s skin is super important. Using a shampoo without harsh ingredients will reduce the chances of moisture being stripped from their skin. Gentle shampoos with simple ingredients is the way to go.
Brushing your dog daily keeps the naturals oils in their coat flowing, as well as increasing blood flow and air to the skin. This routine should be kept up during the winter months as the oils also help to moisturize and protect the skin.
You may think that your pup needs more fur in winter to keep them warm, but a freshly bathed and brushed coat will help dogs tolerate the cold weather much better.
Whether you need to brush your pup daily or weekly will depend on the type of coat, its length and whether the hair is prone to tangling. Establishing a regular grooming routine is important.
Protect sensitive areas
Winter weather can be very harsh on a dog’s paws and nose, so it’s important to pay extra attention to these sensitive areas as the colder months approach.
“Salts and chemicals found in de-icing products can be super irritating to the paw pads so it’s important that you clean your pup’s paws after they’ve been in the snow,” explains Dr Lauren Adelman from Canada West Veterinary Specialists, who suggests protecting paw pads with booties, commercial creams, or even a little Vaseline.
The same way we use balm to protect our lips when they start to crack and dry out, balms are a great way to protect our pup’s more delicate areas.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
When our skin gets dry in the winter months, we know it’s time to hydrate and increase our water intake. This is no different for our pups.
Staying hydrated means more supple skin and a soft coat. This winter try to encourage your dog to drink more by keeping water dishes clean and refilling frequently with fresh, cool water.
As for humans, we have no excuses so this is your reminder to drink more water!
Nutrients and supplements
As is the case with humans, good nutrition is key to optimal health for your dog. Ensuring you pup is healthy on the inside is a great place to start to keep their skin and coat in top condition.
Giving your dog a fatty acid supplement can help give them a shiny, healthy coat, as well as help alleviate many skin problems.
As well promoting healthier skin, Omega-3 fatty acids are a natural anti-inflammatory and can contribute to the brain development of puppies, strengthen the immune system and benefit overall heart health.
Healthy fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 play an important role in keeping your dog’s coat in good condition, so when buying dog food, look for these in the ingredients list as they promote a silky coat, reduce itchy and flaky skin, and can help relieve allergies and joint pain.
When it comes to humans, there’s beauty supplements available that give a great vitamin boost coming up to winter, including vitamin gummies that are as nutritious as they are delicious.
Caring for your dog’s skin this winter doesn’t have to be complicated. Ensuring they are getting enough baths and proper grooming, drinking enough water, staying protected against de-icing chemicals and consuming proper nutrients is key to a healthy and happy pup.