Managing Your Dog’s Dry Skin During Winter

Cold air and low humidity don’t just dry out your skin; they can have the same effect on your dog! If you notice your dog is scratching a lot, develops dandruff, or has an oilier than normal coat, it may be caused by dry skin. There are various medical conditions that can contribute to dry skin, so check with your veterinarian first to ensure it’s just the winter weather.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can help your dog manage their dry skin and feel more comfortable:

  • Set up a humidifier. Dry air can often make dry skin even worse. Put a humidifier in the room where your dog sleeps or spends most of its time. This can add moisture to the air and ease their itchiness. It is also beneficial for the humans in your home! Just make sure it is set up out of your dog’s way so they don’t knock it over or get tangled in the cord.
  • Add fish oil to their food. A lack of omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to skin problems, so help your dog out by adding some directly to their food. Olive oil can be beneficial as well. Make sure your dog is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet to ensure they’re getting the proper nutrients to help keep problems at bay.
  • Massage their skin with vitamin E oil. Gently rubbing some of this oil onto affected areas can enhance moisture, soften skin, and alleviate symptoms.
  • Limit outdoor time. When it’s especially cold, dry, or windy, try to make trips outside fairly short. Give your dog some time to do their business and perhaps run a bit, but then bring them back inside where the environment is not as harsh. Keep them warm and turn on the humidifier.
  • Keep up with grooming. Daily brushing is a great way to stimulate and even out oil distribution throughout your dog’s fur. It also helps remove any tangles or mats which can increase itchiness and irritation due to oil or dead skin buildup. Spend time each day going over their entire body, or as much as they’ll let you; you can always focus on different areas on different days.
  • Bathe with caution. Too much shampooing and exposure to water can actually dry your dog’s skin out even more. Only bathe them when they need it, and make sure you are using a shampoo that is appropriate for your dog’s skin type and coat. Look into a moisturizing shampoo or conditioner if applicable. If your dog is cooperative with baths, you could also consider giving them an oatmeal bath to help alleviate itchiness and dry skin.

Talk to your dog’s veterinarian if you are concerned about the condition of their skin, or if it does not appear to be improving. There may be underlying issues that need to be addressed. Your vet can help you figure out the right care for your dog’s health and well-being.

If your dog could benefit from a professional bathing, trim, and brushing, contact Lake Wylie Pet Resort today. We offer a full range of grooming and spa services to fit your dog’s needs and keep them looking and feeling their best.

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