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Caring for Your Pet’s Skin During the Winter Season

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Caring for Your Pet’s Skin During the Winter Season


By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have discovered that winter weather can wreak havoc on our skin. Humidity is low, the outside air is cold and windy, and we’re going in and out of cold to warm and back again throughout each day. Even in homes with great ventilation, our bodies have to struggle to keep up with the temperature and moisture changes that occur throughout the day.


It stands to reason that the body cannot always keep up the necessary balance of chemicals, oils and bacteria the skin needs to stay soft, flexible and comfortable, and the common result is dry, itchy, flaking skin. What is true for human skin is often true for animal skin, as well, and many of the same remedies are useful for both preventing and treating skin problems in dogs.


Bathing and Grooming Your Dog


One of the typical conditions that occur as a result of a change in environmental conditions is dandruff. Simply put, dandruff is often just the normal result of dead skin cells that are visible on the surface of the skin or hair. However, this can become an unsightly or uncomfortable problem when the skin is producing excessive amounts of sebum – a fatty product of the sebaceous glands in the skin – and skin cell turnover increases. The dead skin cells may clump up or remain as patchy layers on the surface of the skin. This problem tends to be more prevalent in the winter.

Rainy Day Dangers for Dogs


Unfortunately, for dogs that have sensitive skin, shampooing them can make the problem worse. To avoid stripping the skin’s natural oils or causing chemical irritation, bathing with shampoos or soaps should be limited during the winter months. Simple water baths should be sufficient under most circumstances. If you must bathe your pet, use a moisturizing shampoo for sensitive skin, along with a moisturizing rinse.


If you have already passed the point of prevention and find that you need to treat your dog for irritated skin, oatmeal baths have been a long held and common remedy for soothing skin. There are also specially medicated shampoos for itchy skin, but there are considerations to take into account, such as your dog’s age and health status. You will need to base your skin treatment choices on the type of hair coat your dog has, as well, or whether your dog has layers of skin that overlap. If you have any questions about what type of shampoo or topical ointment to use, talk to your veterinarian or groomer about your best options for treating your dog’s skin.


Using a soft brush on your dog’s hair coat will help to stimulate the hair follicles and natural oil glands in the skin, and remove any patches of skin as you brush across the surface. Removing the dead skin cells and loose hair from the coat will allow the skin a chance to repair itself.

New Year, New Start


Nutrition and Supplementation for the Skin


Throughout the year, your dog should be receiving a diet that is nutritionally balanced, so that when winter does arrive, her skin is already in the best health. That does not mean that your dog will not still have problems, but they will be minimized and easier to treat, generally speaking.


For example, adequate levels of fatty acids are an essential component of healthy and firm, yet flexible, skin. If you and your dog have already suffered through a tough winter or two, you may want to look into putting him on a special diet that provides additional levels of omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids specifically for the maintenance of healthy skin. Consult with your veterinarian so you can make an informed choice about which supplemental vitamins and/or foods will be best suited to your dog.


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A type of oil produced by the skin


Any type of arachnid excluding ticks

Article Rating

Caring for Your Pet’s Skin During the Winter Season Breed Characteristics

Adaptability stars Dog Friendly stars Shedding Level stars
Affection Level stars Exercise Needs stars Social Needs stars
Apartment Friendly stars Grooming stars Stranger Friendly stars
Barking Tendencies stars Health Issues stars Territorial stars
Cat Friendly stars Intelligence stars Trainability stars
Child Friendly star Playfulness stars Watchdog Ability stars
  1. Adaptability stars
  2. Affection Level stars
  3. Apartment Friendly stars
  4. Barking Tendencies stars
  5. Cat Friendly stars
  6. Child Friendly star
  7. Dog Friendly stars
  8. Exercise Needs stars
  9. Grooming stars
  10. Health Issues stars
  11. Intelligence stars
  12. Playfulness stars
  13. Shedding Level stars
  14. Social Needs stars
  15. Stranger Friendly stars
  16. Territorial stars
  17. Trainability stars
  18. Watchdog Ability stars

Caring for Your Pet’s Skin During the Winter Season Breed Characteristics

Adaptability stars Energy Level stars Shedding Level stars
Affection Level stars Grooming star Social Needs stars
Child Friendly stars Health Issues stars Stranger Friendly stars
Dog Friendly stars Intelligence stars
  1. Adaptability stars
  2. Affection Level stars
  3. Child Friendly stars
  4. Dog Friendly stars
  5. Energy Level stars
  6. Grooming star
  7. Health Issues stars
  8. Intelligence stars
  9. Shedding Level stars
  10. Social Needs stars
  11. Stranger Friendly stars
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