Winter ice and snow may be fun to play in or pretty look at from a distance — like next to a roaring fire while holding a warm cup of coffee in your living room, for example — but the cold air that comes with it can wreak havoc on your skin. Have you noticed that you seem to feel more parched in the winter, and that you need to use more lotion to soothe dry, itchy, or red skin?
Lucky for humans, the solution is simply pouring an extra glass of water or reaching for a bottle of lotion to soothe what ails them. The dry winter air can have the same effect on your dogs, too, but they are not able to grab a bottle of lotion and rub it on whenever they feel dry or itchy.
This quick guide will help pet parents identify when their pups are suffering from dry winter skin, treat it before it gets too bad, and prevent it from happening again in the future.
How to spot dogs’ dried skin
Dogs’ skin dries out the same way humans’ does, and can get itchy, flaky, and red in the process. Itchy skin that goes untreated can become a problem because dogs have an almost obsessive tendency to scratch, rub, or lick until they find relief. That can lead them to scratch or lick their skin raw, creating even worse problems than just a little itch.
Pups that are suffering from dried out, itchy skin will:
- Scratch or lick the same spots over and over.
- Rub up against furniture and carpets.
- Whine or whimper when they are uncomfortable.
- Create hot spots on their skin from obsessive licking.
If your pup is licking or scratching a lot, take a look at his or her skin! If it appears to be flaky, red, or otherwise inflamed, there is a good chance you are dealing with dry winter skin. The good news is there are steps you can take to treat it and prevent it from getting worse.
How to treat (and prevent) dry skin
It can be difficult to completely prevent a problem that is caused by an environmental factor like weather, but there are plenty of ways to help keep your dog’s skin hydrated and itch-free during the winter months. Here are some easy ways tips:
Add salmon oil or melted coconut oil to your pup’s food. The healthy fats in the oils help moisturize their skin (and, bonus, help keep their digestive tracts regular!) and reduce flaking, itching, and redness.
Soothing baths can help. It’s important to make sure you use a quality soap when giving your dog a bath, or you risk killing off the good bacteria on it and drying your pup’s skin out even more. Healers offers a Tea Tree Oil Conditioning Shampoo that is pH-balanced, antimicrobial, and biodegradable in addition to cleaning and conditioning the skin with tea tree oil, aloe vera, and peppermint oil.
Add turmeric to your pup’s daily routine. Turmeric has been proven to provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and improved immune functions, all of which will help keep your dog’s skin supple. Healers offers a Golden Turmeric Paste powder mix that’s perfect for adding to your dog’s food or adding water to create a paste.
- Give your dogs skin-positive supplements. The right skin and coat nutritional supplement will help keep your pup’s skin healthy and itch-free. Healers Skin & Coat Health Chews are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat, and chamomile to combat inflammation.
Winter might seem long, but your dog’s itchy skin problems from the season’s dry winter air will be a thing of the past once you identify them and work to prevent them.
Here’s to a happy and healthy winter!