Cold weather affects the best of us. From cracked, itchy skin to dull hair and dandruff, the dry air doesn’t make the cold any more bearable. Most don’t realize that our pets can suffer from the same side effects of winter weather as we do. But don’t worry, you’re not a bad pet parent! Seasonal dry skin happens. Simply changing a few daily habits can make a huge difference in the health of your dog and reduce cold weather afflictions. Here are 6 common side effects of winter weather, and ways you can help your pup beat the cold.
A dull coat is pretty common as the air gets drier and the temperature drops. If your dog’s coat has lost its shine, try adding some high quality essential fatty acids like fish oil to his or her diet. EPA/DHA Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil has shown through research to reduce inflammatory skin disorders like pruritus in dogs and humans. Just like with our skin, hair, and nails, our dog’s quality of nutrients can affect their skin and coat appearance. In the winter, they may need more protein and fatty oils to bulk up their winter coat to keep them warm and keep their skin protected from the drier weather.
The best line of defense is to look for a quality supplement that promotes proper coat and skin health. Like Happy Go Healthy’s Joint and Skin Support Supplement kibble. This daily supplement with high levels of Omega-3 EPA/DHA from fish oil, will help thicken and shine your pup’s winter coat, and help prevent against dandruff!
Dandruff can be a hassle, not only does it get everywhere, but your dog constantly looks dirty and has dried, cracked skin that probably itches, too. Daily brushing with a soft brush will help make that pesky dandruff disappear and provide a clean slate for your dog’s skin to repair itself.
Brushing also encourages the release of natural oil glands in the skin that help form a protective, moisturizing barrier against dry air.
Cracked or Itchy Skin
Maybe you’ve noticed your pup’s paws are rougher than usual, or he’s itching more than normal. Cracked or itchy skin is another side effect of winter weather that’s easily treatable through proper moisturizing. Simple water baths will do the trick but should be limited and they should be completely dried off afterward as prolonged exposure to water only increases these symptoms. Baths with an oatmeal shampoo or some other kind of moisturizing shampoo can also be beneficial.
Drinking water is good for your skin. The same goes for your dog! Make sure they always have fresh water available and that they’re drinking enough of it.
Dry, cold air sucks the moisture out of your dog’s skin. By keeping a humidifier in the house you can put moisture back in the air. Humidifiers are beneficial for your skin too!
Symptoms of dry air include:
- Itchy skin, increased scratching
- Itchy ears
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Hair loss, scabbing from scratching
- Swollen paws, licking, chewing
- Loss of coat luster
A humidifier really can make a big difference for all of these issues.