4 Easy Remedies for Itchy Winter Skin
Have you noticed your dog spends extra time scratching at their neck, rolling themselves on the carpet, or rubbing against furniture in the winter?
Maybe you’ve noticed some dandruff on your hands after you get done petting them.
It might be time to determine whether or not your pooch could benefit from some easy dry skin remedies.
With Old “Pup” Winter bearing down on Western New York, the dry and cold air can wreak havoc on your pup’s skin and create several problems in your house as a result. Even though you can’t lather your dog with the same soothing lotion you might use yourself, here are four simple remedies at your disposal to ease their discomfort through the winter months.
Why Dry Winter Skin?
With winter comes noticeably drier air, both indoors and outdoors. This quickly dries out skin and creates an irritating itch. Cold air outdoors holds less moisture than the hot air of summer. In addition, heating elements like forced air can sap the moisture from inside your house and contribute to dry skin.
It is important to note if the excessive scratching or itching from your pup happens beyond the winter months. This might be a sign of an additional ailment or infection. Problems can arise from bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases, and reactions to some medications. If you believe your dog is itching excessively or focusing their efforts on one specific location, you should consult with your veterinarian before proceeding to any of the possible remedies listed below.
The possibility also exists that with your dog spending more time inside that they are being exposed to additional allergens that may increase dry skin or itching. Irritants like dust mites or mold can impact the health of humans and dogs alike. It is important to have your furnace, vents, and all heating methods routinely cleaned and inspected for allergens to help prevent dry skin for both you and your dog.
Four Ways to Prevent Dry Skin
There are several ways to prevent dry skin in dogs through the winter months. Although these are exceptionally helpful when the weather is cold, these practices are great habits to instill for year-round prevention of dry, itchy, flaking skin.
Hydration: Keeping your dog hydrated at all times is an essential facet of dog ownership. Many dog parents might think that since it is cold out water isn’t as much of a priority. With the drier air of winter, your dog might actually be losing more moisture from their body than they would in summer. That is why the first step to improving itchy skin in dogs is always ensuring they have a readily available supply of cool, clean, crisp drinking water.
Humidity: As mentioned several times already – the air is drier in winter than at any other time of the year. If your dog spends a significant amount of time in one specific room in the winter, consider implementing a humidifier to mitigate the dry air inside caused by your heating system and the seasonal drop in overall humidity.
Daily Brushing: You might notice excess hair flying around through your home from all of the additional scratching and itching. One way to help your dog’s coat, and the longevity of your vacuum cleaner, is to brush them daily. Brushing has been known to distribute natural oils throughout their coat, remove loose hair, and increase circulation to the skin. Additionally, this is a great chance to bond with your dog and get close to their coat and see if any problems or irritated areas exist.
Diet: There is no perfect answer for the age-old question of, “What should I be feeding my dog?” It is possible that the food your dog consumes could be contributing to their dry or itchy skin. It is true that your dog could benefit from a new food or possibly a fatty-acid supplement? Maybe. The possibility also exists that your dog is suffering from an unknown allergy to the food you already provide or has a natural deficiency. Be sure to ask your veterinarian any questions about diet before switching food or adding any additional supplements to their diet.
There are plenty of factors that go into whether or not your dog has itchy skin, but by taking these few simple steps for prevention you might be able to avoid it altogether. That way, both you and your pup can enjoy winter and not worry about the itch and hassle that oftentimes comes with it.