Winter is a time when many dogs develop dry skin, just like their owners. Dogs who have dry skin will scratch frequently and develop a dandruff similar to the type of dandruff that humans develop. You may also notice some things like a change in your dog's smell or the development of scabs on your dog's skin. Your dog's veterinarian can confirm whether your dog has dry skin. If this is the case, then these six tips can help.
1. Brush Your Pet More Frequently
Brushing your pet's coat stimulates the oil glands that help protect your dog's skin from dehydration. You may already brush your pet daily, but if you don't, this is a great time to start. If you already brush your pet daily, increase the amount of time you spend brushing or brush your pet twice daily. Use a good-quality grooming brush and empty it of hair frequently to avoid getting skin flakes all over your house.
2. Get Canine Moisturizer
Canine topical moisturizer will help soothe your pet's skin if it is red and raw. Talk to your dog's veterinarian to get a skin moisturizer recommendation, then follow the instructions on the moisturizer to ensure that it is applied correctly. Do not apply human moisturizer to your dog's skin, as it probably will not rub in very well and it might contain ingredients that could cause problems for your dog.
3. Install a Humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture back into the air and prevent your pet's skin from getting so dry while your pet is spending time indoors. Install a humidifier in the room where your dog spends the most time, or install a couple of humidifiers in rooms where your dog is frequently located.
If you crate your dog at night or if you leave the house often, install the humidifier somewhat near your dog's crate. If you want to make your entire house more humid, install a whole-house humidifier.
4. Feed Your Dog Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are good for dogs, especially their skin. Dogs who need coat development can turn to high-quality foods that contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Your dog's veterinarian can probably recommend a specific type of food. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, make the change from one kind of food to the other gradually, to prevent your dog from feeling sick.
5. Encourage Your Dog to Drink Water
Dogs are generally good at drinking water when they feel thirsty, so unless you're not refilling your dog's bowl enough, it's hard to get your dog to start drinking more. Try diluting your dog's water with low-sodium chicken broth. Use a broth made for dogs, or check with your dog's veterinarian before using broth made for humans.
Either way, keep the water in the bowl fresh and filled up so that your dog will always have access to water when it's needed.
6. Reduce Your Pet's Bathing Schedule
Bathing your dog dries out the skin, so it's appropriate to limit your dog's bathing schedule in the winter. When you bring your dog to the groomer, explain that your dog has dry skin. The groomer will use moisturizing dog shampoo to keep your dog's skin healthy.
For more information about how you can treat your dog's skin, talk to the experts. Speak with your pet's veterinarian, and check with the groomer as well. At Longview Boarding & Grooming, LTD, we are happy to talk to you about canine dry skin and some of the things we can do to help. Contact us today for more information.