Why caring for your dog’s skin this winter is important
Our skin needs more hydration during the colder months, but did you know your pup’s skin also needs some extra love this time of year?
It’s no secret that the colder weather can wreak havoc with our skin, but did you know that it also affects our four-legged friends in the same way?
As temperatures drop outside and heating systems are on more often indoors, the dry air and lack of moisture can really affect your pup’s skin, causing flaking, irritation and discomfort.
Sensitive skin can be just as uncomfortable for our dog’s as it is for us, but thankfully, many of the same remedies we use can also be very helpful for both preventing and treating skin problems in dogs.
So to celebrate National Healthy Skin Month, here are some of the best ways to help protect your pup’s skin and coat this winter.
As winter brings more mud, slush and snow, our pups are likely to get dirtier much quicker than in the summer months. How often you need to bathe your dog depends on the breed and level of activity, but it’s important to choose a shampoo to suit your dog’s needs and not cause further irritation.
If your normal bathing routine involves washing your pup outdoors, this may have to change during winter as it could be too cold for them.
You should ensure your pup is completely dry before they return outside, so early morning bathing is recommended so that there’s plenty of time for your pup to dry off before their evening walk.
Just like humans, finding products that don’t dry out your pup’s skin is super important and in the same way you wouldn’t use harsh ingredients that strip moisture from your own skin during winter, you should look for gentle shampoos for your pup with simple ingredients to avoid irritation.
Our recommendations for four-legged friends: e+a PET WASH – Refill: $6
Our recommendations for humans: 450g refill pouches of Shampoo, Conditioner and Shave Lotion from eco + amour
Brushing your dog daily keeps the naturals oils in their coat flowing as well as increasing blood flow and air to the skin. This routine should be kept up during the winter months as the oils also help to moisturize and protect the skin.
You may think that your pup needs more fur in winter to keep them warm, but a freshly bathed and brushed coat will help dogs tolerate the cold weather much better.
Whether you need to brush your pup daily or weekly will depend on the type of coat, its length and whether the hair is prone to tangling.
Protect sensitive areas
Winter weather can be very harsh on a dog’s paws and nose, so it’s important to pay some more attention to these sensitive areas as the colder months approach.
“Salts and chemicals found in de-icing products can be super irritating to the paw pads so it’s important that you clean your pup’s paws after they’ve been in the snow,” explains Dr Lauren Adelman from Canada West Veterinary Specialists, who suggests protecting paw pads with booties, commercial creams, or even a little Vaseline.
The same way we use balm to protect our lips when they start to crack and dry out, balms are a great way to protect our pup’s more delicate areas.
Our recommendations for four-legged friends: Legendary Canine Paw + Snout Pack, $32.49
Also: Skouts Honor Probiotic Wellness Kit, $64.55 (US)
Our recommendations for humans: Céla Skin Care Essential Balm and Crème de la Crème Multi-Use Oil and Body Cream Duo, $18
Also: – Luna Oil Organics Face Brightening Serum, $18
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
When our skin gets dry in the winter months, we know it’s time to hydrate and increase our water intake, and it’s no different for our pups.
Hydrating inside means more supple skin and a soft coat, so this winter try to encourage your dog to drink more by keeping water dishes clean and refilling frequently with fresh, cool water.
As for humans, we have no excuses so this is your reminder to drink more water!
Skin Supplements and Nutrients
As is the case with humans, good nutrition is key to optimal health so ensuring you pup is healthy on the inside is a great place to start to keep their skin and coat in top condition.
Giving your dog a fatty acid supplement can help give them a shiny, healthy coat, as well as help alleviate many skin problems.
As well promoting healthier skin, Omega-3 fatty acids are a natural anti-inflammatory and can contribute to the brain development of puppies, strengthen the immune system and benefit heart health.
Healthy fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 play an important role in keeping your dog’s coat in good condition, so when buying dog food, look for these in the ingredients list as they promote a silky coat, reduce itchy and flaky skin, and can help relieve allergies and joint pain.
When it comes to humans, there’s beauty supplements available that give a great vitamin boost coming up to winter, including vitamin gummies that are as nutritious as they are delicious.
Our recommendations for four-legged friends: Cranimals Gold Puppy and Cat Supplement 120g, $20.95
Our recommendations for humans: Herbaland Gummies – Pure Beauty, Sleep Plus and Vegan Collagen Booster, $18 – $20