Photo courtesy Tancread/Flickr
Hi everybody. Welcome to the new Dallas Pet Health Examiner page. I hope you enjoy your visit. Now let's get to today's topic.
Winter is still upon us, and it’s been an exceptionally frigid one for us Texans, and there’s a chance the cold weather hasn’t been too kind to your dog’s skin.
Just like us humans, dogs are prone to developing dry skin during the dry, cold winter months…but there are some simple measures you can take to prevent your pets from suffering.
Before you can treat your dog for dry skin caused by cold weather, you have to be able to tell if he’s showing any signs of having a problem.
Symptoms of dry skin in dogs include:
- Flaking skin or dandruff
- Cracked skin (which can lead to skin sores and infection)
- Itchy skin and frequent scratching
- Bites and licks his skin
- A scaly, rough appearance to the skin
Before treating for dry skin, make sure it’s really the cold weather that’s causing the problem. Fungal infections and skin parasites can also cause a dog to frequently itch and scratch.
Okay, you’ve determined that your dog has dry skin caused by Jack Frost’s visit. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Cut down on the bathing. When the weather is cold and dry, pets should only get a bath once a month. The warm water and dog shampoos strip the natural oils from the dog's skin.
2. Buy a humidifier. Humidifiers will add moisture to the dry winter air, reducing the drying effects on the pet's skin. Humidifiers are especially helpful in homes with forced-hot air heating systems, which tend to be especially drying to a pet's skin.
3. Purchase good quality skin and coat supplements. These skin supplements are available as a thick oil that can be added to your dog's food or given directly.
4. Provide olive oil supplementation. For severe cases of dry skin, soak a piece of bread in olive oil and include this with the dog's meal. This will help to heal the pet's dry skin from the inside out. It can even be massaged into the skin because it's non-toxic and edible, in the event your furry pal ingests the oil when licking his fur or skin.
That’s it. Pretty simple isn’t it? Follow these steps and you won’t have to worry about dry skin ruining your dog’s winter wonderland.
Check back soon for more pet health info. Thanks for stopping by.