Dog winter skin and coat care
Make winter enjoyable for your dog, too!Winter always seems like a magical time of year.The world is covered in a fresh blanket of snow and the world seems dormant. Humans and dogs alike enjoy a long walk in the brisk air. But with this colder weather comes some risks for your dog: winter is tough on his coat and skin. With a little know-how, you'll soon be able to fight off the cold weather for not only yourself, but also your favorite companion. All in time for a cup of cocoa by the fire.
Dog Winter Cold Weather Tips:
- Brush his coat: Winter air is cold and dry, and this will in turn dry out your dog's skin. The natural oils that your dog produces in his skin are important to not only healthy skin, but a healthy coat as well. Brushing your dog frequently during those cold months will help. Brushing helps not only the skin and coat, but your dog's circulation as well.
- Give him supplements: Getting your dog started on supplements such as fatty-acids several weeks before the cold sets in will help keep your dog winter coat and skin healthy. Also try skin conditioners to keep his skin hydrated. There's nothing worse than having dry, itchy skin in the winter.
- Watch the toes: Your dog's toes can become dry, cracked, and irritated from long walks in the snow. Try a paw balm to keep those pads from splitting and cracking. This can be a painful experience for your dog, especially since dogs are on their feet so often. Want a quick fix before you get a chance to get to the store for some paw balm? Try putting cooking spray on your dog's feet before walks to help protect his paws.
Snow and ice can get easily stuck in-between your dog's toes, causing them to become irritated. Cut the fur between his toes to minimize the amount of fur that snow and ice can cling to.
After walks, wipe off or quickly wash off your dog's feet. De-icers and salt can irritate his pads, and many de-icers are made from harmful chemicals. If your dog licks his feet after a walk, he can ingest those chemicals. Wipe or rinse them off to keep your dog winter safe.
- Take a bath: When it's time for your dog to get a bath, try a shampoo with oatmeal or shea-butter. These are great hydrating shampoos (or conditioners), and will help fight the cold, dry weather. Make sure that your dog's coat is fully dry before going outside. Keep in mind the best way to dry his coat is by pressing a towel onto his fur, not rubbing the fur up and down. That motion will only tangle.
Know that cold weather is harder on puppies and elderly dogs. For these dogs, it's a good idea to put them outside only when they have to go to the bathroom. This can be difficult for puppies who aren't potty trained, so try paper training them instead. They'll be able to handle the cold when they're a little older. As for your older dog, he's probably happy just stretching out in front of the fire anyway.
Winter is meant to be enjoyed, and with these few, simple tips you and your dog may enjoy it together... without having to worry about dry, itchy skin.
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