It’s freezing! There’s even snow in parts, and the gritters are out in force. So with all that salt on the road, de-icing going on and moving between extremes of hot and cold day after day, your dog’s skin can get dry and in a bit of a state. Fungus likes the kind of hot, humid environment we create, going from outside in the wet to inside, lounging by a radiator, which can make your dog’s skin itch like mad too.
So here are our tips and tricks for keeping your dog’s skin in great shape while you enjoy your winter walks together.
Going from a heated home into the cold for a walk can cause itchy, flaky skin. If they get wet between the toes, they can also develop itchy fungal problems. Towel off the dog when you get home, and don’t forget to get right into those toes.
Road salt, de-icing chemicals, ice and snow, can cling to your dog’s fur, drying out and irritating skin. Keep long-haired dogs clipped, including the hair between their toes.
Cold roads and paths mean stinging pads and sore toes. Wash and dry your dog’s paws after every walk to remove salt and chemicals. Check for cracked pads and sore toes.
In winter, your dog is more likely to get chapped paws. Massaging Skin Balm into their paws and between the toes after you’ve towelled them dry will help prevent and heal chapped toes and pads.
Let it All Go
We like a hot bath in cold weather, but our dogs don’t really need it. Too much bathing can remove their own oils. Try not to encourage itchy, dry skin by bathing as little as possible during the cold winter months.
Layer up your dog in a winter jacket, especially short-haired breeds. This will help them retain body heat and stop the skin from drying out.
Help your dog with dry skin: The Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs
Suited and Booted
Salt, de-icing chemicals, and ice can be harmful if licked and can be painful on the paws. Boots or shoes can help (if your dog will stand it!) Boots will prevent salt and grit from getting lodged in between the toes too.
Giving the dog a good brush will improve circulation and skin condition.
Just like us, pets can get dehydrated in winter, and their usual watering holes outside may have frozen up. Make sure there’s plenty of water in the house to drink.
A lot of us retreat to the sofa for winter; dogs aren’t much different. If they want to remain indoors, watch The Killing and scratch; who are we to deny them!