Just as winter can dry out and damage our skin, the same goes for our pets. The combination of freezing temperatures outside and hot, dry heat inside wreaks havoc on their skin. Even indoor cats can be affected due to the dry heat that keeps their home warm. Here are 5 ways to keep your pet’s skin hydrated and nourished throughout the winter season.
- Don’t over-wash. While cool or oatmeal baths can help relieve discomfort associated with dry skin, over-bathing will strip away your pet’s natural oils, intensifying the problem. After any baths, be sure to completely towel-dry your dog or cat or the dampness can lead to irritation.
- Humidify the home. Regularly using a humidifier throughout the winter months will greatly reduce the dryness in your home and will help improve the skin ailments of both yourself and your pet. In addition to this, turning fans on will keep the air circulating and help prevent allergens from settling into the furniture or carpet, which can also lead to skin irritations.
- Moisturizing. Here we aren’t talking about lathering your hand lotion all over your dog or cat. Instead find pet-specific products that nourish their skin. Nature’s Aid skin gel for pets offers moisturizing properties while soothing dry, itchy skin and fighting any bacteria, hot spots or infections that may develop due to incessant itching and licking.
- Supplements. Fatty acid or fish oil supplements can be added to your pet’s food and they have shown great success in improving dry, itchy skin. These supplements are typically a liquid that can be poured over top of their food and from personal experience, animals love the extra flavour!
- Towel-dry. This isn’t just for after bathing; dogs should be towel-dried after going for a walk or playing in the yard whenever it is raining, snowing or there is a build-up of snow on the ground. Keeping towels by the door is a good way to ensure your pet gets dried off so there is no lingering wetness on their skin that can lead to irritation. It will also help keep paw prints from forming on your floors and your furniture from getting wet.
If your pet seems itchier than usual or isn’t showing any improvement after following the above recommendations, have them looked over by your vet to rule out allergies, and yeast or fungal infections. Pets are also sensitive to deodorizers and furniture cleaning products. If these must be used, please do so sparingly, or better yet, air out the house by opening the windows nice and wide for 5 minutes. As walls and furniture act as heat sinks, you will allow air to circulate without losing too much heat, and will freshen up your home naturally.