Old man winter can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Consider how the cold, dry air makes your hands and face feel like dried-out leather, and perhaps your normally shiny hair is drier and frizzier, too. Your canine companions may feel the same. If they spend a lot of time outside, they are exposed to the grueling elements frequently. Even dogs that spend most of their time inside can suffer from dry skin and hair in the cold of winter.
Your dogs’ skin is similar to that of a human, and just like a human, the dog’s body is comprised of 70% water. The dry air and wind chill of winter zaps that moisture, which can cause some annoying symptoms for your dog like:
- Hair loss
Even though they can’t communicate their discomfort, a dog’s irritation can be evident. If you are looking for ways to help keep your dog’s hair coat and skin healthy this winter, here are four tips.
Make sure your dog has access to plentiful fresh water. Keeping your pet hydrated will be the most critical factor in their overall health. Hydration is especially important if you are feeding a dry diet, like kibble. Even though most dry foods are balanced, they may not supply enough moisture. One way to add hydration is to add water or broth to the food.
Another way is to promote food and water intake with a daily digestive health supplement like Vitalize® Dog. Vitalize Dog is a granular vitamin and mineral supplement for dogs designed to support breeding and performance. It contains a prebiotic and high-quality blend of vitamins and minerals for daily support of any diet, and is also packed with omegas for healthy skin and hair.
Dogs don’t always want to drink when it is colder or when they are not exercising (like in the winter). A supplement like Vitalize Dog, powered by AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility, will help promote digestive health, which can be compromised by reduced water intake.
Once you’ve got your animals hydrated, make sure to keep the air moist, as the frigid, dry air is one of the biggest culprits of dry skin and hair. Add a humidifier to your house, and make sure to keep it filled and continuously running to help keep the air damp.
Another way to add moisture to the air inside your house is to turn down your thermostat a degree or two. The heat in your house sucks out the moisture, and remember, your dogs are already wearing a fur coat, so they don’t need that extra heat. If you are chilled, put on a sweatshirt and pair of socks. Your utility bill and your pets will appreciate your effort.
Maintaining a regular grooming schedule for your dog is essential, especially during seasonal changes. Brushing your dog daily helps reduce skin and coat shedding and removes dander and bacteria that collect on the surface of the skin. A simple brush or comb is best. A deshedding comb should be used no more than twice a week.
Bathing can help, but don’t bathe your dog too often. The most frequently you should bathe your dog is once every 4-6 weeks. If you need to bathe your dog more often, consider only using warm water with a small amount of baking soda to help deodorize without stripping any of the healthy oils from their skin.
Some skin problems stem from allergies or other digestive upset. If you have recently made any changes to your dog’s diet and notice sores or itching, it might be time to reconsider those changes. Just like humans, dogs can have food sensitivities or allergies. Monitor your dog’s health, including hair and skin health, whenever you make changes to diet or any routine. If something looks suspicious, consult your veterinarian, and follow his or her suggestions.
Winter weather and dry air doesn’t have to attack your dog’s skin and hair with proactive care. Keep your canine companion hydrated with adequate water; keep the air in your house moist with a humidifier; continue grooming your dog, but limit bathing; and evaluate the diet for any allergens. Adding a supplement like Vitalize Dog with Amaferm and omegas for hair and skin health will also help keep your dog feeling and looking healthy.
To learn more about Vitalize or to locate a dealer near you, visit www.vitalizek9.com.