Green > Purrfect pet health and beauty tips > Winter Skin Ailments in Dogs and How to Manage Them

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01/03/2012 17:59:37 PM by K.T.Riffic   Send Message to K.T.Riffic  5811  views, category: Pet holistic handbook, Pet pack life, Purrfect pet health and beauty tips view all blogs


Winter is a magical time for those of us who live in snowy areas. It can be incredibly relaxing to watch the snow gently fall to the Earth while sipping some hot cocoa with one hand and petting the dog with the other.

On the other hand, winter can also be a very uncomfortable time for us and our pets. The dry climate and lowered humidity causes dry, itchy skin and colds are passed around generously. Other factors, including forced heat and increased indoor air circulation, affect dogs and other furry friends in many of the same ways they affect us.

What ailments are we talking about?
Ear infections, increased licking and itching, dandruff, cracked or rough skin, and a dull coat are all common ailments caused in dogs during the winter months. If these symptoms are severe or if they persist, it is important to schedule a trip to the veterinarian to make sure it is not a skin infection.

What can we do about it?
Since it is very difficult to massage lotion onto a dog’s skin through all that fur, there are other helpful options to choose from.

1. When bathing a dog, especially during the winter, make sure to choose a shampoo that is not only at the right pH level for dogs, but also contains moisturizers to sooth the itching. The local pet store should have a few options to choose from. Be sure not to use a shampoo made for humans since our pH level is different than a dog’s pH level. Read more about pH levels and Natural Shampoos For Cats & Dogs here.

2. Keep your pet inside more. The cold air, snow, and low humidity are just as bad for your pooch as it is for you. Even if your pet really enjoys it, limit the time he or she spends outdoors, especially during really inclimate weather. If they must be outside, keep them warm by using a sweater or coat made for dogs. There are plenty of them out there from the sensible to the stylish. Try these doggie raincoats

3. Beware of the rock salt and chemical ice neighbors and snow plowers use to melt away the snow. It can be very harmful to your pet’s paws. Make sure to wash the pads of your pet’s paws with a damp washcloth after every walk

4. Keep a humidifier handy. If your home is very dry, set up a humidifier, which injects air into the room. A small humidifier near your pet’s bed or play area should help sooth the itch.

Here’s to a happy and healthy (and itch free) winter!

About the author: Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor... more >>

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