Winter weather can be tough for pets, and one of the most common issues to arise is dry skin. Dry winter skin in pets can range from mild signs of irritation to serious medical conditions that require veterinary attention. As a pet owner, you want your furry friend to have happy and healthy skin—even through all four seasons! To that end, learning how to keep their skin hydrated in the winter months will help protect them against troublesome symptoms like itching, flaking and irritated patches. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to treat and prevent wintertime dryness in your beloved canine or feline companion.

At-home dry skin treatments for your pet

Making a few changes at home can help not only your pet’s dry skin but yours as well. If the harsh winter weather is sapping the moisture from your pet’s skin, try the following suggestions:

  • Increase your home’s humidity level — An ideal humidity level falls between 40% and 60%, so if your home is too dry, invest in a humidifier.
  • Use alternative ways to provide warmth — While cranking up the furnace will keep your pet toasty warm, it also will leach moisture from their skin. Provide blankets and pet-friendly heating mats for warmth instead of turning up the thermostat. 
  • Improve your pet’s diet — A high-quality diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids will boost your furry pal’s skin health, making it more resistant to winter drying.
  • Groom your pet regularly — Brushing your pet more frequently will help disperse healthy skin oils, while bathing them less frequently in cool water—and using an oatmeal shampoo—will preserve those same oils.

Veterinary-approved dry skin treatments for your pet

Some pets have such dry skin that at-home remedies do not provide enough relief. There also may be an underlying issue triggering their dry, flaky skin. If your pet’s skin is dry, irritated, and itchy, they may need the following:

  • Skin supplements — Supplements like fish oil and other sources of omega-3 can boost skin health and moisture retention, but some pets can develop diarrhea or other health issues if the doses are too high. Consult your veterinarian before adding a skin supplement to your pet’s regimen.
  • Diagnostic testing — Certain diseases, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease, can cause your pet to have dry, flaky skin that does not respond to typical at-home remedies. Blood work and other diagnostic testing may be necessary to get to the root cause of your pet’s skin problems.

Is your furry pal itchy and uncomfortable? Contact our team for help soothing their dry, irritated skin.