Why Dogs Get Dry, Itchy Winter Skin

May 05, 2021 2 min read

Why Dogs Get Dry, Itchy Winter Skin

Itchy, dry patches of skin can be seasonal, but are especially pronounced in the winter. In spring and summertime, your dog may be scratching their fur due to allergies, bugs, or hot spots, while cold winter temperatures bring dry skin.

Your dog may be extra itchy in the winter, which isn’t fun for anyone. Excessive licking, chewing, and biting on their skin can make the problem even worse. In the winter, temperatures drop and the air gets dryer. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, and oftentimes you feel this in your skin and lips.

Humans can put lotion on their skin, but you can’t do the same for dogs with thick fur coats. However, there are some things you can do to keep your pet’s skin moisturized throughout the winter:

1. Keep your dog hydrated

While we all know hydration is a key part of staying healthy, it can be extra hard in the winter. Although you might think it’s easier to become dehydrated in the summer because of the hotter temperatures, it’s actually easier in winter due to the air. In the winter the air is dryer both indoors and outdoors, meaning that evaporation from the body happens even faster.

2. Brush your dog’s coat

Although it sounds strange, your dog’s hairbrush can help fight winter dryness. Brushing the skin not only soothes some of the itchiness but increases the circulation of blood to the skin. This is beneficial for their skin health. Additionally, brushing the fur spreads around the natural oils in your dog’s coat to their skin.

3. Add oatmeal or essential oils to your dog’s bath

We’ve written before on home remedies for dry, itchy skin. One of the best things to do is bathe your dog less often, which can strip your dog’s skin of natural body oils. One of the best alternative options when a bath is necessary is a bath with oatmeal or natural oils that will moisturize and condition your dog’s skin and coat. This can also help get rid of the dry, flaky skin and dander that your dog is shedding.

4. Get a humidifier

Though you may not be able to change the weather outside, you can control the air in your home. Buying a humidifier will add some much-needed moisture to the air in your house or apartment. You’ll notice a difference with your skin, too.

With these tips, your dog’s skin will be less dry and itchy this winter season and you can get back to enjoying winter walks and activities.

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