San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
It does not have to be freezing cold to be concerned about winter skin and coat problems in your dog. In fact, even in the mild San Diego climate winterizing your dog’s coat and skin should be a top priority. Just like our skin becomes drier in winter, your dog’s skin and coat also react to even slight changes in outdoor and indoor climate, and those changes can cause itchy and irritated skin.
Winter is Harsh on the Skin and Coat
If your dog is itching like crazy, is constantly rubbing up against objects, has flaky skin, or if you notice his coat has lost its luster, there may be a reason. Winter is tough on the coat and skin. The combination of forced heat and lower humidity in the home, windy weather, and rain all take a huge toll and can result in serious skin problems.
Why It is Important to be Concerned About Dry Skin in Your Dog
When you think about how hard the winter is on our own skin, it is not hard to imagine the same may be true for our dogs. In winter, it is very hard to keep the proper balance of moisture necessary to maintain healthy skin, Because of this; the skin can become dry and irritated to the point of developing painful sores. The coat too, has problems maintaining the proper balance of oils which help the coat stay soft and prevent parasites and bacteria from forming.
How to Maintain Your Dog’s Skin and Coat in Winter
When cooler weather arrives, here are some simple ways you can help keep their skin and coat healthy.
- Talk to the Mobile Groomer - Ask a mobile groomer about what they can do to help prevent problems due to dry skin and coat. The groomer can use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners which are specially formulated for dry skin. Professional groomers can also use moisturizing wraps and sprays to help keep the proper balance of moisture and oils on the coat and skin.
- Home Bathe With Care - If you home bathe your pup, be sure to do so with care. Use warm water, and professional grade conditioning shampoo and conditioners. Less expensive dog shampoos and products can strip the skin and coat of Its oils and damage the skin. Towel -dry the fur and skin well and if your dog will tolerate it, use a hair drier on cool to ensure that they are completely dry.
- Keep the Dog’s Coat Trimmed and Groomed Properly - Fur that is too long or not brushed or de-shedded often enough it can trap dirt and retain moisture that becomes a haven for bacteria. Talk to your mobile groomer about what you can do and the right tools to use to de-shed your dog between professional grooming appointments.
- Provide an Outdoor Shelter - if your dog spends a lot of time outside when you are not home, provide an outdoor shelter so they can escape wind or rain.
- Monitor the Humidity in the Home - Heating the home dries the air which can be very damaging to your dog’s skin and coat. Try keeping the home at a cooler temperature and running a humidifier to keep the air comfortable.
- Ensure that Your Dog Gets Proper Nutrition - Good nutrition is a critical factor in the condition of your dog’s skin and coat. If you notice that your dog’s skin is dry and flaky, talk to a trusted veterinarian about possible diet changes.
- Make Sure Your Dog Stays Hydrated - Remember to make sure your dog gets plenty of water. While the days may be cooler, the cold or wind can really take the water away from the skin and coat.
- Suit Up For the Cold - Even cold days do not keep most San Diego residents indoors. If you are taking your dog out for some outdoor adventure, suit him up with a vest. Covering them up can help their skin retain moisture protect it from getting dry and cracking.
- Consider Adding Fish Oil Supplements to the Diet - Fish oil supplements contain important Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, along with vitamins A and D which help strengthen the cell walls and make them resistant to damage. They also help maintain moisture and reduce inflammation.
There can be many reasons for dry skin such as allergies or other medical conditions. Over, under, or improperly bathing and grooming your dog can be another reason for problems with the skin and coat. Talk to your veterinarian to rule out any medical problems and contact us for help maintaining the health of your dog’s skin and coat.
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