What To Do If Your Dog Gets Dry, Itchy Skin In Winter
Can dogs get dry skin in winter like people do? Unfortunately, yes! Cold temperatures, snowy weather, and central heating all suck moisture out of the air, leading to dehydrated doggy skin. Their dry skin then gets uncomfortable, itchy, and flaky – gross. Want to make sure the only white flakes you see this winter are snowflakes? Read on for what to do for your dog’s dry, itchy skin.
Signs My Dog Has Dry Skin
Flaky skin like dandruff is one big giveaway that your dog is suffering from dry skin! You'll probably also see them scratching, biting, licking, or rubbing the affected area against furniture a lot more too.
Other signs to watch out for include:
- Scabs and lesions
- Hot spots
- Balding and hair loss
- Discoloured skin
5 Ways to Soothe Your Dog’s Dry Skin
- Switch to an oatmeal shampoo
If you’re wondering how to improve your dog’s dry skin, bathing them with oatmeal shampoo can be a great place to start. As well as being a very gentle, non-irritating ingredient, oatmeal soothes inflammation and helps to retain water in the skin for longer.
If you want to keep your dog’s skin healthy, a pH-balanced shampoo can also be a big help. Maintaining the correct pH level of your dog’s skin reduces itching, flaking, and irritation. We recommend NanoSanitas, the first dog shampoo to be balanced by gender to account for male dogs’ more alkaline skin.
- Or skip the bath entirely!
None of us want a smelly dog, but you might be causing more harm than good if you’re bathing them too often! Many dog shampoos are full of chemicals that can strip your dog’s skin of healthy oils. This leads to dry, irritated skin and even dandruff!
NanoSanitas Multi-Purpose is like a dry shampoo for your dog, allowing you to stretch out the time between baths and give their skin a break. A spritz or two of this easy-to-use spray removes odours, helps against ticks and fleas, and nourishes dry skin and fur using aloe vera and coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for dog skin problems, but can lead to weight gain if fed. NanoSanitas Multi-Purpose gives your dog the antibactierial, anti-inflammatory, moisturising benefits of coconut oil without the calories.
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Your dog’s nose and paw pads are two areas that can be especially affected in winter, getting dried out and even cracked due to the cold weather.
A natural balm like this Nose & Paw Balm offers deep nourishment for these sensitive areas. It’s packed full of antibacterial aloe vera and shea butter, which restores skin lipids for lots of moisturisation. With its non-greasy formula it’s designed to absorb quickly, but try applying it just before your dog’s meal times to keep them distracted while it works its magic.
- Brush daily
Remember the protective oils we mentioned up there? Your dog’s natural oils are one of their best defences against dry winter skin. Brushing your dog helps to spread these oils evenly through their fur. While any brush will work, we love the KONG Zoom Groom for this. Its thick rubber bristles really massage your dog’s skin to stimulate oil production and help blood flow to improve their skin’s condition.
- Boost their hydration
We all know how important our 8 glasses a day are to keep us looking and feeling our best. Unfortunately, a lot of dogs don’t drink as much in winter due to the weather and reduced exercise. This is going to show itself in their skin!
Try to encourage your dog to drink more even when the temperatures are low. Make sure they always have access to fresh water, and change it every day. It might also be time to switch to a new bowl – if your bowl is plastic, it can absorb smells over time, and harbors bacteria in scratches.
Want another easy way to reduce the effects of dry winter air on your dog’s skin? Add some moisture back into the air with a humidifier!
Other Causes of Dogs’ Dry Skin
There are other causes of dry skin in dogs that are worth ruling out before trying these winter dry skin remedies. A deficiency in fatty acids in your dog’s diet or medical issues like allergies, bacterial and fungal infections, dermatitis, and even fleas can all be the culprit. Consult your vet for the best medical advice for your dog.