PoshMom Editorial Team
We are so tuned into our winter skin woes, changing up products and treatments to fend off flaky, dry, cracked surfaces at almost any cost. But what about our fur babies? They brave these cold-weather months as well—poor things don’t have a dolled-up bathroom inside to use—so it’s super important not to forget about protecting dogs’ winter skin. Whether they are outside for walks, frolicking in the snow, patiently waiting for the school bus to arrive or loving naps by the heat vent, the wind, colder temps, dry air and forced heat can also wreak havoc on their delicate derma. And no, their fur coats are not always the perfect protection they need.
Now, no need to calculate your time and budget worried about having to share products and procedures with your furry ones!. There are a few preventative measures to put in place that will protect dogs’ winter skin and have your pup comfortably and safely back to making snow angels with his tail.
Moisturize Dry Spots
Dogs, they’re just like us! Not totally, of course. But when they need to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! It’s easy to do without shopping for the best moisturizer on the planet, like we do for ourselves. In fact, one of our favorite products (and low cost too) is perfectly safe for dogs and combats dry, flaky skin beyond well. We are talking about coconut oil. Look for 100 percent (organic) coconut at your local pharmacy or supermarket or find it at an online pet store. Apply to dry patches or hot spots—when you rub it in, the coconut oil deeply penetrates into their skin. Don’t worry if your dog tries to lick it off as coconut oil can be ingested by dogs. In fact, some fur-mommies add to their pups food for healthy coats and skin. However, for winter skin, it’s an extra moisture-locking barrier on the outside. Plus licking it off can just aggravate the issue, so to avoid that, we suggest rubbing it on at night to a sleepy puppy just when they’re ready for some shut-eye.
Fish Oil Supplements
These supplements not only help fight itchiness and dry skin but also are good for cardiac health, cognitive health and osteoarthritis to name a few other common canine ailments. Add a pump or two of fish oil to your dog’s meal or hide some fish oil pills in cheese or peanut butter as part of their daily routine. Continue this for good skin and health maintenance through the year or add in on for drier winter months. As alway, make sure to check with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your fur baby’s regimen.
Paw Protecting Booties
If you live in an area that’s prone to snow and ice, then there is likely thick salt coating the ground to combat this. As good as that salt is to keep our tires and kids from slipping, it’s pretty bad for our little ones who walk on four paws. While many people think dogs can go without, there is definitely an argument during certain months of the year when the skin and surface of dogs paws are better off protected by strapping on booties. When shopping for booties for protecting dogs’ winter skin, follow brand instructions for measuring to ensure a proper fit and make sure to read reviews that they are easy to put on. Another tip: Pup booties tend to slip off (think baby socks in the stroller!) so make sure to look for ones with straps to secure them!
Warm-Weather Coat or Sweater
Sometimes a fur coat just isn’t enough! And we’re not talking the faux variety here either. Dogs’ fur is oh-so-warm but even our fur babies get chilly when it’s super cold and when they are also contending with a biting wind. Maybe not huskies, of course, or malamutes…but lots of dogs can benefit from cute sweaters or coats when the cold is a comin! Coats and sweaters can protect skin against dry and skin damaging winds and prevent their skin from becoming cracked, itchy and inflamed. Some coats look like mini puffers, others trendy fleece and the price points vary too. Sweaters come in a wide selection as well. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s as warm as it is aesthetically pleasing.