Are the white flecks you see on your dog’s winter coat more than a few snowflakes?
He could have dry skin… here are some tips for care and treatment.
Top Tips to Stop Rover’s Itch
Even your best friend gets dry, itchy, flaky skin in winter. Causes for a dog’s dry skin in runs from spending more hours indoors during cold months when the heater saps up what little humidity is in the air to seasonal allergies to a reaction to their diet.
Before you go trotting to the vet, here are some tips we found around the web to deal with your buddy’s itchiness.
Increase humidity in the air – Just like with humans, dry air during the winter can cause dry skin in dogs. Add a humidifier in the room that your dog spends most of his time in. You can also put your dog in the bathroom and run a hot steamy shower. This acts like an on-the-spot humidifier.
Try natural food additives – Try adding a little olive oil, fish oil or another source of omega 3 fatty acids. Do not add too much (a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on your dog’s size). And only do this a couple of times each week. This should help with your dog’s dry skin.
Apply natural topical oils – For really bad cases, a dog dry skin remedy that works well is to massage a little olive oil directly onto your dog’s skin once a day.
At the Fun Times Guide, we also learned:
Brushing your dog removes the loose hair and dander that’s accumulating near your dog’s skin (especially if you use a good undercoat brush like the Furminator). By clearing away the irritants that are trapped and hovering around your dog’s skin, you’re letting the skin breathe. (Fresh air is good!) At the same time, you’re also stimulating the release of your dog’s natural skin oils — which will make his coat healthier and shinier over time. Who knew that something so simple and basic as brushing your dog’s coat could help to control and eliminate itchy and irritated skin. When his skin is itchy, inflammatory blood cells and chemical compounds such as histamine and prostaglandins accumulate in the affected area. These are all responsible for the reddening and inflammation that causes the itch.
Change diet – Your best bet is to try a 100% natural dog food. (Don’t trust the name alone; check the list of ingredients to be sure.) While better dog foods tend to cost more than the most popular store brands, they’re much better quality. And since they have no fillers and preservatives, your dog actually needs less of it in order to feel full.
Some dog owners have had great luck by switching to a vegetarian dog food diet or even a raw food diet (like the BARF diet). Whichever dog food you choose to feed your dog, the idea is to find one that has the right amount of essential fatty acids. (See how much and which ingredients are best for dogs.)
Groom your dog – One session with a professional groomer can work wonders at bringing your dog back to the best he can be coat-wise and looks-wise. Plus, a professional groomer is keenly aware of dog skin issues… and remedies! So it makes sense to get your dog professionally groomed before you try other things.
Use a dog shampoo – if you want to shampoo the pooch yourself, don’t use human shampoo which are more acidic and irritating to a dog’s skin. Human shampoos, even the baby variety, are far too drying for a dog’s sensitive skin and have a variety of additives — for example, thickening shampoos or those for color treatments — that are unnecessary and perhaps, harmful to pets. Because dogs bathe much less frequently and get so much dirtier than we do, their shampoos have to work even harder than ours – so dog shampoos have to be even better quality than human ones.
Drs Foster & Smith, recommended a great dog shampoo:
If your dog has itchy skin, the first thing you want to do is offer relief. One of the quickest ways to alleviate scratching is to soothe his skin and coat with shampoos designed specifically for that purpose.
Though we recommend you manage your pet’s allergies by limiting exposure to allergens, feeding a premium diet, and supplementing with an Omega-3 fatty acid, you can temporarily relieve the itch associated with allergies with our Advanced Formula Itch Stop Shampoo and Creme Rinse. Formulated with ingredients such as hydrocortisone, lidocaine, and soothing oils, these non-stinging formulas work great for petswhoare miserable from itching. Itch Stop works quickly to offer the relief he needs.