Sunday, December 30, 2007

5 Tips for Winterizing your Dog

Ever notice that your skin gets drier in the winter months? Your dog or cat has the same problem. The nights get longer, the days cooler and the temperature drops. As your heating bills go up, your dog's skin and coat gets drier.

Here are a few tips to help keep your pet's coat and skin in tip top shape this winter.

  1. Shampoo regularly. A regular bath will help keep your pet's skin clean and the pores unclogged. It helps to loosen dead hair and will keep the skin healthy. Use a mild, natural shampoo that is formulated for pets. The PH balance for pets is different than for humans so a human shampoo is not the right choice. At Happy Tails, we recommend Espree products as they are all natural and remove dirt without stripping the natural oils from the coat.
  2. Brush regularly. Brushing your dogs coat will help to stimulate the skin. It removes dirt and tangles and keeps the coat from matting. Matts prevent the skin from drying and can contribute to fungal and bacterial infections of the skin. You will want to brush your dog out completely before bathing as small tangles or matts will become larger as the coat dries.
  3. Condition the coat. Always use a conditioner or remoisturizer after the bath. These products are specially formulated and help to seal the hair shaft. This prevents moisture loss and makes the hair smoother to prevent tangles and matts. There are many options for different coat types. If you are not sure which is the best for your pet, ask your groomer or veterinarian.
  4. Keep Feet clean. Dogs grow hair between the pads of their feet. During the winter with frequent rain or snow, this hair needs to be cleaned and/or removed to prevent infections. Just think about running around with wet socks outside. Whether it is cool and rainy or icy, this is very uncomfortable. Ice and snow can back inside the pads. The hair gets wet and matts and then does not dry completely. Removing this hair is the best option but if you can't do that, make sure that your dog's feet are clean and get dried when they come inside.
  5. Supplements. The best way to care for your dogs skin (and your own) is from the inside out. Make sure that you are feeding a good quality dog food. Dog foods should contain Omega 3 and 6 oils. If you are noticing hair loss or dry skin, it's a good idea to supplement their regular diet with additional oils. Almost all of the skin and coat conditions will clear up with proper nutrition. I recommend Nu Vet Supplements as they are made with human grade ingredients and I have seen amazing results.
With a little extra winter care, your dogs coat and skin should remain healthy and shiny through the winter months. Stay warm!

1 comment:

Steve said...

I've written several articles that go along with this information related to the hair loss and parasites that may afflict your dog. If you would like to read them, here's the one on hair loss hair loss

and here's the one on parasites

by the way, I gave a zoom and a stumble for this article. If you like mine, it would be greatly appreciated if you'd do the same. Thanks,
Steve