Winter weather can severely dry out your skin. If you notice your dog doing a lot of scratching, remember that they may also be suffering. For dogs that spend most of their day in the house, constant exposure to heat can lead to an itchy, miserable coat.
Watch Their Diet
As a general rule, cheap dog food and treats are loaded with fillers and many dogs are allergic to the grains such as corn and wheat used to make the food. Unfortunately, rapidly switching your dog food brand can lead to both skin problems and stomach upset.
Consider an Anti-Allergen
You can give your dog a Benadryl to calm down their skin before you try a new dog food. For perfect dosage, give the dog one mg of Benadryl per 1 pound of dog. A simpler dosage is to give one 25 mg tablet to larger dogs and cut the tablet in half for a little dog. Do this before bedtime as the dog may sleep harder and longer than you’re used to. If the dog has red, inflamed patches that they continue to worry at, consider coning them until the condition calms down.
Add Some Fat
Boosting fat or oil intake can soothe the skin. Peanut butter treats are a simple source of fat and can make it easier to get the Benadryl dosage in the dog. Coconut oil is another option to boost fat intake. Just smear it on a treat as you would peanut butter. Introduce fats sparingly and slowly as this can impact their digestion. Be ready to give them another walk or give unfettered access to the yard to avoid accidents in the house.
Don’t Abuse Shampoo
While it’s true that there are dog shampoos on the market that can soothe their skin, it’s not a good idea to overuse shampoo, particularly in cold months. This process strips the coat of oil and may lead to even dryer skin. Unless the dog gets very dirty, keep them brushed to boost oil production and wait for warmer weather to shampoo.
To keep your pup happy and itch-free in the winter, add some fat, reduce inflammation and keep them brushed instead of shampooing them regularly. Study their habits. If they’re scratching, chewing on their feet or shaking their heads as though their ears are bothering them, dry skin may be the culprit.