Published On: Wed, Dec 16th, 2015

Top 5 winter skin and paw care tips

When the weather turns chilly during the winter months, humans often feel dryness and tightness of the skin as one of the side effects. Cats and dogs certainly aren’t immune to these weather changes, so follow these tips to help keep your furry friend comfortable this winter.

Allergic Reactions

As temperatures drop, the humidity levels tend to go lower as well. To compensate, we use our heaters more frequently in our homes, leading to warm and dry air that can cause allergies and itchy skin. We use lotion to combat this problem, but pets can’t tell us when their skin is itchy, so they typically scratch and roll around more. This often leads to a skin infection. Prevent reactions by bathing animals with soothing and natural ingredients, such as oatmeal and eucalyptus. Make sure to rinse all soap from his or her coat to prevent itching after the bath.

Improve Nutrition

Many skin conditions in dogs and cats are attributed to poor nutrition. Some types of dry foods don’t have the nutrients that keep your pet’s skin and coat shiny and healthy. Talk to your vet about better food options, such as fresh foods or canned foods that have the nutrients they need. If you don’t have a vet that you consult regularly, check out Kuddly.co to talk to a vet who can provide suggestions or diagnose medical problems online.

Chemical Burns on Paws 

The salt and other de-icing materials that we use during the winter can cause chemical burns to your pets’ paws. If you walk your dog outside, consider covering his paws or washing them thoroughly when you get home. You can also use non-chemical ice melting options, such as kitty litter or sand, to help prevent this problem when your dog is in your yard. If a dog or cat ingests a chemical de-icing material, it could also cause illness or even become fatal.

Proper Grooming

Dog in snowIf you have a long-haired cat or dog, you may notice small ice crystals or bits of de-icing material sticking to their coats. Good grooming habits are a good way to prevent this problem, and be sure to include the hair between the pet’s toes, since these longer hairs can attract ice and salt. Regular brushing also increases circulation and improves skin health. If your pet seems too chilly during the winter after a grooming session, consider dressing him or her in a sweater for walks. Avoid clothing if your pet seems uncomfortable or becomes aggressive.

Avoid Dehydration

When a pet plays vigorously during the winter, his or her body burns more energy to keep the body temperature high. As a result, dehydration is a concern that you can prevent by providing extra water. When your furry friend stays hydrated, the skin will be less dry and stay healthy even in the colder months.

With a few simple modifications to your regular schedule, you can keep your pet’s skin and paws healthy. This will keep your beloved pet companion feeling happy and comfortable when the weather turns cold.