3 Ways You Can Help Your Pet Avoid Dry Skin

Winter is coming and with it comes chilly temperatures and indoor heating. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, so winter tends to be drying, especially for people further north. I think most of us can tell this because our clothes get static-y and when we touch people or our furkids, we tend to accidently shock each other! Hair and fur can suffer the effects of this too.

With this decreased moisture outside and inside, we can get dry skin. And, so can our fine furry friends! As much as we may drink, sometimes even that doesn’t help fix our dry skin. Sometimes you may see flakes come off or they may be a bit more itchy than normal. Some dogs can get dryer noses, too! Interestingly, unlike us, dry weather doesn’t cause nose bleeding in dogs or cats.

So what can you do? There are a number of things that we can do to help:

Increase your household humidity

Humidity should be between 40 and 50 percent for best indoor health. With winter, as there’s such a big difference between inside and outside humidity, you may find that water droplets can collect on your glass. So, you may need to drop a bit below 40 percent. And, you certainly don’t want it above 50 percent because that can cause mold, rot, and paint and wallpaper peeling (yuck!).

First things first – check the humidity in your house. You can do this with an instrument called a hygrometer. You can find it often with those home weather stations or at most hardwood or home stores.

Now that you’ve check it, next is to add moisture if it’s too low. You can use inside water fountains, tea kettles on wood stoves (those that are manufactured to be safe), or use a humidifier.

Somethings to consider: Basements and bathrooms have higher humidity than other rooms. If your pet doesn’t spend much time there, you may want to check the humidity of where (s)he does.

Add omega 3 fatty acids to your pet’s diet

These are all the rage and for good reason! Not only does moisture affect our skin, but so do the oils that are present in our skin. They act as natural moisturizers. Omega 3 fatty acids are the “good” fatty acids that help skin health. If your furkid has dry skin in the winter, you may want to add some to their diet. Follow package instructions or consult your veterinarian. If the itching doesn’t improve, the skin is broken or gets worse, call your veterinarian.

Shampoo less

Our furry friends have natural oils on their skin that help prevent loss of moisture. Frequent shampooing can really take these away. Plus, it’s cold out! Reducing your shampooing can really help reduce dry skin. Also, there are some moisturizers which are called humectants that can really help.

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