Itchy Winter Skin

 
 
Paper Trained
by
Scott Sandeman, D.V.M.
 
Just because the weather outside is frightful, it doesn’t mean the cozy comforts of home can’t contribute to issues with your pet.   In particular, as temperatures drop so do humidity levels that can lead to flaky dry skin.  Here are some tips to solve this dandruff dilemma for the four legged couch warmers at your house:
1.) Turn up the humidity!  Don’t forget to adjust the settings on your furnace to increase the humidity level-in most cases a simple turn of the dial will do the job.  For pets with problems that would benefit from even higher moisture levels, a separate humidifier may be necessary.  Always follow all safety advice when using these products.
2.)Fish oil has a number of documented benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and is available in a variety of forms for your pet.  Check with your veterinarian before starting any oral supplement however and ask about a dose-different pets may require different amounts of these essential fatty acids.
3.)Consider a trip to the beauty salon!  Ask your veterinarian about the many shampoos available to treat dry skin-she will want to make sure that a bacterial or yeast infection isn’t contributing to the problem.  If you get the green light, ask about shampoos with colloidal oatmeal, moisturizers or even conditioning rinses.  Remember pets have a different pH on their skin and people or no- tear baby shampoo can damage and dry dog and cats furry coats.
Check your pet regularly for environmentally or weather related changes to coat, skin and paws.  Pay special attention if you notice an increase in scratching and ask your veterinarian to help solve this and other dry skin issues!

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