As temperatures fall, so do humidity levels in your home and outdoors. A drop in humidity often leads to dry, itchy skin and can leave your furry pal uncomfortable during the winter months. Prevent excessive scratching and licking by soothing your pet’s skin with a combination of at-home and veterinary-approved therapies.
At-home dry skin treatments for your pet
Making a few changes at home can help not only your pet’s dry skin but yours as well. If the harsh winter weather is sapping the moisture from your pet’s skin, try the following suggestions:
- Increase your home’s humidity level — An ideal humidity level falls between 40% and 60%, so if your home is too dry, invest in a humidifier.
- Use alternative ways to provide warmth — While cranking up the furnace will keep your pet toasty warm, it also will leach moisture from their skin. Provide blankets and pet-friendly heating mats for warmth instead of turning up the thermostat.
- Improve your pet’s diet — A high-quality diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids will boost your furry pal’s skin health, making it more resistant to winter drying.
- Groom your pet regularly — Brushing your pet more frequently will help disperse healthy skin oils, while bathing them less frequently in cool water—and using an oatmeal shampoo—will preserve those same oils.
Veterinary-approved dry skin treatments for your pet
Some pets have such dry skin that at-home remedies do not provide enough relief. There also may be an underlying issue triggering their dry, flaky skin. If your pet’s skin is dry, irritated, and itchy, they may need the following:
- Skin supplements — Supplements like fish oil and other sources of omega-3 can boost skin health and moisture retention, but some pets can develop diarrhea or other health issues if the doses are too high. Consult your veterinarian before adding a skin supplement to your pet’s regimen.
- Diagnostic testing — Certain diseases, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease, can cause your pet to have dry, flaky skin that does not respond to typical at-home remedies. Blood work and other diagnostic testing may be necessary to get to the root cause of your pet’s skin problems.
Is your furry pal itchy and uncomfortable? Contact your veterinarian for help soothing their dry, irritated skin.