Help your dog cope with winter skin and coat issues

by Sojos | February 12, 2013

You know how uncomfortable your own skin can become in winter if you don’t take care of it - it cracks, it flakes and it itches. When you think about everything you need to do to stay comfortable in your skin, remember that your dog might need a helping hand to deal with winter dryness and other issues, too.

There are a number of things you can do to deal with the problems that can crop up during the winter, but one of the most important steps you can take is a year-round solution: feed a highly nutritious diet. A healthy coat is one of the best indicators of overall well being, and the naturally occurring nutrients in Sojos raw dog food support all aspects of a dog’s health, including skin and coat.

However, in the face of a particularly tough winter, you might find your well-fed dog still has occasional degradation in skin and coat condition. A few simple tips will enable you to keep your dog comfortable, even in the harshest conditions.

* Wash wisely. Washing your dog too much can lead to increased dryness and correlating problems, like dandruff. Only wash your dog when it’s absolutely necessary in order to keep him clean, but otherwise, spare your pup a shower. When you do bathe your dog, never use human shampoos; dogs’ skin has a different pH balance and your shampoo can throw that balance off. That disruption can strip away needed oils, cause dryness, and make your dog more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses.

* Supplement when necessary. The benefits of high quality food can be effectively supported by natural supplements. In many cases, simply looking to healthy whole foods and items already in your pantry can be the key. Whole eggs (even with the shell on), coconut oil and some fish high in essential fatty acids, like salmon or mackerel, can all provide added nutrition that will boost skin and coat condition. Before you supplement your dog’s food, talk to your holistic vet about which foods are suggested for your particular dog and how much you should give.

* Keep oils in mind. Healthy oils, provide through food or supplements, can help your dog naturally maintain or regain the natural oil balance in his skin and coat. Nuts and grains are excellent sources of nutrient rich oils, like Omega 3s – Sojos Original and Grain Free pre-mixes include pecans, while the Complete Beef and Turkey foods include flax. Whole food supplements like those from The Missing Link are also a good source of Omega 3 and 6 oils.

* Boost humidity. Do yourself and your dog a favor by making your home environment a bit more humid. Keep a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, and keep it on while you’re there. The extra moisture in the air is good for skin, and can even help prevent or ease the respiratory illnesses so common during this time of year.
Keep these ideas in mind and both you and your pup will make it through winter comfortably. And don’t despair - spring is just around the corner!