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Posted on 12-02-2015

Caring for Your Dog’s Skin and Paws in the Winter

Winter is just around the corner in Phoenix, Arizona, and with it comes dry skin, fur, and paws. Though many people think that a dog’s fur protects them from the elements, dogs are just as prone as humans to dry, itchy skin! Use these helpful products and tools to keep your dog’s paws warm and healthy throughout the winter months.

Bathing and Grooming
In the dry winter months, dogs can be particularly prone to dandruff and irritated skin. Opt to bathe your dog a little less frequently in the winter, typically 1-2 times monthly. We recommend using a hypoallergenic, moisturizing shampoo.

Carefully brush through your dog’s hair coat regularly to ensure stimulation of the hair follicles and natural oil glands in the skin. Regular brushing will exfoliate and help to remove any old skin as you brush across the surface to help the skin to renew faster.

If your dog’s skin needs a little more care, try giving it an oatmeal bath to help soothe the dryness. If the problem persists, there are also medicated shampoos available for itchy skin. Feel free to call us at Phoenix Veterinary Center at (602) 559-5500 to find the best options for treating your dog’s skin with any shampoo or topical ointment.

Coconut oil
Though dogs have a special circulatory system in their paws that keeps them warmer than human feet, the harsh winter temperatures can be damaging and painful to their paw pads.

If your dog experiences dry or cracked paws during the dry winter months in Arizona, coconut oil can help bring back moisture to the skin. Remember, don’t over do it, application only should be small amounts once daily.

Before your dog goes to bed at night, thoroughly massage coconut oil into their paws (so that they can’t lick it off). You’ll be amazed at their improved condition.

Overall, be smart when taking your dog for a walk in the winter. Stay away from cold, slippery areas – but be sure to enjoy the walk, as exercise is key in keeping your pet healthy and happy! Call us at Phoenix Veterinary Center at (602) 559-5500 if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s skin or paw health. 

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