Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Winter coat care for your dog

It is 4 degrees where I live!  This is definitely not normal.  I don’t like it and the dogs definitely don’t like it.  I have the back door closed, like a sensible person, and the dogs are rarely asking to go outside.  They normally run in and out of the house all the time but with the temps we’ve been having they start snuggling on the bed in the afternoon and stay there all night.


347740712_fd554dc266_mI have the heat cranked up and that’s made me aware that indoor heat can be very drying to skin — not just my skin but also for the dogs.  For myself I can put some lotion on my hands and make sure that I drink lots of water.  For the dogs, dry indoor heat with low humidity can lead to some skin problems in winter.  Many people have dogs that develop flaky skin and dander in the winter time.


If your dog does have dry skin in the winter you can cut down on baths.  Bathing removes the natural oils that lubricate your dog’s skin so frequent baths in cold, dry weather aren’t a good idea.  When you do bathe your dog in the winter you should use a good shampoo and conditioner such as one with an oatmeal-base to protect the skin.  Oatmeal shampoos and conditioners are soothing to skin (that’s why we use them with humans, too) and help flaky and irritated skin.


Brushing your dog frequently in the winter is a good idea.  This helps distribute those natural skin oils.  It also removes dander and loose hair.  Massaging your dog — with lots of petting — also helps.


If you have a dog that sheds a lot you may want to try a really cool tool like a Furminator or a Coat King.  These are shedding tools with multiple fine blades.  They grab your dog’s dead undercoat and drag it out.  I have a Coat King and I absolutely love it.  It’s the first tool I use on all of my dogs when I groom them.  It works better on some of my dogs than others because some of my dogs have more undercoat than others, but it’s actually fun to use.  It is fun to see all of that dead hair come out!  That’s hair that is NOT going to accumulate on my floors and furniture.  If you have a breed or dog that sheds a lot you may want to consider one of these tools.


Of course, you want to feed your dog a high quality dog food.  Some people like to supplement their dog’s diet with fish oil tablets or salmon oil.  It’s a good idea to give vitamin E tablets if you are giving fish oil to help your dog metabolize the fish oil.  Fish oil is an Omega 3 essential fatty acid.  Omega 3s helps many functions in your pet’s body, including maintaining healthy skin.  Be careful giving other kinds of oil.  Dogs cannot metabolize all kinds of oils well.  Some will merely make their coats greasy or give them diarrhea.


Don’t forget to have clean water available to your pets at all times.  I have one dog (naughty Pearl) who thinks it’s fun to splash the water out of the bucket in the kitchen, but I still keep the big bucket filled all the time.  Pearl has actually improved a lot.  She used to dump the bucket, sometimes several times a day, when she was a puppy.  I was mopping the kitchen all the time.  I finally had to bolt the bucket to a post outside for a while to make her stop.  I only started bringing the bucket back inside a few months ago.


345957966_0106445401_mAs I mentioned the other day, you should take care of your dog’s paws in winter weather, too.  Wash them off if your dog is out walking in salted and de-iced areas.  Salt and de-icing chemicals can be very bad for your dog if he licks them off his paws.  Salt and chemicals can also make your dog’s paws dry and cause them to crack.


You should also keep the hair on your pet’s paws trimmed in winter.  This hair tends to pick up ice and snow.  Not only is this uncomfortable for your dog but you wouldn’t believe how much mud and snow this hair can bring into your house!


To help keep your dog’s pads from cracking you can use some Vaseline on his paws.  There are also some products made specifically for a dog’s paws to help keep them soft and supple in the winter time.


You can also help your dog by getting him some dog boots to wear in the winter if you live in an area with very hard winters.  Most dogs don’t need boots but if you live in a place with lots of snow and ice dog boots can be very helpful to your dog.

January 17, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, General, Pets | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for sharing so much on your Blog….it’s great to find all these like-minded people online.

    You’re cordially invited to visit my Blog….

    Hello from Hong Kong.

    Comment by mavismolly | January 17, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: