Why is my dog’s skin dry & scratchy in winter? 5 cold weather tips for canine skin health

Why is my dog’s skin dry & scratchy in winter? 5 cold weather tips for canine skin health

It’s cold, muddy and wet—but your dog’s skin and coat are dry and itchy. Why is winter bad for your dog's skin, and how can you help?

By Antinol Team

As winter creeps in and our heating goes on, have you noticed your dog’s coat isn’t looking its best. Do they seem itchy? And oh, the flaky skin!! 🤦

Why do dogs get dry skin in winter, and how can you help them?

Why do dogs get dry skin in winter?

The cold weather, heating and a lack of outdoor time take the biggest toll on our dog’s skin and coat. Here are the 4 biggest reasons your pooch might have dry, flaky skin this winter. 

Cold weather

It’s horrible out there. Cold, rainy and windy. And let’s not even start on the snow! Agh! Repeated exposure to wet, cold weather can cause your dog’s skin to dry out, even on their paws. Watch out for flaky skin, and dry, cracked pads. Ouch!

Dry air

We tend to whack up the heating when the temperature drops, and here our heating systems are awful for skin. Have you noticed your own skin feels tigher when the heating goes on? It’s the same for our pets. 

Plus, constantly moving from the cold outdoors to the warm house adds stress to our pets already dry skin.

Indoor allergens

If your dog is the sensitive type, with skin or food allergies, the reduced time outdoors means they’re exposed to more indoor allergens, which could be causing skin issues. Dust mites, cleaning chemical residues and air fresheners can all irritate your dog’s skin and may even result in allergy flare-ups. 

Bathing routine

Winter weather means wet, muddy dogs—not usually a welcome sight dripping water and leaving paw prints on your clean floors. And oooh, eau de wet dog…not the cosy winter scent you want pervading through your home. 

So, we tend to bathe our dogs more in the winter months, which can dry out their skin, causing it to be flaky, dry and itchy.

Keep an eye on the shampoos and other products you are using too. These can strip your dog of their skin’s natural, protective oils. 

As for the wet dog smell….more regular baths can actually make that worse! Pooweee!

So, how can we help our dog’s skin during the colder months? Can we avoid them feeling dry and uncomfortable?


There are a few things you can do to support your dog’s skin health this winter…

1. Keep your dog hydrated

Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water, as dehydration can exacerbate the symptoms associated with dry skin. If they’re not a big drinker, think about adding a little slurp to their dinner, or getting a dog water fountain. 

2. Increase the humidity in your home

Dry air from your heating causes your dog's skin to dry out, leading to dry skin and a dull-looking coat. Add a humidifier to your home to see improved skin hydration for you and your dog! Or, add some pet-safe houseplants for less drying air.

3. Give your dog a high-quality skin, joint and wellness supplement

Nourish your dog’s skin from the inside with a high-quality wellness supplement containing omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and other essential fatty acids. Antinol supports your dog’s natural skin health from the inside out.

4. Reduce bathing 

We know they get wet and muddy, but try not to bathe your dog too often, especially if you’re using shampoo. Regular bathing dries out your dog’s skin, and the products can strip it of its natural oils.

5. Coats and jumpers

Some breeds of dogs, especially those with thin coats or sensitive skin, need more protection against the elements. Find a comfy, practical coat or jumper that fits your dog, to protect them when they’re out and about this winter. 

And above all, look forward to the weather warming up, and imagine the sunny days ahead…ahhh. 😎

Too cold for walkies? Check out how to exercise your dog in the cold, winter months. 

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