Pet Skin and Paw Care Tips for Winter in the Desert

Although we might not experience the feet of snow, rain, and sleet or sub-zero temperatures that other parts of the country get during winter, Tucson winters can still affect your pet’s health. It’s important to remember a few additional pet care tips during the cooler months of the year to make sure your pets stay happy and healthy all year long.

5 Winter Pet Care Tips

1. Humidity Control

You’ve probably noticed that winter air dries out your skin. The same thing can happen to your pet. Spending time outside in the cool, arid air and then coming inside to an equally dry climate can leave your pet with itchy, flaky skin. You can help combat this irritation by running a humidifier in your home and by always being sure to towel dry your pet if he or she comes inside wet. If your pet’s paws become dry or cracked, try moisturizing them with coconut oil or bag balm. Pay careful attention to their paw pads and in between their toes.

2. Bathing

When the air’s cold and dry, pets need the protection of the natural oils in their coats. Bathing them too frequently will strip their fur and skin of these protective oils. If you must bathe your pet in winter, be sure to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner formulated for pets.

3. Grooming

Pets need their fur to stay warm in the cooler weather. In the summer, a pet’s fur shouldn’t be trimmed too short to protect them from the sun. In the winter, longer fur will protect them from the cold.

4. Dressing Up

If your pet has naturally short fur, don’t be afraid of pet sweaters. These will keep your pup toasty on a long walk in the morning or evening. Just be sure to always supervise a stylish pet, as clothing can get caught on other objects, trapping a pet easily.

5. Travel to Colder Climates

If you plan to travel to any colder climates with your pet, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with the snow, ice, and the chemicals that subsequently wind up on the roads and sidewalks. Salts and antifreeze are not only toxic for pets, they will also irritate the gentle pads of their feet. Be sure to clean their paws as soon as your walk is finished.

Keep Pets Healthy with an Annual Wellness Exam

Regardless of the season, it’s important for pets to have regular wellness exams with our veterinarian. We recommend healthy adult pets see the veterinarian once a year for a checkup and vaccinations. Puppies, kittens, senior pets, and pets with existing health conditions might need to visit more frequently. To schedule your pet’s next wellness appointment, we invite you to contact Adobe Veterinary Center today.