We get a lot of inquiries about how to help cats and dogs with itchy, dry skin during the winter or during prime allergy season. Winter in Minnesota means it is cold and dry! Often our first recommendation is to review their diet because if it’s an allergen, food can be a prime source. If your pet’s diet has not been changed recently and dry, irritated skin appears, it could be onset with the change in weather.
Here are a few suggestions and tips to help make your cats and dogs more comfortable from healing bodywork to essential oils and supplements. Read on:
– Check moisture levels in the house (humidifier) and increase if appropriate. Studies vary, but say indoor humidity of 40-60% is desirable.
– Lavender & coconut oil: Apply lavender essential oil to irritated areas on the skin and cover with coconut oil over the top. This will help soothe and regenerate the skin. Use a very small amount of lavender. Application amount will depend on species as well as size. Ask us for help if you’re not sure how much to use. Make sure therapeutic-grade essential oils only. Cats and dogs WILL lick and ingest the oils and we want to keep them safe from artificial substances that could be toxic. You can get coconut oil at your local pet store or co-op.
– Purification Essential Oil: This essential oil can be added separately or in conjunction with lavender. It helps stop the itch and also has antiseptic properties to help prevent infection. If your cat or dog is scratching or chewing on their skin a lot, this is a good option to incorporate. Typically, our recommendation is to apply the lavender and Purification at separate times of the day. For instance, apply the Purification in the morning and the lavender in the evening. Coat each application with coconut oil.
– Copaiba Essential Oil: Can be used to help reduce inflammation and associated discomfort. It’s a great compliment to be mixed with the application of other essential oils to increase the effectiveness. This light and gentle aroma is easily accepted by most pets.
– Add coconut oil and/ or fish oil to your dog or cat’s diet. There’s now even a fish oil option that contains CBD oil. Start with a small amount and increase it slowly over the course of a couple of weeks to prevent soft stools. Being cats and dogs have more of a carnivorous diet, the fish oil is typically the best option. It acts as a vascular anti-inflammatory, which helps the body with allergies from the inside out. Coconut oil is ideal for pets with fish allergies or those prone to yeast inflections.
– Seameal supplement by Solid Gold. It helps with allergies and skin issues as well as digestibility of food. It comes in a powder form making it easy to add to food.
– Consider things like bedding (blankets, dog beds, etc). Are any of them new, recently washed, sitting over/near heat vent? Recently washed could indicate an allergy or sensitivity to washing detergent, move if near a heat vent – the air could be too dry.
– Add water to your pet’s feeding, In general, unless feeding raw, cat and dog food lack moisture. You can also supplement with some high quality, limited ingredient canned food or bone broth to get extra hydration into him or her.
– CBD Oil – helps manage pain and discomfort, reduce swelling and balance your cat or dog’s neurological system to calm down it’s response to allergies.
– Pet Massage: Did you know that getting regular massages for your cat or dog boosts and balances their immune system? This directly helps your pet manage irritants and disease for better overall health. There are so many other benefits and reasons to get a massage, but the support to their internal systems is often overlooked but so vital.
These are some things to look into to help keep your cats and dogs comfortable. Animal Intuition will work with you to help keep your pet healthy, so please contact us if you would like individual support. If skin issues have been a persistent problem, please contact your veterinarian for assistance as this information is designed to be for educational purposes and suggestions only. It is not meant to diagnose, cure or treat.