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Cold Weather Skin and Coat Health

In Partnership with Black Gold

Last Updated:


In some ways, it’s a lot easier to feel freedom during the winter. The trails are less crowded, and much of nature is fast asleep.

For those of us formidable enough to take on winter with our best friends, the experiences can be peaceful, solitary, and deeply satisfying.

Just as we have to take special precautions to enjoy winter adventures, so do our furry friends. So before exploring the joys of winter, it’s important to ensure your dog’s skin and coat are healthy.

Skin and coat health is especially important during the winter months. Cold, dry air can be harsh on your dog’s skin. Some symptoms of poor skin and coat health include dull fur, hair loss, redness, rashes, and skin sores. Issues like dry skin may not feel like immediate concerns for your dog. However, if untreated they can be exacerbated by winter weather and increase risks of infection.

An overall healthy, balanced diet will fortify your dog’s skin and coat. But the key ingredient to look out for are Omega-6 & Omega-3 fatty acids. Common sources for these nutrients are fish oil and flax seed.

Omega-6 & Omega-3 are fatty acids made up of several different types of fatty acids. The most important one for skin and coat health is Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid for dogs. This nutrient stimulates the growth of your dog’s skin and hair, and helps the skin repair itself. As a whole, these fatty acids have a variety of other health benefits. These include promoting eye health, improving brain function, and reducing inflammation in the skin, gut, and joints.

Omega-6 & Omega-3 fatty acids come as a pair because balance between the two is critical. The ideal ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is between 5:1 and 10:1. Too many Omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation, disrupt the immune system, and trigger skin conditions such as “hot spots”. High levels can be found in pet foods that do not contain fish oil, fish meal or flax seed.

All Black Gold formulas include optimal ratios of Omega-6 & Omega-3 fatty acids, along with other valuable vitamins and nutrients.

A healthy skin and coat will protect your dog from the harsh elements of winter. For shorthair breeds, however, a healthy coat may not be enough.

Many long-haired breeds such as Huskies and Newfoundlands are bred to handle the cold. But shorthair dogs may not have enough fur to comfortably spend long periods outdoors. Consider a jacket to keep your shorthair breeds warm if you’re planning a longer winter adventure.

Lastly, we can’t talk about skin and coat health without talking about booties. No, your dog won’t like them. But they do contribute to your dog’s overall well-being during the winder months. They help give your dog traction on icy snow to prevent orthopedic injuries. In addition, booties can prevent painful ice balls from building up in between your dog’s toes.

No matter what your winter adventure looks like, help your dog make the most of the shorter days with strong skin and coat health.

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