Winter can mean a lot of things for your dog. From less time outside to colder temperatures and earlier nights affecting their routines, winter can have physical and emotional effects on your pet.

One of the biggest problems winter can cause is to your dog's skin. The cold temperatures, low humidity, high winds and going in and out of the warmth throughout the day can play havoc with your dog's skin, causing irritation and painful sores.

While you should groom your pet regularly throughout the year, it is even more important to do so during the winter months. This will not only keep your pet's fur looking healthy, it can also lessen the impact the season has on their skin.

One of the biggest skin complaints experienced by dogs at this time of year is dandruff, which can become uncomfortable and unsightly.

With the changes in environment associated with winter, your dog's skin can start to produce too much oil and skin cell turnover can speed up. This can result in patchy areas of skin or clumpy dandruff.

If this occurs, you will need to bath your dog to help get rid of dandruff build-up and reduce irritation that can lead to them scratching or biting their skin. Unfortunately, using shampoos can actually make the issue worse as it will strip too much oil from your dog's skin and result in further irritation.

To avoid this simply bathe them with warm water to remove the build-up. If you have to shampoo, be sure to select one that is suitable for sensitive skin and also has moisturising properties.

If your dog's skin is particularly flaky and is causing a lot of irritation, oat baths are a great natural way to help soothe the skin and increase its moisture level.

You should also aim to use a soft brush to groom your pet as this will help stimulate the follicles, which will regulate oil production. It will also help to remove any dry bits of skin and further cut down on dandruff, allowing the skin to better heal itself.

Written by: Hannah