Winter Paw Protection for Dogs

Cold winter weather means lots of dry noses and cracked paws for the pups, but excellent paw protection products are available to help.  Moisturizing healing creams made with pet-friendly ingredients can be applied once or twice daily (or as needed) to prevent snouts and pads from getting overly dry, inflamed, or infected.  Not only are such creams safe if licked off by your pet, you can use these products on your own dry hands, feet, and elbows with excellent results.

Dr. Harvey’s Organic Healing Cream is a blend of organic shea butter and herbal extracts that protects the skin while healing cracks and minor abrasions.  Keep a jar in your pet’s first aid kit to help heal hot spots, cuts, or other minor skin injuries too.  Cain & Able’s Paw Rub combines coconut oil with several other plant-based oils and butters for a soothing balm that locks moisture inside skin without the use of petroleum.

Don’t forget to support your pet’s skin health nutritionally from the inside by adding a high-quality fish oil supplement to food daily.  The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil support cell membrane integrity, and strong cell membranes are needed to maintain the moisture content of cells and tissues.  Our preferred fish oil brands for pets are Nordic Naturals and Iceland Pure.  Both are distilled to high levels of purity to remove environmental toxins and reduce odor.

For physical protection against the cold, heat, or rough terrain, get your pet a set of Dog Mocs. Made in the USA of natural deerskin leather, Dog Mocs are durable, flexible, and comfortable, and they look great too.  They’re warm during the winter, breathable during the summer, and an excellent barrier against the elements.  (Discounts are available for active military and law enforcement personnel looking to outfit their dogs with nature’s best paw protection!)

Dog Mocs Paw Protection

Dog Mocs provide paw protection against cold, heat, rain, snow, and rough terrain.

Tips to Help Dry Skin in Pets

Dry, flaky skin is a common problem for humans in this drought-ridden desert state, and dogs and cats suffer from it too.  As unattractive as it may be, it’s not just a cosmetic concern, especially for our pets.  Dry, itchy, irritated skin is more prone to bacterial and fungal infections, and also makes your pet more susceptible to parasites such as fleas and ticks.  Here are some things you can do to combat dry skin in pets:

Feed a Good Quality Diet

Skin health and coat quality are often the first to suffer when a pet isn’t getting its nutritional needs met.  Feeding an all-natural, species-appropriate diet made with quality animal-based proteins instead of cheap fillers will help ensure your pet is getting easily assimilated nutrients for building and maintaining supple skin and soft fur.  Pet food ingredients to always avoid:  corn, wheat, soy, by-products, unnamed meats, high fructose corn syrup and other added sugars, propylene glycol, BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and artificial preservatives.

Make Sure Your Pet Is Well Hydrated

Fresh water should always be available for your pet.  Encourage drinking by placing multiple bowls around the house, and consider investing in a fountain to keep water as fresh and enticing as possible.  Increase water intake by including high-moisture foods such as canned food, raw food, and rehydrated freeze-dried food in the diet.  This is especially important for cats, who don’t have a strong thirst mechanism and can be subclinically dehydrated if fed only dry kibble.

Supplement with Fish Oil

Iceland Pure and Nordic Naturals fish oil for pets

Iceland Pure and Nordic Naturals fish oil products for pets

Fish oil helps to condition and moisturize the skin from the inside out.  Omega-3 fatty acids are an important component of cell membranes, and strong cell membranes are needed to maintain the water content of cells and tissues.  Please note that it is important to give your pets fish oils rather than plant-sourced oils (such as flax or olive) because dogs and cats do not efficiently convert the long-chain fatty acids in plant oils into the beneficial forms (DHA and EPA) they can utilize[Our highly recommended fish oil brands for pets:  Iceland Pure and Nordic Naturals.]

Add Body Guard Food Supplement to Meals

Protec Body Guard

Protec Body Guard food supplement for dogs and cats

Protec Body Guard is chock-full of fantastic ingredients to improve any pet’s diet and overall health, but two ingredients in particular support skin health:  lecithin and choline chloride.  Lecithin is a dry source of fatty acids and phospholipids that help maintain cell membrane integrity.  Choline is an important building block in many cellular molecules, and is a component of the structural phospholipids that are abundant in cell membranes.

Be Gentle to Your Pet’s Skin

Use only gentle, all-natural shampoos and conditioners that are free of harsh chemicals and detergents, which can strip natural oils from the skin, leading to dryness and irritation.  Look for products that contain natural moisturizers such as oatmeal, aloe, or neem.  Too-frequent bathing can overdry the skin, so use grooming wipes or waterless shampoos to remove surface dirt from the coat as needed.

My Furry Valentine Pet Photos, Saturday, 2/8/2014, 11am-3pm

My Furry Valentine Pet PhotosPhotographically capture how much you love your pets (and they love you!) at our annual “My Furry Valentine” pet photos and fundraising event!  All well-behaved critters — dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, pigs, and even humans — are welcome.  The $10 per photo suggested donation benefits Justice Great Dane Rescue, which currently has 13 BIG dogs in its foster program.

Due to the recent closure of a Great Dane rescue in a neighboring state, even more dogs are waiting to come into the JGDR program.  However, additional loving foster homes and resources are urgently required to accommodate all the dogs in need, so be sure to ask a JGDR volunteer how you can help.

Also participating in “My Furry Valentine” are special guests Stella & Chewy’s and Droolicious Canine Cookie Crafters, who will have tasty treats and samples for your dogs and cats.  Kim from Droolicious has dreamed up a yummy new dog treat that your pup (and you!) can taste-test during the event, so come early before the limited samples get gobbled up.

During the event we’ll be running a special sale on select Petcurean dog foods.  All medium (12 lb.) and large (25 lb.) bags of GO! will be 25% off regular price, so show your dog how much you love him with a Valentine’s gift of good nutrition.  Additionally, don’t neglect to buy lots of fundraising raffle tickets for chances to win some fantastic prizes, such as gift baskets from Primal Pet Foods and Dogswell.  Plus, we’ll have giveaways and goodie bags for attendees… just because we love you at Boofy’s!

We’ll look forward to seeing you and your pets tomorrow, but in the meantime, enjoy some adorable photos from 2013’s “My Furry Valentine” pet photos event!  (All photos courtesy of Justice Great Dane Rescue.)

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See more cute Valentine’s Day pet photos here:  “My Furry Valentine” Pet Photos (2012)