As temperatures drop during the winter season, our bodies also require more warmth and care. Likewise, our pets also need season-specific care to deal with various health issues that are common during the cold season. “So, this winter, be vigilant and look out for signs of winter allergies in your pets,” said Dr. Shantanu Kalambi, Senior Veterinarian at Supertails.
Some of the common winter allergies that pets encounter include:
Dust mites or mold
Many pets are sensitive to dust mites, which cause symptoms such as red or watery eyes, sneezing and coughing. Dust mites commonly breed on pet dander, hair, and skin scales and are found on carpets, mattresses, beds, and sofas. They are airborne, cannot be seen with the naked eye, and are ubiquitous in the home. It is almost impossible to get rid of mites from the house.
“An easy step to controlling the risk of mites includes keeping the surrounding environment clean and dry. Clean floors with a wet mop or vacuum daily. Electrostatic filters can come in handy to repel dust, mites, and inhaled particles. If possible, try to keep humidity levels in the home at Limit 30-50 percent Regularly wash all bedding your pet uses in hot water Avoid stuffing feathers, wool or horsehair into bedding, as these materials can attract mites, the vet said.
Dandruff and dry skin problems
While a pet’s fur coat is a natural barrier against the cold, low humidity can deprive your pet of essential moisture. This dry weather can lead to dry and flaky skin resulting in scaly and itchy skin. To tackle these skin problems, moisturize once a week. Brush them once or twice a day – this helps to get rid of hair loss and flaking of the skin.
“Caring for your pet is instrumental in stimulating the secretion and distribution of natural skin oils throughout the body. Bath your pets only when necessary, as frequent bathing can strip away natural skin oils and moisture. If bathing is required, use a recommended moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Specifically for your pet. Use lukewarm water instead of hot water to avoid further drying out their skin.”
For dry noses, use vitamin E oil to reduce the effect of dry weather. Provide a balanced diet rich in nutrients to meet the additional requirements of the body during the winter season. Include omega fatty acids in their diets as they are beneficial in maintaining healthy skin.
Contact allergy is a common phenomenon when pets encounter substances or allergens that cause inflammation on their skin. Skin damage from swellings, bumps, and rashes can cause a great deal of irritation and discomfort. This allergy can occur on any part of the body that comes into contact with the allergen while sitting, walking, or lying down.
To avoid contact allergy, use pet-friendly cleaners. The fastest way to treat this allergy is to remove the allergen from the pet. Wash your pet with a shampoo containing oatmeal. If irritation persists, speak to your vet to get the right treatment for your pet.
External parasite bites
“Ectoparasites are parasites that live outside the body, such as ticks, fleas, mites, and lice. These parasites generally seek warm bodies and migrate from grass to animal. Ectoparasite bites cause intense itching and scratching that leads to hair loss, skin eruptions, flea dust and redness in the affected areas” .
Consult your veterinarian about the appropriate medication to remove parasites from the body. There are sprays, topical solutions, medicated shampoos, tick/flea collars, and even some oral medications to get rid of strangers living on your pet.
After listing these seasonal triggers to look for during the winter, it is also essential to look for non-allergic changes. Pets, like humans, tend to consume less water during the cold season. Make sure your pet is well hydrated – soak the food in warm water, or add a little water to homemade food. You can also increase the amount of broth to make up for the reduced water consumption.
“Lack of activity and changes in sleeping pattern are completely normal during the winter. Let your pet sleep and rest to replenish its energy and maintain body temperatures during the winter. Don’t be alarmed if your pet eats more than usual; the body needs more energy than usual during winters. compared to other times of the year.
📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss the latest updates!