Helping Your Pet With Winter Allergies

Helping Your Pet With Winter Allergies

Thanks to the colder weather, our bodies need some extra warmth and care during the winter. To deal with the different health issues that are most common during the winter season, our pets also require special care during the holidays. As home heaters are turned up and pets spend less time outside in the winter, allergens like dust mites and mold may become a bigger problem. In fact, allergen levels inside the home are consistently greater than those outside throughout the year. However, the amount significantly increases during the colder months, as our pets spend more time indoors. Additionally, allergies in pets are more complicated than they first appear, making it challenging to identify and treat them.

The Causes of Winter Allergies in Pets

Being inside all the time, or living in an environment with insufficient air circulation during the wintertime are frequent allergy triggers. A dog or cat may also get dust-related illnesses like asthma or dermatitis on the surface of the skin as a result of a dry environment, which is even more dangerous. Spending more time indoors and having less air flow inside can cause a buildup of dust mites, mold spores, and animal dander, all of which can cause indoor allergies and winter allergens.

To further complicate the situation, pets who suffer from one of the 3 main pet allergies (food allergies, environmental allergies, and flea allergy dermatitis) are more likely to experience symptoms from other types of allergies. Although a pet's fur coat acts as a natural barrier against the cold, low humidity levels might deprive your pet of the moisture that they need. Due to the dry weather, dehydrated, brittle skin can develop, which can cause flaking and itchiness.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should not stop treating your pet for fleas just because the weather got colder, since fleas can survive the winter.

Signs of Winter Allergies in Pets

The most typical allergy symptom in pets is itching, which can be localized to the paws and ears or generalized across the entire body. Any irritating places will be licked, scratched, and chewed by pets. Red and watery eyes, sneezing, a clear runny nose, and recurrent ear infections are further signs of environmental allergies in pets. The different substances used in homes throughout the winter might also potentially cause contact allergies in pets.

Treatment For Your Pet’s Winter Allergies

In addition to keeping an eye out for the seasonal triggers mentioned above during the winter, it's critical to check for non-allergic changes. Similar to humans, pets prefer to drink less water in the winter, so make sure your pet has enough water and doesn’t become dehydrated.

The best way to aid an allergic pet is to keep your house as free from indoor allergens as you can, in addition to taking care of your pet's skin. Include the curtains and upholstery when you clean your home every week. Your furnace's filter should be changed on a regular basis, as should the bedding you use for your pet.

The veterinarians at Fetch-A-Vet can help with your pet's allergies as well. Once we identify the allergens, we will suggest desensitization therapy using oral drops or injections. 70% of allergic dogs respond well to this medication. For symptomatic relief, environmental allergies can also be managed with medication or medicated baths.

If your pet has winter allergies, Fetch-A-Vet Mobile Veterinary Services is here to help! Get in touch with us if you need assistance managing your pet’s winter allergies, we can talk about your pet's specific situation and work with you to figure out the best course of action.