Winter Allergies in Dogs
Even though people tend to associate allergies with the spring, dogs can also experience allergy type reactions during the winter. Many dogs are hypersensitive to temperature changes and indoor mold build up. These seasonal changes can cause reactions or trigger dormant issues within their system. Winter allergies in dogs can manifest in a number of ways. The most common symptom is dry skin, which can become uncomfortable, flaky and discolored.
Temperature changes that occur in mid-fall and winter can cause a dog’s skin to become more sensitive. Dogs can also become sensitive to mold buildup in their homes, causing intense itchiness. However, most dog allergies are caused by nutritional deficiencies which are exacerbated by winter conditions.
Winter allergies can cause a variety of symptoms. Skin conditions associated with winter allergies can cause red, itchy, flaky and scaly skin. A dog’s constant licking and scratching can cause bald spots to develop. Allergies can also cause a dog’s paws to swell. In addition to skin conditions, dogs might develop conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, swollen eyes with mucous-like discharge. This condition often escalates quickly as dogs paw and rub at their eyes.
Allergies can be treated with biotin, which is one of the B vitamins. Studies have shown that a daily supplement of biotin can significantly improve dry skin and seborrhea. Dogs with seasonal allergies should be bathed and brushed every 3-4 weeks. Moisturizing shampoo made especially for dogs with allergies should be used. Marigold and Echinacea can also be used to treat skin conditions. Speak to your dog’s groomer about the best course of action.
Although winter allergies in dogs can be difficult to avoid completely, controlling the amount of mold in your home can significantly help your dog’s allergies. Humidity in the home should always be kept low and leaks that could cause moisture buildup should be repaired immediately. Using exhaust fans after showering and cooking can also reduce the chance of mold buildup.
If you have questions about your pet’s allergies, please speak to your veterinarian.
We hope that this information has been helpful as we strive to provide education on all aspects of pet care.
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