New Delhi: Pet owners need to be aware of the potential allergies that their furry companion may face during winter. Increased shedding, dry skin, and other winter-related issues can lead to discomfort for both pets and their owners.
What is winter shedding?
Winter shedding in pets is a natural response to the changing seasons. As temperatures drop, animals often grow a thicker coat to protect themselves from the cold. However, the combination of central heating systems and the drier indoor air during winter can exacerbate shedding, leading to an accumulation of loose fur and dander around the house which may contribute to potential respiratory issues and allergies in humans.
Monika Stuczen, Research Scientist in Microbiology, Dyson, says, "The impact pets have in the home goes beyond what we can see. Effectively removing pet hair is important, but pet dander with dried-on saliva is a problem that is invisible to the naked eye. These microscopic particles can carry allergy-causing proteins around the home. Lightweight and miniscule, they can remain airborne for hours or transfer between objects. Research has even found cat allergens in rooms where cats have never been."
To ensure the well-being of your pets during the winter, Nitika Ahlawat, a certified canine trainer from The Golden Grey,lists some essential tips to keep in mind for taking care of your pets.
Whether your dog spends more time indoors during winters with fewer walks or it’s out just as much as in the summer, it will still need to be groomed. Although a popular belief is that a dog's hair should be allowed to grow out during the winter to keep it warm, this can be more detrimental than beneficial.
The formation of uncomfortable tangles in an ungroomed pet can foster the growth of bacteria and germs in their fur, posing potential health risks. However, regular grooming can significantly reduce the number of allergens present in your pet's fur. It helps in removing loose hair, dander, and external allergens that might have settled on their fur during outdoor activities.
The Dyson Pet Groom tool can make pet grooming less messy and more efficient. It is designed to brush and remove loose pet hair and dander directly into the bin. And, as you brush, its bristles penetrate your pet’s coat to grab loose hairs for fast and comfortable grooming. Dyson cordless vacuums are equipped with powerful suction and advanced filtration and are also fully sealed which prevents any dust or dander from spreading around your home.
Cleaning pet bedding and belongings
Many pets are sensitive to dust mites, which cause symptoms like red or watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing. Dust mites usually thrive on pet dander, hair, and skin scales and are found in carpets, mattresses, beds, and sofas. They are airborne, cannot be seen with the naked eye, and are present everywhere in the house including the pet’s bedding, toys and other designated areas. Washing your pet's bedding regularly helps eliminate allergens that may have accumulated over time.
Keep them dry, especially the paws and ears
After your furry friend enjoys outdoor playtime, wipe their paws or gently wash them off with warm water. Checking your dog’s paws during the winter also gives you a chance to check for any bits of gravel or stone that may have become lodged between their toes, which, if left unchecked, can quickly cause pain and infection. It also helps remove any dirt and insects they may have picked up from the ground. Using warm water and soft towels, gently clean their paws to ensure thorough cleansing.
Tick and flea control
As temperatures fall, you may think that you can give your pet a break from their tick and flea medication. But not so fast—many dogs are at risk for ticks and fleas year-round. Ensure that your dog's sleeping area is clean and free of these pests. In addition to regularly cleaning and drying their bedding, use appropriate tick and flea control measures, as recommended by your veterinarian, to keep your furry friend protected. Check for potential ticks and fleas more frequently than you do in other seasons.
Keep the surroundings clean
In addition to taking care of our pets, it is important to take care of the surroundings too which is keeping our home healthy. More shedding means more pet hair, dander and allergens around. Regularly vacuum your house to eliminate it.
While winter can be a delightful time for pets and their owners, it is important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with the change in season. By taking these precautions, pet owners can ensure that their beloved pets can enjoy the winter season in comfort and good health.
(With inputs from IANS)