If you ever thought dry skin, eczema and allergies were only confined to summer, think again. There are a number of reasons eczema tends to flare up over winter (and this isn’t just with animals; humans tend to suffer more too).
The cold, dry air dries out the skin
The use of heaters or central heating in our homes creates an unnaturally dry environment
The extreme temperatures (bitterly cold outside, nice and warm inside) wreak havoc with the skin
Constantly damp skin from the rain can cause moist eczema
Being forced indoors makes your pet more susceptible to indoor allergens, such as dust mites and mould spores.
Naturally, once your dog starts scratching, he can’t stop – the itching causes scratch marks, which get infected – and what started as a simple itch, develops into full-blown dermatitis.
Ways to help the itch
Increase the humidity indoors: Invest in a humidifier; or a simple bowl of water perched on the heater can do the trick. This will help with dry skin for animals and humans too.
Dry your pets thoroughly when they’ve come in from the rain.
Keep your house as free from dust and mould as possible.
If an allergic reaction is suspected, head to your vet for treatment.
Try Regal Pet Health’s Skin Care Remedy which is an anti-itch herbal remedy for the treatment of skin allergies including eczema.
Bath them in cool water, with a specially formulated shampoo for dogs and cats – but not too often, as this can strip the skin of its natural oils.
Supplement their diet with essential fatty acids. Not only are these great for moisturising from the “inside”, but they also help promote extra fur growth to protect the skin from the harsh elements.
So, watch your pets for signs of scratching this winter, and if they do display any discomfort or symptoms of eczema or any other skin condition, raise the alarm immediately and treat accordingly. They will thank you unconditionally.
Suddenly you and your dog are together at home – all day, every day. It’s a new and largely unfamiliar situation for both of you. Why not use this time together to strengthen your relationship and enjoy some new, fun activities?