Chronic conditions become dominant in the fall and can linger into winter. These “chronic” issues are not easily treated, so it’s better to take preventative steps rather than waiting for issues to arise and using chemical drug therapy to treat.
Fall Allergies in Dogs and Cats
Cat and dog skin problems in winter and fall are similar to what most of us have during this time – itchy eyes, bronchitis, scratchy skin, and excessive fall shedding all result from fall pollen allergies. The key is to get the allergen off the skin. Use a hypoallergenic shampoo once a week at first and then a spray like Vet Basics® ChlorConazole™ on the tummy between baths. K9 Honey is a great all-natural supplement that gives support during the long allergy season.
Excessive Shedding in Dogs and Cats
Shedding is natural, but excessive shedding is the result of allergy irritations, causing the pet to shed his summer coat quickly. Managing the shedding is best done before bath time by stripping the coat twice weekly with a deshedding tool. This is even more necessary for medium and long-haired dogs. After stripping the coat, you should wash the hair with a hypoallergenic shampoo. The allergies and the hair coat will also respond to Omegaderm-3 once a day. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, plus they encourage soft winter coat growth to replace the summer one.
Cat and Dog Eye Irritation in Fall
Can dogs have seasonal allergy eyes? The answer is yes! Fall eyes are itchy and are rubbed excessively. The result is thick tears to soothe the irritation. This results in eye junk accumulating on the eyelids. Some dogs rub excessively and hair that already wants to shed is removed around the eyes. This is unsightly and an indication you will need to help with eye irritation. Using Vetericyn® Plus Ophthalmic Gel or OptixCare® Eye Lube daily will stop the itch and quiet the rubbing. Once under control, eyes should be treated before baths to prevent issues. Daily treatment can resume if rubbing and itching resumes.
Ear Care for Dogs and Cats
Ears are an extension of the skin, so all the scratching and shedding often results in ear infections – usually yeast! Vet Basics® Ear Cleanser or Zymox® Otic with Hydrocortiosone before baths and daily when they start shaking will usually stop it. The ear cleanser acidifies the ear canal, which bacteria and yeast hate. Cleaning takes care of minor issues, but do not hesitate to use Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser if you need treatment. Ear cleaners should never hurt – if the one you have does, stop using it. Vet Basics® Ear Cleanser is commonly used on puppies and will not hurt!
Joint Problems in Dogs and Cats
Cool nights and warm days bring on arthritis and cold is harder on joints, especially on our old and active friends. Our goal is to keep them active and comfortable. It is time to start on Doc Roy’s® Aches Away to increase the lube of the joint. This process works well, but takes 30 days to get the full effect and relief. If your dog or cat is already limping, start them on Omegaderm-3 for 30 days to help the soreness. Keep them active with a short walk, and use a jacket for your dog if you live in the colder environments. Going for walks keeps them active and keeps their weight under control. When it’s time to rest, give them a warm place to lay down, like the Lectro-Kennel™ Heated Pad. It will help ease the pain of sore joints.
Protecting Dog Paws in Winter
Foot problems often result from limping, which causes dogs to walk on the sides of their foot pads. This either causes the pads to tear off or exposes raw tissues under the pad. Both are very painful. We have learned from sled dogs that Doc Roy’s® Aches Away given at double doses for two weeks will provide paw and footpad support during the winter months. You can also use a spray like Vet Basics® ChlorConazole™ to help with healing and Musher’s Secret to promote healing and eliminate the need to wrap their feet or put socks on again!
Dogs get bored, especially after all the activities of the summer. Winter is when you need to be sure that dogs have chew bones and toys to break up the routine. We often use treats before a walk to get them excited about going outside for exercise.
Winter is a great time of year for a dog if you are ready for it!
If you have more questions on how to protect dogs in cold weather, call us at 800.786.4751.
Flea Control Plan for Fall
Do fleas get worse in the fall? The best way to prevent fleas in your home and yard is to attack them in the fall. Follow this fall flea strategy to learn how to get rid of fleas in the fall.
Cold Weather Pet Safety: Cats and Dogs in Winter
How do you take care of your pets during the winter season? How can I help my dog's itchy skin in the winter? It's not always easy for our pets during the cold winter months. Discover tips on caring for cats and dogs in winter.
How to Protect Dog Paws and Pads
Do dogs need foot protection? Cold weather and rough surfaces can be hard on a dog's pads and paws. Learn how to protect dogs paws in winter and summer.
Environmental Allergies in Dogs and Cats
How do I know if my dog has an environmental allergy? Why are my dogs ears and eyes itchy? Environmental allergies are caused by irritating substances in a dog or cat's environment. Learn how to treat environmental allergies in dogs and cats and protect your pet's skin.
Written by: Marty Greer, DVM
Director of Veterinary Services
Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.