Dr. Tammie Pearce, Director of Veterinary Science for AskVet
Autumn, the leaves turn red and gold as they fall to the ground and we start heating our houses again. This is the time of year for pumpkin spice everything and crisp nights spent next to a crackling fire cozied up with your best friend. It is also the time when we start to heat up our homes, our pup’s skin can become dry and itchy! Here are a few things to think about and plan for as the seasons change.
Let’s face it, all skin becomes drier in the fall and winter from the heated air indoors and cold crisp air outside. Your pet’s skin will naturally shed their summer coats and will start to thicken when temperatures drop.
Nourish your furry friend’s skin from the inside, with treats that are high in omega three fatty acids like fish skins or dried minnows to help healthy skin. Bathing and conditioning the coat and skin become important at this time of year to keep the skin barrier supple and problem-causing bacteria and yeast at bay.
Skout’s Honor Probiotic Shampoo + Conditioner and Probiotic Deodorizer as a finishing spray will help to keep your pet’s coat and skin in top condition. The topical probiotics in their patent-pending formula are scientifically proven to stop and prevent the growth of yeast and fungus on pets’ skin! For more information on grooming your dog look at “Dog Day Spa: How to Pamper your Pup at Home.”
As the temperatures increase in our homes the fleas tend to go into overdrive reproduction while their reproduction outside slows. The indoor flea resurgence can cause a flea-free pet to suddenly start having more itching and scratching. If your pup is particularly sensitive to flea bites your veterinarian may recommend that your pet be on a topical treatment, as well as regular flea control. Skout’s Honor has Flea + Tick Shampoo, Home & Dog Spray and Flea + Tick Yard Spray covering the pet, the home and outdoors to help repel fleas and ticks.
Indoor environmental control becomes even more important in the winter. Your veterinarian may recommend additional indoor controls like vacuuming daily, cleaning baseboards and hardwood floors, dispose of vacuum bags outside, and washing pet bedding often to get rid of flea eggs and larvae in the home. Taking a two-prong approach to control fleas on the pet and in the environment, will go a long way to keeping your pet itch free.
Skout’s Honor Flea + Tick Dog & Home Spray is perfect for the days indoors to come. Easy to use, this product is designed to work around the home on furniture, carpet, dog beds or any water safe surface. It is also safe to spray directly on the animal, simply massage it through the coat. Kills fleas, ticks, and larvae on contact using nature's most potent pest fighting oils. Works on mosquitos too.
Itching scratching skin infections
It is sometimes difficult to determine which came first - the itchy skin or the rash? If your pup is licking or chewing at paws or scratching ears, it is likely the skin in those areas will be red and inflamed. Bathing and cleaning the ears with probiotic products can go a long way to helping the skin recover.
If you have been to your veterinarian and your pet is on medications for a rash or ear infection, your vet will likely also recommend frequent bathing followed by cool water rinses to help the skin recover. Skout’s Honors unique probiotic formulas of shampoos and conditioners help to reduce the offending bacteria by flushing them away and replacing them with a normal, healthy population. Skout’s Honor Probiotic Ear Cleaner can also help to remove debris from the ears and keep the population of yeast down on the skin of the ears also. Cleaning the skin as well as promoting growth of healthy skin flora with probiotics is an innovative way to help your pet’s skin stay itch free!
Molds and pollens
Fall and winter can be a common time for molds to start to reproduce in the home and outside. In leaf litter, moist soil, rotting wood are all sources of outdoor molds. Indoor foliage arrangements, pine evergreen decorations or artificial decorations can be a source of mold allergens also.
Certain rooms in the home like bathrooms and laundry rooms tend to have higher humidity levels and higher mold counts than other areas of the home. Keep areas clean in the home where humidity is high, vent moisture to the outside, as well as lower the humidity indoors to less than 50% will greatly reduce mold growth. Changing filters on furnaces, dehumidifiers, and air purification systems will also reduce indoor mold counts and potential allergic reactions in pets.
Pollens like ragweed, sages, pigweeds (amaranth) and quinoa are all plants that produce most of their pollen in the fall before the first frosts. Grasses start to wane at this time but pets should still have limited exposure time to fresh cut lawns when the pollen counts are at their highest. Pollen levels can elevate quickly in the fall and pets can have increased itching or over self- grooming from direct contact or inhaling weed pollens. Wipe your pet’s paws off when they come inside, bathe them often, and use a probiotic Paw Spray but Skout’s Honor to help keep their skin healthy.
Final Skin Thoughts
Changes in the seasons don’t have to mean more anxiety about your pet’s skin. A few preventative measures like external parasite control, mold and pollen controls as well as probiotic skin products can go a long way to maintain and promote healthy skin for your pup! If you have further questions about your pet’s grooming or skin issues, contact one of the veterinarians or Care Coaches on the AskVet App available in the Apple or Google Play Stores.
That's another pawsitive tip from AskVet's Dr. Tammie! To learn more about skincare and your pets, you can chat with an AskVet veterinarian 24x7 on the AskVet app any time, day or night.
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