How to Prevent Your Pets Seasonal Allergies and Infections

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With summer on the way, measures have been introduced to protect humans from its effects. But what about another at-risk group: our pets? Dog and cat owners need to pay attention to the possibility of seasonal issues that can surface during this period, some of the major ones being:

Ear Infections

Extreme temperatures in summer may cause ear infections which is the most common complaint with pets. Signs of ear infections include scratching the ear, head shaking, odour, redness of the ear and in severe cases, a head tilt or loss of balance.

Allergies

Many cats and dogs are sensitive to allergens in the environment during the summer months. Unlike humans, who get runny eyes and sneeze, allergens stick to the coats of the pets, causing them to itch, which can lead to severe skin infections.

Sunburn

Cats and dogs with light skin and a short or thin coat are particularly prone to sunburn, skin cancer and other solar-induced skin diseases. The most common sites for sunburn are the bridge of the nose, ear tips, skin surrounding the lips and any other area where skin pigmentation is low.

Skin infections

which is more common with dogs than cats are frequently secondary to some underlying condition or health problem. These skin conditions can manifest itself, either on a single area or distributed throughout the animal’s body. It is visible in a variety of forms such as “bald spot” that is dry and/or flaky, to oozing “wet” skin folds, or even reddish acne-like lesions – depending on the cause.

Therefore, it is important to seek veterinary advice to diagnose these conditions and get proper treatment.

Remember that increased humidity and temperature opens the skin pores, and this can lead to several skin infections. The high humidity can also result in rapid increases in skin bacteria and fungus, from normal, healthy levels to problematic blooms. To ensure that pets don’t suffer from summer irritations and infections, it is important to follow the below set of guidelines:

• Use a damp towel after each walk to help remove any allergens or irritants on the coats.
• Pets should be fully immunized and regularly treated for fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and other parasites.
• Keep claws trimmed to prevent scratches.
• Pets should be bathed using a medicated, but safe shampoo on a regular basis to avoid skin infections.
• Treat areas in and around the house where pets often sleep or rest with disinfectant surface sprays to prevent flies and other insects.
• Pets should have their own feeding dishes and utensils that are cleaned with a disinfectant, which is safe and non-toxic.
• Pet bedding should be soaked regularly in a disinfectant to keep it clean and hygienic.
• Pick the right sunscreen for pets, but make sure it has no toxic properties.
• Protect wounds, cuts, scratches and tips of ears from biting flies and fly strikes by applying medicated, but safe sprays.
• Pet owners should wash their hands with an antiseptic soap or apply a hand gel after playing with their pets.

While alternative therapies are continuously being developed, it should be noted that natural and herbal remedies may sound reassuring sound, but there is no guarantee of either quality or safety. As such, even supplements that are generally considered safe can be dangerous when consumed by a pet.

With the mercury soaring, the summer season can be unforgiving and sometimes fatal for our furry friends. As such, pet owners should be increasingly conscious of the risks and opt for the best treatments and products that have been independently assessed and approved by regulatory bodies, offer superior safety, have a gold standard achievement against all world-class benchmarks in efficacy, is affordable, non-toxic, biodegradable, non-corrosive and compatible to keep pets healthy and safe.

(Sam Matienzo is the Brand manager for F10 in the UAE)

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