Autumn is here and sometimes it surprises us with its sharp and sudden drops in temperature, especially in the early hours of the day, on morning walks with our dog. The cold and humidity can cause a drop in our dog’s natural defenses and with this, it will be more prone to contracting diseases. We propose three recommendations to protect you at this time of year.
1. Cold and humidity affect some dogs in risk groups
A good number of dogs are sensitive to changes in temperature and are particularly affected by the arrival of cold and humidity. Among this risk group are :
The cold is harmful to short-haired dogs and for the elderly
-Short-haired dogs, even if they are large!
-Advanced dogs, since many have discomfort or joint pathologies that are accentuated at this time of year.
-Small dogs, sometimes have a harder time regulating their own body temperature.
If your dog suffers from respiratory disease, protect him from the cold
-Dogs with a history of respiratory or cardiac conditions, particularly if they are brachycephalic, since due to the peculiar anatomy of their respiratory system they may have greater difficulty in recovering from pharyngitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia, for example.
The cold weakens your puppy’s defenses
-Puppies, because their immune system does not yet have the maturity of an adult dog, or they are in their vaccination period, and therefore the cold, drafts, and humidity represent a serious risk to their health.
If the dog is cold or remains wet, consequently its natural defenses will work less effectively, leaving its body more exposed to the action of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
2. A veterinary check-up in the fall
At the beginning of autumn it is advisable to make a visit to our veterinarian to check that the state of our dog is satisfactory after the summer and the holidays; verify that it is correctly dewormed, that its vaccinations are up to date, and take the opportunity, if necessary, to carry out a Leishmania test, in case the dog has been somewhere where this disease is endemic or has a high risk of prevalence, so we stay calm.
If our dog is obese or overweight as a result of having exercised less in the summer or an eating disorder during the holidays, it is time to regain his ideal weight, with a specific diet and resuming his usual physical activity.
3. Your dog’s hair sheds in the fall
Shedding is an essential process in dogs and other mammalian animals to adapt to changing weather conditions and the rigors of a colder time, especially when dogs had not yet been domesticated and lived in the wild.
Now they begin to lose their ‘summer’ hair at a variable rate, depending on where the dog is and its a way of life (whether it spends a lot of time inside or outside the house): we will notice strands that they fall off and give way to protective fur from the cold.
How to brush your dog when he is shedding
This shedding process is more intense in dogs with thick and thick hair, but even in those with short hair, it occurs. Some breeds such as the Poodle, whose hair is constantly growing, or the Yorkshire Terrier, which lacks an undercoat, do not go through this phase.
It is important that we spend a little more time than usual on his coat, to help him shed the ‘old’ hair comfortably and speed up the molt. If knots are allowed to thrive, hair regeneration is difficult and the skin suffers from not being able to aerate properly, leading to skin disorders such as itching and dandruff.