Dear pet parents,
It has been long indeed but, with the reduction of humidity levels and elevation of dry air in Islamabad, Rawalpindi as well as Lahore, we are starting to notice that the affects are common amongst a high volume of people. The most common symptoms being:
- blood clots in the nose
- difficulty breathing
- burning eyes, croaky rash-filled throats, dry lips and experiencing electric shocks
Why is there a reduce in humidity levels to begin with?
The answer is simple and only has two words: climate change!
Yes, while this might come off as a surprise to you but the insufficiency of humidity in the air isn’t because it’s supposed to be that way. It is because we are neither talking nor taking any steps to reduce of carbon footprint on Earth and now finally … mum-zy is mad at us!
If we still don’t take this warning seriously, God knows what we might be up again next.
World Climate clocks are being set globally to let people know how their choices are impacting our future generations’ sustainability on Earth. Those clocks show how much time do we have to reach a level from where there is no return and surprise, surprise – we have less that
10 6 years 273 days, now. Check it out here: https://climateclock.world/
Anyways, without getting in too deep, this is a loud and clear begging to you to please start taking climate change serious – not for yourself but for the future of your kids (children and pets).
How does an insufficiency in humidity levels affect my pet?
While we all want to think that our pets are going to outlive us or maybe we would share the same death bed – it’s not always true. Our pets don’t have the ability to tell us how they are feeling until it’s too late. Very few people actually notice behavioral changes in animals and take them serious enough to go to the vet.
If, we, humans are falling prey to dehydration despite drinking lots of water and waking up to blood clots in our noses – what’s to say that our pets aren’t?
A decrease in humid levels can affect your pet baby very badly. Here’s a list to help you understand some of the effects how your precious is being or can be affected:
- Dehydration – a quick examination for this is to check if your pet is overly lazy, has sunken or teary eyes and a dry mouth. This can lead to refusal of food and intense dehydration. An other way to keep a check is to see if their poop is too dry.
- Coughing and Sneezing – your pet might be hiding a rash in its throat which is caused by dry airways and mucous membranes. This can lead to severe respiratory issues, esp. if your pet already struggles with them. There’s also a chance that your pet is experiencing a nose clot in silence.
- Irritable Skin & Dandruff – is your pet-baby itching too much these days? This is because dry air steals the moisture from not just human skin but also from animals’. This leads to excessive itching and skins problems which might not manifest quickly because of your pet’s winter coat that is still intact, at the moment.
- Static Electricity – now this is something that you might not be able to examine but I wanted to tell that just like us they too are able to get sensations of electricity and maybe that’s why they start running here and there at times?
What can I do to help ensure my pet’s health and safety in times of elevated dry air and reduced humidity in 2021?
The first step of foremost importance for all pets is to get them a humidifier. If you don’t have one or can’t afford to get one – then just place wet clothes in their area of habitancy. The droplets would mix themselves with air to create a humid enough environment for them and help ail their irritability and bad throats.
Q: Humidifier are expensive and I don’t have any extra clothes – what can I do?
A: You can also place vases filled with water near the window sills that are exposed to sunlight.
The second step will be to reduce the chances of static electricity! How to do that? Get your pet a hair trimming. This way you can see their skin and find all and any breakage points quickly. The vet can prescribe you with a skin shampoo to wash your baby with at least twice a week and all will be well. My vet suggested dermaleen. Showering your pet with a shampoo that is specifically designed to help maintain skin moisture is the key point here – no matter which brand you use.
You can also spray your hands with water and run it through your pet’s fur as a short term solution for static electricity. Moreover, while brushing them try and skip plastic brushes. The plastic can act as a catalyst for exactly what you’re trying to reduce.
The third step could be to ensure that they are drinking and eating properly. A great way to ensure this is to get them a high-water content based feed.
Now to single out the 3 main pet species – let’s go through ways to help them individually, shall we?
Reducing the effects of dry air and low humidity in canines
- Canine-friendly topical moisturizes can help them and your budget control, greatly.
The list includes;
– olive oil,
– almond oil,
– shea butter,
– coconut oil,
– avocado oil,
– hemp seed oil,
– oatmeal & aloe vera etc.
*However, it is important to discuss it with your vet to decide which ones to give to your pet.
- Increase the number of times you brush your canine, at the moment. The more you brush them the more of their skin’s natural oils would be stimulated and distributed reducing any chances of skin infection.
- Bathing with a canine shampoo prescribed by your vet – now remember you do NOT need to bathe a canine just because you want to … it should be limited to twice a week or however your vet suggests. End the bath by rinsing the canine with one of the soothing topical moisturizers.
- Apply vitamin E oil to your canine’s cracked nose. Vitamin E ensures a canine’s healthy immune system as it helps in putting up defenses against oxidative damages. It also helps in fat metabolism and cell function in canines.
A decrease in vitamin E can lead to:
– reproductive problems
– muscle degeneration
– weak eyes
- Adding more essential fatty acids to your canine’s diet can help in not just maintaining a healthy skin or coat but also to build up the immune system. It also plays a vital role in cell growth!
In order to promote a well-conditioned skin, you can add: (always discuss such additions with your vet, first)
– Vitamin A & Zinc (v-A supports bone growth, reproduction, vision etc. | zinc builds immunity)
– Raw eggs (are a super food for dogs and contain several vitamins)
– Sardines and Herrings (promotes dental health, develops muscles & fights against kidney diseases etc.)
Reducing the effects of dry air and low humidity in felines
- Cats and other felines, just like canines, need to be brushed more than they are regularly these days. This will not only keep their fur coat maintained but also will ensure that they do not end up getting matted hair or any skin infections.
- Adding more Omega-3 Fatty Acids can aid your feline in joint health as well as for its coat maintenance. Salmon, trout and mackerel are 3 most common sources of Omega-3 fatty acids – if it is too expensive or unavailable in your area then you can always buy omega-3 capsules and ask the vet to help you decide the dosage for your feline. I got a pack of 20 capsules by MPC health Mega-3™ for 500 PKR, yesterday.
- Vitamin E can be included in your feline’s diet as well because it has the magic to treat feline skin against mites, flea allergy, eczema and dermatitis. Vitamin E also eases any discomfort your feline might experience due to an inflamed scratch. It also protects against oxidative damages & promotes fertility, vision and cardiovascular health etc.
- Give your felines(s) a more water-content based diet so that you don’t have to worry about them drinking water suitably. We all know that most cats don’t love drinking water as much.
- Try and add the following to your feline’s diet
– Fish (a direct source of Omega-3 fatty acids and supports healthy skin, eye sight and shinier coat etc.)
– Krill (helps mind and vision, direct source of Omega-3 fatty acids etc.)
– Mussel (packed with vitamins, Omega-6 fatty acids, minerals and proteins etc.)
– Coconut oil (builds up the immune system, helps with hairballs, improved bad breath and promotes a healthy stomach etc.)
*coconut oil is safe for cats and, thus, can also be massaged into their fur
Reducing the effects of dry air and low humidity in birds
- A good misting is all your birdie wants – all day, every day! Just spray some fresh clean water on your bird to help keep their skin moisture intact. Birds are known for their showers, we have all seen them enjoying both sun and water baths. Therefore, when you know there’s a chance of dry air affecting your birdie – just mist them up.
- Water-content based diet for birds includes grapes, mangoes, citrus fruits, pomegranates, squash, pumpkins and tomatoes etc.
- Vitamin E aids birds in a successful egg production, hatchability and fertility. It’s main and most important role in birds, however, is to reduces the chances of any reactive oxygen species that may be harmful for your little birdie etc.
- Adding Omega-3 to your bird’s diet can help protect the little one’s vessels and inhibit any inflammations. It also protects against plaque formation and other signs that may arise due to atherosclerosis etc.
Take away for yourself and your pets
We are approaching hard times quite quickly and the sooner we take responsibility to consider Earth our home and not a dustbin – the faster we may be able to come up with ideas to combat the climatic issues that await us.
Moreover, please note that I am not a licensed veterinary. Therefore, you can choose to skip and use whatever suits you best. Keep in mind that excess of everything is bad and so too many fatty acids or vitamins can also prove to be fatal for your baby. Be considerate of what they are tolerant towards and what they are allergic from.
Happy Parenting 🙂