On the seventh day of Christmas

The Christmas countdown is officially underway. ‘Tis the season to be furry! Help us unwrap the Joii and make sure all of our pets have a paws-itively Merry Christmas.

Table of Contents

Every winter, the vets at Joii receive calls from worried pet owners about their itchy cats and dogs. So we’ve made a handy article about what’s normal, when to worry, and how to keep your pet’s coat in good condition over the holiday season. So hopefully the whole family can enjoy a cosy and worry-free festive period.

the seventh day of christmas

Winter allergies in cats and dogs

Allergies are one of the most common causes of itchy pets. Some cats and dogs only have signs of allergies during the warmer months, but many show allergy symptoms all year round.

Signs of allergies in our pets include scratching and biting, hair loss, red skin and scabs or spots.

Things that can cause allergies in pets in the winter include:

There are many different treatment options for pets with allergies, such as skin supplements, diet changes and prescription anti-itch medication. Read more about these in our pet health index.

Can cats and dogs get fleas in the winter?

Yes, fleas are present at all times of the year. Unfortunately, fleas do not die in the winter. Why? Because they live indoors and on the fur of animals, so they are not exposed to freezing temperatures.

Symptoms of fleas include scratching, biting, hair loss and scabs on the skin. It can be hard to spot fleas on your pet’s coat, as they are very small and scurry away from vibrations. Read our articles on fleas for more information on symptoms and treatment options.

Ticks can also be present in the winter, though they tend to be more common in the spring and autumn. 

Is shedding and moulting normal for cats and dogs in winter?

Cats and dogs moult or shed more hair during certain times of the year, usually autumn and spring. This is completely normal. The autumn moult allows for a thicker winter coat to grow in to keep them cosy and warm over the colder months.

Dry skin and dandruff are also common in winter, and it’s thought to be due to the effects of central heating. It should resolve without treatment, but skin supplements containing omega oils and topical treatments such as hydrating shampoos can help. If the dandruff is excessive, or your pet is itchy or has other skin symptoms, this might mean there is an underlying problem.

Abnormal signs to look out for include bald patches or thinner areas of hair, red skin, rashes, itchiness, or matted hair. It’s always worth speaking to a vet if your cat or dog seems to be shedding excessively or losing clumps of hair.

Preventing skin problems in cats and dogs during winter

There are many ways you can help keep your pet’s skin in good condition at home

  • Keep them up to date with a good parasite preventative all year round
  • Feed them a good-quality, complete diet for their age and lifestyle. Hills Prescription Diet Derm Complete is specifically designed for dogs with allergies.
  • Groom your pet at least once a week to check for any abnormalities in the skin and to prevent mats from building up.
  • Some pets benefit from regular shampoo or mousse treatments and ear cleaning. Follow professional advice for this, as bathing too often can also cause problems.
  • Clean all food and water bowls, pet bedding and collars regularly.

Speak to a vet if your pet starts to show any abnormal signs of itching or changes in their coat and skin. Starting treatment as soon as possible gives it a better chance of being easy to resolve.

Joii can help if you’re not sure how to keep your pet safe at Christmas time

  • Experienced Joii vets are on-hand 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Download the app, and call us anytime for support or advice if your cat or dog has any skin problems. We can advise on skin supplements, diets and special shampoos to help treat and prevent skin conditions.

We wish you all a relaxed and itch-free Christmas, from all your pet family friends at Joii!

christmas cat

Coming soon…..on the eighth day of Christmas

Safe and healthy toys for cats and dogs – Christmas presents for pets

Consult a vet - £28

Consult your vet online. Anyday, anytime.

Consult a Joii vet online for £28. Or free if you’re insured with one of our partners.

Developed by vets 🩺

QR code to app

How to get an

Join a practice

*It's free*

Download the app to register and become a member of Joii vets. In only a few taps you will have access to digital vet care 24/7 as well as a vet practice

Download the app

We’re writing as quick as we can

This article is currently being written by one of our expert vets. Check back soon.