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Winter Eyes and Pets

Another day, another snowstorm. That’s becoming almost a regular thing for a lot of us in the northeast.

The wintry mix of ice and snow has unexpectedly kept a lot of people indoors for extended periods of times. What many people forget is that the extra time spent indoors is often extra time spent with the family pet.

This can be both a good and bad thing. Everybody likes spending time with their pet, but being indoors can potentially cause eye irritation for both pet and owner. Many older homes have duct systems that haven’t been cleaned recently. Pets, even though we love ’em, bring with them extra dirt, dander and hair that blows around the house.

And how many home struggle with dry air during the winter? Add them all together and there’s a real potential for some eye problems.

Before you worry too much about being snowed in with your favorite pet, there are a few things you can do to alleviate possible irritants. Check, replace or clean the filters for your furnace. It’s an easy step with a huge payoff.

Try using a humidifier regularly, making sure to keep it filled and clean to avoid any mold. In houses with radiators, the old trick of putting a pan of water on top of the radiator works just as well as a humidifier.

Pets love to lie on top of or near heating vents. Try to discourage it if possible. It’s not only potentially blowing hair and dander into the room, it’s also putting their eyes right in front of warm, blown air and any dust that’s coming along with it.

While we are always looking to protect our eyes during the winter months, make sure you check and protect your pet’s eyes as well. Look for any changes and especially any discharge, which might warrant a visit to your veterinarian. Eye problems with pets can become severe in a very short time.

Keep an eye out for things in your home that could affect you and your pet’s vision this winter.

And remember, stay warm!