As humans are affected by changing seasons, pets, especially those with fur, experience the same. Studies show that domesticated cats and dogs react similarly to seasonal changes as their human companions. And experts say they have a higher risk of hypothermia during the cold seasons. Any rectal temperature reading below 99 degrees Fahrenheit indicates a drop in normal body temperature. You’ll have to be proactive in your care so that they can bounce back. Here are some other ways seasonal changes affect your pets.
- Increased appetite in colder months
Veterinarians say your furry friends eat more in the cold months due to evolution and the need to store up fat reserves in the body. Naturally, their appetite increases during the colder months, allowing them to store more body fat to keep them from freezing. Moreover, fat cells provide enough energy to keep vital organs functioning for animals that hibernate during the period.
This evolutionary response is a natural self-preservation mechanism. When this happens, vets say it is best to increase your pets’ food consumption with caution. The risk of overfeeding them in this period is high. Therefore, getting your pets active is advisable to prevent them from gaining excessive weight, affecting their overall well-being.
- Changes in coats(fur) as the weather changes
Several dogs and cat breeds experience changes in their fur to correspond with the current weather. During the hot months, their coats are usually thinner and lighter. This prevents them from overheating. In sharp contrast, the fur changes to a thicker version in the colder months to retain warmth for longer hours.
According to vet research, cats experience fur changes twice a year. This occurs in correspondence with hot and cold months. You will notice increased shedding in spring and fall if you have dogs. However, in winter, they grow thicker coats to keep warm. As a pet owner, you can also help by getting neck warmer for dogs to increase comfort for those furry friends, so keep this in mind.
- Decreased energy levels in summer
During the hot summer, your furry friends may slow down a bit to conserve energy. And you may notice them panting more. They do this to expel their internal body heat and ultimately cool down. Therefore, the best times to walk your dog during that season are in the early morning or later in the evening.
In summer, temperatures are generally lower during those times of the day, making walks more comfortable. On an extremely hot day, you may want to walk them in a grassy park, not on pavements. This is because even after the day’s heat cools down, pavements hold on longer to the sweltering temperature. A grassy field would be a better option to prevent burns and avoid hurting your dog’s paws.
Taking care of your animal companion means considering everything that could affect them, including the weather. These are a few things to know to ensure they are comfortable no matter the season.