The Seasons: How They Affect Your Pets and What You Can Do
Owning a pet is like taking care of a child. Aside from providing basic needs like food, water, shelter, and regular veterinarian checkups, you also need to be sensitive to your pet's environment and how it reacts to it. Like humans, pets also feel the changing of the seasons, and here's how they primarily respond to them:
- Mood changes
Do you feel happier in the summer and more emotional during the winter? Your pet may feel the same way too. According to research, pets can also experience a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that usually manifests during winter when they get cooped up inside the house. If you notice that your pet breaks its potty routine and becomes aggressive or needier during these cold months, it could be a sign of SAD. Some pets even experience hair or fur loss because of stress and depression, so make sure to get in touch with your veterinarian in Staten Island right away if you see any signs that this may be happening to your pet.
- Skin changes
When the temperature starts to drop from the beginning of fall up until winter, you may also begin to notice that your pet grows its fur thicker, typically known as its "winter coat." This is a natural mechanism for pets to keep themselves warm throughout these seasons. But the humid weather indoors, mainly because of your heaters, can cause dry skin and even dandruff to your pet. So, if you notice that your pet is constantly scratching its body during these months, check with your Staten Island veterinarian to see what can be done to keep it from getting worse.
- Appetite changes
You might not notice it, but your pet's appetite changes depending on the daylight and temperature. This is due to hormonal and metabolic shifts in your pet's body to adapt to the season. For instance, summer and spring signal your pet that since the days are longer, there's also more time to feed. So, you might notice that your pet will eat smaller portions during this time of the year. But when the colder fall and winter months come, your pet's energy demand also increases because it needs to metabolize fat to maintain body temperature. This means that your pet will also want to eat more, especially since its body will have a slow metabolism because of the cold weather.
Being a responsible pet parent means being extra sensitive to signals that your pet could be communicating with you. Of course, working with a professional veterinarian is imperative to ensure your pet is given the best care, whether it's sick or not. So, make sure to contact Staten Island Veterinary Group and let our skilled staff offer their full-service expertise and care to your pet and its needs!