How Seasonal Changes Can Affect Your Pet
Seasonal changes can have as much an affect on our pets as they do on us, and it’s important to know how those changes can present in your dog and cat to help keep them happy and healthy. Even in our somewhat milder, coastalclimate, your pet may be susceptible to pollen, extreme temperatures, fleas, ticks and other environmental changes that can impact his or her well-being.
Remaining mindful of common changes like an increase in shedding, scratching and appetite, can help you make informed choices about how to keep your dog or cat satisfied and comfortable. We recommend scheduling a visit to your pet’s veterinarian to discuss the ways that season changes can affect your pet, personally. With a good plan from your vet and an idea of what to expect as seasons change, you can get outside and make the most of another beautiful season in Williamsburg, VA with the furry friends you love!
During the spring and summer months, you may start to notice your pet’s coat shedding excessively due to the increase in temperature and sunlight. While this can make for an abundance of hairballs and stray hairs around your home, it is otherwise completely normal and harmless for your pet. Try to stay current with grooming practices and brush your pet’s coat more often than usual to try to gather fur before it sheds all over your floors and upholstery.
Because your pet’s hair is made up of mainly protein, you may start to notice an uptick in your pet’s hunger. Consult your veterinarian before increasing their food intake dramatically, but be aware that your dog or cat may need more food during the warm weather months than they do in the colder months, to keep them satisfied and energizes.
You may also begin to notice and increase in scratching. While this might be annoying and confusing at first, it’s normal during times when your pet’s coat is shedding and there are things you can do to help. Brushing and removing dander and bacteria from your pet’s undercoat will help to keep the itching and scratching at bay.
Mind the Outdoors
Be mindful of changes to your environment, specially your outdoor environment, as seasons change. In spring, outdoor elements like pollen, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can all affect your pet’s health and well-being. In winter, icy sidewalks, antifreeze and sidewalk chalk can be dangerous hazards to avoid. Keep your dog leashed to stay in control of, and remain alert during walks, jogs or park play when seasons change.
Watch for Extreme Temperatures
In spring and summer, temperatures can rise dramatically, making it uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for you and your pet. In extreme heat, be sure to spend as little time outside with your pet as possible, and make sure to provide them with fresh, cool water both before and after heading outdoors. Make sure never to leave your pet in your car during hot weather months, even for just a few minutes. The more you do to keep your pet’s body temperature normalized and comfortable, the happier and healthier they’ll be!