Leaving your dog outside in the freezing cold may not necessarily be an intended cruel thing to do since it is commonly believed that their fur is enough to withstand the cold temperatures. However, just as in the summertime you will notice a shedding of their fur to help them deal with the heat, it shows that their bodies react to the changes in seasons and weather.

For this reason, we need to consider that weather changes do in fact have an influence on your pets – perhaps not so much an influence as it does on human beings, but an effect nonetheless.

So, how do changes in weather affect your pets

  • Appetite
Just like other animals in the wild, and on natural instinct, during the months of Autumn and Winter, you may notice your pets wanting more and more food. This is normal. They want to store up as much body fat as they can for the upcoming colder months. Don’t deprive them of food; rather take them for walks. This will also help regulate their temperature because the energy generated by walking can build up their internal heat until they reach an adequate body temperature.

  • Depression
Indeed, dogs and cats can suffer from depression just as we humans can. It has been recorded that dogs that spend less time outdoors may show signs of depression, which includes behavioural changes, signs of aggression, lethargy and even hair loss. You can make a difference here and alleviate symptoms of depression by taking your pet out for a jog or a walk – or by letting them run around your garden for a while longer than usual. This goes for cats also.

  • Fur
No doubt, you will notice that as the colder months approach your dog will grow a thicker coat. This will keep it warmer. However, with a thicker coat often comes dry skin, dandruff and itching. You can remedy this by adding a bit of oil or olive oil to their meals to help “coat” their coat better and keep in the moisture more effectively, thus reducing the onset of dry skin.

  • Body aches & pains
In colder and wetter months, we human beings experience more pains from arthritis, for example, or joint problems. The same may occur with your pets. The best solution to this problem is to ensure that you give your pet the exercise it needs daily. Walk it around the block. Let it run a bit and fetch the rubber bone once or twice a day – this will help the blood-flow, as well as help with any muscular disorders. Don’t lock them inside despite your desire to remain in a warm home for as long as possible.

Understanding this vital information can help you let your pet live a better, healthier and happier life. When the weather changes, you will understand your pet’s behaviour more and will know what is required to help them cope with the conditions.