1. Appetite Seasonal changes in daylight and temperature trigger significant hormonal changes in mammals, altering metabolism and influencing food intake. The lengthening of daylight during the warmer Spring and Summer months signals this change to the most primitive part of the brain and its hormonal responses, resulting in decreased food seeking behavior and shifts in cellular metabolism. As winter approaches, the opposite response occurs. Lower temperatures require greater energy consumption to maintain body temperature. The shortening of daylight during this time triggers the brain to promote food seeking behavior and alter metabolism in order to promote fat storage in preparation for lean food sources during the winter months. So it’s not surprising to see dogs wanting more food in the winter.
Our pets shed during the spring to prepare their coats for a warmer climate in spring and summer, while the thickness of the coat increases in Fall to prepare for the colder days ahead. Warmer whether comes with tick and flea problems. Cold and dry winter weather causes dry skin and dandruff.
Tip: Add a couple of drops of olive oil to your dog’s food to promote healthy skin and coat.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that commonly occurs in humans, especially in the winter months when we spend less time outdoors, have minimal access to bright, sunny days, and have fewer hours of daylight each day. Evidence suggests that dogs, too, are affected by the lack of sunlight this time of year.
The dark, gloomy days and longer, colder nights of winter can cause dogs to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder, just like humans. In dogs, symptoms include lethargy, neediness, behavioral changes such as aggression and inappropriate pottying. In extreme or extended cases, even hair loss can occur.
4. Paws Health
Winter can be brutal on our dog’s paw pads. Exposed to the elements and toxic chemicals, the paw pads are at risk for drying, cracking, trauma, frostbite and chemical burns from salt and de-icers.
Tips: Apply a thin even layer of balm just before going out for a wintery. After the walk wipe your dog’s paws with a warm washcloth to remove snow, ice and ice melt. Then apply another layer of balm to soothe any irritation and to keep them from drying out. Dog boots are another good solution but just need a few trials for your dog to get used to wearing them.
The colder weather seems to bring up the stiffness and inflammation associated with arthritic joint disease in dogs. A lack of exercise due to being indoor more often probably contributes to the problem as well. Signs to watch out for which may indicate that a dog is suffering with arthritis include lameness in one or more limbs, stiffness, reluctance to jump, depression or grumpiness.
Seasons affect your pet’s appetite, Dr. Ken Tudor,http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ktudor/2012/june/seasons_affect_your_pets_appetite-23895, retrieved 9/2/2014
Winter Proofing Your Dog’s Paws, Ceasar’s Way, http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dog-health/Winter-Proofing-Your-Dogs-Paws#ixzz3CneLOubk, retrieved 9/2/2014
Do Dogs Get Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Winter Months?, Brandy Arnold, http://www.dogingtonpost.com/do-dogs-get-seasonal-affective-disorder-in-the-winter-months/, retrieved 9/2/2014
Caring For Your Dog In Winter, Dogs Life, http://www.dogslife.com.au/dog-news/dog-health/caring-for-your-dog-in-winter. retrieved 9/2/2014