Spring is the favourite time of year for many of our furry friends. As the weather gets warmer and the grass gets greener, both cats and dogs enjoy making the most of the sun and spending more time outside. Springtime brings many opportunities for your pets to explore the outdoors, but it could also lead to spring fever in cats or dogs.
Spring fever is a condition sometimes experienced by pets in response to the changing environment from winter to spring. Some humans may experience a form of spring fever too; usually, this will manifest as a common cold or hay fever, but pets often experience it more.
Why do pets get Spring fever?
The reason that both dogs and cats are so strongly affected by spring fever is that their senses are much more sensitive to changes in smell and temperature than those of humans. This makes spring an incredibly stimulating, exciting and sometimes confusing time for your pets, which may lead to a change in their behaviour. Both dogs and cats can be expected to become more excitable or agitated and may experience heightened libido.
How do you deal with Spring fever in pets?
Spring fever is a natural process that your pets will experience each year, however, if left completely ignored, it could put your pets at risk. Spring fever increases pets' likelihood of running into busy roads, escaping from gardens, overheating, and even becoming agitated at the increasing number of strangers who may want to pet them. Here are a few ways to deal with spring fever in your pets.
Dealing with Spring fever in dogs
Practice their recall: Sensory overload may mean that your dog develops selective hearing and may not always come back when you call them. Make sure to practice recall regularly to make sure that your dog will still come back to you when they are called.
Mix up your walks: With all the exciting new smells in the air, your dog will want to explore. To stop them from trying to escape from the garden to fulfil this exploration, you should try taking them on new walks to expose them to sensory stimuli.
Invest in a cooling mat or pool: One of the most dangerous aspects of spring fever is that your dog may become overheated. You should invest in a cooling mat or pool for your garden and make sure to take water with you on walks.
Dealing with Spring fever in cats
Try grooming: Cats are not groomed as frequently as dogs but doing so could really help your feline friend to stay cool in the much warmer weather.
Get a vet check-up: Spring is the best time of year to take your cat to the vets. More outside exposure can lead to your pet picking up bacteria or obtaining cuts/minor injuries.
Secure your garden: New smells and colours may encourage your cat to explore the plants that are in your garden. Not all plants are safe for cats (or dogs) to eat, so you should make sure that your garden is completely pet safe before the warmer weather arrives.
What are the symptoms of Spring fever?
Spring fever in your pets will show up as noticeable changes in behaviour. These exact changes will vary between pets but could include:
- Increasing energy levels.
- Waking up earlier in the morning.
- Becoming easily agitated.
- Heightened curiosity.
- Spending large amounts of time in the sun.
- Becoming territorial.
By keeping a close eye on your pets' behaviour and looking out for these symptoms, you can be proactive in keeping your beloved animals safe during springtime.