Have you ever wondered why your pet’s behavior changes in the spring? According to the latest study, there is such a thing as spring fever for dogs. Some pet owners experience their dog becoming more energetic, while others report the opposite. Whether your dog gets excitable or agitated, it is down to the same natural, annual cycle happening to all mammals.
What’s behind it?
For dogs and other mammals, the answer might lie in a clump of cells called suprachiasmatic nucleus. These neurons are located in the center of the brain and are responsible for driving the mammalian biological clock. These cells respond to changes in daylight, because they are hookep up to the eyes. They trigger a sleep-inducing hormone, called melatonin when it’s dark. With more light on, it actually cuts back melatonin production. “A group of Polish veterinarians studying Alaskan husky dogs, for example, found that the huskies’ melatonin levels peaked in December, dropped in March and were lowest in June.”
What to look out for?
Spring is mating season for most mammals. Even intact animals can exhibit mating behavior during the spring. So don’t be surprised if you notice your dog humping, spraying or rubbing their hind end on furniture or your leg. It is somewhat more likely to happen during the spring! Nonetheless, spaying and neutering is very important, and not only to prevent unwanted litters. It can reduce the likeliness of some cancers, as well as hormonal imbalances. According to the ASPCA, 2.7 million unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized each year.
Spring means warmer weather, longer days and lots of bugs. Bugs are most prevalent in the longer months. While it is important to keep your dog on flea/tick medication all year long, it is even more important to check for them regularly in the spring.
Increased physical activity and regular exercise should be reintroduced slowly. Don’t expect your pets to be at their peak physical performance as soon as the snow clears. After several months inside and inactive, your dog may have gained weight, lost muscle tone and be a little stiff in the joints. Reintroduce them slowly to their favorite outdoor activities. Start with short runs and hikes to get them back on form.
And finally look out for wild animals. I am big on taking the girls on walks outside the city. But we must all note, that we aren’t the only ones enjoying the warm weather. Hawks, foxes and other wild animals are also coming out of their winter hiding spots, and they’re often on the hunt for food. Small cats and dogs should not be left outside alone unattended! Wild animals can also carry viruses that pets may be susceptible too, if bitten.
Be aware of spring allergies
Just like humans, cats and dogs can also experience seasonal allergies. Warning signs are sneezing, ear itchiness, runny nose and cloudy, tearing eyes. If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet immediately. One more important thing to look out for is landscaping. I love gardening and can’t wait for spring coming, so I can refresh the garden a little. Some flowers however, are highly toxic for pets. These are azaleas, rhododendrons and lilies just to name a few. Fertilizers and herbicides can also harm pets, so make sure to keep them away from your gardening activities if you use any of these.
Gear up your pup for spring
Since a lot of dogs get more energetic in the springtime, pulling on their leash more it is worth checking their equipment. Look out for tears, weakened material and anything that can potentially lead to a breaking leash or harness. It’s also worth investing in a good raincoat and good quality cleaning products, to make your life easier after a long walk.
I would also recommend a good quality multi vitamin or supplement to help your pup gain more strength and energy. Look for the ones with all natural ingredients! Here is a list of great quality supplements to help you decide:
Some of the most important vitamins for your dog include Vitamins C, B6, B12, E and K and I will be explaining more about this in my next article. In the meantime check out our other article on Spices, that are beneficial for your dog. I do hope you found this little read helpful. If so, leave us a comment and share it with your furriends! Thanks for reading!