One-third of Kiwis believe their pets are depressed in winter, according to New Zealand’s leading pet insurer
Pet-n-Sur, the largest 100% New Zealand specialist pet insurance provider, revealed that a third of New Zealand dog and cat owners believe pets feel down when the weather colder and wetter sets in.
The online survey, which ran throughout the month of June and drew more than 500 responses, found that nearly fifty percent of New Zealanders (47.5%) believe their dogs sleep more long during the colder months, with two in five reporting less active.
One in three cat owners said their pet seems less playful in the winter. One in five dog and cat owners also said their pet’s appetite increased.
A participant from Orewa said:
“I always feel a bit depressed in the winter, especially if we have a cold snap or if the rain has been falling for a few days. My Jack Russell, Otis, is the same. He’s never so enthusiastic about his walks, and just seems to wag his tail a little less too – and I swear he’s putting on a few extra pounds! In the spring, he is back to his usual state of mind. “
The fast-growing brand Kiwi, which provides insurance for pets, dogs, rabbits and horses, says that while animals probably don’t struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) the same way humans do, it is. likely that the change in temperature has some impact on their behavior.
Tony Radisich, CEO of Pet-n-Sur, said:
“Despite our similar brain chemistry, there is extensive research in humans but really very little research on SAD in animals. However, even if they don’t suffer from SAD the same way we do, that doesn’t mean not to say they don’t have SAD. “I don’t feel any different this time of year. Commonly reported signs by owners include a bad mood, increased sleep, and increased appetite. “
“Pets are good at reflecting our emotions so they can react to your behavior. Sometimes we’re more reluctant to go outside when it’s raining, for example, so your dog might feel the blues from less frequent and shorter walks. There is also a tendency to project our feelings, so be careful not to overfeed your dog or cat just because you are cold, a little depressed, and need comfort food yourself.
Tony advises keeping the same routine year round as much as possible to keep dogs and cats feeling good. He also points out that older or sick pets may feel the change of seasons more intensely than others.
“If you start to notice a change in mood, give your dog or cat a chance to play and be outside,” he says. “While it may seem unappealing to take a walk on a gray and rainy day, the change of scenery is not just exercise, but a precious moment for mental enrichment and stimulation for your pet. . “
“Remember that older pets and those with health concerns can struggle with rain and cold – sore, stiff joints can be a problem, for example. Make sure they have a warm place to snuggle up, and maybe consider a joint supplement for those with arthritis and other mobility issues.
Pet-n-Sur’s Top Five Tips for Beating the Blues
- Make sure you keep your home at the right temperature for your pet and provide a comfortable and cozy space for them to snuggle up.
- Pay more attention to older pets, and be sure to call the vet if they’re having trouble coping with the drop in temperature or if they’re not as inclined to stand and move around.
- Provide extra litter boxes for reluctant cats to go out.
- If the temperature drops, consider purchasing a coat for older dogs or those with thinner coats.
- Don’t stop exercising your pet. They will still need to get as much exercise as they normally would to stay healthy and prevent boredom.
Pet-n-Sur was founded almost twenty years ago and is 100% owned and operated by New Zealand. Dedicated to helping Kiwis take care of their pets, the brand has helped customers pay more than $ 17.3 million in vet bills in the past two years alone.
Remember: it is always important to contact your veterinarian if you are unsure of your pet’s behavior.
For more details, visit petnsur.co.nz or follow the brand on Facebook or Instagram.
Pet-n-Sur will be at the Rotorua Home & Lifestyle Show July 9-11 (booth 172).
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