Winter 2024

Preventing the winter blues for pets

Help your pets cope with cabin fever with these tips.

Pets and people have a lot in common, including the winter blues. Even in warmer climates, cooler temperatures and reduced sunshine can be tough on a pet, especially those that spend most of their time outdoors.

It’s common for pet owners to discover their dogs and cats have gained weight or exhibited signs of depression like oversleeping and irritability during the winter months. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that will make you and your pet happier during the long cold months.

Brighten the lights

Dogs and cats respond to illumination like we do—they get peppier when the light is brighter. Even when it’s too cold to go outside, open drapes let in sunlight to help improve moods. You can also turn up indoor lights and even replace bulbs to create a more day-like environment.

For reptiles, keep heat and light cycles balanced throughout the entire year. Know the general husbandry standards for your specific reptile so that you are aware of possible hibernation needs during the winter as well.

Encourage play time

Keeping up activity isn’t always easy when days are short and cold. However, a little exercise and mental stimulation can go a long way. To keep cats active, make toys, drag enticing objects around or get your cat chasing clumped paper—anything to keep them busy and burning energy. Install a window perch because cats love to sit by a sunny window and watch the birds.

For dogs, games like tug-of-war and wrestling can mean a great indoor workout while building their appetite. The best time to play with rabbits is in the early morning or as it begins to get dark.

Recalculate food quantities

More indoor time often results in fewer calories burned, which means pets require less food to get the same energy. Recalculating food intake for indoor pets can help prevent weight gain and lead to more energy. On the other hand, if your dog or cat spends a lot of time outdoors, they may require more calories to stay warm. Always consult with your veterinarian for advice when changing your pet’s diet.

Enhance scents around the house

Scented goodies keep dogs busy as they try to find the source of the smell. Many cats are drawn to the smell of catnip, either in dry leaf form, hidden in a toy or sprinkled on a scratcher. However, avoid sprays or candles—scented or otherwise—if you have birds, as these items emit carbons and volatile toxins that can be harmful or even fatal to birds if inhaled.

Get outside

Even on cold days, getting outside for a walk is fun and beneficial for people and pets. Bringing your dog (or cat!) out on a leash to play in the snow adds a little something special to any day.

When going for a winter walk, be sure to wear bright colored clothes, including reflective gear for you and your pet if walking in the morning or evening. Read more winter walking tips for more on getting out with your pet safely during the colder months.

Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet

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