Winter is here and with its arrival, we start heating our homes to make them cosier and more comfortable. The heat inside the house contrasts greatly with the temperature outside, which can lead to colds, pharyngitis or bronchitis. Below, we’ll explain how heating can affect our pets.

Dogs and cats have fur that protects them against the cold, providing them with a layer of insulation formed by pockets of warm air between the hairs, keeping them toasty.  But this function becomes unbalanced when the pet is in an excessively warm environment, such as a heated house, as its body doesn’t give it time to adapt to a major change in temperature.

Therefore, it’s important that, at least for a short time before going out, you keep the temperature mild, so that your pet can slowly get accustomed to the cold.

How does heating affect cats? 

Cats like resting in warm places, and being close to radiators. The problem is that the warmth provided by central heating results in increased moulting.

The circadian rhythm, which regulates the hours of light in a day, tells them it’s winter, but as the temperature in the house is higher because of the heating, many cats moult as though it were spring.

Maintaining a constant moderate temperature and preventing them from getting too close to a heat source reduces this problem.

How does heating affect dogs?

In general, dogs are more prone to colds, pharyngitis and respiratory illnesses because they move from a warm environment inside the home to a cold one outside when they go out for a walk.

Small breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies, and short-haired dogs like Bulldogs or Greyhounds, etc., suffer more with temperature changes. Before taking such dogs out for a walk, it’s a good idea to protect them with warm clothing, which does not prevent them from running and moving, but shields them from the elements.

Controlling temperature changes is especially important in the case of puppies and senior or sick dogs, as they’re unable to control their temperature themselves. 

In addition to following these tips on heating, we should also boost our pets’ defences with healthy, nutritional food that provides them with energy and all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals they need.

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