What Are the Benefits of the Sun For Pets?
The sun is indispensable for the body to function properly. For this reason, pets also need to be exposed to the sun's rays for short periods. With that in mind, let's look at the benefits of the sun for pets.
The benefits of the sun for pets are many, and very necessary ones too. However, not everyone knows what the effects of the sun’s rays are on animals.
Therefore, we ask you the following questions: What do you think the benefits of the sun for pets are? Could you mention some of them? In case you don’t know what to answer, don’t worry. Here we’ll present the different benefits of the sun on pets.
The different benefits of the sun for pets
The sun is indispensable for certain processes to take place in the body. As for the benefits of the sun on pets, the following can be mentioned, gathered from research articles.
Regulation of body temperature
During the cold months, homeothermic animals look for different sources of heat. This physiological mechanism explains why pets seek sun exposure when temperatures drop, since this star is a natural source of heat.
However, it’s also true that some breeds are more vulnerable to cold than others. A clear example of this variety is the short-haired breeds, as well as smaller ones, like Chihuahuas.
Therefore, one way to help them warm up in winter is to keep an eye on their resting area. This boils down to two simple tasks: Checking that it’s not cold and that the ambient temperature is good.
Another very popular option is to use clothing for dogs or for other types of pets. There’s a wide variety of garments, shapes, and fabrics on the market, each and every one of them suitable for each breed.
Strengthening the immune system
Solar radiation, in adequate doses, is also essential for proper hormonal functioning. Without this natural source, the body won’t be able to perform its daily functions properly.
For example, studies have observed that sunlight is necessary for the secretion of melatonin. This is the sleep hormone, which allows the animal to rest well and activates its immune system.
Sunshine in pets improves their mood
As we’ve seen, the benefits of the sun on pets vary greatly. But, in case there were any doubts, studies have shown that sunlight also favors the mood of the animals.
This is because exposure to the sun secretes the happiness hormone. This hormone, called serotonin, keeps pets in a healthy mood–just as it does in humans.
Combats rickets and joint pain
First of all, rickets is a pathology that causes the deformation of the animal’s bones. Normally, it occurs in puppies and is easily observed in their body position.
This pathology derives from a deficit of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D in the body. The lack of these elements leads to bone problems for the puppy, with symptoms such as the following:
- Delayed growth
- Long and twisted bones
- Thick joints
- Dental disorders
- Deformed spine
In addition, rickets is more common in large breed puppies – such as German Shepherds or Dogos Argentinos. So, exposing these varieties to the sun is even more important.
On the other hand, it’s also been observed that sunlight reduces the discomfort of older dogs. From a certain age, older dogs usually suffer from rheumatic diseases, which are very painful. However, when these animals in geriatric age take the sun, it has been observed that their symptoms are mitigated.
It produces vitamin D
Thus, to avoid rickets, puppies must have adequate amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. To do this, the simplest and most natural way for a pet to get vitamin D is in the sun.
When the animal is in the sun, a chain of chemical reactions takes place in the body. Thanks to this chain, the body synthesizes the active form of vitamin D.
In this way, this vitamin can regulate, for example, those processes in the body that are mediated by calcium. However, in some cases, the animal is not able to synthesize this vitamin.
Therefore, the veterinarian may recommend the administration of its synthetic formula, cholecalciferol. It can also be ingested through foods containing it, such as dry foods.
But having said all this… what’s the importance of vitamin D? Why is it so necessary? Vitamin D is one of the indispensable nutrients in the diet of dogs, mainly because of its functions:
- It helps to regulate the internal balance
- It retains calcium and phosphorus
Although the benefits of the sun for pets are numerous, it’s also necessary to protect them properly. To do this, do not forget to administer sunscreen, especially during the most dangerous hours.
You must also make sure that your pets are properly hydrated. This way, they’ll avoid suffering from heatstroke and they’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of the sun.