Dogs can feel down and suffer from the winter blues just like their human companions. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression experienced during colder months when there are fewer hours of daylight. Unfortunately, our canine buddies may also suffer from this seasonal disorder - and it’s important to learn the signs of SAD in dogs so you can provide them with the proper care and attention they need to stay physically and mentally healthy throughout the season.
Can Dogs Suffer From S.A.D?
Yes, dogs can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Signs of SAD in dogs include decreased energy levels, increased sleepiness, lethargy, lack of appetite, and general disinterest in activities. The shortened days of winter can make dogs feel less active, leading to a decrease in overall happiness.
Do Shorter, Colder Days Make Dogs Less Active?
Yes, shorter days and colder temperatures have been linked to decreased physical activity among dogs. Longer nights mean fewer hours for outdoor playtime - which can lead to boredom and depression for our four-legged friends. Additionally, the cold weather itself may be uncomfortable or even painful for some dogs and discourage them from going outside as much as they would during warmer months.
Pay Attention To Your Doggo's Eating Habits
Some dogs may overeat during the winter months. If your pup is eating an excessive amount of food, it could be a sign of SAD or general boredom due to lack of outdoor activity. To keep your dog's diet healthy, you should make sure they are getting enough exercise and playtime each day. Additionally, if you're concerned about your pup's weight, you can adjust their calorie intake as needed. If the cold weather is causing them to need more calories for warmth, supplementing with a high-quality dog food that provides extra nutrition and calories may be beneficial.
To Keep Your Pup’s Mental Health in Check This Winter Season, Consider the Following Tips:
• Establish a daily routine - Set up an exercise plan for your dog that includes regular walks, playtime and mental stimulation.
• Provide enriching activities - Find ways to keep your pup engaged during colder months with puzzle toys, games or other interactive activities.
• Spend quality time with your pup - Make sure to give your pup plenty of love and attention throughout the day. This could be anything from dog care activities such as brushing their fur to taking them on hikes or just snuggling up together on the couch.
• Visit the vet - If you think your dog is showing signs of SAD, visiting the vet can help determine if any additional treatments are needed.
The Bottom Line
Dogs can develop SAD during the colder months, just like humans. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so you can provide proper care and attention to your pup - even when it’s cold outside. With a little extra love and effort, you can help keep your furry friend happy and healthy throughout the winter season.