Do Dogs Get The Winter Blues? – S.A.D Explained

Do Dogs Get The Winter Blues? - S.A.D Explained

Do Dogs Get The Winter Blues? – S.A.D Explained

You might be surprised to learn that just like humans, many of our pets experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as the ‘winter blues’!

Check out our ways to help your pets get through the winter months, as well as know the signs to look out for.

What Are The Signs of S.A.D?

It’s important to recognise that your pet might be affected by the change of seasons, signs include:
● Lack of energy
● No or little interest in playing
● Change in appetite
● Stroppiness or becoming withdrawn
● Increased sleeping

Why Does this Happen?

Every pet is different, but this is commonly caused by a lack of sunlight which contains the happy hormone, serotonin. Reduced sunlight also alters your pet’s routine, especially if they’re used to spending a lot of time enjoying the outdoors.

If your pet’s exercise quota has decreased for this reason, they won’t feel as energetic as usual, and therefore they won’t have built up much of an appetite. It’s a vicious cycle!

Another reason your pet can feel down during wintery weather, is that they can pick up on how you feel too! Many of us experience SAD, so it’s expected that some pets can inhibit this behaviour.

How to Help

Thankfully, there are many ways you can help your pet get out of its winter funk!
● Take your pet outside frequently – even if there’s not a lot of sunlight. Allowing your pet to stretch their legs and breathe in the fresh air will lift their morale and help them stick to their routine.

● Play indoors- just because it’s dismal outside, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
Make sure to set some time aside throughout the day to play with your pet, or you can turn play into an engaging training session! You can also provide indoor and outdoor pets with lots of enrichment through puzzle toys and hiding their favourite treats to keep them entertained.

● Shower your pets with lots of attention – sometimes all they need is some affection from their favourite humans. This will give both you and your pet a boost of some much-needed oxytocin.

● Look after yourself – if you feel energised and well, your pet will notice this, and as a result, this should hopefully rub off on them!

We hope this will help your pets cope better during the darkest days of the year; spring will be here before you know it!