SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder is known to affect humans. With less sunlight and colder, grayer days, some people are affected to SAD, which is characterized by episodes of depression during the time of year when the days are shorter.
You may have noticed that, Your Family Furbaby has also been looking mopey and sleepy around this time.
While many of us agree that life is brighter, in the summer, feeling restless, mopey, or the typical “winter blues” about the cold weather is not the same as SAD. Affected people may have crying episodes, excessive fatigue, and difficulty doing even the most simplest of tasks.
Can the lack of sunlight affect our dogs in the same way? Actually, yes it can happen.
Do Animals Get Seasonal Affective Disorder?
There has not yet been a study directly conducted on dogs, but it shows that the chance of SAD affecting them isn’t inconceivable. After all, dogs are very emotionally complex, making it seem likely that they experience changes in mood during periods of shorter darker days.
Some veterinarians also think SAD could indirectly affect dogs thru their humans, as well. Have you ever noticed how your dog tends to match your mood? Dogs are highly intuitive creatures, especially with the people they spend the most time around.
If you’re unable to get yourself out of bed on an exceptionally dark morning, your dog may do and feel the same.
Can You Help Your Dog Stop Feeling SAD?
So what to do with possible Seasonal Affective Disorder in your dog? First, know the signs, excessive mopiness, unwilling to move or exercise, excessive weight loss or gain, indoor accidents, and possibly hair loss in a severe case.
You can try to elevate symptoms with more sunlight and regular exercise.
These methods are not proven to work, However, some pet parents might find that they work for their dogs.
You should first contact your veterinarian so they can rule out other causes and before you try any new sunlight methods as some conditions, like skin cancer and/or eye conditions, can be affected by sunlight.
Boosting Your Dog’s Sunlight Exposure
Try placing your pup’s bed near a window or under a skylight. Wake up early dress them up and get in a nice brisk walk together.
These things help lift your pup out of that funk, and the exercise will help boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is a “feel-good” chemical in the brain that often increases with exposure to sunlight and exercise and play.
Yes ...Play Play Play, Most pups will do anything for play, and to please you, this will also get their serotonin levels up.
Another option is an artificial sunlight lamp. These special light therapy lamps mimic sunlight. You can find them at most online general retailers.
Its good if your pup is awake while using these lamps so their retinas get some exposure to the incoming light.
Best of all spend time and enjoy each other company, keep each other active and boost each others moods.