Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that commonly occurs in humans during the winter months when people have minimal access to bright sunlight. Like their pet-parents, evidence also suggests that dogs can also affected by the lack of sunlight during this time of year.
In dogs the symptoms of Winter Blues often include lethargy, neediness, aggression, inappropriate pottying, and possible hair loss.
Here are some ways to combat seasonal onset of depression in your dog by making sure they get more light in their lives.
Move Their Bed
Boost your dog’s exposure to light by moving their bed under a skylight or close to a window or glass door. This will help them take advantage of what little light there is during the shorter daylight hours.
Turn on the Lights
You can also increase your dog’s exposure to light by turning up interior lighting. Make sure that the lights are closer to natural light (not fluorescent bulbs). The closer it is to natural daylight, the more therapeutic is its effect it will have on your dog.
Switch up Walks
Try to schedule your dog walks to make sure that you are outside during the brighter portion of the day to maximize exposure to daylight.You should also consider that your dog might be mirroring your own mood as they are often closely bonded with their pet parents and attune to our emotions and body language. If you are both feeling anxiety or cooped up with a little cabin fever, make sure to get in some extra outside exercise - go for a run or a longer walk or a get in some extra play time at the park. It’ll be good for your pooch and you.