As the clouds begin to take over the daily skies and the weather goes from the 70s to the 30s, it’s easy to get caught up in seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. However, humans aren’t the only ones who are susceptible to developing SAD.
It is typically the lack of sunshine combined with limited time spent outside that results in seasonal depression. Our veterinary hospital in Bridgeport also knows that your dog may feel the effects of seasonal depression each year.
Have You Noticed a Shift in Behavior?
Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman noted that “It would be very surprising if SAD doesn’t exist in animals.”
If you’ve already started to notice a shift in your dog’s behavior, this means that they are already producing more melatonin. This causes mood shifts, sadness, tiredness, lethargy and changes in appetite.
What Can You Do?
Both you and your dog can fight seasonal depression together! Here are some tips on how to boost your mood:
- Soak up the sun: Melatonin production increases when you are exposed to less light, making SAD that much easier to get. Combat it directly by turning on your lamps and lights. You can also invest in a “happy light” that is therapeutic for both you and your pet.
- Get outside: Make sure to spend as much time as you can tolerate outside. Not only will this help combat SAD in your pet, but in yourself as well! Despite the brisk temperatures, spending time outside can help reduce the effects of seasonal depression.
- Manage your stress: If you’re stressed all winter long, your dog will undoubtedly feel the effects. Take the time to stay organized and reduce your stress as much as possible. You can also carve out daily playtime with your dog to stimulate endorphins in both of you.
If you think your pet is experiencing something deeper than seasonal depression, please schedule an appointment with our veterinary hospital in Bridgeport.