Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly known as the “winter blues”, is a type of depression that people experience seasonally, most often in winter. Research has now suggested that dogs can suffer from this disorder too.
Symptoms of S.A.D can include low mood, lethargy, not wanting to go outside and an increase in appetite. Six in ten dog owners in the UK have said that they notice a difference in their pet’s persona and behaviour over winter.
A study carried out by dog food producer Forthglade showed that 44% of the 2,000 dog owners surveyed said they had consulted with an expert about their pet’s possible condition.
Canine Behaviourist Nick Jones said “The long dark days of winter don’t just take a toll on the two-legged population. Our four-legged friends also feel the strain with many exhibiting symptoms that replicate the human condition Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
“Lethargy, an increased appetite, irritability and a reluctance to go outside and exercise are typical behaviours exhibited by dogs in the colder months when natural sunlight is at a minimum.”
However, there are ways to keep your dog as happy as possible, “Taking walks in daylight hours is a must, and good nutrition also plays a very big part. Poor diet can be directly linked to lethargy and depression within canines.”
“It’s more important than ever during winter months to feed your dog a healthy natural diet – comfort eating in winter is as bad for pets as it is for humans.”
So, it seems as though keeping your dog active and feeding them a healthy diet is key to protecting them this winter!