Avoid the Winter Dog Blues
If you've ever heard of the winter blues, you probably thought that it was something only humans suffered from. The truth is, even dogs can be affected by seasonal moods changes. Here's what you need to know to help your pup battle the blues and stay healthy all winter long.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the medical name for the 'winter blues'. Scientists understand that SAD is attributed to lower levels of sunlight. This is why people who live in areas with limited sunlight during the winter can be affected by it. Scientists believe dogs are the same--some dogs become despondent and gloomy during the winter months because they aren't getting as much sunlight.
They're also less likely to be getting the exercise they need to stay healthy, and some may put on weight, which leads to slower movements and more lying around. Combat this by trying to get outside on sunny days as often as you can. You may also put your dog's bed near a window that gets sunlight. Be careful not to overdo it--dogs with light fur can still get a sunburn, even in winter.
Keeping healthy, physically and mentally
Winter often means less time outdoors and more fattening treats, so make sure you don't overindulge with your dog. Stick to a healthy feeding schedule and try to work in a little exercise whenever you can, even if it's just practicing 'sit' and 'stay' indoors.
Boredom can also bring about the blues, so keep your dog challenged and entertained by practicing old tricks, learning new ones, and giving your pet challenging toys to play with. You can also play games with your pet, especially ones that involve finding treats. Try hiding your dog's favourite treat in one room of the house, then turning your dog loose to find the treat. See how long it takes him to sniff out the treat, then repeat the game. It can be fun to watch your dog get faster and faster at discovering the treat, and your pet will be happier for the challenge.
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