Our moods have a strong relation with the weather outside. Moods change as the weather is changed. Even the scientific research has proven this fact that happiness comes and goes with seasons. A study has proved that twenty five percent of the people in America admit to feel depressed as soon as the winter arrives. Cold brings with it sadness and anxiety. This seasonal depression is known as the Seasonal Effective Disorder.
We all feel good and spirited when we hug our pets. But what happens when your lovely pet is feeling depressed too? Research has also shown that seasons have their effects on the moods of pets as well. Animals also feel sad and depressed in a cold weather. It may be surprising to know but it’s true that pets can also suffer from the Seasonal Affective Disorder. During cold weather dogs feel depressed and sad. They feel less energetic and do not show interest in the things they usually love to play with. Dogs show the similar symptoms of depression as these are in humans. The symptoms include anxiety, loss of energy, poor appetite and fatigue. Not only the cold weather affects the mental health of dogs but it also poses dangers for their physical health as well. Dogs can get hypothermia and frostbite. Hence during the winters, you have to take extra care of your lovely pet so that he does not feel the sadness brought by the chilly cold weather.
Affects of Thunder & Lightening on Dogs
Thunderstorm affects the dog’s behavior. Most of the dogs are scared of thunder and lightening. You will see most of the dogs whimpering and panting during a thunderstorm. Symptoms of this phobia include barking, hiding and wheezing. Dogs feel stressed during such kind of weather. Research has shown that a specific hormone which is linked with the stress is released by dogs during this kind of weather. It is to be noted here that not all the dogs are afraid of thunderstorm. However, this is a very common phobia among dogs. Cortisol which is the stress hormone is released 200 percent more by the dogs who have thunder phobia than that of the dogs who are not afraid of such weather.
Cold Weather & Depression in Dogs
Seasons affect the mood of the dogs just like it affects the moods of humans. It is very common for most of us that we feel down, out of energy and sad in winters. In summers we feel happy, energetic and alive. Same is the case with dogs. Cold weather affects the dog’s psychology. It has a great association with the mental health of the dogs. In winters you will find your pet less energetic and depressed. He would not like to participate in games that he usually loves. He will not feel hungry and would eat much lesser amounts than usual. In winters you may find your dog sleeping for long hours and not showing interest in anything new. He would look like as if he is too much tired and would not feel as exited at the sight of his favorite food as he used to be in summers. All these are the symptoms of depression in dogs. And this depression comes with the cold weather.
During winters and especially when you are enjoying your holidays, it becomes very difficult to go out of your cozy warm homes. Winters not only disturb our own exercise routine but of our pets as well. All of the dog owners must know that the requirement of physical activities and exercise remains same for dogs through out the year regardless of how cold or hot it is outside. Lack of physical activity in winters has a great negative impact on the behavior of dogs.
When the physical activity requirements of the dog are not met, he will try to use other ways to release his energy. This would lead to the hyperactive behavior of the dogs and he may start chewing as well. Once the dog gets used to of such behavior he may continue it even when the winter ends. He may bark at other animals and people. Not only bad behavior is the result of lack of physical activity but it also has negative impact of dog’s physical health. So as a dog owner it is your responsibility to fulfill the exercise requirements of your dog in winters as well. Don’t skip the walking routine of your dog. Get the walking equipment or your dog that will keep him warm in winters and take him out with you for a walk. Arrange for any indoor physical activity that would keep your dog engaged in winters and would not let his habits to get ruined.
Thing to Do For Your Pet in Cold Weather
You need to take care of your dog to keep him away from the adverse affects of the cold weather. It is very important to take care of the dog’s mental and physical health during chilly cold days. To meet the requirements of physical activity you need to take your dog out in winters. While taking your dog out for a walk you should always use sweaters and jackets for him. This is especially necessary for the dogs with shorter hair and having less fur. In winters, salt and other chemicals are used to melt snow in the streets. These chemicals are quite harmful for the paws of your pets and may cause irritation in their paws. These can also cause ulcers if ingested. So it is recommended to wash your pet’s feet whenever he comes in after a walk.
With little care and attention you can keep your pet stay safe and healthy in chilly days. Take care of them, give them proper attention and don’t let them get depressed by cold. Take special care of their physical activities in winters and allow them to go out. With care you can make your dog feel happy and healthy.