Don’t let your dog be S.A.D.

It’s that time of year when the days are short and the nights are long.  Even in sunny California (which granted San Francisco is not really part of) we’re seeing a lot less sun than we like.  In humans, this can result in a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.).

The Mayo Clinic  says that S.A.D is a type of depression that causes a wide of array unpleasant symptoms, including low energy, loss of appetite, and feelings of sadness that usually start in the late fall or early winter and go away “during the sunnier days of spring and summer.”  So, do dogs get S.A.D in the winter?
Short answer, we don’t really know.

We do know that dogs, like humans, have the hormones melatonin and serotonin and with less daylight dogs (again like us) produce less of those hormones and less of these can have an adverse impact on mood.

So, sure it’s possible.  There was a study done in the United Kingdom by the People’s Dispensary of Sick Animals (PDSA) that said pet parents THINK their pets are more depressed in winter months, but this study was based on what humans think their dogs feel rather than a scientific study of the dogs themselves.
But it’s also possible other things are happening.  It could be that dogs displaying S.A.D. symptoms are mirroring their humans.

We know that dogs respond to our moods and maybe we’re just SAD, so our dogs are acting like us.  It could also be that we’re just not as engaged with our dogs during the colder-darker winter months, so our dogs are just lazier and thus appear to be more lethargic.
So, what’s a concerned pet parent to do?

Folks recommend a myriad of things, but they center on three basic ideas: (1) make your indoor space as bright as possible; (2) make sure your dog gets outside as much as possible; and (3) keep your dog engaged.  What a coincidence – Pet Camp has got you covered!

We’ve just added more windows to the Main Campground to bring in more natural light, we’ve got more outdoor play area than any pet care facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, and engagement? How about everything from all day play to custom playgroups to training or our new Ranger program.

Sure, we don’t know if your dog is really S.A.D. during the winter months.  But just in case, we’re here for you!

Pet Camp is proud to be the most award winning pet care facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.  If you’re a pet parent in need of doggie day care or overnight lodging give us a call or come over for a visit.  Located in the Bayview District, we’re just a few minuted from Dog Patch, Potrero Hill, Bernal, Noe and the Mission.  The Pet Camp Express services every San Francisco neighborhood from the Marina to the Sunset.