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How To Fight Seasonal Depression With Your Pet

A pug in a dusty purple blanket, sitting on a bed at FurHaven Pet Products

Is Seasonal Depression Affecting Your Pet?

 

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere like us, you’re probably experiencing the worst of the winter season right now. Long dark nights and cold short days make it difficult to enjoy this time of year. Having a furry friend by your side to brighten up the days (and you, theirs) can help make everyone a little happier on a gloomy day.

For some people and their pets, the winter months can cause the blues. Whether it be from staying inside longer, less sunlight, or a disruption in your usual outdoor activities, feeling down this time of year is not uncommon. 

A cat snoozing on a furniture ledge at FurHaven Pet Products

Can My Pet Be Affected By Seasonal Depression?

Long story short? Maybe. For the most part, winter gloominess or seasonal depression can affect your pet because of changes they notice in their pawrents. If their walk or play time is reduced, and they notice their pawrent is staying in bed longer or is more lethargic, your pet will mirror you! Your pet may sleep for longer periods, eat less, seem less interested in toys or walks, or just stop acting like their normal selves

Continuing their normal routine - whether than be a regular walk or getting out of bed at the same time every day, can be one of the best ways to help your pet during the winter. 

There are some studies that point to animals reacting negatively to the changing seasons - but nothing is confirmed. 

Either way, if the changes in the seasons are making you a little gloomier, chances are your pet feels the same way.

A human and their dog sitting on a cold day on a wooden walkway ledge at FurHaven Pet Products

How You And Your Pet Can Deal With Seasonal Depression

Since the winter blues you may experience haven’t actually been proven to be an issue for our pets, treatments like light therapy may not work for your fur baby. But, as mentioned before, sticking to a routine or “leading by example” may be the answer. 

The best thing to do for your pet is to maintain normality. Try to continue routines like walks or playing. If you can, try to take your pup out when there’s still light out - getting in as much time as possible in the sun can be beneficial for you and your furry friend!

How To Get Active To Prevent Seasonal Depression

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with engaging ideas and activities that can be fun for you and your pet! Here are some winter friendly activities to get out in the few hours of daylight, bond with your fur baby, and to get those serotonin levels up and grooving!

Go On A Snowy Walk

A dog in a FurHaven Jacket going on a walk on a snowy day at FurHaven Pet Products
Don't let bad weather stop you! As long as you and your pup are prepared, exploring a snowy landscape with your fur baby can be a great way to get some exercise in and some bonding! Just make sure to protect their paws as well as keep them warm and dry with a Puffer Coat!

Treat Them To Some New Toys

 

Two dogs, a puppy and a larger version of the puppy, playing with a FurHaven Dandies toy

 

If you can't get outside or it's a bit too dark, you can also bond with your pup and entertain them by treating them to some new toys and playing with them! Getting down on the floor and playing tug of war or fetch with your pup is an easy way to bond with them and get those serotonin levels up for both of you. Our Woodland Toy play set is a great option for your pup, and the Dizzy Feather Wand Toy is the perfect toy for your kitty!

Do A DIY

 

FurHaven's DIY Homemade Apple Cinnamon Holiday Dog Treats

 

Whip up some homemade dog treats for your pup, or decorate a plain cat scratch house for your kitty! Your furry friend will be sure to love what you make them, and it's a great way to bond with them and have some fun yourself!

Learn A New Skill Or Hobby Together 

A human and their dog going on a run on a pavement walkway in a park near a body of water at FurHaven Pet Products
One of the best things you can do for your furry friend is to engage them in something fun and interesting! Teach them a new command, hone in on an existing skill, or even start something as simple as picking up running together! Doing something together that is challenging but rewarding can be a great way to entertain yourself and your fur baby when the days are darker.

Here Are Some More Ideas To Try:

  • Hide and seek (hide treats around the house for them to find)
  • Put on Dog or Cat TV
  • Do a pet photoshoot!
  • Take them to a dog friendly restaurant or brewery 
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