Dogs get SAD too - Forthglade
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Avoid your canine companion getting Seasonal Affective Disorder this winter

At this time of year, as the days shorten from reduced daylight and temperatures drop, many  Brits will suffer from  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  It’s a common condition which can make the winter months quite tough. But did you know that our four-legged friends suffer from similar symptoms?

Dogs by nature want to be outside in natural sunlight, exploring and exercising, but for a number of reasons winter makes this difficult. Many pet owners are put off walking in the dark for safety reasons, while others don’t like to get out with their dogs in the rain or much colder weather.  This means our pets often have to take on a more sedentary lifestyle, with substantially reduced exposure to daylight.

We caught up with leading canine behaviourist Nick Jones to find out more on the effects of S.A.D on dogs: “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. It’s clear that many dogs exhibit symptoms replicating the human condition of SAD: lethargy, an increased appetite, irritability and a reluctance to go outside and exercise – all as a result of natural sunlight being at a minimum”.

Those of us who suffer from winter blues know how important it is to resist junk food and keep our diets healthy, and the same goes for our pets.  Poor diet can be directly linked to lethargy and depression within canines, so try not to be tempted to share pet foods with artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Feeding a natural healthy diet is a key part to winter-proofing your dog!”

Meet Pip & Rubi

Last year we followed Pip, a veterinary nurse and her six year old pug Rubi, who’s been reported to be suffering from canine S.A.D to see how swapping to a natural diet would effect her symptoms. Armed with a GoPro, Pip and Ruby kept a record of their findings and the results.

Make Your Pet Food Pledge!

I pledge to support the Dump the Junk campaign, to feed my dog the healthy and natural food they deserve, and help to spread the word about the dangers of nasties in dog food. By signing my name, I am supporting the campaign and helping to ensure that our canine friends eat well, for their health and happiness.

Thanks for Your Support!

As a thank you for making your pledge we've entered you into our prize draw to win 6 months worth of Forthglade natural pet food, plus a two night break at Devon’s luxury Deerpark Country House Hotel. Please encourage other pet owners to learn more about pet food nasties by sharing details of Dump The Junk via the social media links below.

Spread the Word

S.A.D Symptoms

  • Sleeping more
  • Reluctance to go outside
  • Less active than usual
  • Appearing lethargic
  • Eating more & generally more hungry
  • Desire to be alone & rest in a quiet place
  • Begging for more comfort food/human food
  • Less playful
  • Less interested in social interaction with humans or dogs

Top Tips

  • Taking walks in daylight hours is a must and when on walks get dogs really moving; jumping over logs and chasing balls
  • During the week when time may be limited, try placing your pet’s bed under a skylight or close to a window to take advantage of what little light there is
  • Nutrition plays a big part in mood and poor diet is directly linked to lethargy and depression within canines
  • Play games inside the home to stimulate your dog, such as ‘find it’ games, indoor agility or ‘take it and leave it’ games
  • No matter the size or shape of your pet, the garden offers a great outdoor space for them to get some natural sunlight
  • Feed your dog a healthy, natural diet and avoid junk and fillers. Eating poor quality dog food, or even human leftover food, can increase behavioural problems and isn’t good for a dog’s overall health

News & Updates

Keep up to date with the latest news on SAD here and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook. For more information on the benefits of feeding your dog a natural diet and the tail-waggingly good Forthglade recipes click here.