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The Scoop: Pets Can Get SAD, Too

A recently released study by British veterinary charity organization, PDSA, claims that pets suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that tends to occur as days grow shorter and temperatures drop with the changing seasons. One in three of the surveyed pet owners said they see a noticeable downturn in their pet's mood during the winter months, with 50 percent saying their pets slept longer and 20 percent adding they were less active.

I don't know about your pets, but North is pretty hyper all the time. When he's not tearing around the apartment, he's sleeping... but I never paid attention to the mad dash to snoring ratio as the seasons change. What do you think – does your pet seem less energized in the winter? Share your thoughts and interpretations in comments below.


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Lorien209 Lorien209 9 years
I'm not sure if P-Nut, my Jack Russell, sleeps more during the winter. I have however, noticed that he gets very depressed when it rains. As soon as he goes outside, he gets mopey and sleeps most of the day away. He also gets super lovely-dovey and wants belly scratches and pampering ALL DAY.
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
My dog does...she's been sleeping a hell of a lot more.
tkoblondee tkoblondee 9 years
Alex, my Bishon loves being outside in the winter! In the summer she can't wait to come inside, but in the cooler months she loves sleeping on the cement patio in the back yard. Of course since we live in Arizona........
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I worry about Calliope. I just got her in December of last year and once she was introduced to the outdoors in April, she was so happy! I worry when winter comes along when the cold weather will have to keep her in.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I've never noticed, but I live in mild weather (CA). We just moved to the desert 2 weeks ago and my dog has been sleeping a lot more. I don't think he knows what to do in the heat. But when dad gets home it's ON! our place is much bigger and he Runs and slides all over the tile floor. it's awesome.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
My cats are still pretty much the same year round, although I'm sure they get bummed of less in the open window time-but hey that's what happens when you live in New England!
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
Dogs know when another dog dog Bella was sad and moody for two weeks when we put our dog Forest Gump down to sleep. They just know...
mnp mnp 9 years
Fuji's attitude does change with the weather. He will sleep more and be less playful. The cold weather also affects him physically. He'll get skin irritations from the cold and dry air.
desodaro desodaro 9 years
Again as with the menstrual acne study, they had to do a study to find this out? I think it would only take owning pets!
Alisha_Stiletto Alisha_Stiletto 9 years
I notice that my girl's behavior changes a bit as the seasons change. As it gets colder, her appetite changes - she eats less, sleeps more for a little bit in the beginning and then she's back to normal. Summer comes - its the same thing. They are very sensitive to changes in environment, and its a natural thing. I mean, our bodies change with the seasons as well, why wouldnt theirs?
Home Home 9 years
Since pet owners get more sedentary in the winter, it seems to make sense that their pets would, too (and get bummed out because of it!).
MamaD MamaD 9 years
When my dachshund Cody died unexpectedly afew years back, his "brother" dog Little Man was very sad for about a year. He didn't wag his tail at all!!! So unlike the usual when it would never stop. He would look out the window in the direction we drove with Cody to go to the vet...every day!!! So sad!!!! We got him a new little sister but no one could replace his big brother!!!A year to the day he seemed to snap out of it.
minhoca minhoca 9 years
its recently got a bit chilly here, but not much difference in homer. except i have noticed he's had some weird dreams recently, his huffing in his sleep has woken me up, and he sleeps across the room!
missmaddie missmaddie 9 years
Well, you have to remember that this study was measuring owners' perceptions of their pets' moods, not the actual moods themselves. We project right and left onto our fuzzy friends. Still, it's a good excuse for extra cuddling in the winter months. I'll take it!
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
I'm intune with my little guy so i think not. but i will keep a look out.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
My old cat gets this. Durning fall and winter she looses weight and energy and turns into stage 10 bitch... But give it until spring and she's back at being happy again :)
cageyme cageyme 9 years
My dog has much MORE energy during the winter. I have always thought it was because (a) he LOOOVES to play in the snow, and (b) warm weather and all that fur wears him out.
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