This is the time of year when days are shorter, darker, and colder.
The “winter blues” can be caused by a lack of sunlight or outdoor time.
This is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD can cause you to feel more tired, irritable and down.
SAD is not the same as depression. SAD can change with the weather. Major depression does not depend on the weather or season. Seek help from a mental healthcare professional if you believe you are suffering from depression.
If you have been contemplating adding a dog into your family, it could be a great idea to improve your SAD.
Let me first explain what Seasonal Affective Disorder is.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Winter is a time when we spend more time indoors because of the cold temperatures and unpredictable weather.
This could mean that we are less active and don’t get enough sunlight. Vitamin D is therefore deficient.
SAD is believed to be caused by a lack of Vitamin D. It disrupts our circadian rhythms. If we don’t get enough exercise to replenish our energy, we start to feel the symptoms of Seasonal Aspergers Disorder.
What are the signs and symptoms of SAD?
Low energy or increased tirednessOversleepingHeavy feeling in arms and legsIrritabilityDifficulty regulating our emotionsWeight gainA feeling of sadness
These symptoms usually last for a short time and improve with better weather.
Although there is no scientific explanation for SAD, it is generally believed that people have less time outside and are more active when it gets colder.
These symptoms can make you feel miserable, and the winter months may be weighing on you. A dog could be the right thing for you and your family.
Canine Companion Therapy: What a Dog Can Do to Help Seasonal Affective Disorder
Dogs can bring many benefits to a family, according to me.
You can’t be sad to see those puppy eyes looking up at you ready to play a game of tug-of war.
If you suffer from SAD, a dog can help improve your mood.
Dogs are so sensitive that they can sense their parents’ moods. They will be there to give a hug and a cuddle if they sense you are feeling low. This unconditional love will lift your spirits.
Puppy snuggles can be a great way to get over any sadness.
Dog ownership means you have to get outside. To let your dog out, you need to allow them to go about their business. This will give them some exercise and fresh air.
Even a small amount of physical activity can help to ease symptoms of SAD, and make winter more bearable.
However, I don’t recommend you get a dog to ease your SAD. Dog ownership is a big responsibility that requires you to care for your dog for the rest of your life.
This is not something you should do on a whim.
If you feel like your family is ready to get a dog, now might be the right time.
It is important to help dogs in need whenever possible. It’s a way to save a dog and give them a wonderful life.
It’s hard to not feel good about this!
Before you make that decision, there are some things you need to consider.
Are You Ready to Add a Puppy to Your Family?
Recently, I wrote a blog on 5 questions you should ask your family to help determine if they are ready to adopt a dog. To find out if your family is ready for a four-legged friend, check out this post.
The most important thing is to determine if you are ready for the additional responsibility, training, financial burden and lifestyle changes that comes with owning a pet dog. Canine companion therapy can be wonderful but it requires a lot more effort and commitment.
You must consider carefully what you are committing to before you get a dog.
It’s so much fun to live with a dog companion. They are able to help you with SAD, but they will also be there for you to give them a hug or a kiss and take you for a stroll in the park.
Even though it is hard work, owning a dog can be so rewarding!
I want to remind you that if you believe you are suffering from SAD, or any other form of depression, you should seek out help from a mental healthcare professional. They can help you identify the problem and provide advice about other treatments if necessary.
Because I want you and your dog(s) to have a happy and fulfilling life.
Your friendly dog trainer
Canine Companion Therapy & Seasonal Depression: The Healing Effects of Adding A Dog to Your Family. The Online Dog Trainer.