Is your Canine Friend Under the Weather?

Storms Frank, Gertrude and Imogen have left parts of the UK swamped with floods and high winds, followed by short, icy blasts. To leave the house for anything other than essential trips has been the order of things for many families.

Humans’ suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is well documented. The lack of sunshine and daylight can leave us feeling under the weather and down in the dumps.

But did you know that this winter could also be impacting your pooch?

Picture the scene: it is raining heavily – again. The roads and pavements are full of puddles. You need to wear full body waterproofs, but you also hate the house smelling of ‘wet dog’. The wet paw prints that seem to get on everything are also a nuisance. The prospect of letting canine friends out in the garden to relieve themselves is favourable to spending half an hour being soaked to the skin – again.
There are times when this happens, but many dogs are, according to pet behaviourists, suffering from the same kind of SAD this winter, just like many human companions.

Is your dog feeling SAD?

Being stuck in the house all day and night for a week or more can lead to a pooch feeling bored and frustrated, much like we do. So what can you do about it?

  • Indoor games – you can play indoor games that will stimulate your dog, from playing hide and seek with treats and toys. Playing fetch with certain items can also be fun. Short bursts of play work best.
  • A break in the weather – when the storm clouds start to pass, take the opportunity to have a dry walk, even if it is only 10 minutes around the block. Grab the lead, and off you go! Make sure you have plenty of old towels on hand to dry your pooch off as you get home.
  • Go swimming! – On one hand, you don’t want to get wet, but a lack of exercise will eventually impact your dog’s health. There are many canine hydrotherapy pools across the country – why not book in for a session?
  • Head down and go for it – In Eglwyswrw, a small village in Wales, it rained for 82 consecutive days meaning that residents and their canine companions had no choice but to rug up and face the elements…

Alternatively, if you’re in North London, you can always hire a professional dog walker, such as Finchley dog walker, who are prepared for any weather

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