The winter solstice is here, and with the frenzy of the holiday season, it typically comes and goes without notice. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you will be the farthest from the sun as you have been all year. December 21st is also the official first day of winter and yields the least amount of sunlight. Although we may not mark the occasion in any special way, we can feel it, and according to iHeartdogs.com, some dogs can feel it too.
Expect to receive a mere less than 10 hours of sunlight depending on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere. This change may not seem all that dramatic, but light can affect our natural body rhythms more than we know. Did you know? Our dogs need 12 – 14 hours of sleep a day. Cats usually need 16 hours. Most humans need 6 – 10 hours of sleep. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, you and your pets may notice that you are a little less active and perhaps taking a few more naps. Whether you love to sleep or not, it’s a beautiful time of year to snuggle up with your favorite cuddle buddy.
Beat the Blues
Studies have shown that an average of five percent of the human population suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. And although we can’t always be certain that our pets are depressed, 40% of people with dogs say they’ve noticed that their dogs seem a little droopy in the winter. It could be that the chilly weather means fewer outdoor games, trips to the park, and walks in general, or perhaps your dog may be affected by the change of the seasons. If you suspect your dog is a bit sad, try taking him out during the day when there is sunlight. Also, keep in mind that a few extra hugs, kisses, and treats can greatly lift his spirits.
Personally, my dogs perk up in cooler weather, welcoming the break from Florida’s often oppressive heat. When I lived up north, my dogs absolutely loved the snow and played in it incessantly.
Do you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior during winter? Tell us in the comments below!