If you’re feeling a little sluggish and unmotivated these past few months, you’re not alone. Your dog can also experience the winter blues and boredom that seems to develop this time of year when what are supposed to be the shortest and coldest days of the year seem to drag out for months on end.
An article published in Psychology Today titled “Do Dogs Have Winter Blues or Suffer from SAD?” indicated that “approximately 40% of dog owners saw a considerable downturn in their pet’s moods during the winter months.” Its author, Dr. Stanley Coren, who’s also written several books including The Pawprints of History; What Do Dogs Know? and The Intelligence of Dogs; Why Does My Dog Act That Way?, explains that the very symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that manifest in humans can also present in our four-legged friends.
One reason why dogs may experience SAD is due to their innate ability to mirror their humans’ behaviors and moods. When paired with their incredible adaptability and their need to remain close to their favorite people, most dogs will slowly acclimate to their environment, so if you find yourself spending more time indoors and living a more sedentary lifestyle, your pup may very well be shifting that direction as well. (You have his amazing emotional capacity and intuitive recognition of our behaviors to thank for that.)
Pittsburgh’s frigid winter months also make outdoor play and exercise more challenging, or at least more unappealing, for many pets and their people. Without the opportunity to explore different environments in which they can experience stimulation in the form of various sights, sounds, and smells, dogs can be grow bored quickly. Often, this boredom can look an awful lot like depression.
This is why it’s so important to bust out of hibernation mood as much as possible. Physical activity and exposure to good ol’ vitamin D (hello, sunshine!) is a fast and fun way to alleviate the symptoms of SAD. Even in Pittsburgh, where 84% of days are mostly cloudy, exposing your pet to as much natural light as you can help normalize his serotonin and melatonin levels and provide a refreshing mid-day work-from-home break that will uplift you both.
If weather prevents you from squeezing in a few minutes of outdoor playtime or your dog truly dislikes the cold and snow, there are countless indoor spots where your dog can take part in some cozy, snow-free activities, including these three Pittsburgh-area doggie daycares that will help your dog shake the winter blues.
1. Woofles Premier Pet Resort
Woofles Premier Pet Resort officially opened its doors in October 2020, making it Pittsburgh’s newest and most premier pet resort. With its 20-foot play tunnel, a six-spray splash pad, a bubble station, and AstroTurf outdoor secured play area, you can trust your pup will have the safest, most personalized stay-n-play experience. All dogs are separated into supervised playgroups by their individual size, temperament, and activity level so they feel comfortable and confident interacting with playmates.
To learn more about its hourly, full-day, and package daycare options as well as care-free and custom suit lodging, grooming, transportation services, and more visit Woofles Premier Pet Resort’s website, Facebook page, and Instagram.
Woofles Premier Pet Resort is conveniently located on Steubenville Pike in Robinson Township, a short drive from downtown Pittsburgh and surrounding communities.
2. Misty Pines Pet Company
Enrichment is the name of the game at Misty Pines Pet Company where your dog can enjoy hours of socialization and stimulation, including treadmill training, agility, afternoon snacks, walks, and more dog-approved enjoyment. Purchase a half-day or full-day of fun tailored to your dog’s individual requirements and personality to ensure a safe, positive, and engaging experience. Break your pup out of his funk with opportunities to build confidence, develop social skills with humans and other dogs, and exercise himself both physically and mentally.
Misty Pines serves furry faces from throughout the greater Pittsburgh area at its Sewickley location on Wexford Bayne Road.
3. The Big Easy Dog Daze
With on-staff veterinarians, free first-day temperament testing, and personalized attention, you can trust your pup is in good hands during their time at The Big Easy Dog Daze daycare. Frequent walks and potty breaks, enrichment and water activities, and socialization with both two-legged and four-legged friends are just some of the perks your dog will be treated to, whether he’s stopping by for a two-hour play break, a half-day of entertainment, or a full-day of fun. Full- and half-day packages are available for frequent visitors.
The Big Easy Dog Daze is situated on McCandless Avenue in the heart of the city’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.
This post is a part of the Pet Photography 52 Weeks project blog circle. To see what the next pawesome photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Photographer’s Choice,” check out Family & Pet Portraits with Danyel & Mike Rogers (a husband & wife team) at Wag to my Heart Studio, serving Hillsboro and the greater Portland Metro area. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.