Can Pets Suffer From SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?


In the wintertime, many humans experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, an issue associated with lethargy due to short, cold days. Many pet owners have reported seeing changes in their pets during the winter months too. A cat might eat more or change their active hours. A dog may be less inclined to get up from a nap to greet you as days grow shorter. This made us wonder: Do pets get SAD too?

“Since we can’t talk to our animal subjects and determine if they are depressed, we have to rely upon ‘depressive-like behaviors,’ such as increased huddling and decreased locomotion,” says Dr. Joe Turk, a veterinarian at Animal Care Center in Saint Joseph, Michigan. “While SAD is not a recognized disease or condition in dogs or cats, it is certainly possible.”

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