When the holidays are over, many adults tend to get the so-called winter blues. Affected people may have bouts of unexplained crying, desire for sweets, excessive fatigue, lethargy, depression, anxiety, and mood swings. But can dogs also feel the blues?
According to an article The Pet Place, dogs likely aren't feeling the same symptoms, but more likely, your dog is mirroring your own feelings.
For instance, some of the search and rescue dogs at the World Trade Center site got depressed because they picked up on the feelings of their human handlers, who were faced with a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.
The dogs were also at risk for depression because they were eager to succeed. They were trained to find survivors, and failure to do so was upsetting. To combat the sense of failure, human handlers "hid" so the dogs could "find" them. This boosted the dogs' confidence and self-esteem.
Dogs do have a hormonal response to the change in seasons. For instance, they shed their coats in spring and fall. But Dodman says it's a stretch to say that dogs experience the winter blues themselves.
Dogs do seem to be prone to cabin fever, like people. And even worse for them, they are not as entertained as us by watching old reruns or rented movies. But they do like exercise, which is the best tonic for winter blues for people and pets.