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Conquering Your Pets Wintertime Blues

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People aren’t the only ones susceptible to wintertime blues. According to Mary Lee Nitschke, professor of psychology at Linfield College in Oregon, pets are just as likely to become depressed during winter as their people.

People aren’t the only ones who get the blues during the dark winter days. So do pets, says Mary Lee Nitschke, professor of psychology at Linfield College in Oregon.

“If your healthy dog or cat becomes lethargic or loses interest in everyday activities, they may be suffering from a simple lack of stimulation,” said Nitschke.  “Other signs to look for include a decrease in appetite.”

So how do you keep your pets healthy during the long winter months? There are a number of ways to do this.

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Lighting[/heading]

“Give pets extra light during the winter months,” Nitschke said. “Light is intimately tied to the functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands, and can stimulate the body to release hormones that have an uplifting effect on mood. Just a half hour a day on a sunny back porch or window perch may do the trick.

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Walking[/heading]

“And getting out and walking your lonesome dog is good therapy for both of you,” said Nitschke, who helped found the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and provides national consultation on animal behavior and training programs. “Even a walk around the block releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain.”

Walks are good for both pets and people, and if your New Years resolution is to become a little healthier, walking is the best way to do it. There are also a number of commercial lights available that are worth looking into.

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]New Activities[/heading]

It’s important to keep your pet engaged in winter. Whether it’s taking them out for a day at camp, looking into the new smart toys on the market, or just taking a new route during walks, these things can help stimulate your pets brain and result in increased activity levels.

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[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Natural Calmants[/heading]

Natural calmants can help keep your pet relaxed while the kids are at school and you’re at work. There are a number of effective natural remedies on the market, including ZEN from Licks Pill-Free, Rescue Remedy from Bachs, and Canine Calm Natural Remedy Mist from Earthheart.

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