And so are my dogs. Instead of rushing outside in the morning sun to do their doggie business and play in the yard, they sniff the darkness and try to convince me they can hold it until spring.
Seasonal affective disorder or SAD not only affects many people but it can also affect pets. At its worst, symptoms can include depression, lack of energy, restlessness, difficulty in sleeping, anxiety, decreased appetite and social withdrawal.
And it isn’t our imaginations. Lack of sunlight can lower levels of serotonin production, a hormone in our bodies that causes us to have feelings of happiness and well being, and of melatonin, a hormone which helps us sleep.
As days grew shorter Max Marvin from rainy Seattle was suffering from insomnia when a sleep specialist suggested he try a light box to reset his sleep cycle and balance production of melatonin. After only a week he felt more energized and less depressed.
And so did his dog Luke.
Dogs will seek out the smallest beam of light that comes into their home, but when there is no sunlight they can fall victim to SAD just as humans do.
After seeing the effect of light on Luke, Marvin decided to create a light box for dogs. Working with a British manufacturer, they developed the Sol Box, the first light box designed just for pets, but humans can find it helpful too. In fact, it can be a bonding experience.
The powerful Sol Box by Pawsitive Lighting can deliver the equivalent of a sunny day to your pet, anytime. Simply place the box somewhere your pet finds comfortable, turn it on, and let them gravitate towards the light. Soon your companion will be enjoying the amazing benefits of light therapy including increased energy, decreased anxiety, enhanced sleep and elevated mood. The minimum effective dose is about 30 to 45 minutes of light, however there is no harm in letting your cat or dog bask in the refreshing light box all day long. Source
Drugs such as Prozac are often prescribed to ease winter depression in humans and dogs, but Sol Box has no side effects.
The $200 may seem a little pricey but the company offers a 30 day money back guarantee. And it is a lot less expensive than joining Georgia Little Pea and our other friends in summery Australia.
More information at Pawsitive Lighting
Disclaimer: I was not given a sample Sol Box to try out. However I would not turn one down. It beats our current solution of turning every light on in the house on dark nights and gloomy days.