It’s that time of year again and our pooches can join the fun too!
As Winter officially begins with the clocks going back tomorrow, does your dog appear glum in the cold dark months?
Are you wondering what’s got into him?
A survey carried out by the PDSA might hold the answer. As autumn moves into winter, don’t be surprised if your dog has less energy and generally seems a bit down on life; he could be suffering from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD).
What is SAD?
SAD is a disorder many people suffer from in the winter months; it is caused by low amounts of light causing a reduction in mood altering chemicals in the brain and hormone disruption, which depresses our mood and makes us feel drowsy. Experts now believe the same process can affect animals in the same way.
Looking at our dogs in the same context, then it’s not surprising they appear to show the symptoms of SAD during the winter months. Added to this, dogs pick up on our moods, so if we are affected by SAD our dogs are more likely to show the symptoms too.
A survey carried out by the PDSA found that; One in three owners report depression of their dogs’ mood during the winter, one in two report an increase in sleep, one in four report an increase in appetite and approximately two in five dogs show decreased activity levels. Even cats seem to be affected with one in three owners reporting similar symptoms.
If you find your dog is quieter during winter, keep an eye on the amount of food you are giving him – it’s all too easy for inactive dogs to pile on the weight, so you may need to cut back on the rations.
You could also try making exercise time more exciting to lift your dogs spirits – short, energetic games are more fun than long walks on cold, dark evenings.
New Dog Breed Added: Lancashire Heeler
Other Names: Ormskirk Heeler, Lancashire Terrier
The smallest dog in the pastoral group, heelers got their name from nipping at the cattle’s heels, without breaking the skin, as they drove the cattle to market or were rounding up the herd. They also used their hunting instincts to catch rats and rabbits.
The Lancashire Heeler is a small, sturdily built dog. They are slightly longer than they are tall and the front feet turn slightly outwards. The ears are relatively large and stand erect.
New Dog Breed Added: Leonberger
Other Names: Leo
The Leonberger breed was established in 1846 in Leonberg, Germany. A breeder named Heinrich Essing crossed three breeds to come up with a dog that would look like a lion as well as retain the strengths of the individual breeds. He used the St. Bernard, the Newfoundland, and the Great Pyrenees.
Weight: Male: 63-68kg Female: 58 kg
Height: 74-80 cm Female: 60-74cm
Average Lifespan: 8-9 years
Coat: Mature Leonbergers have a pronounced mane covering the neck and chest, contributing to the lion-like appearance. It can take a male dog up to four years to develop the mane, and a female may never develop it totally. The modern-day Leonberger has a variety of coat colours, including “lion yellow,” red, red-brown and sand, each possible with black tipping highlighting the colour. The dog will always have a black mask.
Shar Pei has Facelift
Molly, a pedigree Shar Pei, was born with entropion, a condition where folds of skin rub against the eye, causing pain and leading to permanent disability.
But the puppy has had her sight restored following two operations to remove the offending skin and stitch it to the back of her head.
Vet Richard Marks, from the Goddard Veterinary Group in Gidea Park, Essex, carried out vital surgery to let her see again.
He said: ‘What I essentially did was give her an extreme facelift. I removed a large piece of skin and stitched the remaining skin to the back of her head.
‘It may sound extreme but if left much longer she would have been totally blinded.’
He said the puppy’s disability was caused by severe inbreeding, adding: “Molly is a result of very bad breeding between dogs that are essentially diseased.
“Molly was bred to satisfy a certain criteria on what they think a dog should look like rather than its health.”
The Kennel Club announced new regulations to prevent close family mating last year.