Find The Hunt of Her Life on: Like it on: Join us on:

The Ruff Report: Dogs and Health

Don't let your pet get the winter blues
Lack of sunlight, cold and snow, and curtailed outdoor activities can be depressing for anyone, including our pets, and those winter blues can have serious health consequences for dogs and cats, too, a leading veterinarian warns.

Many pets deal with psychological effects of wintertime by sleeping too much, overeating and avoiding exercise, a routine that can lead to obesity and other illnesses, according to Dr. Elaine Pendlebury of PDSA, a leading veterinary charity in Britain.

Story continues below

A book about a rescue dog
that will touch your heart

THE HUNT OF HER LIFE, is a nonfiction book about Samantha, an unwanted rescue dog who the author adopts at age 2. This beautifully designed deluxe full-color book, by longtime newspaper journalist Joseph A. Reppucci, contains more than 60 vibrant color photos of dogs to help illustrate the compelling and uplifting story of Samantha - a pretty tricolor bird dog who uses her warm personality to win people over and build a new family after being put up for adoption by a hunter because she is gun-shy and afraid to hunt. Learn how she uses her special bonding abilities with people to help her eventually make a transition from the hunting fields to family life. While reading the The Hunt of Her Life, you will travel with Samantha and the author along a trail filled with surprising twists, sudden turns, mystery and even what some call a miracle. And when the journey is finished, you may never look at people and their pets, motherhood - and perhaps even God - in the same way. The Hunt of Her Life is must reading. It will take you on a captivating journey - a trip like no other - that will touch your heart.

Available at: (an company)
Also find it on:
Join us on:


 Story continues here

“Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean your pet’s diet and exercise plan should fall by the wayside," Dr. Pendlebury states in a media release. "Even if your pet isn’t in the mood to exercise, you should try to encourage them as much as you can. And when it comes to food, the old adage ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ is just as true for pets as it is for people.”

According to a PDSA survey of pet owners, 40 percent of dogs and 33 percent of cats suffer symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition that causes depression from lack of sunlight.

“The cause of SAD in people is thought to be linked to the levels of melatonin in the body," Dr. Pendlebury explained. "Light inhibits the production of melatonin - a hormone which causes us to feel drowsy and down in the dumps. Therefore, when it is darker, more of this hormone is produced and that’s why it’s called ‘the hormone of darkness.’ ”

The symptoms displayed by pets - fatigue, depressed mood and decreased interest in activities - are similar to those of people, according to PDSA. A pet may hide in a corner and sleep all day, show little interest in going outside, get up briefly and binge eat, and quickly return to the corner hideaway.

According to the PDSA survey, one-third of pets that suffer from wintertime depression put on weight from consuming more calories than they burn.

The PDSA survey also found:

  • 68 percent of pets are ‘grumpier’ in winter months compared to summer.
  • 51 percent of pets eat more in the winter.
  • 48 percent of owners say it is harder to get their pets to exercise.
  • 43 percent of pets have less energy.
  • 59 percent of pets sleep for longer periods.
  • 47 percent of pets demand more affection from their owners.
Pet parents can help cheer up their dogs and cats, Dr. Elaine Pendlebury says. "Owners need to kick-start their pet's winter health routine with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet."

PDSA offers these tips to help brighten your pet's mood:

  • Play hide-and-seek. This will get your pet's legs and brain into action. Hide your pet's favorite toy and encourage him to sniff it out. Make your dog work for his food as well by putting a savory food treat in an activity toy. Even cats will enjoy this.
  • The name game. Use a group of friends, get them individually to call your dog and give a reward when he goes to the correct caller.
  • Mobiles. Cat mobiles hung from a door or hook will create hours of fun.
Related reports about dogs and winter: 
Winter is most deadly time of the year for pets
Don't be in the dark about this pet threat

More reports about dogs and health:
For pets, your dirty hands are really sickening
Try this fountain of youth for your pet
This formula is certain to sicken your pet
Only saps let their dogs play fetch with sticks
Your dog is at risk of getting the flu, too
Pollen poses major health problems for pets
Purebred dogs needlessly suffering, report says
Alarming rise in heartworm a threat to pets
'Speak' to your primary care veterinarian
Dog heart medicine research results promising
Cushing's drug receives FDA approval
Paralyzing diseases of dogs, people linked
More reports about dogs and health

Reports about dogs and flea, tick control:
Pet deaths prompt EPA alert for flea, tick products
Use of flea, tick products a must despite EPA warning
Stop ticks from dogging - or killing - your pet
You may be sleeping with thousands of fleas
Get pets ready for invasion of blood-sucking insects

Reports about dogs and oral health:
The stinking truth behind smelly dog breath
Good oral care can be a lifesaver

Reports about dogs and cancer:
Major breakthrough in canine cancer treatment
First-ever canine cancer drug developed
Making strides in fight against canine cancer
Worldwide effort to cure canine cancer
  • Boxes of fun. Boxes can be used to provide entertainment for your cat or dog by creating tunnels for your pet to run in and out of.
  • Pet talk. Talking to your pet and giving it a cuddle will bring lots of cheer.

So easy to read. You choose the topic!
Adoption | Food | Health Rescue
Safety and Behavior | Surveys and Studies

 Like MySetterSam on Facebook

Book sets signed by the author available here!

THE HUNT HER LIFE BOOK SERIES: Order your set signed by author Joseph A. Reppucci! The Original will touch your heart and the Sequel will lift your soul. *The Hunt of Her Life signed book series sets are only available to U.S. customers.

Signed Set
*The Hunt of Her Life signed book series sets are only available to U.S. customers.

Holiday discount Book Sets

THE HUNT HER LIFE BOOK SET (unsigned) is offered for a limited time each year at a special holiday discount rate of 25% off. The discount applies to orders received from November 1 through December 24.

We suggest getting discounted copies on Amazon this year. ORIGINAL book at 56% OFF and SEQUEL at 46% OFF. Order both books and qualify for free shipping!

Find The Hunt of Her Life on Amazon

Get the Original Book | Get the Sequel Book