There are many reasons people and pets may experience what is commonly called ‘cabin fever’ and this article is for pet parents who question if cabin fever might affect dogs as well. We will discuss some of the conditions contributing to cabin fever and suggestions about how to alleviate the intensity of the symptoms.
First… Yes. Dogs can have symptoms of cabin fever. The conditions contributing to cabin fever are primarily routine changes, environment change (scent, temperature), and empathy for their pet parents.
Cabin Fever Conditions
Some of the conditions in our lifestyles which contribute to cabin fever for dogs include:
- Spending more time than usual in closed quarters,
- Build up of environmental aromas,
- Reduction of activities usually included in daily routine, and
- Empathy for the people who are also experiencing cabin fever.
The reasons for cabin fever conditions vary and are often a result of weather changes, pet parent’s health, or routines which depend on people or places which aren’t available.
Suggestions for Symptom Alleviation
There are several suggestions which often align with how we as pet parents address our own symptoms. Here are some ideas to lift the cabin fever mood:
- Bundle up and go outside at regular intervals (even if only for a few minutes),
- Twice a week plan ahead to open a screened window or two for 10-30 ,minutes (even a crack for ventilation),
- Plan daily indoor games (low energy games and cuddles), and
- Address your own symptoms (if applicable) so you can interact with your dog with a fresh bright attitude.
Make time to evaluate your home and how variables like air quality, build up of scents (dogs are highly aware of scent), and temperature. Address any conditions with the potential for contributing to cabin fever so you can provide the optimal conditions for your family, yourself, and your dog.
Our dogs depend on us for their health and well being. They are intuitive, interested, and want to please us. When we are affected by the world around us, and our enthusiasm level drops, they may interpret this change in our joy about them as a sign they aren’t pleasing us.
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