By Monique Balas, Special to The Oregonian
You’re not the only one who gets the winter blahs when the rain never seems to stop outside.
Turns out, your furry family members are susceptible, too. If you notice your pets seem to become more lethargic during these gray winter days, you might want to consider a pet-friendly light box.
Max Marvin, owner of Portland-based Pawsitive Lighting, came up with the idea for the boxes after battling severe insomnia several years ago. A sleep specialist suggested he try light therapy and lent him a bulky light box to try it each morning.
The idea was that the light box would mimic the sun, resetting his sleep cycle, and it would balance production of melatonin, which aids sleep.
After only a week, Marvin found that he was more energized and his mood was boosted. What’s more, his dog Luke seemed mesmerized by the light, basking when it was on and sleeping when it was off. After speaking with veterinarians, Marvin found that pets can also suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Lack of sunlight can cause lower levels of melatonin and serotonin production; dogs may display depression, aggression or moodiness just like people do.
In the absence of many holistic treatments for pet depression, Marvin decided to create a light box just for pets. He teamed up with a British light-therapy device manufacturer and developed the Sol Box, which he says is the first light box designed specifically for pets.
The UV-filtered light therapy boxes deliver intense doses of white light that equate to the same amount of luminosity as a sunny day. The artificial light stimulates the brain to produce serotonin, which increases the feeling of well-being. They can help decrease anxiety, increase energy, and help your pet sleep.
The boxes cost $199 and can be ordered online on Pawsitive Lighting's website.
Read more about how to help pets suffering from SAD here.
View original article at oregonlive.com