Depressed Pets Can Receive Simulated Sunlight to Fend Off the Winter Blues Using the First Ever Light Box Designed for Dogs and Cats

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Portland-based Pawsitive Lighting launches the Sol Box, which is the first and only light box designed to treat seasonal affective disorder in cats and dogs. By simulating sunlight, the Sol Box works as a natural antidepressant to fight winter depression.

Sol Box by Pawsitive Lighting

Dogs and cats who do not have regular access to sunlight can become depressed, anxious, and even aggressive.

Temperatures are dropping as we near the winter season, but do we have more than just cold weather to fear? Many parts of the country receive little to no sunlight during these frigid months and it may be taking a toll on our pets.

Just like humans, our beloved pets require sunlight in order to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. According to a survey conducted by the veterinary charity PSDA, dogs too can suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD. In addition to managing a healthy circadian rhythm, bright light also triggers the brain to produce serotonin, which is the “feel good” hormone responsible for mood and temperament. Dogs and cats who do not have regular access to sunlight can become depressed, anxious, and even aggressive. More and more frequently veterinarians are prescribing Prozac and other SSRIs to those pets displaying symptoms in SAD. Despite being well intentioned, this pharmaceutical approach comes with a heavy dose of negative side-effects.

Pawsitive Lighting was founded to provide a holistic approach toward the treatment of animal depression. This week they are launching the Sol Box, which is the first light therapy box designed to treat pets suffering from a lack of sunlight. Emitting 10,000 lux of UV filtered light, the Sol Box can produce the equivalent of a sunny day to your pet, anytime. The benefits of regular light therapy are vast. By boosting serotonin levels, the Sol Box can increase energy, enhance sleep, reduce anxiety, and elevate your pets mood. Additionally, scientific studies have shown that low levels of serotonin can lead to aggressive behavior in dogs. Light therapy may be the golden ticket for discouraged parents struggling with an unruly dog.

“Initially the Sol Box was geared towards seasonal use,” says Pawsitive Lighting founder Max Marvin. “However, we’ve received a tremendous amount of interest from city dwellers living in poorly lit apartments. They’d like to make it a permanent fixture in their homes, both for animal and human use. Many of these people work long hours, so it makes sense that they’d prefer to leave there pets in a sun filled environment."

So it seems that the beginning of winter need not be the end of sunlight for our furry friends. The Sol Box is now available for pre-order through the company's website, and they will begin shipping at the end of November.

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Max Marvin
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