The world’s first trampoline park for dogs opened this week, in an effort to aid pooches with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Dog walking and sitting service Rover.com opened the doors on a canine trampoline park at London’s ZAPspace as a way of keeping pets active and happy during the dreary winter months.
Before bouncing, all partaking dog will be given a thorough health check by an on-site vet, who is also present throughout the session, in which dogs are only allowed on the trampolines one at a time.
The experiment was put on by Rover.com for one day only at ZAPspace in Stratford, but plans are in place to roll the event out across the UK, once feedback has been collected from this trial.
According to Rover.com, one in two British dogs suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), with 80 per cent of owners noticing a marked drop in their dog’s mood during the winter, when they’re less stimulated.
A poll conducted by the company revealed that 78 per cent of dog owners notice their pet doesn’t want to go outside as much during the winter months, while 82 per cent admitted to reducing walk time due to poorer weather.
But with 92 per cent of owners seeing a positive change in their dogs mood after experiencing something new and getting lots of exercise, it’s hoped the new trampoline park will raise the spirits of the pups who use it.
The symptoms of canine SAD
It’s thought that 4.5 million British dogs are affected by the increasingly drab weather at this time of year.
Symptoms of canine SAD can include tiredness, hair loss, neediness, behavioral changes such as aggression and general low mood.
Those unable to make it to a ‘dog-poline’ session have been offered a few tips to keep the dogs happy at homes from Nicole Ellis, a Professional Dog Trainer.
“The winter blues can affect us all including our pets as the cold weather could often prevent the fun outdoors we are used to having,” she says.
“There are plenty of other ways to keep your dog entertained, busy and stimulated. By providing both mental and physical stimulation you’ll have a happy and tired dog matter the weather outside.
“For example, canine conditioning is becoming increasingly popular, with kits available that can be used at home – such as balance boards and agility equipment. It’s a really easy way of ensuring your dog’s joints and muscles are kept in good shape. Alternatively, why not create your own indoor agility course?”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews