CANINE HEALTH INFORMATION

 

All family dogs are housedogs and while this is emotionally preferable to being kept outside, inside confinement may be unhealthy for canines.

 

 

 

SUNLIGHT FOR HOUSE DOGS

Barbara J. Andrews, Science Editor, SAAB

 

Most family dogs are housedogs and this is emotionally beneficial for both of you but be aware of and resolve this significantly higher health risk for indoor dogs.

 

Nature designed all mammals, excluding rodents, to spend most of their waking hours in sunlight. Surely you’ve noticed your cat or house dog basking in the sunlight streaming through the window? Probably it is the only window that isn’t covered by drapes, blinds or mechanical shutters.

 

As an aside, the importance of sunshine for humans seems to have gotten lost in the push for antidepressants. Read that twice! Then think… Sunlight is free. Pills are profitable.

 

The numerous medical reports enumerating the health problems of office workers due to sunlight deprivation have been buried but the most notable effect on night workers/day sleepers is emotional-mental problems.

 

Mass shootings and suicide rates indicate critical need for sunshine!

Sunlight regulates estrus cycles. Whether you are trying to start a family, are a hobby dog breeder or a pet owner with a spayed or neutered house dog, you need to be aware of the emotional and health effects of sunlight deprivation.

 

Nature knows best. Mammals weren’t designed to live indoors – or wear sunglasses – so let’s just stick to simple science and how it affects the way you “house” your dogs.

 

The oldest “American” breed, the Chihuahua, is behind most toy breeds. The Chihuahua originated in the southern hemisphere desert, i.e. long hours of direct sunlight, thus the natural color of the Chihuahua is a light-reflective white or light tan. Now think. The wolf originated in the northern hemisphere some 20,000 years ago and the predominant coat color is dark to gather warmth (and vitamin D) from weak sunlight.

 

Reproductive problems are convincingly common in house dogs as compared to puppy mills or mutts. Why? It has nothing to do with purebred genetics. It is environmental. Most puppy mill dogs and most mutts, hunting, or working dogs are outdoors in the sun. And equally important, they are not inundated with artificial light after dark.

 

Everyone knows sunlight prevents crooked bones but did you know that sunlight deprivation interferes with normal ovulation? So, if you're building or planning a kennel, include large windows and/or skylights. If you've already built that dream-kennel, change to FULL SPECTRUM lighting and turn the lights off at night!

 

Science Of Sunlight, Thyroid Gland, Normal Reproduction Cycles

Light enters through the iris and transmits to the pineal gland which then signals the pituitary, thymus and thyroid glands. Every experienced breeder knows about thyroid deficiency and its effect on ovulation but the pineal gland also plays a master role in every mammal's immune system, especially its ability to respond to virologic, bacterial, or environmental challenge.

 

Melatonin (a master hormone) works in the hypothalamus region of the brain during darkness. When we keep dogs inside in prolonged artificial lighting, it prevents tissue regeneration and the production of serotonin. Serotonin helps to work neurotransmiters, stabilize homeostasis, and maintain connective tissues! Melatonin also suppresses the development of tumors and may actually reconstitute bone marrow integrity.

 

So we have two things going on. Litters born and raised indoors receive inadequate sunlight when the eyes open. All felines and canines are born in a darkened place - under the house or the back of the barn - but when the eyes have opened and adjusted gradually to natural degrees of sunlight, the babies emerge from the nest.

 

Here’s a thought for you. All carnivores are born with eyes closed and are unable to walk. When their eyes open, predators can toddle out into the sunlight, just when they need it to insure strong bones, joints and maximum development.

 

Still thinking? Herbivores (deer, horses, cows, etc.) are born with eyes open and can run within minutes of birth!

 

Here's something else you should know – the National Institute For Health (NIH) has stated "laboratory, animal, and epidemiologic evidence suggest that vitamin D may be protective against some cancers” and subsequent studies associated a higher calcium and vitamin D intake with a lower incidence of colon cancer. Vitamin D from natural sunlight may also help protect against prostate cancer, which is becoming more common in dogs. There are over 200 PubMed articles on vitamin D as it relates to the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

 

Sunlight's benefits and the adverse effect of artificial light have been suppressed by commercial interests but now you know why puppies should sleep in darkness and play outside in sunlight.

 

~ Excerpts from the author’s 2007 AKC Gazette Column, Toy Breeds and Light

Copyright TheDogPlace.org 1911 http://www.thedogplace.org/HEALTH/sunlight-for-house-dogs-bj19A11.asp

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