Why Your Dog’s Mood is Affected by Weather Changes (And How You Can Help)
Have you noticed changes in your dog’s mood with the changes in the weather conditions?
Just as humans are affected by heat, cold and storms, weather affects dogs too. Once you understand this, you can enable your furry friend to cope up with the weather in a much better way.
Grey skies, lightning, thunder, hailstorms, all of these have an impact on your dog’s mood and behavior. Few dogs may get scared of the changing weather while others get depressed and another bunch may not have any reactions at all.
Different dogs have varying levels of sensitivity which explains why they react differently.
Lighting and Thunder
A dog’s behaviour is affected by storms and lightning. The impact of weather is especially more so for a dog who is scared of thunder. Their possible reactions to thunder and lightning can be barking, hiding, panting and even whimpering.
Dog researchers found that the stress hormones of dogs increase every time the thunderstorms occur.
They also stated that 15-30% of dog breeds are very scared of thunder and lightning. The level of cortisol increase was relatively 200% higher than the dogs who had no reactions to thunder.
As per the American Animal Hospital Association, a dog’s behaviour is adversely affected by changes in barometric pressure. They may start exploring, run away into corners, become overly curious or even agitated due to fear of the storms and strong winds.
They may even start exploring different scents and sniff the air once they start monitoring weather changes. Odors and the way it moves in the air varies with the air pressure which dogs can sense but humans cannot.
Sensing Adverse Weather
As a robust storm approaches, dogs are able to understand the changes in the static electric fields which humans cannot. Their ability to predict the onset of a storm or tornado is much higher than humans.
Some dogs also search for bathtubs and jump into it once they detect any changes in the air static as they look for familiar and safe places to hide.
Hot weather is an important determinant of your dogs’ behaviour. Once its hot, many dogs eat lesser food and become less active.
Some of them may prefer to rest near sources of air, wind or lie down on cold stones or air-conditioned rooms.
Dogs may even become cranky and refuse to go for a walk or play in the park in the blazing hot weather.
With temperatures going up, some dogs may feel happy and playful while others may prefer to rest in cool and shadowy spots.
Few dog breeds have difficulty in breathing in extreme heat like Pugs, French Bulldogs, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers. They prefer staying in shady and cool areas.
Large and long-haired breeds like the Afghan Hound, Komondor and Alaskan Malamute are also profoundly affected by the heat. They may not want to go outdoors in the hot weather and may prefer staying indoors.
Few breeds like Samoyeds, American Eskimo Dogs, and Siberian Huskies prefer colder climates to survive and grow. Other breeds which prefer cooler climates are Saint Bernards, Great Pyrenees, and Newfoundlands, German Shepherd Dogs.
Some dogs like Greyhounds, toy breeds, Italian Greyhounds, hairless breeds, senior dogs, and dogs with conditions such as hypothyroidism cannot tolerate cold weather.
Give your dog a suitable time to adjust to the changing seasons. Moving to a new climate can cause erratic changes in your dog’s mood and behaviour. He may start liking the weather or downright hating it, it all happens based on the type of breed.
For dogs not used to frigid and chilly temperatures, it can be very shocking and painful to adjust. They may come close to you, cuddling more than usual and seek blankets or humans to keep themselves warm and safe.
Check out his symptoms and make sure he is not extremely lethargic or energetic. For any abnormal signs, it is advisable to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Help Your Dog Adjust
For all the situation when your dog gets affected by the hot weather, take the below steps to reduce the chances of any heatstroke and make him feel safe and secure:
- Do not go for walks when its hot outside.
- Ensure your dog is hydrated all the time and offer him water regularly.
- Colling mats, kiddie pools are great for dogs who are adversely impacted by heat. You can also consider using raised platform dog beds as compared to the regular beds.
- Keep your dog near a source of natural air, fan or breeze or an air-conditioned area.
- A dog should never be left unattended in a warm environment like a locked car
Though dogs look cute in sweaters, they must be kept safe and secure from the adversities of the weather.
Make sure the fitting of the dog clothes is just right and not too tight or too big. Help him adjust to the cold weather by getting him jackets, raincoats, sweaters and even cute booties!
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