Does weather affect dog behavior? There are various factors that can affect the behavior of your pet canine to a great extent and these include the weather, the heat, the wind and so forth. Nevertheless, similar to the human beings, dogs too have their own quirks in terms of reacting to different weather conditions. While some of them can suffer from depressive disorders during the cold winter months, others might get terrified by the loud sound of thunder. All these are going to depend on the breed of the pooch and how sensitive he actually is.
Does Weather Affect Dog Behavior?
1. Low-pressure fronts
As per the American Animal Hospital Association, a canine’s behavior can be affected to a great extent by alterations in the barometric pressure. In case he is scared of winds or violent storms, he might get curious and excited or he might even become annoyed which will depend entirely on his disposition and nature. Sometimes you might come across any canines that start sniffing the air while a gale is approaching and this might indicate that he is sensing a possible weather change. In fact, the pooch will be able to feel the alterations in the odor with a slight decrease of the barometric pressure.
2. Lightning and Thunder
It is known to many of us how an approaching storm can influence the behavior of a pooch especially if he is scared of storms. He will start exhibiting symptoms such as barking, panting or even whimpering. In some cases, he might end up hiding as well. A recent study carried out by the researchers of the Penn University has revealed the fact that canines experience a rapid increment of cortisol (which happens to be the stress hormone) during storms. It was likewise unveiled in the research that those canines which were scared of thunderstorms had experienced a massive production of the stress hormone while the ones that weren’t afraid did hardly exhibit any increment at all. The scientists also found that 15% to 30% of the pooches were actually intimidated by thunderstorms.
3. Sensing inclement weather
It is a fact that canines are much more sensitive than human beings when it comes to feeling any change in the weather particularly with the approach of a violent storm. They can do this by sensing the changes that happen in the static electric field in the atmosphere. As per some recent reports by the SPCA, several pooches have even shown the tendency to jump into a bathtub once they sense an alteration in air static.
4. Sultry weather
Apart from storms, hot weather can likewise affect the behavior of a dog significantly. For instance, some canines tend to consume a lesser amount of food and they also become lazy during hot sunny days. Often times, they are reluctant to go for strolls or even perform any exercise in hot conditions.
SAD (Seasonal Effective Disorder) which is sometimes called “Winter Blues” can make the dogs suffer from depressive disorders. This happens usually during the cold winter months when there is less sunshine as well as illumination. Human beings usually show these types of conditions; however, according to some research, dogs too have been reported to get affected by Seasonal Effective Disorder. During these times, they tend to sleep longer and also become quite lethargic as well. The reason for this might be the excessive production of melatonin during winter which triggers these symptoms in both humans as well as dogs.
So, does weather affect dog behavior? As mentioned throughout the article, weather can definitely influence your dog’s mood. You can monitor the weather when your dog is acting differently to know if this could be a factor. However, if your dog is acting outside of the norm beyond weather patterns be sure to talk to a local veterinarian who can better assess your dog’s health.