Can the Weather Affect Your Dog’s Behavior (Part I)?

There are several aspects of the weather that contribute to the change in your dog’s behavior.

Thunder, wind, heat, gray skies are all components of weather that affect your dog’s behavior and mood. Though, like humans, dogs can possess their own distinct quirks when it comes to responding to weather. Some dogs are afraid of thunder, while others pay no attention to it. Where does your dog fit in? 

Some dogs can deal with the dark winter months while others can be unenergized and depressed. The same is true of other weather phenomena. It depends on the doggie and how sensitive he or she is.

Thunder and Lighting

If you have a dog who’s afraid of thunder, you already know how weather can affect a dog’s behavior. Signs of phobia are barking, panting, whimpering, and hiding. According to a recent study, some dogs experience a swift increase of cortisol, the stress hormone, during thunderstorms. 

In fact, when researchers tested the saliva of thunder-phobic dogs, they discovered their production of cortisol to be over 200% higher than that of dogs who aren’t scared of thunder. According to the same researchers, 15% to 30% of dogs are highly scared of thunder.

If you observe your doggie sniffing the air as a storm approaches, he may be watching incoming weather change. As the pressure in the air reduces, the way odors move changes. Your dog might notice these changes even if you don’t.

Sensing Bad Weather

Dogs are more perceptive to changes in the weather than humans. They feel changes in the static electric field that happen in the air, particularly as a strong storm approach. That’s why dogs may be able to tell that a big storm or tornado is coming. Some dogs even get into a bathtub when they sense a change in air static. Though professionals are not sure why dogs do it, it could be a hunt for safety or comfort.