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

The weather can affect your dog’s behavior and mood just like it can yours.

Hot Weather

Extreme and stormy weather isn’t all that can affect your dog’s behavior. Hot days can affect your furry companion’s attitude. For instance, some dogs eat less and get less active when it’s really hot. They prefer to lie down on cool tile or close to a source of airflow. Some dogs, just like humans, get grumpy and unwilling to go for walks or to do any exercise when the temp is high.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

At times called the “Winter Blues,” Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs in the wintertime when sunshine is infrequent, and daytime light levels are low. In humans, SAD symptoms may be depression, listlessness, lack of interest in social activities, and tiredness. But, do dogs suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? Some studies support the idea that they do. 

The PDSA (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) discovered that over 40% of dog parents see a significant change in their pet’s moods during dark winter months. Also, the dogs were said to have slept longer and their general activity levels were lower than in warmer months. Researchers believe that the reason for these changes lies in the effect that light has on melatonin, a hormone that aids in regulating sleep cycles. 

Melatonin has several effects and the major ones include helping a person to relax, becoming sleepy, and lethargic. The pineal gland makes and secretes melatonin in darkness. It halts when light hits the retina. During the wintertime, more melatonin is made which possibly causes the classic SAD symptoms in both dogs and humans.

Relocating to a New Climate and Your Dog’s Behavior

Seasons change slowly, giving your furry friend time to adjust. Relocating to a whole new climate, though, can create unexpected changes in your dog’s behavior. Based on your dog’s breed, you might notice that he gets more or less active. Some dogs even show signs of anger if the weather makes them too uncomfortable.