Feb 12 2020

Is the Weather Affecting Your Dog’s Mood?

Have you noticed changes in your dog’s behaviour as the weather changes? Just like storms, heat and cold affect us, they also affect your dog. Understanding how the weather affects your dog will ensure that you have the tools to help your dog get through any forecast.

Dogs and Hot Weather

As the hotter summer months roll in, you may notice your dog’s activity and appetite decreasing. One of the reasons for this is because your dog can quickly overheat when running around on a hot day. In order to cool off, your dog will pant, jump into the water, or lie on cool surfaces. However, when your dog overheats, their cooling methods may not be effective, and they would be at risk for a heat stroke.

Flat-faced dogs like French bulldogs have more difficulty cooling their bodies, so it is very important that you take extra precautions to keep their short snouts from overheating. You can do this by using a light dog towel to cool them off.

Thunderstorms

Many dogs have a fear of thunderstorms. During thunderstorms, they become anxious — panting, pacing and whining in fear. Some owners use anxiety vests and shirts to help their dogs get through thunderstorms.

How to Help Your Dog Adjust in Hot Weather

  • Don’t take them outside in extreme temperatures 
  • Always have water easily available to them 
  • Keep your dog near or close to a cool and air-conditioned area 
  • Never leave your dog in a warm environment like a car

Snow

Most dogs love and enjoy the snow. If you have a dog with a thicker coat of fur, you’ll notice that they especially love going out into the snow. On the other hand, short-furred dogs will not be as excited. You can help them enjoy the snow by getting them a winter coat that will give them additional heat, as well as booties to cover their paws. After every walk, you should give your dog a gentle rubdown with a towel to remove any snow and salt that may be on the fur and feet. 

Like humans, dogs can be affected by the seasonal affective disorder, which is triggered by the shorter winter days and cold, gloomy weather. Owners whose pups are affected by SAD report that their dogs were less active and slept less during the winter months.

While it’s impossible to control all of the triggers for your dog’s mood swings caused by the weather, you can help minimize them. An example of this is having an anxiety vest on hand for a thunderstorm. 

At Don Valley Animal Hospital, our number one priority is to provide quality service and care.

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