Here in the UK you might be forgiven for thinking that we’re obsessed with the weather, as it is one of our go-to topics of conversation and one of the easiest openers to begin a chat with a stranger or to fill a lull in a conversation.
Most of us have a preferred season and type of weather too, and feel that the weather actually affects our mood, for better or for worse – but is the same true for dogs? Can the weather affect your dog’s mood? Yes it can.
This article will tell you how different types of weather can affect dog’s moods, and why this is. Read on to learn more.
Different dog breeds often originate from distinct geographic regions, and some of these are very hot climates and others very cold. This in turn means breeds from different parts of the world evolve with different physical traits to help them to cope with the conditions in the regions that they originate from, dictating things like the length and density of the coat.
This in turn means that the breed of dog you own and so, where they come from and the physical traits that result from this can have an impact on the type of weather they’re most comfortable in. Comfort levels will affect your dog’s mood, and the temperature that is ideal for one dog might be a little chilly or a little too warm for another, and so different dogs may indeed have specific preferences for different types of weather conditions.
Dog breeds that have very long and thick coats are apt to suffer a little in hot weather, and it will be harder to keep them cool and comfortable. However, it is not just the coat that can make some dogs unhappy in hot weather when other dogs are fine, and brachycephalic dogs in particular are apt to feel the heat quite acutely, find hot weather a struggle, be prone to overheating faster, and even sometimes simply struggle to breathe.
Regardless of breed and how hot the weather itself is, any dog that is too hot, particularly one that cannot cool down effectively or find a spot that is comfortable, is going to be unhappy and so potentially irritable and even snappy.
In fact, the hottest days of the year do see a statistical increase in the number of dog bite-related injuries seen in A&E departments of hospitals!
Nobody likes being too cold any more than they like being too hot; but regardless of the breed or type of dog you own and how badly they feel the cold, there will be options available to you to maintain their temperature at a comfortable level, with boots and coats and other accessories.
This means that you can theoretically prevent a dog from becoming too cold and so colder weather itself should not upset them; although rain, sleet and snow and so on might!
Weather that is very blustery or windy can make dogs excitable, because it adds a lot of stimulus including scent, and affects the way things move. However, these same effects can also make some dogs flighty, anxious or unpredictable as they might find it frightening and confusing.
A lot of dogs are fascinated by falling snow and enjoy going out to play in the snow, particularly if they’re introduced to it in a fun way and bundled up properly to keep them warm if needed.
However, some dogs will simply dislike snow as it is cold and wet, and the way it masks scents and familiar landmarks, and even changes the audio effects in the air, can unnerve and upset some dogs.
Storms that include thunder and lightening can be a real challenge for many dogs, and an unexpected clap of thunder can make even people jump in shock.
However, some dogs may begin to behave strangely and seem on edge when a storm is in the offing, even before you yourself realise that this is the case. Changes in the atmosphere and electrical charges in the air can’t usually be consciously detected by people, but dogs can pick up on them; and if you know what signs to look for, you may learn to recognise them in your dog in turn.
Cloudy weather and rain or drizzle can make everything look grey and depressing, and make many of us reluctant to go outside as well as finding it hard to stay productive or positive. This type of weather can also have a similar impact on your dog, and coupled with this, they will pick up on your own mood and feelings about things too.
Another weird thing about rain – other than the fact that some dogs hate it and will flatly refuse to go out in the rain at all – is that even dogs that appear unbothered and that walk quite briskly tend to take a little longer about things in the rain, whether you realise it or not – even though it would seem to make sense that the opposite would be the case!