The Detroit Post
Thursday, 28 October, 2021

Do Dogs Understand Weather

Ava Flores
• Tuesday, 03 November, 2020
• 7 min read

As the warm weather wears on, you may notice that your dog gets hot under the collar more easily when days are sultry. Research in both New York City and Beijing has found that the frequency of dog bites rises along with the heat.

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Brush your double-coated breed regularly in the heat to remove excess undercoat and allow air circulation through the coat. Humans are often shielded by our shoes, so we might not realize that sidewalks, streets, and tracks can get very hot in the summer.

To find out what your dog is feeling through his feet, place your bare hand or foot on the surface for ten seconds. Choose grass where possible, or, if you walk your dog on searing city pavement, you might need to help protect his feet.

Look for shady places to wait for the light to change, and use dog booties to protect his feet. Double-coated breeds such as Newfoundlands, St. Bernard's, Samoyed's, and Siberian Huskies may become zippier in winter because they are well adapted to the cold.

According to a 2012 survey by The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom, about 40 percent of dog owners noticed a marked downturn in their dog’s mood in the wintertime. There is little research about Seasonal Affective Disorder in dogs, however, and it’s unknown whether the lower light levels and shorter days of winter negatively affect dog moods the same way they can human moods.

Dog behavior in cold weather is definitely influenced by your response to wintry conditions, however. If you tend to hunker down in winter, your dog will get less exercise and mental stimulation, which can lead to boredom and destructive behaviors.

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To foster outdoor winter adventures, take guidance from the Norwegian phrase ‘there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.’ With cozy, head-to-toe outerwear on hand for yourself, and a warm dog jacket and boots for your dog, frosty weather won’t interfere with walks and games of catch outside. When temperatures are freezing, or the ground is snow- and ice-covered, a pair of dog boots will prevent painful cracking of paw pads, cuts from ice, and burns from the chemicals commonly found in ice melt salt.

By virtue of their size, coats, and activity levels, some breeds are especially good for cold weather. But all dogs need you to keep a sensible eye on their activity level and their insulation, and to take special action if they get wet.

As the weather system approaches, you may notice your dog sniffing at the air or getting slightly agitated. If your dog has a fear of thunder, he’ll seek out his usual hiding spot in the house the moment he feels a storm brewing.

Wisdom has it that double-coated breeds like Labradors shed three times a year: in the spring, when they’re losing their winter undercoat; in the fall when they’re growing in their winter coat; and the entire rest of the year. The weather uniquely affects your dog’s behavior, mood, energy, and comfort.

The PSA (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) found that about 40% of dog parents noticed a significant change in their pet’s moods during dark winter months. The dogs were also reported to have slept longer and their general activity levels were lower than during sunny months.

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Researchers believe that the cause for these changes lies in the effect that light has on melatonin–a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. Melatonin has a number of effects and the major ones include causing a person to relax and get sleepy and lethargic.

Understanding the impact of weather changes on your dog can help you prepare your canine companion for the forecast ahead. When the temperature heats up, some dogs rejoice, while others seek out cool, shady spots where they can rest.

A group of researchers in Beijing, China found that the frequency of emergency room visits for dog bites in a major hospital increased when temperatures were highest. In very hot weather, you may want to minimize interactions between your dog and strangers, including children.

Colder climates, on the other hand, are where Northern breeds like American Eskimo Dogs, Samoyed's, and Siberian Huskies thrive. Long haired or double-coated breeds like German Shepherd Dogs, Saint Bernard's, Great Pyrenees, and Newfoundlands typically enjoy cooler weather, too.

Some pups seek out warm places, like heating vents, blankets, or your bed, and you might notice your canine companion becoming cuddlier in the cold. Whether it’s hot or cold, understanding the cause of your dog’s sudden lethargy or increased activity level can help you determine if his change in mood is circumstantial or medical.

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Lethargy is a common symptom of many illnesses and should be taken seriously, so make sure your dog is not exhibiting any other abnormal signs. Avoid taking your dog for walks during the hottest parts of the day.

If you don’t have air conditioning, adjust a fan so that your dog has access to a nice, cool breeze. Never leave a dog unattended in an enclosed vehicle or in a warm environment that does not have good air circulation.

Put a limit on outdoor time, and be sure to clean the salt and ice balls off of your dog’s paws when you come inside. Their dog starts to bark or cuddle in their owner's lap before we witness bad weather.

Dogs are capable of sensing the barometric pressure drop and any shift in static electric field. According to seismologists, dogs can sense the electrical signal which is produced by the movement of rocks beneath the earth.

In similar example from China in 1975, people reported strange behaviors from animals before the earthquake which killed about 2,000 persons. They can get to know about the intention of a person we meet by sensing their subtle facial expressions and body language.

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Not only dogs can make you aware about any danger from a person, they are also good at detecting bombs, drugs etc. If your dog shows unusual dislike towards someone, he is making you aware about the potential threat that person can present to you.

In a research, a trained Labrador retriever was able to successfully detect colon cancer in people with more than 90 % accuracy rate. Dog's ability to read human body language, smell, and behavior helps him to detect pregnancy.

Instead, the canine study subjects processed them as the same word, Magyar, a postdoctoral researcher at the department of ethology at Eötvös Land University, told CNN. The findings were published in the Royal Society Open Science journal on Tuesday.

Researchers at Eötvös Land University in Budapest measured the brain activity of family dogs using a technique called electroencephalography, which involved taping electrodes to the animals' heads. With freezing weather across much of the country, daily dog walks may be more uncomfortable than ever, for both human and canine.

As a general rule of thumb, large dogs with thick, dense coats are well protected from the cold. This includes Northern breeds, like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, with fur coats genetically designed to keep them warm.

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These small pups can’t easily generate and retain enough body heat to keep themselves warm. Although breeds like Pembroke Welsh Corgis, for example, have thick coats, their bellies sit low enough to the ground to brush against snow and ice.

Senior dogs are prone to conditions that may require a winter coat, such as arthritis or a weakened immune system. Heat regulation may decline with age, making even a thick-coated dog uncomfortable in the cold.

It should extend from the base of his neck to his tail, without being so long that it would make bathroom stops problematic. Here are some coats in different styles and materials that are sure to keep your canine BFF warm and comfortable when temperatures drop.

Thanks to the dense insulation, this is the perfect coat for freezing temperatures and snowy or icy conditions. However, it isn’t suitable for freezing temperatures unless you layer an extra sweater underneath.

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