For some of us, the fact that Summer has set and Fall has risen can be A LOT to cope with. Have you noticed that your dog shows similar behaviors to you? Seasonal changes and their affects on humans have been studied for some time now. Did you know that these changes typically only affect humans in a small way? Animals are vastly affected, almost regardless of species.
Animals have used natural elements since the beginning of time. They use the day/night cycle, high-low pressure systems, and the electromagnetic activity of our planet. They use these elements to position themselves for the best chance of survival. Their sleep cycle, hunting cycle, and reproductive cycles are all determined by these factors.
With that in mind, it would stand to reason that animals would feel a greater impact by the changing of seasons. This coincides with many of the naturally occurring elements their ancestors have depended on. So, what kinds of symptoms could we see from our fur-family? Things like changes in energy levels and appetite are usually most common. In general, the owner will usually see an increase in activity levels during longer days (Late Spring/Summer). They will see a decrease during shorter days (Fall/Winter).
Is there anything we can do to help? We can’t fix or change any species’ physiological tendencies. But, we can alleviate some of the symptoms. We as humans know when we need to “Spring forward” or “Fall back” for Daylight Savings Time. Spoiler alert: Our dogs can’t read clocks, or understand why farmer’s need to mess with their settings. So, when we alter our routines by one hour, twice per year, we ALSO alter our animals’ routines around us. Animals are usually MUCH more routine-oriented than even the most routine-oriented human. The impact is felt to a greater degree for them, which can lead to some dysfunction.
With all that said, try not to worry; usually these symptoms are barely felt, if at all. But if you do find your pup dealing with seasonal issues, understanding why is crucial. Try to maintain a consistent routine regardless of season, and this will greatly reduce the stress your fur-fam will feel.