Unlocking the Mystery of Dog Behavior During Full Moons

It is a long-held belief that the behavior of dogs changes during a full moon. For centuries, people have reported that their pets seem to become more restless and agitated during this time. While there is no scientific consensus on how the lunar cycle might affect canines, anecdotal evidence suggests that some behavioral changes occur in dogs when the moon is full. It’s important for dog owners to understand how their pet may change during a full moon and be prepared to take necessary precautions. It is widely believed that the behavior of dogs exhibits changes during a full moon. For centuries, people have noticed an increase in howling and restlessness in dogs when the moon is at its fullest, leading to speculation about what could be causing the behavior. Although many theories exist as to why these changes take place, there has long been a mystery surrounding dog behavior during full moons. This article seeks to unlock the mystery of dogs behavior during full moon by examining existing scientific research and anecdotal evidence on this fascinating subject.

Sings of a Dog Reacting to a Full Moon

Many dog owners strongly feel their dogs react to a full moon and act differently than they normally do with an impending full moon. Many people claim that their dog will bark much more, howl more, and even come across as restless and like they cannot settle down. There are also some reports that dogs can act in ways that are opposite of their personalities. For instance, if your dog is generally calm and relaxed, they may appear to be more hyper and agitated around the time of a full moon. If your dog tends to be hyper and full of energy, they may become much more tired and relaxed as a full moon approaches. On the other hand, they can also become more hyper.  Your dog may seem to be much more alert, they may bark and howl more, they may growl, begin to chew things they normally would not, and may pace a lot if they are feeling restless and antsy. 

It is important to note that none of these signs are scientifically or definitively proven. Much is just speculation and observation from dog owners who have charted and observed their dog’s behavior during the course of the month. They look at these behavior changes during the period of time during the week the Earth is experiencing a full moon. There is little to no evidence of how the full moon affects the behavior of dogs and what signs present when there is a full moon. 

Dogs howling at a full moon and experiencing erratic changes in their behavior during this time of the month goes back for hundreds of years. In fact, for centuries, people have used the full moon to explain away a wide variety of strange happenings that seem to occur when the Earth is experiencing a full moon. 

It is believed that the full moon can affect both humans and animals alike. Historically, this topic has been relatively important because many people associate the full moon with an increase in aggressive animal behavior, like more dog bites occurring during the full moon period. This theory instilled fear in the population and made humans and pet owners fearful to be outside during the night. 

However, as science has progressed and humans have developed, this belief has changed a bit. Research and observation have concluded that there is no significant correlation between the full moon and dog bites. Dogs bites throughout the month occur randomly and a full moon has no more effect on dog bites than any other moon phase during any month. However, just because dogs do not bite more during the full moon doesn’t mean other aspects of dog behavior may indeed change. 

For example, one dog owner claims that during a full moon, her dog boarding business would experience a shift in dog behavior. She claims the dogs in the facility that were normally happy and energetic would become irritable and cranky when the full moon was out. On the other hand, dogs that were calm and lower energy would experience bursts of energy.

Science behind dogs and full moons

Recently, there have been studies conducted on how full moons may affect animal behavior, particularly in dogs. It is important to note that there is still not much literature on how the full moon and ocean tides truly affect dog behavior. Scientists still have more room for further experimentation and research. Studies that have been done seem to show that there is a correlation between the full moon and an increased amount of pet emergency visits to the vet. An increased amount of emergency visits take place just before the full moon and during the full moon. Another study was done in 2007 by Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. This study aimed to see if there was a correlation between vet emergency room visits and an increase in injuries just before, during, and after a full moon. The researchers went back through an 11 year period to chart and analyze emergency visits to the vet and compared to when full moons occurred. They found that there was a 28% higher chance of dogs visiting the emergency vet clinic with a variety of ailments – bites, seizures, cardiac arrest, etc., during a full moon! Although there seems a correlation is present, there could be other factors that made this increase in visits happen as well.

Training Dogs to Cope With a Full Moon

Most dog owners will not see a significant increase in aggression in their dogs or any major personality changes in their dog during a full moon. However, if you do find your dog acts a bit strangely during the time of a full moon, there may be some ways you can reduce any discomfort they may experience over these few days. For instance, if you find your dog barking and howling more than usual, you can take this time to work on training commands for “quiet” or “no bark.” You can do this by using treats to help them learn when they need to be quiet. Tell your dog “quiet” and as soon as they stop barking, even if it is just for a second, give them a treat and a lot of praise. Repeat this process every time they begin to bark. This will teach your dog what “quiet” means and that if they are quiet they will get treats and/or praise. 

If your pup seems to be uncomfortable or restless during the full moon, you can increase their exercise and playtime to keep them busy and to tire them out by the end of the day. This will make sure all of their energy has been released during the day so they are more likely to sleep and be relaxed in the evening and at night. 

Full Moon Equals Increased Activity

The study cited above is just one of many studies hypothesizing on the full moon and its effects on animals’ behavior and health. The issue still begs the question: Does the full moon affect animals? One must remember that those three days of peak light from the moon often encourage night activities, which could lead to more pet owners having nocturnal outings with their pets. As activities increase outside at night, a greater amount of emergency room visits could feasibly be expected.

How we can help dogs during full moon period

While it is tough and confusing for our dogs to experience these strange behaviors during this period, we can be there to support them through it. Here are just a few of the ways you can help your dog relax under a full moon.

Keep it dark

As one of the reasons behind our pet’s odd behavior during this time could be the bright moonlight, so make sure to keep this light away from them. Avoid walking dogs after dark, and try to keep cats in overnight if possible. You should also keep the inside of your home free from moonlight by investing in blackout curtains or blinds.

Give them a massage

Give your animal companions a spa experience by gently massaging them when the full moon is out. Not only will this calm them down, but it’s also a great distraction from their erratic behavior .For cats, lightly stroke them from their head to their tail, then rotate your fingertips to create a circle movement behind their ears and across their shoulder blades. For dogs, start again by gently stroking their body, then firmly rub their neck, shoulders, buttocks, and thighs using the upper half of your palm.

Keep them healthy

If your furry friend is in poor health when the full moon is out, they’ll become even more distressed, so make sure to keep them healthy and happy. Give your pet a healthy diet, full of the nutrients that they need to thrive.

You should also keep them active in this period, not only for their health, but to tire them out and prevent them from becoming erratic in the evening.

And remember to protect their mental health too. To keep them calm during this period, consider giving them a stress relieving supplement to promote relaxation. “So many people report strange behavior from their pets during a full moon, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s such an increase in vet visits during this time of the month. While there’s no definitive reason behind why our animal companions act out so much during this time, it’s likely that the extra light from the moon is at least partly responsible.

“The most important thing you can do as a pet owner when there’s a full moon, is to try to keep your furry friend safe and as relaxed as possible. Massaging them is a great way to help them chill out, and it can send them to sleep too. To minimize the effect of the full moon, keep your pet healthy by providing them with a nutrient rich diet, and supplements to help both their mental and physical health.”

Examining Unusual Behavior During a Full Moon

It has long been suggested that a full moon can cause unusual behavior in humans. While there is no scientific evidence to back this claim, it continues to be a widely-held belief that individuals may act differently when the moon is full. This article will examine what behaviors are associated with a full moon and whether there is any truth to the idea that people behave differently during this phenomenon. 

The superstition of strange behavior during a full moon typically includes increased aggression, erratic energy levels and even sleep disturbances. As such, this could be an explanation for why some individuals feel anxious or overwhelmed during this time period. Additionally, due to its brightness, some people may feel more awake than usual and find it difficult to fall asleep at night.


In conclusion, dog behavior during a full moon can be unpredictable and unknowable. This study demonstrates that, while there is some evidence of increased activity among dogs during a full moon, the effects are highly variable from dog to dog and can often depend on the environment in which they are located. While it is important for owners to be aware of changes in their pet’s behavior during this time, it is important not to overreact or jump to conclusions without further analysis.

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