Full moons have a long history of being associated with strange behaviour. This is hardly surprising, since lunar activity has been found to impact our sleep schedule, mental health, and even our blood pressure (Healthline). But humans aren’t the only ones who experience the effect of the full moon.
If you’ve noticed that your furry friend seems to act in a peculiar manner under this moon phase, you’re not alone. Many pet owners report odd behaviour from their animal companions when the moon is at it’s fullest, ranging from nervous to completely reckless.
During the full moon period, vets see a 23% increase in cat visits and a whopping 28% increase in dogs!
If you’re wondering why and how this happens, you’re in luck! The pet experts at Bob Martin are here to explain how our pets are affected by full moons, and how we can help them relax during these difficult periods.
What the full moon does to our pets
A lot of pet owners report their furry friends acting out of sorts during the full moon period. Dogs tend to act erratic during this time, and howl just like their wolf ancestors. Cats on the other hand, often hide during this phase, although they may also become erratic.
While there’s no scientific evidence behind the effect that the full moon has on domesticated animals, the statistics show that there is a potential correlation. For example, a study that looked at over 10 years of veterinary records found that vets see an increase of visits over the full moon period, 23% in cats and 28% in dogs (Veterinary Practice News).
Although nothing has been confirmed, one potential reason behind our pet’s odd behaviour during this phase could be the extra light given off by the moon. Both pets and their owners are likely to spend more time outside when the nights are lighter, which gives your furry friend more time to get into fights, misbehave, or just generally get riled up and hyper.
How we can help pets during this period
While it is tough and confusing for our furry friends to experience these strange behaviours during this period, we can be there to support them through it. Here are just a few of the ways you can help your pet relax under a full moon.
Keep it dark
As one of the reasons behind our pet’s odd behaviour 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 behaviour.
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 behaviour 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 minimise 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.”
- Chris Socratous, from Bob Martin