True or False: Debunking Myths about the Full Moon’s Effect on Pets

True or False: Debunking Myths about the Full Moon’s Effect on Pets

Did you guys catch the full moon last night? It was the last (and smallest!) full moon of the year. With all the hubbub about the mystical effects of the full moon on both human and pet behavior, we thought we’d do a little investigating. We researched a few popular myths about pet behavior during the full moon to see which are actually true and which are not. Here’s what we found:

Did you guys catch the full moon last night? It was the last (and smallest!) full moon of the year. With all the hubbub about the mystical effects of the full moon on both human and pet behavior, we thought we’d do a little investigating. We researched a few popular myths about pet behavior during the full moon to see which are actually true and which are not. Here’s what we found:

Myth #1: Dogs bark at the full moon.

False. Dogs may bark more on nights with full moons, but they are not actually barking at the moon. An increase in barking during the full moon is mostly linked to the abnormality of the brightness of the night caused by the moon’s rays. This greater visibility leads to more nighttime animal activity and also confusion. Dogs may bark more because they are confused or disturbed the moon's brighter rays or because of the increased activity of nocturnal animals. And, while dogs may seem to be howling at the moon, they actually are just lifting their heads to better project their barks.

Myth #2: The full moon causes abnormal (and potential harmful) behavior in pets.

True! A prominent scientific study noted drastic increases in pets’ visits to the emergency room on nights with fuller moons (a 23% increase for cats and a 28% increase for dogs). While they were unable to determine exactly what caused this influx, the researchers suggested it was probably due to increased activity in cats in dogs caused by greater visibility on nights with fuller moons.

Myth #3: Epileptic pets have more seizures during the full moon.

False. While seizures in pets can be caused by many external factors, the full moon is not one of them. A team of veterinary researchers conducted an 8-year study on the effects of the lunar cycle on epileptic cats and dogs but they found no correlation between the two.

 

What other myths have you heard about the effects of the full moon on pets?

 

Sources:

The Daily Puppy

livescience

The Ann Arbor News

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