Do Dogs Adjust To Different Climates?

Have you ever noticed your dog becoming extremely happy or sad with a climate shift? Climate changes affect your dog as well as they affect you. Humans undergo different adaptations to adjust themselves to different climates. So, you must be curious to know can dogs also adjust to different climates?

Fortunately, your furry buddy, too, can adjust to different climates. Unlike humans, they will have a period of behavioural changes during the process. But eventually, your dog can adjust to a different climate.

In this duration, you should give him time and attention to not suffer drastic mood swings. In this post, you’ll know everything about how climate changes affect your pup.

Relocating To A New Climate

When you move to a new location with a different climate, you’ll feel a wave of mood changes in your dog. It’s natural as he needs time to adjust to this sudden change. Different breeds have their way to make themselves comfortable in the new climate. Some breeds become less active, and others become more energetic with a change in the climate.

For example, if you move to a cold climate from a moderate one, then your dog will show clear signs of adjusting to a new climate. He isn’t used to chilly temperatures, and the freezing nights can make him uncomfortable. He will try to find warm places, like blankets, heating vents, etc., and become less active.

If the sluggish behavior prolongs, you should take your dog to a vet because prolonged lethargy is a sign of illness. There are high chances of your dog getting ill if he fails to adjust to a new climate.

Relocating To A New Climate

How Are Different Dog Breeds Affected By Climate Change?

When the climate becomes hot or cold, sunny or rainy, different breeds react differently to the change. Some will be really happy with a sudden breeze of hot climate, while others will try to find a shady place where they can be comfortable. So, every breed is affected differently by climate change.

According to Bloomberg:
“At least 395 dogs were taken to the vet clinic due to heat-related illnesses in 2016, referred to as the hottest year worldwide. Out of the total 395 dogs, 56 died, which makes 14% of the mortality rate.” 

Scientific studies reveal that three contributing factors decide heat-related sickness and mortality; weight, age and skull anatomy.

Brachycephalic breeds, such as Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, etc., don’t do all that well in hot climates unless they stay cool. In a scorching climate, they can have breathing problems. Large breeds and longhaired breeds like Komondor, Afghan Hound, Alaskan Malamute are also unable to stand the heat. So, you’ll often find your dog lethargic in extremely hot climates.

On the other hand, some breeds enjoy only colder climates. These include Northern breeds like American Eskimo Dogs, Samoyeds, and Siberian Huskies.
Breeds that are not used to hot climates will not thrive and enjoy in cold climates and vice versa.

How Climate Change Affects A Dog’s Health

USA Today published an article in 2019 that states;

Climate change is a potent factor in the wider distribution of diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, heartworm, and other diseases that can lead to illness and death.

The climate of the Earth is changing continuously, and with this change, the hibernation habits of the disease-causing pests are also changing. Pests that used to be found in warmer climates during a specific period of the year are now found in more states and throughout the year.

Heartworm is a disease that can kill your dog. It is caused by mosquitoes that are now found in every US state. Heartworm disease can be the cause of congestive heart failure that can kill your dog.

This disease can be cured, but the treatment is costly. Moreover, you can’t always ensure that your dog will get over this disease. Elderly dogs with weaker immune systems find it harder to combat this disease and often die due to respiratory failure.

Lyme disease will also make survival for your dog difficult.

So, vets always recommend taking extra care of your dog whenever you move to a new place with a different climate.

How Climate Change Affects A Dog’s Health

How To Help Your Dog Adjust To A New Climate

If you feel your dog is uncomfortable in the heat, don’t worry. Here are some things that you can do to save your dog from heatstroke.

• Don’t take your dog outside for a walk or exercise during the hottest part of the day.
• Make your that your dog has excess fresh water and a shady place all the time.
• If you don’t have an air conditioner, ensure to adjust the fan so that your dog gets a nice cool breeze.
• Never leave your dog in a vehicle that is parked in a hot place under direct sun.
• Don’t walk your dog on hot sidewalks, streets, or other places.
• Make time to take your dog swimming.

Pro tip: Although most dogs enjoy swimming and are naturally good swimmers, never leave your dog alone in a swimming pool or any other water body.


If you’re a pet owner and a passionate explorer too and often plan trips to new places, then considering climate change for your dog is essential. At every new place, your dog will not be able to adjust to the new climate as soon as you can.

He needs time to adjust himself to climate change, and sometimes the change is so sudden and unacceptable that he will act weird. In hot climates, he’ll become lazy, and in cold climates, he won’t move away from a hot place.

In either case, your pup will not have the same energy as it used to have. Moreover, climate changes pose the risk of many health issues as well. So, deteriorating health status can also be the reason for behavioral changes.

Therefore, whenever you move to a new location, make sure that you pay extra attention to your dog. It will allow you to help him if he is suffering from a struggling phase of adjusting to a new climate.