How the Full Moon Affects Your Dog (And You)
Police officers, emergency room workers, teachers and even doggie daycare staff all know that sh*t gets weird on a full moon. We joke about it and maybe draw straws to see who has to take the night shift, but have you ever thought deeply about why that is or how the full moon is actually affecting our brains and bodies?
The sun also has a gravitational pull on earth, although much weaker than the moon’s. Full moons (and new moons) are the most powerful because that’s when the sun and the moon are in line with the earth, combining their gravitational pulls to cause VERY high tides (and very low tides).
We see this effect clearly on our ocean shores, but we don’t give much thought to what this gravitational pull is doing to our own bodies.
Human bodies are made of 60-70 percent water.
Did you know that your dog’s water percentage is even higher?
Dog bodies contain up to 80 percent water.
Surely, if the moon and the sun are able to influence our massive oceans so dramatically, the little oceans of water inside our bodies are not immune.
In fact, studies have shown LOTS of measurable impacts to our human bodies during full moons—including less sleep, lower heart rates and blood pressure, increased mental health disorders, and even synchronized menstrual cycles. Emergency rooms, maternity wards and veterinarian clinics all report increased activity around full moons.
We Are Not Immune to Nature’s Power
I was in a Moon Circle (@ichelfrancis) for a couple of years, where we paid attention to each moon phase. As a group, we talked about how we were affected and how we could use the powerful energy of the moon to heal and grow.
There were two ways that most women felt the moon’s pull: physically and mentally/emotionally. I tended to be in the mental/emotional camp, meaning that I experienced moon energy as strong urges to let go of things that weren’t serving me, take steps toward my goals that scared me, and uncover truths about myself that I had never seen before. Plus lots of crying my face off.
Thankfully, I didn’t experience the more physical manifestations of the moon energy, such as headaches, exhaustion, anger, unexplainable sadness, sleeplessness and even nausea that some other women felt.
However, because I was paying attention to anything that came up during these powerful gravitational pulls, I did notice that my dogs were physically affected. Most often, it showed up as very interrupted sleep during the full moons. My dogs would all wake up several times during those nights. They would settle back down quickly, but it made for pretty poor quality sleep when I had four dogs in my room all moving around at different times.
Another effect I was able to document is that my dog, Tyler, was more likely to have a seizure on full moons than on other nights. Tyler had infrequent seizures for many years—sometimes he only had them once or twice a year. But when they happened, they were almost always on a full moon.
I wouldn’t have noticed this correlation if I wasn’t in a group where our attention was brought to the moon phases and what we experienced around them. Indigenous cultures of the past (and present) would be more aware and accepting of this phenomena, because they respect and honor the power of the moon. In recent times, we’ve become disconnected from the natural world and no longer pay attention to how the weather, seasons and moon cycles affect us.
Western medicine doesn’t ask you what phase the moon was in when you had your latest anxiety attack.
Modern culture has somehow decided that even though the moon and sun can visibly affect the oceans and land masses of Earth, we as humans are not susceptible to their power. And because our dogs are now extensions of our human family, we don’t consider the effect that the natural world has on them, either.
Unless our attention is brought back to it.
It took being connected to this beautiful moon circle for me to even begin to become aware of what we have lost and how we are operating at less than full knowledge when it comes to our health—and our dogs’ health.
The Power of Reconnecting to Nature
Let me give a clear example of how important this natural knowledge is, and how we are shorting ourselves and our dogs by not paying attention to it.
As I mentioned, Tyler’s seizures were notably almost always on a full moon. When he had one, his vet would have me give him a heavier dose of phenobarbital right away and then increase his dosage going forward. He would be seizure-free for a while until another full moon came along and he’d have a “breakthrough” seizure. Then we’d repeat the heavy dose that day and increase his daily dosage going forward. This pattern continued for years.
What if, instead of reacting to his seizures, we tried to be proactive instead?
What if I had given him the higher dose of meds BEFORE he was most likely to have a seizure, rather than permanently increasing his dosage AFTER he had already had one? If I had given him a higher dose around the full moons, would I have been able to prevent the breakthrough seizures and avoid the steadily increasing dosage that came as a result?
Tyler is gone and there is no way to test this now. And I AM NOT SUGGESTING that everyone give medicines by the phases of the moon.
But I am suggesting that we become AWARE and CURIOUS again.
By letting modern science and medicine deny our connection to the natural world, we are not giving ourselves the full picture of the causes, triggers and solutions to our health issues…for us and our dogs.
The first step to becoming aware and curious is to simply ask yourself what you believe, or what might be possible? Do you believe that humans and dogs might be affected by the pull of the moon? If so, then become aware of how it is showing up in your life. Pay attention during the full and new moon phases, and keep a record of any unusual behavior you observe in yourself or your dog. The patterns might surprise you!
I know exactly how full moons affect me and I have an awareness that my dogs also feel some sort of disruption. Even if Western medicine never acknowledges this link, I know it for myself and it allows me to give myself and my dogs extra compassion and support during these powerful events. When sh*t gets weird on a full moon and I am crying my face off for no reason and my dogs won’t settle down, I don’t take any of it personally.
There is nothing wrong with me.
There is nothing wrong with my dogs.
We’re just tiny oceans getting tossed around by that beautiful, powerful Grandmother Moon, Mama Quilla.
As it always was, as it always will be.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you notice any strange behavior from your dog (or yourself!) during full or new moons? Would you like to have a reminder on every full and new moon so that you can pay better attention to what goes on? Drop your thoughts in the comments below and I will read them all and respond.