I'm certain you've observed that dogs enjoy gazing out of windows. They can spend hours peering through the glass observing outdoor activities. But why do they find this so intriguing? And more importantly, is it healthy for them to stare at the window for extended periods of time? Let's examine these inquiries.
Why do dogs like to look out of the window?
The reality is, dogs have valid reasons for their love of gazing at the exterior from indoors. And this habit actually has positive effects on them.
Here are some of the reasons:
As you're aware, a dog's sense of smell is highly developed. If the window of your home is open, various scents will reach your furry companion, providing them with stimulation.
Gazing at outdoor activities provides mental stimulation for dogs, which contributes to their overall well-being.
It's a cost-effective solution for combating dog boredom.
On chilly days when the sun is shining, lying near a window that lets in sunlight will be greatly beneficial for your furry friend.
They enjoy basking in the warmth and getting exposure to light, which is healthy for them as it provides vitamin D, necessary for their body to function properly.
In addition, sun exposure also boosts the production of serotonin, which improves mood.
Finally, the amount of light they receive affects crucial processes such as shedding of hair.
Monitoring their Territory
Another reason dogs enjoy looking out windows is because it enables them to keep a watchful eye over what they consider their territory.
Being elevated above their surroundings also provides them with an added sense of interest and value, as it gives them a greater sense of security and control.
Read also: Why Does My Dog Look at Me When He Poops?
Negative impacts of window watching for dogs
Although window watching has its advantages, it also has some unfavorable consequences for the dog.
These adverse effects mostly arise from the fact that some dogs are exposed to too many stimuli when observing the outdoors, making it challenging for them to handle it.
Now let's examine what these issues could be:
- Escapes: Depending on the window's design and height, some dogs may be able to open it and escape, resulting in the potential danger of getting lost or suffering accidents. If the dog is an unneutered male and smells a female in heat, the situation can become even more dire.
- Territorial Behavior: As mentioned earlier, dogs observe their perceived territory when they look out of windows. However, with the constant movement of people, cars, and other animals, dogs may become territorial and bark at everything they see moving.
- Sun Damage: Sunlight is beneficial for dogs, but it should be limited. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause sunburn, particularly in areas with little pigmentation or hair such as the nose, abdomen, ears, or lips.
- Fears: Some dogs develop fears or phobias of external noises. This may be due to improper socialization or exposure to normal street sounds. They may also develop fears of noises from fireworks or storms, which is common in animals. In these cases, it's best for dogs to avoid staying near windows.
How to help your dog to look out of the window safely
As you've seen, dogs enjoy gazing out windows and this has both positive and negative impacts on them. To ensure your pet's well-being, it's important to monitor your dog and determine when it's appropriate for them to look out the window. If it's deemed suitable, you can make it easier for them to do so.
- As long as the window glass does not reach the floor, it's best to put a piece of furniture near the window that allows your pet to stand and look outside.
- This furniture should be suitable for the size and physical condition of your pet.
- If possible, place a blanket or bed on top of the furniture so that your pet can rest while observing. Safety should always be the top priority, not just for the furniture but also for the window. Make sure it is securely closed or open in a way that prevents your pet from escaping through it. For example, don't leave it slightly open with a hook as your pet may learn to open it with a simple swipe of their paw. Don't underestimate your pet's intelligence!