It’s not at all unusual for our pets to exhibit odd and unpredictable behaviour – how many times have we witnessed our dogs seemingly losing their marbles, or hear someone say that “he never did this before”?
About 23 per cent of owners surveyed in research commissioned by ITCHpet.com have even taken their pet to the vets because of quirky behaviour. The study found that a fifth (20 per cent) of those polled agreed their pet’s behaviour is unpredictable, with them doing something ‘out of character’ twice a week, on average.
The top 30 oddest thing dogs and cats have done include:
- Had a ‘mad half hour’ – such as running or darting crazily around the house
- Tried to catch flies
- Taken food out their owner’s hand
- Chased their own tail
- Tried to catch a flying bird
- Head-butted their owner
- Chased a leaf
- Stood up on hind legs / sat on hind legs like a human
- Howled / barked at the TV
- Howled / barked at nothing
- Drank out of a mug
- Climbed into a carrier bag
- Bitten their own tail
- Tried to ‘talk’
- Deliberately done things their owner has told them not to
- Barked at blank space
- Slept on their owner’s face
- Carried around a log
- Walked into a window / glass door
- Jumped on the TV
- Bitten at their owner’s hair as if it were another animal
- Dug at a hard floor
- Barked at themselves in the mirror
- Sat in the sink / bath with the tap running
- Refused to let other animals / people near their owner
- Howled / sang along to a song
- Barked at the phone
- Cat barked
- Eaten mud
- Ran backwards
There can be many causes for unusual behaviour in dogs, including loneliness, excitement, spending time in different locations or even something they’ve eaten, as well as tiredness, hunger and stress – while some believe the explanation lies in the stars!
Astrologer Jessica Adams believes their strange behaviour could be down to a timely astrological phenomenon known as ‘Mercury in retrograde’.
She said, “Pets can do all sorts of unusual things and a lot of the time we, as humans, can find it thoroughly entertaining. It’s what makes our pets so loveable.
“However, their quirky goings on might be down to more than just a ‘funny five minutes’ – as it could be due to something called Mercury in retrograde.
“Mercury is the planet that actually rules pets. When it appears to go backwards and forwards, moving in peculiar ways, so does life in general – according to your horoscope. This is what’s known as Mercury Retrograde. And animals also get affected.
“In 2020 we have Mercury Retrograde, and Mercury Petrograde, three times; February and March. June and July. October and November. So, if you think your pet’s behaving strangely, the answer is in the stars – with astrology at play.”
About 23 per cent of surveyed owners have noticed their pets acting more unusually than normal during certain times of the year – with 42 per cent citing snow. More than a quarter said their cat or dog acts oddly on their own birthday (27 per cent) – with an equal percentage saying they behave bizarrely on a human birthday (28 per cent).
However, just one in 10 believe fleas are a cause of animal antics which are out of the norm (11 per cent), and a third were unaware fleas and worms can affect their pet’s behaviour (32 per cent) – a percentage that worries Charlotte Harper, co-founder at pet wellbeing specialist ITCHpet.com.
She said, “We love our pets regardless of their weird and wonderful behaviour and celebrate everything about them – from the good, the bad and the ugly.
“But whether unusual antics are in the stars or not, it’s incredibly important to regularly check your pet for fleas and worms, as behavioural differences can also be down to their health and something they aren’t able to tell you about. Which is why we recommend treating your pet for fleas every month and being sure to worm them quarterly.”
So, if your pet behaves oddly, the reasons can be very varied – from the stars, down to fleas!
Astrologer Jessica Adams explained how Mercury Petrograde affects your dog. Does any of it sound familiar?
The Aries Dog
They’ll bite everything, including your hair. They also like digging floorboards. Especially on Mercury Petrograde. Watch for holes.
The Taurus Dog
They do like chicken. And turkey. And trying to catch sparrows. If their tastes change to caviar, you can blame Mercury Petrograde.
The Gemini Dog
Barking at the TV? Jumping on it? You must have a Gemini dog. Try not to let them answer the phone on Mercury Petrograde.
The Cancer Dog
Home-loving Cancer dogs lick the radiators when it’s cold. On Mercury Petrograde, they’ve been known to carry around logs.
The Leo Dog
Kings and Queens. They look good in Christmas cracker paper crowns. On Mercury Petrograde they may pinch your best hat.
The Virgo Dog
The Virgo dog loves routine and will stand on you five minutes before the alarm. On Mercury Petrograde, they’ll be an hour out.
The Libra Dog
They form duets with other pets. On Mercury Petrograde, you might find them answering to their best friend’s name instead.
The Scorpio Dog
Sexy! They hump footballs. They have relationships with armchairs. On Mercury Petrograde, their libido may go backwards.
The Sagittarius Dog
Great explorers, they are energetic doggy David Attenborough’s. On Mercury Petrograde, though, they tend to run backwards.
The Capricorn Dog
Organised Capricorn dogs pack their toys away like professionals. On Mercury Petrograde, they may pack your children’s too. Oops.
The Aquarius Dog
Friendly Aquarius dogs love social media and won’t get their paws off your phone. On Mercury Retrograde, they may start messaging.
The Pisces Dog
Biting hose water or sea waves is their hobby. Also barking at ghosts. On Mercury Petrograde, they may drink out of your mug.
Images by ITCHpet.com