Managing Dog Behavior Changes Caused By Hormonal Imbalance

The Link Between Hormonal Imbalance and Canine Behavioral Changes

Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate many bodily functions, including canine behavior and body language. When there is an imbalance, it can lead to a variety of behavioral changes in dogs. Hormonal imbalances in dogs have several types, but so are their treatment options. Some supplements, like lignans for dogs, are crafted to help dog parents manage these behavioral changes.

Decoding the Behavioral Shifts

Dogs are generally known for their unique personalities and expressive behaviors. However, the onset of a hormonal imbalance can result in subtle changes and even unexpected shifts. Here are several behavioral changes in dogs that might catch the discerning eye of any owner:

Heightened Aggression

A typically friendly dog might suddenly display heightened aggressive behavior, directing it toward another dog, people, or even inanimate objects. This sudden behavior change and shift in temperament can be a cause for concern and prompt further investigation.

Destructive Behavior

Chewing, digging, growling, and scratching—behaviors that suggest destruction—can indicate anxiety or stress due to hormonal imbalance as the underlying cause. A once well-behaved pup could transform into a seemingly unrecognizable whirlwind of activity.

Separation-Induced Anxiety

Canine companions thrive on companionship, and the onset of a hormonal imbalance might trigger separation anxiety. Dogs that were once calm and collected might now show visible signs of distress when parted from their human family members.

Excessive Hyperactivity

While boundless energy is a good trait, excessive hyperactivity may signal an underlying hormonal irregularity. If your furry friend's energy levels skyrocket beyond their usual demeanor, hormones could be at the root of the transformation.

Unexplained Licking or Chewing

Unusual, excessive licking or chewing can indicate your dog's attempt to manage the anxiety or boredom that hormonal imbalances can bring about.

Disrupted Appetite and Sleep

Aside from dog behavior, hormonal imbalances can take a toll on appetite and sleep patterns. Some dogs may lose interest in their food, while others might struggle to find restful sleep – both potential indicators of an internal imbalance.

Heightened Vocalization

An uptick in whining or barking might be your dog's way of expressing their inner turmoil caused by hormonal changes, effectively communicating their discomfort or anxiety.

Inappropriate Elimination

The frustrating occurrence of house soiling, especially potty-trained older dogs, can link to hormonal imbalances, reflecting anxiety, territorial marking, or even underlying medical issues.

Hormones at Play

To address these behavior changes in dogs effectively, understanding the hormones involved is key. Veterinary experts can provide you with more in-depth insights on this, but here are the most common hormones that can play a role:

Estrogen and Progesterone

Most notably associated with females, imbalances in estrogen and progesterone can arise during significant life stages such as the estrous cycle, pregnancy, or menopause, exerting a significant influence on behavior.

Thyroid Hormones

These hormones are responsible for metabolism and growth regulation. Imbalances in thyroid hormones can affect energy levels and overall demeanor in dogs.

Adrenal Hormones

Stress responses and blood sugar regulation are under the domain of adrenal hormones. Hormonal imbalances, as seen in conditions like Cushing's or Addison's disease, can cause behavior changes.


While commonly associated with males, imbalances in testosterone can occur in neutered dogs or those facing prostate issues, potentially driving shifts in behavior.

Seeking Equilibrium: Solutions and Strategies

Thankfully, many treatments have been developed to address hormonal imbalances and the subsequent changes in behavior they trigger:

Medicinal Interventions

Medications, administered orally, through injections, or topically, can effectively regulate hormonal imbalances, helping your canine companion's equilibrium.

Tailored Nutrition

Adapting your dog's diet to suit their age, breed, and activity level contributes to hormonal balance. Contact your veterinarians for advice on the most suitable dietary adjustments.

Harnessing the Power of Supplements

Enter lignans—potent plant compounds found in flaxseed, soybeans, and fruits. You can add these to your dog's diet through various means:
  • Incorporating flaxseed meal or flaxseed oil supplements.
  • Opting for foods naturally rich in lignans, such as select fruits and vegetables.

Empowering Positive Behavior

Unraveling the common dog behavior problems resulting from hormonal imbalances requires a multifaceted approach. You may also seek help from a behavior specialist to help you determine the most suitable reinforcement when training your dog.
  • Exercise and Stimulation: Keep your dog physically and mentally engaged to alleviate stress and anxiety.
  • Consistency is Key: A stable routine fosters security and minimizes anxiety in your furry friend.
  • Mitigate Loneliness: Prolonged periods of solitude can lead to anxiety-driven behaviors; strive for balanced companionship.
  • Embrace Positive Reinforcement: Rewarding good behavior and ignoring undesirable actions aids in fostering appropriate conduct and effective behavior modification.
  • Professional Support: Certified animal behaviorists can offer invaluable insights and guidance for managing challenging behavior.


If your fur pet is exhibiting any of the dog behavior issues discussed above, make it a priority to see a veterinarian. Hormonal imbalance is just one of the many reasons a dog can change. That's why a professional's insight matters.

But if your dog is indeed diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance, treating them with patience and understanding goes a long way. Their behavioral changes might not improve overnight. However, with an expert’s help and suitable medication, your dog can overcome these imbalances and live a happy and healthy life.

About The Author

Aubri Bell is a talented marketing director with a passion for pets. With years of experience in the industry, she has honed her skills in creating effective marketing strategies that drive growth and engagement.
Currently connected at Lignans For Life, Aubri is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of pets while also helping pet owners find the best products and services for their furry friends. Her love for animals and her expertise in marketing make her a valuable asset to the company.

How pets can help people recover from substance misuse dependency

The Role of Pets in Substance Dependency Recovery

Substance dependency is a complicated neuropsychological condition characterised by the continued use of substances despite negative consequences to health, career, and social life. People struggling with substance dependency usually withdraw from social and recreational activities. Substance dependency is treatable, although the recovery process is riddled with challenges. Even though the recovery process might seem difficult, at the end of it is a life free from the shackles of substances.

In cases of moderate and severe substance dependence, expert intervention is necessary for safe cessation. Sudden unsupervised cessation can cause severe complications and may even prove fatal. Rehab Guide can help find the most suitable drug or alcohol rehabilitation centre in London.

Recovery Challenges

Substance use/misuse causes several physical and psychological issues. The symptoms of existing medical conditions may also worsen significantly due to substance use. The process of recovery is arduous and long. Through the recovery process, the affected person might struggle with withdrawal symptoms and relapse triggers.

In many cases, the root cause of substance dependency is an underlying distressing event, severe stress, or some other issue. One of the major challenges of the recovery process is dealing with the underlying cause. Withdrawal symptoms (such as hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, shaking) present another challenge. Affected people often face stigma and discrimination. Boredom, loneliness, cravings, money problems, and relationship issues are some of the other common challenges faced by people in the recovery process. The goal is to overcome these challenges and transition to a productive lifestyle.

Therapeutic Role of Pets in Substance Dependency Recovery

There are plenty of reasons why pets are also referred to as ‘therapy on paws’. Pets play a therapeutic role in these ways:

Comfort and Company: The love of pets is unconditional. During the recovery phase, the companionship of pets prevents people from feeling isolated and lonely. Pets offer much-needed comfort during the most challenging times. Because of pets, owners also have to go out, socialise, and connect with more people. Interactions can lead to the creation of a support network.

Boost Mental Health: Petting an animal lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Additionally, the interactions between pets and their owners increase the level of oxytocin. Pets improve mood and help to deal better with negative feelings. Stress and negative feelings can potentially trigger a relapse. By helping their owners combat stress and negative emotions, pets aid and accelerate recovery.

Exercise: Pets need exercise to expend energy, to avoid unhealthy weight gain, for mental stimulation, and for regulation of bowel movements. For the sake of the animals, owners, caretakers, or pet sitters also have to be active. Such physical activity can help minimise aggression, curb cravings, and ease symptoms of withdrawal. Exercise also helps to undo some or most of the body damage wreaked by substances and improves overall health and fitness.

Productive Routine: Pets provide a sense of purpose and increase the sense of responsibility. Their needs (food, exercise, rest) necessitate the establishment of a structured routine. A structured routine will help avoid boredom, increase self-control, and improve self-esteem. These benefits will have a cumulative positive effect on the recovery process.

According to studies, animal-assisted therapy is considerably effective with patients in recovery programs. Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) complements other established treatments for substance dependency and helps maximise the benefits.
Wrapping Up

Pets help humanise the difficult process of substance dependency recovery. Pet therapy is effective as a non-pharmaceutical form of intervention. Although animal-assisted therapy cannot be considered a panacea, it can be used along with evidence-backed established treatment programs for a synergistic effect.

About The Author

Isabella Williams. Isabella is an experienced HR by professional and a writer by passion - blogging about mental health and employee wellness