Dogs hate bad weather and are known for wanting to hear something scary. They can see the bad weather coming, it seems! There are many stories about dogs going crazy just before storms. It’s important to be alert for any signs your dog might be feeling uncomfortable.
Signs Your Dog Might Sense a Storm
Every dog is unique. Your dog might not be able to react to a storm approaching. If they do respond, you might see them doing the following.
They might be shaking. You might notice your dog shaking. Some dogs are afraid of storms. They might also be pacing or panting. These behaviors are common in dogs who are stressed. They might also be running around the house or barking at you. You might notice them running around your house, barking or sensing that the storm is approaching.
If your dog is displaying dangerous distress, there are other serious signs you should be aware of. Your pup may try to hide if the storm is too frightening. You might find your pup in an unusual spot as they try to escape the noise. Some dogs might run away from the noise, while others might get scared. Keep doors and windows locked. Your dog could escape and be hurt if you don’t.
History of Dogs Sensing Tornados
Historically, as far as dogs and the weather, we can assume they go way back. Since before dogs were domesticated, they had to live with the changing weather. Maybe this is why they seem to have a keen sense of when a storm or even natural disaster is coming. Who knows – but that exposure definitely couldn’t hurt. If they knew when a storm was coming, and a storm could mean danger for them and their pack, since they lived outside, they might be able to get to shelter and stay safe.
Many dogs still seem to feel this way. One dog lover shared the story of a trip to Lake Tahoe with her family. She saw her sister-in-law’s Jack Russell/Chihuahua hybrid trembling in the basement and then hiding from her family. Although it is not unusual for Chihuahuas to shake, even if they aren’t afraid, the dog could be distressed.
Asking her sister-in-law about the matter, she said that the dog knew when a thunderstorm was coming and was often distressed. The three of them went to the local pet shop to get the dog some calm treats. The storm soon arrived and the pup was unable to withstand it. The pup was still afraid but she bonded with her family and seemed to be able to relax a little. She was fine once the storm passed.
Science Behind Dogs Sensing Storms
So, why do dogs seem to be able to sense storms before they’ve happened? The answer is fairly simple. Dogs have very sharp senses of smell and hearing. Did you know a dog’s sense of smell is up to 100,000 better than yours?
Their hearing ability also states that dogs can hear higher frequencies than humans, possibly between 40,000 and 60,000 Hz.
It is amazing to think that humans can sense when a storm is approaching. Do you remember ever smelling the rain before it began to pour? Or hearing thunder in the distance. You most likely have. You can imagine how early your dog can sense a storm because of their stronger senses. Even if there is no rain or sunshine, your dog might still sense something coming. It’s uncanny!
Train Your Dog to Sense Storms
Are you interested in training your dog to alert you when a storm is coming? It’d definitely be a cool trick, but it isn’t likely that you’ll be successful. You’re probably better off watching your pup’s body language and the cues they give you. They might even be trying to communicate a storm is coming in order to protect you! So, keep your eyes and ears open.
As we mentioned, dogs can be very anxious about an approaching storm. It is important to calm your dog and help them relax. If they are willing, you can give them extra cuddles and calm, or give them treats.
Thundershirts and calming treats are a favorite of dog owners. However, it is best to consult your vet before you take these steps. You should also make sure that all doors and windows are locked. You can be afraid of your dog running away. They could end up getting hurt or killed. Be cautious.
Can a dog predict when a storm is coming, then? Absolutely! If your dog communicates this to you, make sure your rain boots and rain slicker are ready.