Can Dogs Feels Barometric Pressure?

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Introduction

Dogs are pretty incredible creatures - they have all sorts of heightened senses that humans don't, can do things that people can't, and they're much more acutely affected by nature than people are. One of the things that dogs are definitely aware of is barometric pressure. In fact, your dog is super-capable of sensing shifts in barometric pressure and detecting changing weather patterns before they happen. Your special pup is able to of pick up on weather conditions by sensing a drop or spike in the barometric pressure, and they can even sense shifts in static electric fields - something you simply can't do. 

However, your dog is not able to relay these detections to you - though, wouldn't that be ideal? You'd have your own personal weatherman, right in your home. There are, however, ways they're telling you that they have sensed a change in the pressure and that something is off. Read on to figure out some of the signs your dog might be exhibiting to let you know that there's a change in the barometric pressure and the weather is coming your way.

Signs Your Dog is Sensing a Shift in Barometric Pressure

Your dog has a much more heightened sense of the barometric pressure than you do, so they've got a pretty good idea about whether or not adverse weather is coming your way. You essentially have your own, personal weather-dog right there with you, it only makes sense that you should learn how to decode the signals they're giving you. If your dog is sensing a shift in barometric pressure, a few different things will happen. 

First, your pup might have a slight change in behavior. They may become a little agitated. Things that normally wouldn't phase them might annoy them or get under their skin. They might be a bit anxious and jumpy, too. Some dogs even get fearful, clingy, and scared. Additionally, there might be some physical changes. Your dog's joints might become a little aggravated - low pressure can do that. So, they might be a bit achy, walk a little funny, or have less energy for movement than normal. It's possible too that they might feel the barometric pressure effects in their snout! They might be drippy, snotty, or all clogged up when the barometric pressure starts to change. 

It's possible your dog will get really antsy or frantic, as well, so keep a look out for these signs and have ways to calm your dog down. Another thing dogs will do if they're sensing a drop in barometric pressure is try to herd their family members into safe areas. 

Body Language

Here are a few, subtle body language cues your dog may be giving you to let you know that something is up with the barometric pressure:
  • Pacing
  • Howling
  • Panting
  • Cowering
  • Guarding
  • Back hair on edge
  • Barking
  • Alert
  • Growling

Other Signs

Here are a few other doggo-signs your pup might be giving you to let you know there's been a shift in the barometric pressure:
  • Anxiety and Panic
  • Sniffing the Air
  • Sinus Issues
  • Seeking Shelter
  • Herding Behaviors
  • Joint Pain

Historic Causes of Barometric Pressure Changes

Barometric pressure is an interesting thing - along with air temperature, wind speed, and atmospheric pressure, it can help determine the weather! Changes in the barometric pressure are big factors in forecasting the weather, and luckily, your dog can sense them and help you stay prepared! 

Changes in barometric pressure are caused by changes in the atmosphere, which are often small things you can't notice on your own. For example, as air warms and expands or as clouds form and lower into the atmosphere, the barometric pressure will change. Stormy weather can cause the pressure to drop, while fair weather can typically help maintain a rising barometric pressure. Luckily, your dog can keep track of this pretty well!

The Science of Dogs Sensing Barometric Pressure

Dogs are essentially equipped with all the things they need to be furry, little weather predictors. For starters, they have heightened senses of smell and hearing. As the pressure in the air gets lower or changes, the way odors travel changes - your dog can notice this because of his super-nose, but you can't. That's why you see your dog looking up to the sky and sniffing at the air when the weather changes. He's picking up the difference in how smells are traveling and how they're getting to him, and he's realizing there's a shift in the pressure.  

While it may seem like a canine sixth sense, it all comes down to science, really. Dogs are much more sensitive to changes in pressure, detecting it with sense of smell and their joints, so it's only plausible they'd want to alert their pack to the potential danger of oncoming weather.

How to Train Your Dog to Deal with Barometric Pressure Changes

Your dog sensing the change in barometric pressure is a good thing - it can help you determine a change in weather before it happens, get your family to safety, and even help you avoid some sketchy situations. That being said, your dog's weather-predicting abilities can often go hand-in-hand with some serious doggo anxiety, so it can be useful to train your pup to handle these situations calmly. 

First, never punish your dog for giving you a good warning about the weather. Reward them with a treat, a pat, and lots of attention. If your dog tends to get nervous, though, you'll want to provide them with plenty of ways to keep calm. 

For example, if they have a favorite toy or blanket, make sure they have access to either or both of these things. Additionally, always make sure they have a safe, comfortable crate to go to when they're feeling nervous. Teach them that their cage is their safe haven and they can feel secure there. That way, if they get overly-nervous, they can escape to their safe spot. 

If bad weather does come and your dog is beyond consolable, it's important to make sure that there's no way they can get out of the house. Don't let them outside during their frantic behavior, as they might try to run away. Keep them indoors until the storm passes and they calm down.

How to React If Your Dog is Sensing Barometric Pressure Changes

  • Don't ignore their behavior.
  • Pay attention to their signs.
  • Help get your animal and your companions to safety.
  • If your dog is agitated or nervous, give them lots of attention to calm them down.
  • Don't get agitated with their efforts to herd you to safety.
  • Reward your dog for being a good weather-pooch!