GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Every once in a while when taking my dog Radar for a walk, I will see him lift his nose straight up to the sky and sniff the air very intently.
It wasn’t until just last week that I learned Radar was using his nose to predict the weather. Now, despite his name, Radar is not the only dog who can predict the weather, your pup also knows when the weather is changing.
Dogs have a heightened sense of smell and hearing. With their heightened sense of smell, dogs can tell when there’s a change in barometric pressure, which changes with different weather patterns. Dogs know when the pressure is changing because scents will either travel faster or slower with changing pressure.
Although dogs know when the pressure is changing, they do not have a way of letting you know. Dogs will sometimes alert their owners of changing pressure through a few different behavior changes such as growling, barking, guarding, cowering, alertness, panting and sometimes stiffening back hair.
Not only can dogs sense a change in pressure but they can also sense a changing electric field. With an approaching thunderstorm, electric charges shift. Just like pressure, dogs are able to sense an approaching storm way before humans do.
If your dog is looking to seek shelter, that’s a good indication that a thunderstorm is approaching. Dogs show this by suddenly running indoors if outside, hiding under a bed, lying down in their crate and sometimes looking for comfort by curling up in your lap.
You can be sure you’ll be carefully monitoring your pet to see when he/she is sensing a change in the upcoming weather.