Many of us would have rightly noticed our furkids racing indoors moments before an initially cloudless sky is filled up with dark rain clouds or streaks of lightning.
A dog’s biological makeup is largely the reason behind their seemingly miraculous ability to see into the future, giving them the upper hand when it comes to being able to sense an impending change in weather as compared to humans.
Instead of likening this ability to the mythical, here are three reasons why our furkids seem to be so accurate in their foretelling of the daily weather patterns:
1. Hearing The Onslaught Of A Storm
There’s no doubt that our furry friends have a much more acute sense of hearing than us humans. In fact, canine hearing is about 20 times more sensitive than ours – they can hear higher pitched sounds of a greater frequency range than us.
As such, it isn't very surprising that they can probably hear the distant rumbling of thunder before our human ears can even pick it up. This is why some dogs seem to be so disturbed even before the faintest hint is given that a thunderstorm is arriving.
2. Sniffing Out The Rain
Just as we are able to detect a change in the smell of the air when it is about to rain, our canine friends can also determine if it is going to pour through their sense of smell. Again, since dogs can detect scents in much greater detail as compared to humans, they are once again able to sense that a storm is underway way before humans recognise this characteristic change in smell.
Their noses are able to identify concentrations of chemicals that we humans can’t even get close to detecting, which is why they are able to pick up the sulfuric scent that comes along with lightning.
A drop in barometric pressure and a shift in static electric field usually mean that a change in climate is about to occur. Pooches are more sensitive to these changes in air pressure and over time, they may have learned to associate this drop in air pressure with a resulting downpour.
Some researchers also hypothesise that dogs are able to feel vibrations on the ground caused by thunder through their feet.
It’s safe to say that when in ownership of senses so keen and attuned to the environment around them, dogs don’t really need to possess supernatural powers to know when to take shelter from a brewing storm.
*This article was updated on 17 Jul 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com on 27 Feb 2017.