How Barometric Pressure Changes Affect Your Dogs

If you remember your elementary school science classes, you might recall lessons on barometric pressure—that is, the pressure from the earth’s atmosphere. When the barometric pressure drops, our tissues expand more, which can put pressure on our bones and joints. That’s why you might “feel” rain coming in your joints or at an old injury site. Your dog can feel barometric pressure changes, too. In fact, they’re far more sensitive to air pressure than humans are. Here’s how the weather affects dogs in West Des Moines, IA.

How dogs sense barometric pressure

Like humans, dogs are affected by changes in barometric pressure—although they probably don’t realize what’s causing them to feel differently. Moist air is lighter than dry air, and warm air is lighter than cold. When the weather changes, the barometric pressure changes. This has physical effects on humans and dogs alike.

Humans can experience sinus pressure and headaches when the pressure drops. Theoretically, your dog may feel these effects too, especially if they have a longer snout and larger sinus cavities. There’s no specific proof that this happens, but many vets think it’s not only possible, but probable.

Dogs can also feel the joint pressure that humans do when the air pressure drops. In fact, they may feel it more acutely. Finally, they can sense storms in other ways—they smell the ozone, hear rain and thunder before we can and might even acquire a static charge.

Signs your dog senses a change in pressure

Since dogs can’t exactly express their needs with words, you’ll have to look for other signs that a storm is coming. For example, your dog might experience more pain due to the drop in barometric pressure. Look for signs that they’re feeling achy or sore, like walking strangely, low energy and even mild lethargy.

Some dogs get quite agitated when a storm is approaching. They may bark or growl more, or become more clingy. Some get anxious and scared.

Finally, your dog might experience sinus issues when the air pressure drops. If their nose runs more than usual or they seem congested, that’s a sign that rain is on the way. If you notice one or more of these signs, check the weather report and barometric pressure. Eventually, you’ll work out which dog behaviors indicate weather changes in West Des Moines, IA—and once you figure that out, it’ll be like you have your own canine weatherman in the house.

It’s also a good reminder to take extra care of your furry friend, especially if they appear to be in pain or having trouble breathing. Your vet can recommend ways to keep them comfortable before and during storms. Extra blankets, heating pads and other small comforts can make a big difference in their mood.

When your dog needs training, daycare and boarding services or grooming, bring them to Canine Country Club. Call us today to learn more about our services and book your appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!

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