How Barometric Pressure Surprisingly Influences Dog Behavior

Ever observed your dog behave somewhat strangely before a storm develops? Possibly they become a little restless, anxious, or clingy to your side. This may appear to be some inscrutable coincidence, but, in fact, there is likely a scientific turn of events responsible for it: barometric pressure. Knowing how barometric pressure is changing is going to benefit your dog, enabling better care and comfort for your furry friend.

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What is Barometric Pressure

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Barometric pressure is really atmospheric pressure and it signifies the pressure of the weight of the air in the atmosphere falling on to the Earth’s surface. Being due to weather conditions, it always varies; it rises when fair and falls when a storm approaches. Such changes may create some influence on the bodies and behaviors of humans as well as animals.

How to Tell if Your Dog is Affected by Barometric Pressure

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Dogs are very sensitive animals with highly developed senses, so most probably, changes in their environment will have an effect on them. If the barometric pressure changes, you can see your dog acting especially bizarre:

  • Restlessness or Anxiety: Your dog might be pacing around the house, whining, or seem to be unable to settle down. Quite often this is because pressure changes cause a feeling of disquiet.
  • Comfort Seeking or Hiding: Dogs may want to find their owner for comforting or a nice, familiarly safe, snug place to hide. This is an instinctual action of the dog when it feels uncomfortable.
  • Changes in Appetite or Sleep Patterns: Some dogs eat less or have difficulties in sleeping with changing pressure.

Some examples of such behaviors are real life, where a normally placid Labrador paces and whines for hours before a thunderstorm, and a small Terrier hides under the bed hiding until the storm is over.

Scientific Explanation

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What does this mean to a dog, and why is a pressure change dramatic? In simple terms, it becomes this:

  • Sensory Perception: Dogs have highly developed senses. Both their sense of smell and hearing are very acute, being able to detect the most minimal changes in the environment, down to shifts in barometric pressure. These changes can, in turn, affect their inner ear, which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation, thus making the dog feel off-balanced or dizzy.
  • Physical Comfort: Dogs, like humans, may feel physical stress from the change in pressure that can be manifested as a headache, or general feeling of not quite being right.
  • Mood and Behavior: The pressure and change in sensations can thus lead to the dog having mood swings, being more irritable, and anxious.

How to Help Your Dog Cope

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If you notice your dog having a hard time with changing barometric pressure, there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Make a quiet, comfortable place using his most beloved blankets and toys for your dog to retreat to.
  • Routine: Dogs thrive on routine. Their feeding, walking, and playtime should be kept as consistent as possible.
  • Use calming products such as anxiety wraps, pheromone diffusers, calming treats, etc., which can help calm your dog. It can give some comfort in that situation, reducing the level of stress.
  • Also, involve your dog in the activities that you do in order to get a distraction: play its favorite games, train, or give it a puzzle toy to keep its mind busy.

When to Seek Professional Help

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Most dogs may feel a small amount of discomfort from barometric pressure change, but for some, it may be more significant. Contact your veterinarian or a behavior professional if you observe any of the following:

  • Lacking in ease
  • Excessive weight gain or increased appetite
  • Behavioral issues that interfere daily

A professional will be able to identify any underlying health problems or offer some extra ways to deal with your dog’s anxiety.


Recognize that understanding how the barometric pressure affects your dog’s behavior will lead you to be providing better support during these uncomfortable times. Try to create a quiet, business-as-usual environment for them and use relaxing products to help them overcome anxiety and navigate through these changes in pressure.

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