While some dogs don’t mind the wind, others dislike it and become agitated. Just like people, each dog has a unique temperament. So if your dog doesn’t like the wind, why might this be?
Dogs dislike the wind for various reasons, such as sensitivity to drops in barometric pressure or a natural canine aversion to loud noises. Your dog may also have had a scary experience on a windy day and have created a negative association with the wind.
A dog is part of your family, and you want to care for them in the best way. Read on to learn why dogs don’t like wind, how to spot signs of anxiety in windy weather, and methods to help them overcome that stress.
Reasons Some Dogs Dislike Wind
Windy conditions can cause your dog to feel anxious. Sometimes this can be a mild reaction, while it can be really intense for others.
The key to helping your dog feel better is understanding the reasons that cause your dog to become anxious on windy days.
1. Your Dog Is Highly Sensitive
Sometimes, when a dog was a puppy or had an owner before you, something wind-related could have happened.
The dog might have been left outside in a gusty rain and wind storm, which creates a negative association, which then causes anxiety whenever it is windy.
Other reasons your dog may be sensitive to wind include:
- Canine noise aversion is a common condition in dogs. Noise-related anxiety in dogs is due to the sensitivity of their hearing. Dogs are far more sensitive to noise and can hear sounds four times further than humans. Loud noises can cause something akin to pain in your pet which may be triggered depending on the severity of the wind.
- Dogs are sensitive to static build-up. When an impending storm accompanies strong winds, your dog may react to static build-up, which causes pain and discomfort.
- Dogs are sensitive to the earth’s magnetic field. Often dogs hide in grounded areas during winds and storms, such as bathrooms or bathtubs. This heightened sensitivity might explain why canines are so stressed by the earth’s changing weather conditions.
- Dogs can sense a change in barometric pressure. When a storm approaches with strong, gusty winds, your dog may react to the drop in air pressure which causes them stress and discomfort.
2. The Loud, Windy Noises Are Overwhelming
Many dogs are terrified of thunderstorms, so the loud wind and unfamiliar sounds can trigger anxiety, especially if your dog has been left alone during a storm in the past.
Dogs are intuitive creatures, and they can feel a change in air pressure when a storm is near. The gusty winds bring unusual smells to your dog’s nose, and this causes them to become agitated.
When they hear limbs falling or garden furniture toppling over, these are unfamiliar and scary sounds. The smells and sounds combined can leave your dog in a heightened and challenging state to manage.
3. Dogs Sense Your Discomfort
Since dogs are social creatures, if you are uncomfortable due to wind or stormy weather conditions, they can pick up on it and feel stress due to your stress.
This reaction can be true, especially if they have been with you from puppyhood and have learned that you have a fear or adverse reaction to windy storms.
Signs That Show When Your Dog Is Anxious About the Wind
When stressed about windy conditions, your dog will likely display distinct behaviors.
Learning to identify these signs will help you act quickly to comfort your pet:
- Hiding: Many dogs hide from the thunder and lightning of a storm. Your dog could respond the same way when the wind blows outside, producing loud sounds. Hiding is a typical dog response to being scared, and they will often hide under a bed or in a closet.
- Trembling and shaking: Shaking is another stress response when a dog is frightened. Full body quivering is a strong indication that your dog is scared of the wind.
- Panting: Excessive panting is another sign that your dog is anxious. If your dog isn’t too hot, the panting could be a stress reaction to the wind.
- Pacing around: If your dog is pacing and cannot settle down, this is another sign the dog is feeling stressed. Your pet might be pacing from room to room, searching for a safe spot, or pacing around your feet to let you know they are anxious.
- Whining: Whining is a very typical stress response. Some canine behavioral experts believe dogs whine to get their owner’s attention, while others think it is involuntary. Either way, you usually pay attention when your dog whines, so it works.
- Urinating: Some dogs urinate when they are anxious, which signifies something is out of order. For example, your dog might urinate in the house due to the wind whistling loudly outside.
- Clawing: Some dogs will claw at the door or furniture when anxious. Some dogs will display destructive behavior when stressed due to the loud sounds of the wind outdoors.
How To Help Your Dog Become Less Anxious About the Wind
Helping your dog reduce stress and feel safer is the primary goal of any pet parent. There are several methods to consider as you look for ways to help your dog overcome a fear of the wind.
1. Desensitize Your Dog to Wind Noises
Some dog trainers recommend desensitizing your dog by playing the wind sounds at a low level. Each time you play the sounds, engage them with a favorite toy, feed them treats, or offer a new chew treat.
As you continue to desensitize your pet, increase the volume and do the things your dog loves most to associate good things with the sounds. Then, continue for as long as it takes to desensitize your dog to the noises.
2. Create a Safe Place for Your Dog
Canine experts also recommend fixing a closet or a crate with comfortable items and ensuring it is dark and quiet. Think of it like a snug little den for them to hide in.
This dedicated area can be where your dog retreats when the windy sounds (or other stress) overwhelm them. It should be available all the time for your dog to hide, sleep or rest there, and they should associate the area with safety.
3. Swaddle Your Dog To Relieve Stress
Some pet stores sell swaddles that you can buy for your dog and use in times of stress from wind or whatever else is freaking them out.
It is the same principle as a baby swaddle. The tight-fitting doggy swaddle creates a feeling of safety and comfort.
4. Consider Medications for Canine Wind Anxiety
Your veterinarian might prescribe antidepressants for your dog in extreme wind-induced stress.
Some types of medication can help your dog endure the windy noises in more comfort, and this can then allow you to reinforce positive training methods to help them become less scared of the wind.
Since your dog can only express their fear and anxiety through behaviors, you should pay attention when it acts differently, especially in windy weather.
You can try training your dog to be less scared of the wind, and you can also use coping strategies, like building them a nice cozy den to help them cope with their fear.
Not All Dogs Hate the Wind
Just to finish off this post, here is a super cute video showing some dogs who love the wind: