| Tornado Chasers

Why are animals afraid of storms?


It’s a well know fact! Some animals are afraid of storms! Now it does vary from species to species, but since the Dog is one of the most popular house pets, thats what i’m going to use.
I know that some breeds (especially smaller dogs) get nervous (like my sisters poodle mix) just by the sound of thunder. Then my dog (Golden Retriever) does not even flinch during a plain thunderstorm!
BUT when a tornado went about five miles from our house, my dog was strangely nervous and jumpy during that 45 Min span the storm was in the area!

Now their is proof that animals can sense earthquakes, so i would think that they can sense tornados and severe storms as well!
What do you think that they can sense in a storm that tell their instincts that somethings not right?
Is it the Barometric Pressure changes or something?


We can feel pressure changes so they could even more acutely I would think


Its not a fact but an opinion of mine animals have heightened senses. Senses like smelling, hearing, and seeing are a lot better in most breeds of dogs than in humans so that could be a factor. The thunder is louder to the dog so there fore sometimes it actually is painful. Just a good hypothesis.


It is a fact, animals do have heightened senses. Dogs and cats, and many other animals, can hear sounds that are beyond the human range of hearing, and pick up subtle odours that we would never notice.

As for why animals react to the weather, I have always thought that it is at least in part due to their sense of hearing. We had a dog when I was a kid who was afraid of both thunder and the vacuum cleaner, which I think was because they both hurt his ears. (Incidentally, I was afraid of both of those things too, for the same reason.)

I also believe it is partially instinctive. One of my friends had a cat who was the exact opposite of my dog. He loved watching thunderstorms, so much that he would beg to have the blinds opened so he could sit in the window. But on the day an F4 tornado tore through our city, he went and hid in the basement and refused to come out, even though their house was several miles away from the path the tornado took.


BUT when a tornado went about five miles from our house, my dog was strangely nervous and jumpy during that 45 Min span the storm was in the area!

How were you reacting during this same time? I find it hard to believe you weren’t reacting in someway and dogs tend to mimic the behavior of their owners.


Actually I was out chasing the tornado! My Mom and sister were the ones that actually witnessed her odd behavior! But the odd thing is that my Mom and sister did not even know that their was a tornado because their was no warning on the storm! They only learned of the tornado later that night when me and my Dad got back, and by then my dog had calmed down!


That might be true, if the human in question was afraid of storms or tornadoes and always acted jumpy whenever there was one, causing the dog to learn the behaviour, or if they were aware of the presence of the tornado and it was making them nervous, which the dog was sensing.

However, I believe it is quite possible that a dog would react on instinct where a human would not, since we tend to ignore our instincts.

Which actually could answer the question about why animals react to weather. We would probably react the same way, if we were really paying attention.

For example, one Sunday afternoon while window shopping at a car lot with my boyfriend, I began to feel extremely nervous and anxious to get out of there. I began looking around for any buildings that were open, anywhere we could go for shelter. It wasn’t until I started scanning the roadside looking for a ditch that I realized what I was doing. I immediately gave my head a shake and silently chided myself for being silly. It was an overcast day but there was no sign of stormy weather, not even a bit of wind or a drop of rain. And it wasn’t even the right time of year. But the anxious feeling persisted.

A few minutes later there was a sudden gust of wind and we were pelted with sand, so much that we had to cover our heads and run for the car. Just as I pulled my door shut I looked up and saw the funnel coming down.


Dogs and other animals not only have very keen hearing, they also hear frequencies we humans don’t- especially low frequencies referred to as ‘infrasonics’. These low frequency sounds include thunder, and have been associated with earthquakes. We humans also react with extreme nervousness as well. Consider the movies; if the director wants to foreshadow some danger or ‘evil’, the music will become very low frequency. You might even feel individual sound waves beating against you.
My current dog doesn’t like thunder either. She tells me all about it by barking at it! She runs thru the house as if she wants to catch it! I’ve told her that’s a very bad idea, but I have yet to convince her…<Grin!>


They can sense the storm by energy but in the meantime the energy gets overwhelming for them and makes them fear storms. That’s my theory