Wind is a force of nature. A great one at that. We have used its power to supply electricity, water, hot-air balloon rides, to name a few uses. On the other hand, it also has the terrible power to wreak destruction on everything in its path when it becomes a hurricane or a tornado.
Anyhoo, on a much smaller and much more personal scale, we may wonder what the effect of wind on our beloved pet dogs is.
Dogs seems to love wind on their face. We all know that they love sticking their heads out of car windows and feeling the wind rush them by on a beach or a park.
Let us figure out once and for all what all this hulla balloo is all about.
Why Do Dogs Like Wind?
As a dog owner, seeing your dog happy makes you happy. They have all these little quirks and behaviours that are soooooo damn adorable it is hard to think of anything cuter. Seeing your dog have the weirdest goofiest face when his head is out the window has to be one of my top 10 favourite dog faces/expression.
Naturally, I then think, WHY? I will most definitely not be making THAT face when feeling the wind blow past MY face. Why do dogs like wind so much?
The most likely reason for dogs to love the wind on their face could be because of all the signals and messages that are carried through it.
Our precious friends have about 300 million olfactory sensors in their noses. We have a measly 6 million. This intensifies their sense of smell to an incredible level that is incomprehensive to us.
With this heightened sense of smell, they are able to figure out a number of things in the environment around them. They are able to tell who has been where, who has done what. This makes for an interesting day out for him in more ways than one.
In the wild, dogs would sniff the air around them to figure out if there were any predators or dangers lurking in the area, or even if there were any prey in the nearby vicinity.
Once they are done feeling the rush of new things and feelings and sensations around them, they would probably still hang on to it and love the air on their face just because it’s a fun feeling.
Why Does My Dog Snap At The Wind?
You have probably not only witnessed your dog loving the wind, but also “biting” at it. Well. We are here to tell you it is not a sign of anything wrong with your dog, it is a perfectly normal behaviour for most dogs to snap at the wind.
Dogs feel their surroundings and environments with the help of their nose and, mostly, their mouth. Wind falls into the category of toys for them. A plaything. It moves, so it must be chased or fetched, right?
Should I Let Me Dog Have It’s Head Out Of The Window?
Now, this is a different question altogether. Just because our pets love something, it does not mean that THAT something is very helpful for them. It falls into our hands to be responsible for their health and good behaviour.
As much as they love the wind in their faces and love sticking their face out of the window and as much as WE love their beautiful grinning face, it is altogether not too safe to let them stick their head out the window of a moving car for a prolonged period of time.
Well, because, dogs are easily excitable by new scents and surroundings. It is entirely plausible for your dog to become “too” excited and he then decides to chase behind something he whiffed in the air, provided the window is rolled down far enough, he can jump over the window.
Can you imagine what follows next? Yeah. Exactly. A serious injury, if not something worse.
Another scenario that could play out when your dog has his head out of the window, is that of a road accident, a traffic incident, or hard braking for whatever reason. Any or all of these could result in your dog getting knocked off and loose his footing and thump himself against something or the other. Broken bones will not be out of the question if such a situation does arise.
The problems don’t end there, oh no no.
The wind carries with itself small debris, bugs, leaves, insects flying past, etc. As humans in the car we wouldn’t even be aware of these things. Our dog with his head out, enjoying his adventure, definitely would.
If anything hits his eye while the car was moving pretty fast, he might need a visit to the vet to get it checked out.
Even warm wind seems colder while travelling at higher speeds, for some reason. Dogs are also prone to get flu due to prolonged exposure to cold air. Again, visiting a vet will probably need to get added to the agenda.
What Can I Do To Help My Dog In His Love Of Wind?
I am glad you asked.
There are safer ways to make sure your best friend gets to enjoy the wind on his face.
A slightly breezy day is perfect for a walk on the beach or a park.
In a car, it is still possible to have them enjoy the wind and its sensations in a controlled way. just roll down your window enough for air to pass through and carry all its information with it. This way, he cannot jump out the car.
Also, try and get seat harnesses for dogs to ensure they don’t sustain any injury due to any jolting or braking.
One very important point: DO NOT make the mistake of strapping your dog in the passenger seat. While you may do it with good intentions of keeping an eye out on them or just keeping them strapped in, it could be potentially dangerous.
Dogs can distract you while driving, and in case of the airbag deployment upon any incident, it could also end up hurting your dog, because airbags are not meant to protect animals.
Dogs love wind due to a multitude of reasons. We can never fully understand why. We can, however, be responsible and let them have a good time in the wind, with certain precautions in place. They will love you forever more for it. Promise.