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‘Small dog’ wind warning for Cleveland, USA

Black dog sits on a beach in the wind dog-wow
© Patrick Hendry. Unsplash

America’s National Weather Service has given a warning about how high winds can hurt small dogs, but is the notion of flying dogs just a storm in a teacup? 

By Nick Whittle , 19 Feb 2019

They may not be the heaviest animals in the world but dogs are resilient and not often swept off their feet. Terriers have been successfully hunting vermin on the Scottish highlands for centuries and up there winds can reach 80 mph. 

So what prompted the Cleveland branch of the National Weather Service to issue a ‘small dog’ weather warning in the early part of 2019 for a 50 mph wind? 

In truth, there is such a thing as public awareness. And when it comes to high winds it can be argued that the prospect of falling trees and roof tiles are more worthy of caution than a dog being sucked into the clouds. 

Winds of 50 mph are not known to have caused dog deaths but some reports from previous years suggest gale force winds of around 70 mph can pick up some small dogs. 

Flying dogs 

Mentalfloss mentioned two such cases of wind-damaged dogs: ‘In 2009, a 6-pound Chihuahua named Tinker Bell was plucked up and carried away by 70 mph winds’ and ‘a Yorkshire terrier named Toshka was blown away in Siberia during a snowstorm last year (2018).’ 

Both dogs survived their ordeals because on the whole dogs are like sheep when it comes to being buffeted about: they tend not to even notice!

Nevertheless, you are responsible for your dog’s welfare; if you do not consider it safe for YOU to be outside then it is probably even less safe for your pooch. 

There are some parts of the world where extreme weather can strike within a matter of minutes. If you find yourself and your dog caught outside on such an occasion then take cover and wait for things to calm down. 

Importantly, hold on tight to your dog’s lead at all times. At the very least if you are connected to one end of the lead your dog won’t go anywhere.