Do Animals have a 6th Sense?

The five senses – taste, touch, hearing, sight, smell are well documented in two and four legged humans but do animals have a 6th sense. The 6th sense being defined as the receipt of information sensed with the mind, and not received via the physical senses1. In humans it is used to refer to psychic abilities such as telepathy, clairaudience and clairvoyance. It can be referred to as a gut instinct or hunch. We have all heard stories about animals being able to predict future events such as those that circulated after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami where animals were reported as fleeing from coastal areas well before the wave hit the shore. There are also stories that circulate of animals that “know” when their owners have passed over when away from home. The there is the proverbial “calm before the storm effect” when all the native animals go quiet just before a major storm hits.

Is this an extrasensory ability or just an ability to be more in touch with the sum total of their senses?

Humans have evolved as organisms relying on speech and then hearing for the majority of their communication. Not so animals, vocalizations is a minor means of communication with hearing and smell the predominant means of communication with sight only serving to confirm what the other senses have detected. Companion animals use all of their senses together to determine if they should flee, fight or freeze. When you consider how a dog determines cues from its handler you have to consider a complex mix of sight, hearing and smell. Dogs cue off vocal signals, olfactory signals and what they see even down to minute changes in musculature and shifts of weight. Dogs who are frightened of storms are sensing changes in air pressure as a storm approaches, horses and cattle are detecting the changes in wind patterns as well as the air pressure changes. They flee to a place of safety just moments before strong storms hit. Dogs that are sensitive to thunderstorms hid for an hour or two before a storm passes overhead. Horses rely on muscle tension in the rider to determine the rider’s state of mind, and respond appropriately or inappropriately. Often when riding I have been astride a horse who has had the ability to understand that I was uncertain about turning left or right at the next intersection? I learnt years ago neve to be indecisive when up on the back of a horse, they know every time. Dogs are better at understanding that humans have the capacity to be indecisive and deal with it. Cats on the other hand are cats, and well they just do want they want to do and let us flap around so long as they get fed.

Do the paranormal enter into the sensory perception of animals?

Yes and no would be my answer to that. Yes in that we just don’t know what animals can perceive. Can they sense vibrations outside what we can, can they see orbs, and do ghosts really exist? Who knows, however I am convinced that they use the five traditional senses much more effectively that humans do. We tend to limit ourselves mostly to what we see and to a lesser extent what we hear. Not so animals they use all five senses at once in a complex fashion to determine what is happening around them. Next time you have ten minutes to spare go to a cafe that sells fine coffee, with outdoor tables near a water feature. When the coffee arrives shut your eyes, inhale the wonderful smell of good freshly brewed coffee, listen to the natural sounds around you and then slowly sip the coffee enjoying the taste of it as it goes down. Then open your eyes and see if the view around you doesn’t appear brighter and more in focus. Live in and enjoy each the moment like our four legged companions are still capable of doing.

Until next time……..

Stay safe and remember to Kiss the dog, hug the cat and tell your goldfish you love them.


Louise Kerr

The Pet Care Magician

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) is the owner of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia. She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues including feeding, training and grooming dogs and cats. Her online pet care magic subscription program deals with common pet behaviour, training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas. Pet care professionals are trained to handle customer issues by the provision of up to date programs to differentiate their pet care business from other competitors



Posted on April 15, 2012, in Dog Training, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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