Dog In The Rain: A Story Of Fear And Love
Posted by KRIS REID
Pluviophile is the name given to somebody who loves the rain or a creature that thrives in rainy habitats. Your dog may be a pluviophile on some days and an indoor couch potato on others. How your dog feels about the rain usually depends on the exposure they have had and their unique personality.
Regardless of whether you and your dog are rain fanatics or not, at some point, you'll both need to go out in the rain and enter the house again. Understanding your dog’s complex relationship with the rain is guaranteed to make the transitions easier on both of you, saving time, frustration, and getting muddy paws all over the couch.
There are several reasons why your dog may want to play inside or outside when it's raining. We're going to explore these in this article to help you unpack your dog's behavior and habits when the weather turns.
Do Dogs Like Rain?
Dogs are excitable and emotional creatures. They may not be quite as curious as cats, but their fun-loving nature naturally draws them toward new and diverse environments.
Generally speaking, dogs are not pluviophiles. Like many other animals who disappear as soon as the first drops fall, dogs also prefer to stay warm and dry inside. While certain playful personalities are not afraid of the odd deluge, it's up to you as the owner to support your dog and help them to become comfortable when it's raining.
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Signs Your Dog Loves The Rain
Some dogs love the rain! Dogs exhibit common signs and behaviors to show that they love the rain and want to go outdoors when it's wet. Here are a few to look out for:
- Your dog sits at the door waiting to go outside when it rains
- A wagging tail means your dog is relaxed and happy
- Running around outside and getting muddy–if your dog engages in playful behavior, it's likely they don't perceive any threat from the rain or don't mind getting a little wet.
But you may be wondering "why does my dog stay out in the rain so much?" Here are a few common reasons dogs in the rain are so jolly and happy.
Why Does My Dog Stay Out In The Rain?
It Can Hear Other Animals
Dogs have a sensitive sense of smell and can detect when wild animals have been roaming on your property. New scents may draw your pup outside to explore any visitors and establish their territory.
This behavior is unlikely to show up as a direct result of rain. Though if your dog is inclined to behave in a territorial and inquisitive manner, a little rain is unlikely to stop him or her from investigating.
It Enjoys The Sensory Experience of Rain
When you take your pup outdoors on a rainy day, you'll notice that they sniff more frequently than on a dry day. This happens because the humid air traps smell, causing it to linger around for longer. Essentially, rain reveals a whole new world of sensory delights for dogs, often intensifying odors in the air. As new scents arise from the ground, plants, and even visiting wild animals, you can bet they will entice your dog to go outdoors and smell them.
Beyond aromas, the rain can cause new sensations on the dog's fur that they may particularly enjoy. For example, rain drops feel much more intensely on short coated breeds than on dog breeds with thick fur. Like people, some dogs love this sensation!
It Loves Being Outside
Younger puppies and energetic breeds need plenty of time and space to run around and burn off their energy. What better place to do this than outside? If your dog is used to an outdoor lifestyle, he or she may get bored from staying inside out of the rain all day. When it rains non-stop for days, your furry friend may whine at the door or stare longingly outside simply because they love to be outdoors.
In this case, it's best to let them go outside and explore their environment. Often they won't mind getting muddy and wet if it means they can expel their extra energy! Ensure you have them protected with a comfy dog rain coat and booties to keep them safe and warm.
It Wants To Protect You
Historically, dogs would not have batted an eyelid at weather conditions more compromising than rain alone. Although many dogs' modern lifestyles keep them away from the rain, causing pups to feel fear or agitation because they're unfamiliar with it.
Enter pack mentality and the deeply ingrained protective instincts your dog carries from its forefathers, they may enter guard dog mode and try to protect you from the perceived threat of rain. Cute!
Your Dog Wants A Change In Temperature
So you've got the fire stoked and are enjoying an indoor reprieve from the cold outside? Your pup may want to go outside in the rain to get a temperature change. Hot inside temperatures can cause dogs to feel lethargic and sleepy. If you have the heating on inside, perhaps the puppy is overheated and wants to go out.
When dogs play outside, they might sense rain via a drop in temperature or pressure. This has been known to make them feel overexcited and run around the yard.
Signs Your Dog Doesn't Like The Rain
As a dog owner, you're probably aware that it's healthy and even encouraged to expose your dog to the rain while they are young. Becoming familiar with the rainy season helps young dogs to adjust more easily.
Naturally, most dogs associate rain with discomfort and feeling wet and cold. This statement is particularly true for dogs with short hair, though you may find breeds with a thick double coat equally rejecting the rainy season. Here are some signs your dog is feeling uncomfortable or anxious about the rain:
- Panting heavily
- Shaking or hiding
- Barking or whining
- Pacing around
If you notice these behaviors, it may be for one of the following reasons. Here are some tips to ease their worries during the rainy season!
Reasons Why Your Dog May Not Love A Rainy Day
Fear or Unfamiliarity With The Rain
If you didn't have the occasion to introduce your dog to the rain while they were young, it's possible they developed a fear since they are unfamiliar with it. Even if your dog is afraid of the cold weather, it should be able to handle going out now and again.
Wet weather is perfectly normal, and if you suspect your dog is afraid of the rain, try to gently, slowly, and consistently coax them outside. This way, they feel safe with you while understanding that their perceived threat is minimal.
There are several medical issues that may cause your dog to feel negative about the rain. If your pupper has skin allergies, sensitivities, or a dry skin problem, they may either crave the drizzle to soothe it or try to avoid the rain at all costs to prevent the issue from becoming agitated.
Any medical issues will likely be accompanied by other symptoms, such as excessive scratching or licking areas of their skin, red bumps and sores, or even chronic lethargy and a loss of appetite. If you think your dog's health is causing your pup to avoid the rain, it's best to get them checked out by a veterinarian.
Reluctance To Go Potty
Most dogs head outside when they need to go potty. Understandably, doing the act in the rain is not ideal for many canines. If your dog is feeling reluctant to go out before bed or in the morning, it's probably because they don't want to get wet.
While your dog is learning about the rain and becoming comfortable with moving outside to go potty, make sure you shower them with delicious, healthy treats to encourage their good behavior.
Dogs have sensitive ears, and during heavy rain or storms, a dog may respond to the thunder, winds, or sounds of the deluge with fear. When they hear the storm approaching and thunder clapping, they may bark to express their apprehension. Alternatively, your dog may shake or find a safe place to hide.
Of course, not all dogs are afraid of storms. Even if your furry friend is used to storms and rain, they may exhibit signs of fear during a particularly bad one.
Can Dogs Get Ill After Being In The Rain?
Getting your dog out for a short walk in the rain is perfectly normal. Like humans, letting a dog sit in the cold rain and harsh weather for extended periods without protection can cause them to become ill. This is especially true for older dogs and those with fine coats that the rain can penetrate quickly.
However, if you're taking your pooch out for a walk in the rainy season, and you help to get them warm and dry once you're home, there is minimal risk of pup falling ill. Try taking it out for short periods at first, and use your best judgment about how long your dog should be outside. If you feel cold, they probably do too.
How Can I Help Get My Dog Out In The Rain?
As a dog owner, you know there's no way to avoid your dog going out in the rain. Here are a few tips to get your pup more comfortable with the rainy season and to keep them healthy, warm, and dry when they do.
Positive reinforcement is a puppy trainer's second best friend. Training pups to be rain savvy makes it easier for everyone. Adding a few delectable nutritious treats is a great way to encourage positive rain awareness.
For example, if you're teaching the dog in the rain to go potty, give them a treat when they have done it to show them that this is good behavior. Similarly, if a doggo is dripping wet and you want to encourage it to shake off before entering the house after a bout in the rain, treats can reinforce this behavior too.
Cool Weather Gear
How cute will you and your pup look with matching raincoats and rain boots? If puppy wants to stay dry, if they're super sensitive to the cold, or if you're going outside for an extended period, try getting them a well-made, warm waterproof dog rain jacket to keep them protected from the cold.
Adding a pair of cute waterproof booties and a hat to protect their heads and feet from the cold will keep them warm and cozy for the whole walk. And a beautiful fluffy snood is a fantastic way to warm them up once they are dry back home.
Rain is a perfectly normal part of our lives, and nobody, including dogs, can avoid it. Some dogs love the rain because of all the exciting new smells and sensations they can experience. Other dogs hate the rain because it reminds them of the cold and wet. Many dogs care far more about walks than the weather anyway.
Dogs will change their approach to bad weather as they grow and become accustomed to seasonal shifts. But if your dog has a strong aversion to the rain, it will likely need your help and support to normalize and become comfortable with the experience.
To encourage a life-long healthy relationship with the cold weather, your pup will need your patience and understanding, plus some good wet weather gear. For the best rain adventures, check out the range of cold weather gear for your pup in one convenient place at Bitch New York. We're committed to helping you give your dog the best experiences with the highest-quality apparel they need to live a happy, healthy, and positive life.