Rain does not hurt dog’s ears, but for some dogs, it isn’t comfortable! We need to remember that dogs can hear twice as many frequencies as humans, AND they can also hear four times further than us. Although your dog is not in pain from the rain, it might cause fear and anxiety.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so when something happens that throws off their typical routine, it can have a major impact on their behavior and mood.
Rain is one of the many things that can affect a dogs routine. The sound of rain is something they aren’t used to, so this could cause stress, nervousness, and anxiety. Rain might prevent them from going on their typical walk, or making a visit to the dog park. This can cause confusion and depression.
Thankfully, rain does not hurt your dog, but it can have a major impact on their behavior. In today’s guide, we will go over why rain can cause behavioral changes and what you can do about it.
How Rain Affects Dogs
Rain is much louder for dogs who can hear things at more of an amplified volume than humans. The noise they hear when it rains can cause anxiety, fear, and stress.
We may not make much of the pitter-patter outside our windows, but for dogs, it can mimic the discomfort we might feel if someone turned a white noise machine to an uncomfortably loud volume. It doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t sound great either.
Just as certain sounds might aggravate us, rain might aggravate a dog.
If your dog seems to be more alert when it rains, it could be because of the smell. Dogs explore the world with their nose. When rain dampens the environment, the smell of the environment becomes stronger and can prompt dogs to smell their surroundings more. The new sensations of a normally familiar environment may overwhelm a dog. Thankfully, most dogs will adapt within an hour.
Your Uncertainty Causes Their Uncertainty
Many of the behaviors dogs engage in that seem to mirror our own attitudes or actions are learned when they observe us. The reservation about going outside in the rain can play into this as well.
If your dog notices that you are unwilling to brave the stormy climate, they may follow suit and adapt the same feelings of discomfort you display. In other words, if they sense the rain is making you nervous and uneasy, it will make them nervous and uneasy.
How to Help
Acclimating your dog to the sounds of rain and being outside with them to show companionship and solidarity while being covered with an umbrella might ease the sensation of hearing rainfall. Still, it might take a bit of time and tough love as you work with your pet to help them unlearn their fears.
Soothe and Comfort Them
If a dog outright refuses to go outside in the rain, you can hold or sit near them while outdoors and soothe their worries with comforting gestures or words.
It’s important not to force the process of getting them out the door, or they might also hide from you when it rains because they do not trust you to have compassion towards them during this time of distress. If they get more comfortable being outdoors, you can move into playing outside with your pup while it’s raining, which should help ease their nerves.
If your dog is experiencing unusually high amounts of anxiety, they may look to you for comfort. Instead of getting frustrated by your inability to get them to go outside, try to put yourself in their “paws” and see how much discomfort they may be feeling.
It may help to also be by their side when they walk out and embrace the weather. This way they’ll know it’s not something they have to fear or avoid.
Sitting in the rain may not seem like a fun activity, but you can bring an umbrella and show your dog you care by braving this situation with them to increase the level of security they feel.
Take it Slow
If you get your dog outside by throwing them out until they have gone to the bathroom, they will probably fail to make progress and become even more irritable on rainy days.
Slowly introducing this environment to them by bringing your dog closer to the noise of the rain, allowing time for them to acclimate to these new smells and sounds, and praising their cooperation as you make progress can help in the long term.
Be Their Source of Comfort
On rainy days when your dog is on edge, it can be helpful to play music for them, play games indoors, or allow them to burrow into your side for comfort and protection.
Lavender oil can also help calm anxiety. The easiest way to use lavender oil through a diffuser. Dogs have a strong sense of smell, so a few drops of oil in the diffuser will do the trick.
Being patient with your dog and understanding how they can become irritated or scared in difficult situations will help you better respond to their needs and comfort level during periods of distress.
It may be frustrating if you notice that some of these remedies are not miraculously helping your dog’s comfort level. It may take time, but your dog will eventually learn that rain is nothing to be scared of.
Can Rain Be Dangerous For Dogs?
The internal discomfort dogs face amidst rainy days is not the only thing we should take note of when trying to help our pets.
Unlike timid dogs, some dogs may enjoy running around in wet grass and soaking up the air’s moisture, but the splashing around in puddles can be more dangerous than it seems at first glance.
Puddles are sources of standing water, which means they can contain bacteria that may cause infections. Exposure to this bacteria can also happen if the dog licks their paws once entering the house.
A possible solution for avoiding a run-in with harmful bacteria would be to wipe their paws and then pat them dry. If your dog becomes nauseous, runs a fever, or becomes lethargic, they may need to see a veterinarian.
This does not mean that rainy day play is off-limits. Instead, you should be aware of this danger when monitoring your dog as they play outside and be ready to clean them up when done. This will significantly decrease the risk of infection.
If your dog is playing outside in rainy weather, dangers like a lack of visibility can cause drivers, bicyclists, or runners to pose safety risks when your animal is not in their line of sight.
How Dogs Adapt to The Weather
Shifts in the weather may also naturally influence dogs. Depending on the breed, some may seem relatively unaffected by cold or wet environments, while others might slow down and become more cautious.
Both puppies and elderly dogs have trouble maintaining body temperature, so they may struggle more with shifts in weather. The size of the dog and the thickness of their coat may also indicate how well they can adapt to changes in their environment.
Can Dogs Sense Bad Weather?
While we rely on weather reports to tell us what to expect, dogs can sense the shift in things like static electricity and barometric pressure, which typically occurs before a heavy downpour or thunderstorm. .
If you see your dog becoming irritable or sniffing much more than usual, they may be picking up on what is coming. If they fear these weather conditions, you may catch them in a hiding spot they deem safe somewhere around the house.
Dogs are unique like humans, and some may be eager to play in the rain, enjoying their time splashing around in the water, and jumping at the sight of puddles.
It is still important to remember the potentially harmful effects of rainwater on your animal, but engaging in a dog’s excitement to play outside, despite the weather, may help lighten both of your spirits during cloudy days.
If you have a timid dog, it may be best to bring your dog outside only for short amounts of time to use the bathroom or get some light exercise in during periods of heavy rainfall.
Like a child who might have been looking forward to a sunny day of playing outside, your dog may become withdrawn or upset when the wet weather comes out, but keeping them safe and reassuring your dog they are okay can help you get through the gloom together.
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