Could it be true? It’s raining, but you let your dog outside (he had to pee!), and now you’ve glanced out a window, and he’s simply sitting in the middle of the yard. Is he enjoying it? Is it possible for a dog to like the rain? Is it cruel to let him stay out there, even if he wants to be outside? Eager for answers, you turn to the internet: why does my dog sit in the rain?
Dogs sit in the rain because it stimulates their senses. Some breeds are weather-resistant and enjoy the feeling of the rain on their thicker coats. Other dogs are used to water and tolerate being outside for long periods.
In this article, we will discuss why your dog sits in the rain, the dangers associated with allowing your dog to withstand the elements for long periods, and whether it’s animal cruelty to keep your dog outside in the rain.
Reasons Your Dog Sits In The Rain
Dogs don’t sit in the rain just out of habit. For most of them, there is a specific reason behind it. Here are the 5 most common one’s you’ll observe:
1. Your Dog Was Trained To Tolerate Water
At a young age, dogs should be introduced to water in a positive light, and in the future, they will fear it less than other dogs do. Your dog may have been introduced to water as a puppy and thus is less afraid of getting wet than other dogs.
2. Your Dog Has A Weather-Resistant Coat
Some dogs, such as huskies, have coats specially designed to prevent water from soaking in. As such, these dogs can stand in the rain for longer than other breeds.
3. Your Dog Was Kept Outside For Long Periods In The Past
If you adopted your dog from a shelter, he might have come from a home that kept him outside most of the time or even 24/7. As a result, your dog may tolerate being in the rain longer than other individuals.
4. Your Dog Is A Water-Loving Breed
Many dogs (including most retrievers) were bred to love water, often to retrieve waterfowl from bodies of water for their owners. These dogs might find it enjoyable to have some fun in the rain.
5. Your Dog Just Likes Water
Dogs are individuals–yours might just like water. Maybe your dog was never trained to like water or kept outside in the past. Maybe he’s not a breed with a coat that resists water or a breed known for their love of a nice dip in the pond. Your dog might like water just because he likes water, and that’s okay.
Is It Okay For My Dog To Stay Out In the Rain
Under certain circumstances, yes, it is perfectly acceptable for your dog to stay in the rain.
If you let him inside after he shows that he wants to be let in (dogs who want to be inside will often wait at the door through which they are often allowed inside), or if he has access to a warm, waterproof dog house, your dog can stay outside in the rain.
However, it is not okay to force your dog to stay outside in the rain without proper shelter. Because dogs have much more sensitive ears than humans, the sound of falling rain and thunder are amplified and cause more anxiety.
Beyond mental health, extended exposure to rain can affect your dog’s physical health. Dogs left in the rain often develop pneumonia, and if they are allowed to drink puddles after a storm, they could develop bacterial infections.
Can My Dog Get Sick From Being In the Rain
Yes, dogs can get sick from being in the rain.
The most common illness dogs develop after being kept outside is pneumonia. Like humans, cold and wet weather irritates dogs’ respiratory systems and decreases the effectiveness of their immune systems.
As a result, dogs will often develop pneumonia after being kept in the rain. Pneumonia symptoms include coughing, wheezing, a loss of appetite, a runny nose, and a fever. If you suspect your dog has pneumonia, take him to the vet immediately.
Do Dogs Get Sad When It’s Raining
Dogs feel sad and anxious when it rains because of the sounds, disruption of routine, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Many dogs feel anxious when it rains because the sound of a storm can be distressing. A dog’s hearing is far more sensitive than a person’s, so the sounds of thunder (and even rain!) are far louder to them than us, which spikes anxiety levels.
In poor weather, exercise routines may be disrupted. For instance, if your dog goes to the dog park on Sunday but it storms all day, he might not get to go to the dog park at all. Your dog knows when his routine is interrupted, and that can upset him.
In addition, some dogs may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which creates depressed moods in darker times of the year. When it rains, the sun may be obscured for hours at a time and may, in turn, trigger a dog’s SAD.
Does Rain Make Dogs Crazy
Rain does not make dogs crazy, but it may inspire unusual behaviors.
Does your dog throw himself on the bare floor or crawl into the bathtub just before a storm threatens the horizon? If so, you might believe your dog caught a case of the crazies from the weather. The truth is a little more complicated.
Being far more sensitive than humans, dogs can sense changes in barometric pressure and even in the electric field in the air. As a result, they may attempt to seek shelter in safe places, such as a bathtub. Some scientists even speculate that dogs experience tiny electrical shocks as a result of the changing electric field.
Is It Animal Cruelty To Keep A Dog Outside In The Rain
In most states, outside animals must have access to food, water, and clean, protective shelter to avoid being legally classified as animal cruelty. So, if you keep your dog in the rain without adequate shelter, yes, it is likely legally animal cruelty.
However, you should ask yourself whether it’s animal cruelty beyond the legality of the situation. Does your dog plead to come inside when it rains? Does he howl or whine during thunderstorms? If you are causing undue stress to your dog, let him inside when the winds begin to pick up or the rain comes down in sheets.
Things To Consider
In summary, some dogs do indeed like the rain. This could be because they are a breed selected for their weather resilience or love of water, or they could be that rare dog that likes water!
If your dog likes sitting in the rain, there’s no reason to keep him inside. You should be aware that prolonged exposure to the elements can result in pneumonia, so make sure to keep an eye on your dog and bring him in when he wants to come in.
Keeping your dog without adequate shelter is illegal and immoral. If you cannot take care of your dog, consider surrendering him to your local shelter.
Despite the individuals who enjoy the rain, most dogs hate storms. Like cats, most dogs hate getting wet! The sounds of thunder and rainfall can be highly distressing to a dog, and the change of electrical currents in the air may shock your dog–literally.
This may cause your dog to present some strange behaviors, like crawling in the bathtub, hiding under furniture, or barking and howling. These are all signs of stress. Make sure to talk to your dog soothingly, so he feels less stressed during a storm.
In addition, storms are typically associated with canceled or delayed plans. A dog might miss his walk because it’s raining cats and dogs outside, and he’ll come to associate the two events with each other.
Remember to walk Fido after the storm has passed! While it’s bad enough that the plans were delayed initially, canceling them altogether is more damaging for the dog.