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Why Is My Dog Scared Of The Rain?

Discovering that your dog is scared of rain can be a tricky situation to navigate, especially if you live somewhere that seems to rain nonstop. As humans, we’ve come to adapt to the rain with some people even enjoying it! However, a lot of humans don’t enjoy the rain and often avoid going out when the weather takes a turn.

As pet parents, we often don’t think about how our behaviour can affect our dog. With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide to help anyone who is struggling with a dog scared of thunder, rain, or both!

Rain & Loud Noises

Let’s set the scene. It’s pouring with rain outside and you wanted to go out for a walk in your area. Do you go on the walk? Probably not! Not all people enjoy rainy weather, even though we have options to keep us dry. Our pups don’t have these options. Being wet may make your dog feel cold and uncomfortable. This would make them much less likely to want to walk when it’s raining.

The mere sound of rain can make a dog scared too. If you have a conservatory or metal roof in your home, this may emphasize the sound of rain and can scare your dog. Dogs are quick learners and if they are scared of thunder, they may make the association that rain can predict the noise they are worried about. In turn, this can result in a dog scared of rain.Small white puppy lying in its bed on the floor.

Have you ever noticed how it smells different after a rainstorm? Your dog has an amazing sense of smell, and they will pick up any changes after the rain and this can be disorientating for them. It is also very common for our pups to make an association between a happy and unhappy parent. If you have been unhappy outside in the rain with your dog, they will likely pick up on that. Likewise, they will notice if you are much happier indoors on rainy days. This may have happened accidentally without you knowing. However, this is very simple to change which we will explain later in this blog.

How To Recognize A Scared Dog

A great skill to learn is being able to recognize the signs of an anxious dog. This can be helpful in many situations including spotting dogs scared of rain. Here are the signs to look out for when wondering if your dog is uncomfortable:

  • Shaking 
  • Hiding away
  • Restlessness 
  • Whining
  • Panting
  • Excessive yawning
  • Lip licking

Golden dog looking out of a window at the rain.

We recommend learning how to spot the signs of an anxious dog as you’ll then be able to help them feel better in the situation. After all, no one enjoys feeling anxious do they?

Ways To Help Your Dog

If you have a puppy, you can help them discover rain. Show them the many sounds rain can make, including storms and make this a positive experience with lots of praise and treats. You can do this by using sound recordings, gradually increasing the volume as they become more comfortable with the sound and rewarding them when they stay relaxed. This is known as desensitization and counterconditioning and  will help your pooch to not react to the noises as they become familiar with them. Try to remember that your pup is sensitive to how you are feeling, so try to project enthusiasm for the rain and help your pooch to follow your lead.

Another helpful trick is teaching your puppy that being handled is okay. This is very useful if you need to put a rain jacket on your pup later in life or dry them off when coming inside after a walk. This is an ideal way to introduce your pup to having their paws handled. 

Young woman feeding cute dog inside.

If you have noticed that your dog is worried about the rain or finds storms stressful, make sure to speak to your vet. Your vet can assess whether there are any underlying health issues contributing to this anxious behaviour. A qualified animal behaviourist will also be able to work with you to understand why your dog is scared of rain. They can then help you to make a plan to help your pup cope better.

Alongside help from an animal behaviourist, you could also research calming products for your dog. Our ADAPTIL Calm Collar can help your pup with loud outdoor noises and general fears by releasing natural appeasing messages that comfort and reassure your pup wherever they go! 

Young girl lying on the carpet with her golden retriever in the living room.

Hopefully now you feel better equipped to spot signs your dog is anxious and help them with overcoming their fear of the rain! For any further advice or information, please contact us! We are happy to help and would love to hear from you.

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