Many dogs will just walk right through a puddle and ignore the rain, whereas others act like they'll melt if they get drizzled on. It makes you wonder if dogs like rain. Sure, some do, but there are just as many dogs that absolutely loathe it. There are five common reasons dogs refuse to go out in the rain, though not all of them are related to the threat of getting wet.
1. Some Dogs Don't Like to Get Wet
Like us, all dogs have preferences, and some just don't like being wet. They're usually the same ones who refuse to get in the baby pool at doggy daycare and dread bath time. A lot of this comes down to exposure. If your dog wasn't introduced to water in a positive way as a puppy, it'll feel unfamiliar or even scary for your dog. That could explain why they don't like the rain.
2. They Don't Like the Loud Noise
Even though you might find the sound of rain soothing, it can be a little too much for your pup. Dogs have a highly developed sense of hearing, so every noise is amplified for them. The tinkering of rain hitting the room could sound like enormous hail pelting down. Plus, rain is often accompanied by thunder, which many dogs fear.
3. Your Dog Has Learned to Dislike Rain
It's possible you could have unintentionally taught your dog to dislike rain. Do you grunt and groan anytime it starts to pour? Dogs are incredibly intuitive, so it's not hard for them to pick up on these negative associations.
But it's not just the drizzle they might have associated with something negative. It could be the aftermath, too. For example, maybe your dog was scolded for walking through the house with muddy feet once, and now they worry that rain equals being reprimanded.
Creating a good experience before, during, and after any walks in the rain is a great way to use positive reinforcement to help your dog cope with rainy days.
4. They Sense the Barometric Pressure Changes
The atmospheric or barometric pressure drops any time it rains, and dogs can actually sense these changes before the storm even rolls in. The changes in pressure can make a dog feel uncomfortable or agitated, just as they could cause a headache in humans. So it might not be the rain your dog actually hates. It might just be the atmospheric changes.
5. They're Sensitive to Cold
A lot of dog breeds were made for cold weather, but just as many hate being chilled. This is especially common in toy breeds, dogs with short or sparse hair, and those that don't have a lot of body fat. They'd much rather stay in their warm, dry home than venture out into the chilly rain. Can you blame them?
How You Can Help
Some dogs will probably always dislike going out on rainy days. But with some tender love and care, you might be able to get your dog to feel comfortable with it. First, address any anxiety they might have about rain by creating positive associations with it. Give your dog treats and praise when they're calm while it's raining.
Next, take them for a short walk around your yard or neighborhood when it's raining. Only stay out for a few minutes and keep them distracted with their favorite toy and treats the whole time. When you come in, immediately towel them down and get them dry. As long as they stay calm, you can give them more treats and praise. Do this a few times, and your dog's dislike of rain may not be so bad.
Prep Your Dog for Rainy Days
Do some detective work to figure out why your dog dislikes the rain so much. Do they hate being cold? Is it the sensation of the water on their face? Are they afraid of thunder? With this knowledge, you can come up with solutions to help keep your dog dry and happy. Try cozying up with your dog inside, and just watch the rain through a window. Who knows? They might learn to love it.