A rainy day seems like the perfect excuse to cuddle up in a blanket and spend a day lazing around in doors. Your dog seems quite happy to join you in snuggles under the covers. They may typically be energetic, but seem to be tired or sleep more often when it rains.
Do dogs sleep more in rainy weather?
Do you find your dog spending more time snoozing when it’s pouring outside? Many dogs do sleep more when it rains. There are several reasons for this, from instinct to the way their owner reacts when it rains.
When it rains, the air is at low pressure and contains water vapor. The moisture contained in the air when it rains reduces the amount of oxygen in the air.
This reduced oxygen makes humans sleepier. It’s likely it has a similar effect on dogs.
Rain increases the amount of negative ions in the air. These negative ions create lightning, but they are also present due to the friction of water and air when rain falls.
These negative ions improve the nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. This creates a sense of well-being and relaxation that can make you, or your dog, sleepy.
Dogs are born from wolves, and maintain many of the same evolutionary instincts. Prey is likely to seek shelter when it rains, making hunting difficult.
Wild wolves and dogs must conserve their energy when possible. Their next meal is never a certainty, and hunting requires energy, which requires food.
Because the chances of catching prey in the rain is slim, dogs have evolved to conserve their energy by resting or sleeping during inclement weather.
Dogs have been bred to conform to their human counterparts. Your dog will likely adopt your sleeping schedule, and learn to be active when you are.
This also means that your dog will likely be sleepy when you are. They are very attuned to our moods and feelings, both physical and emotional. If rain makes you want to spend the day indoors in your pj’s, your dog will likely sleep more as well.
Dogs need mental and physical stimulation. When they don’t get enough, they get bored, just like we do. Dogs can handle boredom in different ways, with one of them being sleeping.
You may find yourself doing the same thing when it’s a rainy day and you don’t have anything to do.
Dislikes Wet Paws
I hate having wet feet. I roll my pants legs up when it’s raining, or wear boots to keep my feet dry. There’s nothing worse than pulling my shoes off and having wet pant legs against my skin. Many dogs are the same way. They hate wet paws.
There is an evolutionary reason for this. Puddles can carry bacteria which are harmful to your dog. If they get their paws wet and then lick them, they can ingest the bacteria, which can make them sick.
Muddy paws are also slick, which makes it harder for your dog to walk. You don’t like it when your feet slip in water or mud, so it’s understandable that your dog doesn’t like it either. This can also drive them to keep their paws clean and dry by staying indoors.
Your dog may sleep more when it’s raining because they want to avoid trips outdoors. If they are up and moving around, odds are that they will need a potty break. If they nap most of the day, they can reduce the amount of times they go out.
Do dogs think about it to that degree? Probably not. It’s more likely that they are simply sleeping out of boredom, but who knows?
Does the rain make dogs tired?
The rain does seem to make many dogs tired. You may notice your dog sleeping more due to the reasons listed above. However, it’s also possible for them to be relaxed and less active, without sleeping the day away.
Humans are usually either awake or asleep. You may find yourself in a light doze during a nap or a movie, but it’s not part of your regular sleep pattern.
Dogs, on the other hand, sleep differently. We spend 25% of our time sleeping in REM, which is deep and restful sleep. Dogs only spend 10% of their time in REM, and have much shorter sleep cycles.
This makes it easy for them to wake up and be instantly alert. It’s rare to see a dog shaking their head to wake up, or seeming dazed after a good night’s sleep. Humans, however, need some time to move from sleeping to full consciousness.
Dogs are also capable of dozing, and do so often. They aren’t completely asleep during these times. Instead, they are half awake. They have awareness of what’s going on around them, but are in a relaxed semi-sleep state.
A rainy day is a perfect time for doggie dozing. Your dog may be tired due ot the rain, or simply enjoying the relaxation.
Sound of Rain
The effect of rainfall and other soothing sounds on humans has been well studied. Youtube videos, noise machines, and cellphone apps all promise better sleep through soft repetitive sounds like rain.
The sound also affects your dog. The sound of rain falling can cause anxiety in some dogs, but other dogs find it very relaxing. It calms their nervous system and promotes relaxation.
This relaxed state can make them appear tired, but they are actually just relaxed. Think of how you feel after a long bath or a massage. That slightly sleepy, relaxed feeling is quite similar to the way your dog feels listening to the pitter patter of raindrops.
Few things are as enjoyable as climbing under a warm blanket or walking into a warm house after being in the cold. Many dogs enjoy the feeling of warmth as well.
The contrast of the coolness outside and the warmth of where they are can create a pleasant cozy feeling that can make them relaxed and a bit tired. Or perhaps they simply don’t want to move from their warm spot to be active.
Why does my dog sleep in the rain?
Have you ever seen a dog that wouldn’t get into their dog house when it was raining? Have you wondered if you should bring your dog in when it rains, even though they seem to enjoy it? As much as many dogs want to stay inside when it rains, other dogs are perfectly happy to play or even sleep in the rain.
Your dog’s coat will play an important role in whether or not they enjoy the rain. If your dog has a long thick coat, they are much more likely to enjoy the rain than a dog with a short coat.
Dogs with a long coat are better equipped to handle the elements, including the rain.
Some dogs enjoy the rain when the weather is warm, but want to be outside when the weather is chilly. Water is typically colder than our body temperature, so when it gets on the skin, it pulls away some of our body heat.
The same thing happens to your dog, particularly if they have a short coat. A longer coat provides much better insulation from heat loss.
Some dogs love the extra stimulation they get when it rains. Smells linger longer and travel farther when there’s moisture in the air. Dogs sense of smell is 1,000-100,000 times greater than ours. It’s understandable that they love their enhanced smelling capability in the rain.
Working dogs who use their noses, like german shepards and hound dogs may have a particular affinity for the smells during the rain.
Some dogs just love water. They wag their tail when you mention a bath. They will happily go for a swim in the lake. If your dog loves water, it’s not surprising they also love rain. They get to get wet.
Does the weather affect dog behavior?
Weather has a significant impact on your dog’s mood. Different types of weather will have different effects, depending on your dog’s breed and personality.
You may of heard of seasonal depression in humans, commonly called SADD. There are a few theories about the cause, but most experts believe it’s due to reduced activity and less sunlight, which lowers vitamin D levels.
There’s little research on whether or not dogs experience a similar condition. However, one study found that 40% of dog owners reported a dip in their dogs’ mood during the winter months.
Bad weather can cause severe anxiety in dogs. Their ears are much more sensitive than ours, so thunder or other loud noises can be quite scary.
It’s possible there’s also an evolutionary component. In the wild, dogs are at risk of lightning strikes if they are out in the open during a storm. Their instinct to hide from thunder may help to keep them safe.
Dog’s coats can also pick up static electricity during storms, which causes them to get shocked when they move.
Dogs can be divided into two camps. Summer dogs and winter dogs. Summer dogs seem happier and more active during the summer months. They don’t mind the heat, and want to be outdoors soaking up the sun.
Dogs who prefer winter will be less active during the summer. They typically have a lower heat tolerance.
Generally, short-haired breeds prefer summer. However, some brachiatric breeds may prefer cooler temps because it’s easier for them to breathe. Body mass also plays a role. Lean muscular dogs will prefer summer, and husky dogs generally prefer winter.
Even dogs that enjoy the heat can get sluggish or even grumpy in very hot weather. It’s important to keep an eye on your dog when it’s hot. If they seem fatigued or are panting heavily, it’s time to cool them off.
Remember that the pavement can get much hotter than the air temperature, and your dog’s paws can get burned. You can test the walking surface by placing your hand on it. If you can’t leave your hand on the pavement for more than a few seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on. Keep them in the grass or get some dog booties for summer.
Dogs that enjoy cool weather will have an extra spring in their step as temperatures begin to drop. They may love the snow or the rain. They may want to go outside when you’d much rather stay in.
Long-haired or double-coated breeds generally love the cold. Huskies and Eskimo spitz are a few breeds who are happy in cold temperatures.
Even long-haired dogs can get frostbite on their paws. If the temperatures are below freezing, consider using paw wax like musher’s secret, or giving them dog booties. This will protect their sensitive paws from the cold and snow.