If your dog has been acting weird when it rains you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why they act weird when it rains and what you can do to get it to be calmer.
So, why does my dog act weird when it rains? Possible reasons why your dog acts weird when it rains are being fearful, not liking the noises, being wet, triggering a fight or flight response or a change in the air pressure.
There are actually many reasons why it might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why your dog acts weird when it rains
Below are common reasons why dogs act weird when it rains and what would make them more likely to be the cause of your dog doing it.
It could be the case that the rain causes it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it does it more when it rains heavily and when there is also thunder and lightning. In this case, it would help to try to distract it from the rain by giving it things such as bones, toys or chews.
Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than we do, the reason why it starts acting weird could be that it hears the noises much more loudly or possibly that it can hear noises that we can’t.
In this case, you could try to reduce the loudness for it by letting it go in a room where the rain is harder to hear. You could also close the blinds on windows so that the lightning is less noticeable.
If your dog goes outside, when it rains, the reason why it acts weird could be because of being wet. In this case, it might be acting weird to dry off and to warm itself up. It might help to try and help it to dry off with a towel.
Fight or flight response
It might be the case that the sound of the rain gives your dog a fight or flight response where it becomes highly alert quickly in order to be prepared to take action if necessary. This would be more likely if your dog becomes anxious as well when it hears the noises.
A change in the air pressure
If your dog also acts weird when it hears noises such as thunder then it might be because it can sense a change in the air pressure. This is because it will warn it that there is a storm on the way and it might hear the low-frequency noises of the thunder as it approaches (source). This would be more likely if it starts behaving differently before the rain or thunder has even arrived.
You become anxious yourself
Dogs tend to be highly aware of how their owners are feeling. The reason your dog acts weird when it starts raining could be because you get anxious yourself.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about it acting weird when it rains.
If your dog always acts weird when it rains
It would help to consider if it always acts weird when it rains or if it just does it sometimes and what is different when it does not act weird.
For example, if it does it when there is thunder, it would make it more likely to be due to hearing noises. Whereas, if it does it when it gets wet, it would be more likely to be due to being wet.
When your dog first started acting weird
If it did not always act weird when it rains, it would also help to consider if anything else happened when it first started doing it.
For example, if it had to stay outside when it was raining one time, it could be that the rain now makes it anxious and it does not want to get cold again.
What to do about your dog acting weird when it rains
Below are some options you have when getting in to stop acting weird when it is raining.
One thing you can do is to give it desensitization training which is where it learns to get used to hearing the rain and to have positive associations with it.
To do this you could play with your dog while playing the rain noises using the speaker on your phone in the background. Doing this could help to get it to associate the noises with positive things.
Let it go to a quieter room
Another option would be to give it access to a room where the noises are not as loud. Doing so should help to reduce how anxious it becomes when it hears the noises.
Reward it when it shows signs of acting normally
It would also help to encourage it to behave normally by rewarding it when it shows signs of being calm when it is raining and avoiding rewarding it when it acts weird.
Give it distractions
You could also give it things to be distracted with when it is raining. Things you could give it would include toys, bones and chews.