We have lost count of how many days of rain and flooding we have had on the Central Coast, but around three weeks. We know other areas have been hit really badly as well. Our dogs are over the rain (they even look depressed) and everything feels wet, smelly, muddy and disgusting. Does the weather really impact on our dogs mood?
The short answer is YES! Rain impacts on everyone – including dogs and other animals. Have you ever noticed the wildlife disappears during heavy rain. Even our local waterdragon is looking quite depressed today and is attempting to sun himself – his daily ritual – in the rain. However, researching, I was quite interested in just how much rain impacts on our dogs. Mi Dog Guide explains, ‘Recently, studies and theorists have suggested that dogs likely suffer from SAD just like humans do.’
Below are a list of the main triggers for dogs during rain summarised from The Animal Rescue Site. We have added some alternative ideas to help your do.
Not everyone is a fan of walking in the rain. There is an increased slip hazard and the chore of washing long haired dogs.
If you have a hallway, throwing the ball is lots of fun.
Home enrichment ie kibble hiddle in various places around the home.
Kongs frozen for longer enjoyment
Scatter kibble on a deck in a dry area
Lickit mats also frozen for extra enjoyment – use peanut butter, kibble, sardines or anything your dog loves
Hide and seek – get one of the humans to hide and the dog seeks (exercise and fun for everyone).
Pop on a dog movie which will often be a great source of entertainment for your dog.
Many dogs dislike the sound of rain on the roof, especially if it is heavy and the sound of thunderstorms.
Use ‘white noise’ in the house such as radio, music, television
Make sure your dog has a comfy place to hide such as a crate, kennel, cupboard or desk.
Try a thunder jacket to decrease anxiety.
My dogs have currently started pooping on the deck, after we threw out our last two house mats that they chose to poop on first.
Have designated toilet times if you are home, take them out, supervise, walk on the grass yourself.
Have towels by the door for when they come in.
Remove mats from indoors if your dog resorts to pooping and weeing on them.
Try to have an area where the grass is shorter as they may be more comfortable.
Invest in fake grass for indoors which can be hosed off.
Smells are amplified
I had always noticed that my Labrador loves a good sniff after rain. Not all dogs like these stronger smells.
Try to walk on concrete if possible.
Resort to indoor activities.
If your dog likes these additional smells try short walks outside even in your driveway.
Often when a storm starts, many dogs may feel electricity in their coats and get small shocks. Often they will run around the house trying to find a place to get away from it. The Dog People states, Many dog parents believe that it’s the sheer volume of thunder that upsets dogs the most. Some recent studies by scientists and veterinarians in clinical research, however, indicate that the booming sound of thunder is just a small part of what upsets dogs during electric storms.
Vests/Coats can help including thundershirts
Safe place to sleep ie crate
Light mist spray on your dogs
Washing your dog in a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner
Pet wipes or damp washer
The mood of the human
Often we don’t feel quite right when the weather is bad, especially when it drags on for weeks. Our dogs are very connected to us and will then carry that sadness or anxiety as well.
Spend time playing with your dog
Extra cuddles will not go unnoticed.
Invite friends and/or their dogs to come over if your dog is social.
Most of these things are about avoiding the rain, but if you are game, a raincoat on your dog and boots on yourself and just go outside and play. This time will pass (even though it doesn’t feel like it during long periods of bad weather).
We would love to hear your ideas of how you and your dogs cope during bad weather! Meanwhile, hopefully you can find a way of getting through this horrible time!
Remember our page and groups are still operating so if you can’t get out for walks with your Doggie Dates friends, don’t forget to have a chat there with our many wonderful members.