Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
If you don’t like being pelted with rain, why should your
dog be any different? After years of domesticated living with plush
doggie beds and dinner served at precisely six o’clock, it’s no surprise that some pups prefer not to get
their paws wet.
Of course, while some dogs simply don’t like the damp outdoors, others can suffer from a more serious problem:
thunderstorm phobias. Before you cajole your dog out in the rain, it’s important to know the difference.
storm phobias can often sense when bad weather is approaching — hours before you even hear the patter of rain on the roof. They may
pant or pace around the house, hide or cling to their owners. As the storm progresses, the signs can worsen:
dogs may whine or salivate, have accidents indoors and resort to
destroying objects in the household.
It’s not always clear what brings on the
fearful behavior. It may be changes in barometric pressure, static electricity, the crack of lightning bolts or just the sound of wind and rain. Although any
dog can be affected, it occurs more often in herding breeds, such as
German Shepherds and
Collies. Previous bad experiences with storms or loud noises may also contribute to the behavior.
Forcing fearful dogs to go out in the rain will likely make matters worse.
Punishment is never a good idea either, and comforting them during the storm will simply reinforce the behavior. If you think that your dog suffers from thunderstorm phobia, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. He can recommend behavior-modifying techniques to help
reduce your dog’s anxiety. There are even
special thunder coats for dogs that can help them feel more secure as storms approach. In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend medications.
If your dog isn’t showing signs of storm anxiety, it’s perfectly all right to get him out in the rain to do his business. However, leaving him outside until he goes is not only cruel, but it will probably backfire on you. Here are a few tips to help him get his paws wet:
Once you’ve made a successful trip in the rain, towel off your dog and give him
lots of praise. Next time, he may not mind a few raindrops.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Shadow, a pregnant Lab-Terrier mix,
woke up her family when a fire started
near a space heater in their home.
This command can be a useful training
strategy for owners whose kitties are
always underfoot or jumping on counters.
A little bit of caution and preparedness
will go a long way toward helping to keep
your pets safe through the…
When a dog suddenly starts vomiting at
Thanksgiving dinner, SuperVet comes to
the rescue... and for some turkey.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect
on what you love most about your cat —
and to show her some affection…
Before sharing leftover turkey or mashed
potatoes, find out if your favorite holiday
eats are safe or dangerous for…
The Bombay may look like a jaguar, but he’s much more easygoing and laid back than his wild doppelgänger.
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.