Does Rain Affect Your Pets?

Categories: Cats, Dogs, FAQ, Humane Education

The short answer is yes! Everything from the sound of the rain to the moisture it produces can stress your pet. It’s important to know the physiological as well as psychological differences between you and your pet so that you both can have a safe and happy Northern California rain-filled winter.

  • Dogs can hear four times stronger than we can, meaning the sound of thunder and pouring rain is much louder to them. This increase in noise can cause some dogs to become nervous and overwhelmed. If your dog pants, paces, barks, or hides, they are afraid and need comfort.
  • Like many other animals, cats are also sensitive to and detect subtle changes in the atmosphere’s pressure from rainstorms. Cats will react by finding shelter and may hide indoors.
  • If you have an outdoor kitty, the tendency for cats to hide out of the rain is dangerous because, typically, the most common place for a cat to hide is under cars, which can be dangerous.
  • Don’t let your pets drink rainwater. Rainwater is often swimming with dirt and bacteria that can harm your pet. Especially in urban areas where chemicals are also common.
  • The moisture in the air causes smells to be amplified. The water vapor holds onto the scent molecules longer, causing the smells to be stronger and last longer. So be aware that pets might have more stimulus from all angles during a rainstorm.
  • If your dog runs around the house looking for a place to hide as soon as it starts to storm, it may be experiencing static electricity in its coat. Dogs will run for places that are grounded, like the bathtub, to stop the shock feeling.

If your pet shows signs of anxiety and fear when it rains, there are many treatments to try outside of medication, including pheromone-based calming diffusers and compression vests. But the best medicine for you and your pet is to snuggle up and keep each other cozy until the storm passes.

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