Do Dogs Get Cold In the Rain? Do They Feel Cold When Raining?

Do Dogs Get Cold In the Rain? Do They Feel Cold When Raining?

It might have been a perfect evening to take your puppy out for a walk or go to the dog park. But once you leave the house, the sky will suddenly darken and get ready to pour. No matter how fast you try to get home, when you return, you and the dog will be drenched. And that is when you start to wonder whether dogs get cold in the rain or not.

So, do dogs get cold in the rain? The answer is simple. If you are cold, your pet is too whether it is raining or not. However, when it is raining, their fur coats will quickly absorb the water, leaving them shivering since there is no way to dry off. So once you get home, you will be left with a very soggy pet waiting for you to towel him down. 

You might have already noticed how your dogs feel during or right after a bath. You will feel this when you touch them. And they will be like that until you give them something warm to eat or drink after they are dried.

So if the pet is showing cold symptoms even after a warm bath, what’s there to say more about being drenched in the rain?

Do Dogs Get Cold In the Rain? Do Dogs Feel Cold When Raining?

Many dogs will run and hide even when you take out their towel and shampoo to give them a bath. And I have personally experienced how many dogs literally hate rain. Let me tell you my side of the story.

I walk my pet, an eleven years old Jack Russell, always after sundown. He easily gets spooked by vehicles, and even after eleven years of going for walks, he still hasn’t learned to stay out of the way of vehicles.

But, I assure you that he’s properly trained and was fine the first few years of his life. 

Anyhow, one night, there was a drizzle during his walk. He always gets excited around this time and will not rest until I grab his leash and open the door for him to run outside.

This day, even though I knew there was a drizzle, I had to take Sparkles out. He hadn’t pooped the whole day, and this is when he defecated after having both his meal during the day. So there was no option. 

I decided to take him out for a short walk until he relieved himself. So after drying his towel to dry him out soon after returning, I got him on the leash and opened the door. And at once, after seeing that the day wasn’t dry as it used to be, his excited dance died down instantly. 

I urged him to go out and do his business, but the only reaction I got out of him was a slow wag in his tail and a long stare.

No matter how I tried to make him set his paw out, he wouldn’t budge. And this answered my suspicions about dogs getting cold in the rain. 

So there was nothing I could do but wait till the dead of the night for the rain to stop. When it finally stopped raining, Sparkles was more than happy to go outside. 

I know from experience that my dog hates water. He would shiver even after a warm bath and refuse to go out when it is wet more than he prefers.

I understand him since he has a long-haired fur coat. Once it is wet, it is harder to dry him off without blow drying. 

Don’t get me wrong now. Many dogs tolerate rain or even love playing outside in mud puddles when it is raining. But long-haired dogs tend to feel cold much faster than short-haired breeds.

So drying them out as soon as possible may prevent the pups from hyperthermia-related symptoms. 

Another factor that makes dogs dislike rain is their heightened senses. During the rain, we may not feel the water droplets hitting the ground as an unbearable noise.

And the smells that waft through the air during rain may not make us cover our noses in disgust. At least not all the time. 

But since a dog’s senses are a thousand times more enhanced than ours, they may get irritated with these simple things. 

Is It OK For Dogs To Be In The Rain?

When trying to figure out answers to why dogs get cold in the rain, they need to know whether it is OK for dogs to be in the rain. There is no reason not to let your pup play outside in the rain.

But if the temperature keeps dropping and passes 45 degrees, then that will be a good reason to stop them from playing. Although dogs can tolerate cold weather up to 45 degrees, letting them be out for a prolonged time may result in hyperthermia. 

But make sure that lightning and thunder are not a problem. Some dogs find it highly terrifying when it is thundering. They will run out and hide or even quiver in fear during this time.

If all the factors seem to be positive, including the temperature, you can let your pooch have some quality time in the rain.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Being Outside In The Rain And Cold?

Pneumonia is the biggest threat posed to our pooches by the rain. If the pup is left unattended in the cold weather for a prolonged time, his respiratory tract can get infected. This will ultimately lead to pneumonia

Next, germs and poisons get washed off and collected in puddles, which can also make your pet ill. Everything, including animal pee and feces, gets washed off during rain.

When the pet starts jumping on these puddles, he will get sick. The most frequent symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. 

And as I mentioned above, if the pet is exposed to the cold climate for an unhealthy amount of time, there is again a threat of hyperthermia. Playing in the rain might be fun, but only if the untold rules are followed. 

Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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