Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much on Rainy Days?

Dogs are among the best pets you can ever have. Most dogs are super energetic during the day and always want to play. But on rainy days, those exact same dogs may choose to sleep all day rather than wanting to play or be energetic.

So, why do dogs sleep so much on rainy days? What causes this behavior, and should you be worried about it?

The reasons why dogs sleep so much on rainy days vary from their instincts telling them to stay inside to them finding the sound of rain hitting the windows relaxing. They can also be influenced by their owners, who might be hiding away from the wet and rainy weather.

This article will delve deeper into four reasons dogs may sleep so much on rainy days.

We will also discuss reasons people suggest why dogs sleep on rainy days that are more than likely false (sadly, the internet is full of bad information about canine behavior).

Reasons Why Dogs Sleep So Much on Very Rainy Days

  1. Dogs often imitate their owners.
  2. Dogs instinctively take shelter when it’s raining.
  3. Dogs may find the sound of rain relaxing.
  4. Dogs may not want to get muddy paws or a wet coat.
  5. Dogs may get bored being stuck inside when it’s raining.

1. Dogs Often Imitate Their Owners

Have you ever slept more or slept in when it’s pouring rain? Dogs are inherently pack animals, and their owners are part of their “pack.”

This means that dogs often copy or imitate the behavior of others within the pack. So, for example, if you have a habit of sleeping or being lazier on rainy days, your dog may emulate you and also sleep more.

Interestingly, while our dog’s sleeping pattern is similar to ours, they only spend about 10% of their overall sleep time in REM compared to humans spending about 25% of sleep in REM.

Getting enough REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is key to staying awake and waking up refreshed and ready to take on the world.

2. Dogs Instinctively Take Shelter When It’s Raining

What would a pack of wild dogs or wolves do during a rainstorm? They’d probably go for shelter or cover.

Therefore, instinctually, domesticated dogs would also want to take cover when it’s raining heavily. However, take note that wild dogs are much less likely to seek shelter when it is lightly raining or if the downpours are brief and far between.

Another reason a dog’s instincts may tell them to go inside and take shelter while it’s raining is that dogs are often predators in the wild. It is extremely rare to find prey of any sort out and about when it’s raining, so there is no point for predators to go hunting in inclement weather.

3. Dogs May Find the Sound of Rain Relaxing

Have you ever been lulled into a sleep from the sound of the rain hitting your windows? The sound of rain can help people relax in even the most stressful situations if they are in the right mindset.

Like the first point, dogs pick up on their owner’s feelings and behaviors, sometimes emulating their owners. So if you find the sound of rain soothing, your dog may as well.

The fact that the heat is turned up when it’s raining may also affect your dog’s sleep as sleep comes more quickly in warm and cozy environments.

This point does not apply to all dogs; some dogs may hate the sound of rain or even be terrified by it!

4. Dogs May Not Want To Get Muddy Paws or a Wet Coat

Some dogs don’t like having muddy paws or wet coat. It just seems to be an instinct that they have.

So if it is raining all day, apart from a potty break, they might not feel tempted to go outside and play.

5. Dogs May Get Bored Stuck Being Inside When It’s Raining

Being stuck inside to stay out of the rain can get boring, especially after a long period. One way to combat this boredom is to go to sleep.

If you think your dog is sleeping so much on rainy days because they are bored, try playing some games to keep them active inside.

If you want to make mealtimes more interesting, you could get a puzzle feeder to make your dog work or give them a Kong toy for a treat.

Or you could play tug-of-war with your dog. It is a great game to play when you don’t have a lot of space to run around and a favorite game for lots of dogs.

Some Possible False Reasons Why Dogs Sleep So Much on Rainy Days

You will often see people explaining why dogs sleep a lot when it’s raining with false reasons: primarily that there is less oxygen when it rains or that the rain produces negative “ions” that make dogs and humans sleepy.

Note that there is no objective scientific evidence backing up these theories. There are no scientific experiments or studies observing these theories.

Let’s have a look at what these likely false claims state.

1. There Is Less Oxygen in the Air When It Rains

Supposedly, the air pressure lowers when it rains, and water moisture content increases. This increased moisture content apparently decreases the amount of oxygen in the air. This reduced oxygen allegedly makes people and dogs sleepy.

In fact, the concentration of oxygen in the air already varies based on location and elevation. While there may be a decrease in oxygen concentration in the air, the percentage differs from place to place and is not significant enough to make humans and or canines sleep all day.

2. Rainy Weather Creates Negative Ions That Make Dogs Sleepy

Another theory that is not thoroughly studied or proven is that rainy weather creates negative ions, making humans and dogs sleepy.

According to one article, these negative ions create lightning. They are also present in the friction between the rainwater and the air as the rain falls.

Also, negative ions improve the body’s nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. These improvements create a sense of well-being and relaxation that can make you and your dog sleepy.

The relationship between negative ions and lightning is actually the reverse of this.

According to a 2018 study, negative ions are created from thunderstorms and lightning’s high electric field conditions. The article was relatively correct about how negative ions affect the body, though.

There are very few studies investigating how negative ions affect how sleepy dogs may be.

Before we carry on, you might also enjoy this video asking why do dogs sleep so much?

 

Could There Be a Health Reason Why Your Dog is Sleeping So Much?

Before we wrap up this post, it is worth noting that dogs may sleep more when sick. This isn’t directly related to rainy days but is still worth mentioning.

If your dog starts sleeping more than usual and shows other signs that they might be unwell – loss of appetite, aggression, excessive thirst, etc. – you should take them to the vet for a check-up.

If you are in financial difficulty and are worried about vet bills, this website has helpful resources for charities to help you pay your bills. (If you don’t live in the US, you can use Google to find similar help in your country).

Final Notes On Why Dogs Sleep So Much When It Rains All Day

Sometimes energetic dogs sleep throughout the day on rainy days. This may be for various reasons, from dogs imitating their owners to dogs not wanting to deal with getting wet or muddy.

If your dog has recently started sleeping a lot more and exhibits other signs of being unwell, you should take them to the vet for a check-up.

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