Why Do Dogs Sleep More When It Rains? (4 Good Reasons!)

Have you noticed your dog sleeping more when it’s raining?

It might seem strange to connect the weather outside with how much a dog sleeps inside, but there is a connection. In fact, there are actually 4 good reasons (and 2 popular myths!) to explain why dogs sleep more when it rains.

Read on to find out why your dog gets extra sleepy on rainy days.

4 Reasons Why Dogs Sleep More When It Rains

There isn’t just one reason why dogs sleep more when it rains. There are actually 4 different effects that rain has on your dog, with each factor potentially causing them to sleep a bit more on rainy days.


The number one reason why dogs sleep more when it rains is instinct.

Think about it: If your dog was living in the wild, what would the pack do on a rainy day? If the rain was heavy, and assuming they were safe and had eaten enough already, they’d find shelter and rest.

This behavior can also be seen in wolves, which are of course close relatives of domestic dogs. Wolves might not bother sheltering in light rain, or brief downpours, but if there’s sustained rainfall, they’ll find somewhere to relax until the rain stops.


Dogs feel safest (and sleepiest!) when they are in a cosy, warm environment. That’s why dogs will often lie down in front of the fire or snuggle into a warm blanket.

When it’s raining, it’s also usually cold and windy. This can make your dog extra inclined to find a warm cosy place to have a nice deep sleep.

One sign that your dog is enjoy a really great sleep is that they might stick their tongue out while sleeping. This can also be a sign that your dog is feeling warm.

Relaxing sounds

Do you enjoy being inside on a rainy day? Perhaps you like hearing the sound of rain on the window, safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to go outside!

Well, the sound of rain can cause a similar relaxing effect in dogs too.

This might not be true for all dogs. In fact, some dogs actively dislike the sound of rain. But it’s certainly possible for a dog to associate the sound of rain with feeling cosy and safe indoors, just like humans often do.

Human Influence

This is a really important reason why dogs sleep more when it rains, and a reason that is often overlooked.

Dogs are pack animals and you are part of their pack. Dogs respond to the pack, often copying the behavior of other dogs and humans in their household.

So, think about what you do when it rains? Are you really active? Do you go outside in the rain? Or are you more likely to stay inside where it’s warm and dry?

In most cases, you probably stay inside, at least more than you might if it was nice and sunny outside.

Dogs pick up on this behavior and copy it. If they learn that you go out less when it rains, they’ll see and hear the rain, assume they’re not going anywhere that day, and settle down to rest instead. They might even relax into a deep sleep and enjoy a tail-wagging dream!

2 Reasons That Probably Aren’t True!

There are two more theories for why dogs sleep more when it rains, which you will probably see on some other websites.

  1. Rain decreases the amount of oxygen in the air and makes humans and dogs sleepy
  2. Rainy weather produces negative ions, which are “relaxing”

Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence to back up either of these theories.

At Dogtelligent, we aim to offer smart, scientifically-verified advice. That’s why we’re discounting the two reasons above and sticking with our original answer:

Your dog sleeps more when it rains because they have an instinct to stay in the warm and dry – where they feel cosy and relaxed compared to the rainy, wet and cold outdoors – and because they mirror your behavior, which probably involves staying indoors and generally doing less when it rains.

John Lowery

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