Do Groundhogs Come Out In the Rain? (Groundhog Behavior)

  • Author: Carl
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Groundhogs do not come out in the rain – at least by choice. They typically have 4-5 burrows per groundhog, giving them plenty of options for shelter. What’s more, each burrow is designed to be rain-proof.

How? A series of small tunnels lead to the main burrow. These can, indeed, get wet, from rain, but won’t reach the burrow itself.

So, what happens when it rains? You’re right enough that groundhogs do not appreciate rainy weather. At least, they don’t like being in the rain. Instead, they hide in their burrows until after.

Then, they come out and lick the rain off of the grass, for a quick, fresh drink!

Groundhog looking for food
Groundhogs eat bugs

Do Groundhogs Come Out In the Rain?

So, do groundhogs come out in the rain? Will you ever see a groundhog in the rain?

Typically, You won’t. Groundhogs are very good at making themselves scarce in rainy weather. This being said, you may occasionally observe one leaving one burrow for better shelter in another. Typically, groundhog’s burrows are ingeniously designed to avoid getting wet in inclement weather.

To each burrow, there are several tunnel options. This means if one gets too wet, there are a few other ways to enter.

When it comes to maintaining a dry burrow, this really does the trick!

Do Groundhogs Like to Get Wet?

Groundhogs do not like getting wet. They make their burrows with plenty of thought to rain and/or cold weather! The Earth of their burrow absorbs most of the water without getting wet. It’s rare for there to be a flaw or leak in a groundhog shelter.

If there is, they will simply move on to another of their burrows, and fix it later! This is actually quite convenient in the long run since damp dirt is easier for groundhogs to dig through – so patching up an old tunnel after rain is no trouble, really.

Groundhog sharp teeth
Groundhog teeth

You won’t see a groundhog wasting their time patching a tunnel during the weather, of course.

They will find another dry spot or burrow, and fix it up after!

What Do Ground Hogs Do In Heavy Rain?

What about a groundhog in the rain if it’s particularly heavy? Will their burrows flood? Thankfully, not.

This is one of the main things that groundhog burrows defend against. That’s not to say that every burrow is perfect, and even the best burrow may give in to inclement weather.

In very heavy rain, the soil gets so wet that the tunnels may begin to drip. While it’s very rare for the burrow in the middle of the tunnels to get wet, leaks like this are certainly not unheard of.

In a particularly heavy storm, it’s possible a groundhog will want to leave a burrow with a leaking tunnel for one that is perfectly dry. Or, if it’s raining too hard, they may not care or bother! 

Finding Different Shelter 

If a tunnel or two spring a leak, the groundhogs within may choose to look for another shelter.

Usually, this will be another, closely-located burrow, but sometimes they may settle for a log, under human yard equipment, or another shelter.

Walking A Dog In The Rain
Walking A Dog In The Rain

They do seem to prefer to stick to their clever little burrows, however!

Groundhogs Often Come Out Once the Rain is Over

While groundhogs make themselves scarce when it rains, you’ve got a pretty good chance of seeing one once the rain is over.

Groundhogs don’t love getting wet and will avoid the falling drops religiously.

Do Groundhogs Climb Trees?
Groundhogs Climbing Trees

Once the rain stops, they have been known to enjoy the raindrops on grass and plants, however! It’s not strictly necessary, considering that groundhogs get most of their moisture from plants.

With this in mind, it seems like they drink the dops just because it refreshes them, or accidentally as they eat their usual fare (greens and bugs, primarily).

Do Groundhogs Like Water?

As a matter of fact, groundhogs do not require water. Instead, they get their moisture from the plants that they eat. Grubs and snails are also a good source of hydration, which they consider a protein-filled snack.

Do groundhogs like water? This depends on the situation. As we covered above, they are not overfond of rainwater (at least, while it’s falling)!

If they have to, groundhogs can be very good swimmers – a necessary skill for survival. That is, groundhogs don’t swim for fun.

Are Groundhogs Dangerous?
Groundhog eating habits

They do prefer their fur fluffy and dry. Rather, groundhogs will swim in order to reach a source of food or to escape a predator. So, in general, no, groundhogs do not like water.

At best, it is useful, at worst, a nuisance, in their book!

Can Groundhogs Drown In Their Burrow?

As a matter of fact, groundhogs cannot be drowned. They build their burrows ingeniously, so a hose placed in a hole will not flood a burrow. Instead, it will merely get one of their tunnels wet. The other tunnels will remain intact, as will the burrow itself.

Even a heavy rainstorm is unlikely to cause any water damage; at best, a tunnel or two may leak!

Final thoughts

So, understandably (with all that fur to get wet), groundhogs do not come out in the rain. They much prefer to stay in their burrows, where it’s warmer and drier!

These burrows are also expertly made to keep out water, with a series of intricate tunnels leading to the primary burrow!

So, you will not see groundhogs during a rainstorm, typically. At best, you’ll see a wet groundhog scurrying for better shelter! You’re much more likely to see them after the rain.

Give it a few minutes, and they may emerge. What’s more, they may even drink droplets of rainwater – a cute sight. This said, groundhogs do not like to get wet, but can swim if needed.

Sometimes, swimming is required in order to escape a predator!