Walking is necessary for our canine friends to control their weight, help their mental health, and do their business! However, there is nothing worse than a lingering wet dog smell in the house, especially if your dog friend has long fur.
As it turns out, the smell isn’t the only bad thing that the rain can bring to our dogs. Excessive exposure to the rain can also be quite dangerous for their health, their mental state, and your’s and your dog’s safety.
No one likes cold weather, and walking in it can be an absolute nightmare. All pet parents have had to ask themselves at some point: Should I walk my dog in the rain?
Whether you plan on walking to the local dog park, going on a shorter walk, or even going for a hike, we suggest you follow these top tips to make sure that when you take the dog for a walk in the rain, they are still happy and content.
Walking Your Dog in The Rain
Ultimately, most of us need wellies for dog walking as we often walk our dogs in the rain at some point. For many of us, this is a recurring thing during the colder, wetter months. Dog walks get colder, wetter, and our pups start to get a bit fussy.
Some dogs do seem to enjoy the downpour and are simply happy to get out and enjoy the fresh air. You may have seen the odd dog in the rain that adores getting absolutely drenched!
On the other hand, some do not appear to appreciate the rain quite so much. This could be because they do not like the different smells in the air, that they are afraid of stormy conditions, or simply because they do not like getting wet. If this is the case, you may have asked yourself what’s the best drying jackets for dogs then? More and more owners are seeing their canines get cold and wet and it’s only right you put something on their back to keep them warm, why should they suffer, we don’t!
Some dogs’ fears are correct to a degree in that should they stay outside in the cold and wet for too long, with a thin layer of fur as their only protection, your little pup could catch a nasty cold. It’s all the more reason to invest in a dog umbrella or dog rain jacket.
When Not to Walk Your Pup in the Rain
Although sometimes walking a dog in the rain is inevitable, you should not take your dogs on wet trundles in some cases. Here are a few situations in which you should not be walking your dog in the rain:
- Young puppies: Like human babies, young puppies are more susceptible to catching colds, infections, and other ailments that should be avoided at all costs. Letting them out quickly to do their business is necessary, but do not linger with them while it’s raining.
- Senior dogs: Senior dogs are more likely to have arthritis and joint problems, so taking them out in the damp could make them feel very sore and worsen their condition. Not all water is bad for them, and taking them swimming could do them a lot of good, but rain should be avoided.
- Health issues: As mentioned, some health issues such as arthritis can feel worse for dogs in cold weather. It is important to keep your dog warm, especially if they are suffering from those kinds of ailments.
- Thunderstorms and flooding: This one seems evident as no one should go for a walk in thunderstorms or flooding! But should you decide to, taking your dog could be a reckless mistake? Out of fear, your dog could get away from you in search of a safe area and get lost in the storm.
5 Tips for Pet Owners who Walk Their Dogs in The Rain
Invest in a dog raincoat or dog rain boots
Nowadays, you can buy a waterproof coat for most breeds. A dog raincoat will make a significant difference and are a must for any dog owner who lives in a particularly rainy region.
They make your dog stay dry and help them to relax more over time in the rain. As a bonus, they are also cute and funny to look at!
Some coats even come with a dog umbrella to cover their heads. Would you rather have a wet pet?
Make sure you are visible.
On any walk with a dog, it is vital to be visible on busy streets and town centres. Heavy rainfall can seriously obstruct a driver’s vision, and you and your dog could be in significant danger if you are not well-seen from all sides.
When buying a dog coat, invest in a reflective one as well as a reflective jacket for yourself to better ensure both of your safeties. If you really want to be inventive, see our guide on making a dog drying coat, for tips and inspiration and get your pup is some jazzy colours so they stand out from the crowd.
Keep it short
Even dogs who seem to do well under the rain should not be left out in it for too long. The longer your dog is under the rain, the more likely they are to, at the very least, catch a cold. Exercise is essential, but it would be silly to risk catching a cold in the name of staying healthy! Also, when you get back make sure you dry them quickly with a microfibre towel for dogs, otherwise they sit there shivering trying to dry out when you could have given them a helping hand in the first place.
Use positive reinforcement
Some dogs are naturally afraid of heavy rain. It could be due to a previous bad experience or an embedded fear. Either way, sometimes getting them out is a nightmare. That’s why it’s a good idea to use positive reinforcement. Have them follow you into the rain and reward them with a treat.
Start by taking them on a short walk in a little rain, then gradually increase the length or number of strolls. Starting walking when it’s raining with your dog at a young age is more beneficial than starting later in life.
Also, when you tie velcro straps on their raincoat, make it something fun that they get excited about (like every time you pick up the lead).
Don’t let Fido drink from puddles.
It is always essential to bring a water bottle and a bowl with you on every dog walk. We tend to forget these items during rain showers, and it doesn’t seem as much of a problem as it is when it is hot. This is entirely false!
Your dog is still exercising and will quickly get thirsty. When that happens, they will go to the nearest water source: puddles. These puddles could be filled with all sorts of chemicals from the road, rubbish, and faecal matter from other animals.
You’ll Need a Coat Too
If you want to see a good range of dog walking coats for ladies we recently reviewed the top seven in this detailed guide.
Keeping you and your dog safe on walks should always be priority number one. Most dogs and their owners will have to spend some time walking in the rain together at some point – but walking in the rain doesn’t have to be a dreaded occasion.
Keep Fido dry by getting the right doggy rain gear: a pair of snazzy dog boots for dry paws and a brightly coloured dog raincoat to keep their short or thick coat nice and dry.
Making sure that your dog gets enough exercise on their daily walks is imperative, and you can see a list of other exercises for dogs here but just as you wouldn’t go for a jog in a storm wearing nothing, neither should your furry friend!
Many dogs hate the rain, and you have a chance to make it something that both you and your dogs love with only a small additional cost.
Rainy walks are nice and romantic for couples – but walking your dog when the rain is pouring down? Maybe not so much – your dog might not see it that way, anyway! Treat them to some top-line dog food and they’ll get over it soon!