Walking your dog on rainy days is no small feat. It requires a bit of preparation and planning. But it is possible to keep your pet happy and healthy even when the weather outside is frightful.
Here are some requirements and tips for walking your dog on rainy days.
- Make sure you have the right equipment
The good news is that walking your dog on a rainy day doesn't require any special equipment. However, having certain items will make the experience much easier on both of you.
If you're looking to add some extra gear to your dog-walking arsenal, here are some items that can come in handy:
A raincoat for your pooch – A raincoat for dogs can be a great way to protect against the elements. Or, if you're like me and don't want to spend money on something that might not fit properly or stay on for very long, consider just using a human poncho. These are usually made from breathable material, which is perfect for keeping your pup cool and dry without causing him to overheat from excessive sweating. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to dogs so make sure to pick the appropriate size.
- Dress for the Weather
Make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. Wear rain gear and closed-toe shoes, and consider wearing boots or waterproof shoe covers to keep your feet dry.
- Stay Safe in Wet Conditions
Wet conditions can be slippery, so be careful walking on streets or sidewalks that have a lot of leaves or debris that can cause you to slip or trip. Avoid walking in standing water because it may be contaminated, such as with oil from cars or bacteria from pet waste. If you do encounter wet conditions, avoid holding your dog's leash in your hand so you don't drop it if you fall down. Instead, use a hands-free leash system that wraps around your waist to give you more stability and control over your dog.
- Dog Rain Boots
If your dog needs a little extra protection, consider purchasing some dog rain boots. These boots act as protective gear for your dog’s feet, keeping them dry and preventing any injuries from the wet weather. Some pups may need a little time to get used to wearing boots, but you can help by dressing them in socks with the boots before actually taking them outside.
- Waterproof Leash
While it may not seem like much, a leash that is not waterproof can cause problems for you and your furry friend when walking in the rain. It is important to make sure that the leash you are using is waterproof so that it can withstand the wet weather without causing any problems while walking or training your pup.
- Be Mindful Of Thunderstorms And Loud Noises
Don't just look at the weather forecast — listen to it. If there are thunderstorms or other severe weather events in the forecast, reschedule your walk for another time. While rain itself won't bother most dogs, loud noises like thunder and fireworks can trigger an anxiety attack in some dogs. Be sure to check not only the weather report but also alerts from local law enforcement agencies about fireworks displays near your home that might occur during your planned walk time.
- Watch Out For Slippery Surfaces, Like Pavement And Rocks
Watch out for slippery surfaces, like pavement and rocks. Your dog's feet may slip on wet surfaces; you should be aware of this and adjust your pace accordingly. If your dog is older, or has arthritis, he may not be able to handle the increased activity level required.
- Keep Your Dog Warm Afterward With A Towel Dry
When you get home (or back to wherever you're staying), grab a towel and dry your dog off as best as possible — especially if he doesn't like being wet. Some people actually use hair dryers for this purpose, although that might seem unwise if you have an active pup who thinks it's playtime! If nothing else, make sure the towels are specifically for drying and not ones that you'll use again without washing first, because they'll probably get muddy even if your pup isn't playing outside.
- Don't walk your dog if you're not feeling great.
If you're sick or feel like you might be getting sick, don't take your dog for a walk. Dogs pick up on everything that their owners are feeling and are especially in tune with how their owners are feeling physically. So, if you're not feeling well and decide to take your dog for a walk anyway, he may sense that something isn't right and will want to stay close by your side. This can make walking on sidewalks more difficult, as your dog may end up underfoot
- Check for ear infections and clean his ears regularly
The water from rain can cause ear infections. Do a quick check for any swelling, redness, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, take him to the vet for a proper diagnosis.
Clean his ears regularly with a dog-appropriate cleaner and cotton balls to keep it healthy.
- Wash your dog with dry shampoo
If you don’t want to wash your dog in the rain, use a dry shampoo. Dry shampoo will remove wetness and dirt from your dog's coat. You just need to spray it on his coat and rub it in with a towel. Dry shampoo will keep your dog fresh and clean until you get home to give him a bath.
- Don’t let your dog get soaked in the rain.
If possible, keep the dog out of the rain as much as possible when he is outside. At least try to keep him dry by using an umbrella or something similar. If he does get wet, make sure he doesn’t get too cold or sick from the rainwater.
- Make Sure they are dry
If you have a long-haired or thick-coated dog, you will need to make sure he is dry before going back inside or he could experience hypothermia. Smaller dogs with thin coats will also need to be dried off after a walk in cold weather. Blankets and towels are great for drying off your pup when you get home from a walk. Make sure that you feed him well before taking him out so that he doesn’t get too cold.
Those of us who love dogs know that they are one of the best beings to ever walk this Earth. They give happiness to us in our darkest hours, keep us well exercised, and provide companionship. Regardless if you own a dog or not, we should all do our part in making sure that they remain happy, healthy animals. That also means that you need to make sure your own dog is safe in bad weather conditions. Keep these tips for walking a dog on a rainy day in mind.