A sudden rain shower or rainy weather that sets in for days on end should not prevent you from walking your dog - unless of course your canine friend does not like water. However, Dog ID Collar.com has some tips and other essentials to keep in mind for enjoyable dog walking in the rain for both you and your dog.
6 Tips for Dog Walking in the Rain
1. Assess The Weather Conditions
Light rains and showers are great for dog walks. Cooler temperatures can often make the walking experience far more comfortable. However, not all rainy days make for great dog walks. Thunderstorms are a big NO when it comes to outdoor activities for your dog. Lightning flashes and loud, clapping thunder can stress and unsettle your dog and even result in them developing a fear of thunderstorms. It is best to keep your pet at home and preferably indoors during a thunderstorm.
Walking dog in heavy rain? Torrential rains are also not ideal. Getting drenched within a few seconds of leaving your front door can make for an extremely uncomfortable walking experience. So, check weather reports before you leave and make sure that the conditions will not get progressively worse while dog walking in the rain.
2. The Route
Rainy days lead to increased traffic which results in higher noise levels as well as a greater risk of accidents. Choose a quieter walking route that avoids traffic if you’re dog walking in the rain. For example, a park or walking trail rather than your usual route. Be aware that rain results in poor visibility so make sure that you and your dog are both donned in bright reflective clothing to make you more visible to drivers on the road. Check out Dog ID Collar.com’s personalized, embroidered collars and leashes. Pet identification is so important, especially when the weather isn’t perfect. Visit Dog ID Collar.com and find the best embroidered and personalized pet identification products.
Be aware of puddles and where water is most likely to collect and avoid these areas. A car running through a puddle can drench you and your pup in muddy, dirty water.
Just because it's raining does not mean that your dog won't become thirsty or dehydrated. Make sure to take your usual drinking supplies along for your dog such as a squirt bottle, or a bottle of water and a bowl to drink out of when dog walking in the rain. Don't let your dog drink out of the water puddles on the sidewalks or on the road. These puddles contain all the filth that has collected on the surface including oil, gasoline, exhaust fumes and who knows what else. These can make the water toxic and harmful to your dog. Clean, clear drinking water is best for your furry friend.
4. The Gear for Dog Walking in the Rain
There is plenty of gear that has been designed specifically for dog walking in the rain. However, whether you choose to use this gear is entirely up to you and the comfort of your dog. One of the most popular products is a pair of canine rain boots. Moisture can cause your dogs' paws to become soft and be more conducive to abrasions as the pads make continuous contact with the road or other walking surfaces. It is advisable to keep the paws dry if possible or go for short walks to prevent damaging the paws.
A doggy raincoat may also be a good idea but make sure that it fits properly and does not impede or obstruct the natural walking or running motion. It should be comfortable for your dog and not cause a tripping hazard or chafing. Some rain goggles are useful for long hair dogs or to prevent rain from bothering the eyes.
5. A Warm and Welcome Homecoming
Be ready with some dry towels and prepare an area where your dog can comfortably shake off the water that has soaked its coat on a rainy day walk. Your dog is going to shake and spray what is probably dirty water all over your home, furniture or other belongings. If you don't have an appropriate area where he can do this, cover furniture or carpets with sheets or plastic coverings that can be removed once your dog is satisfied that all excess water has successfully been shaken from its coat.
You may also want to keep a blow dryer handy for after you get done dog walking in the rain. A wet coat can significantly lower the body temperature of your dog and a quick blow-dry is a good way to warm them up quickly and get them dry. You may also want to supply a warm meal or treat for your pet to come home to. This will reinforce dog walking in the rain as a positive activity and give your dog something to look forward to when getting home.
It is very important to assess your dog's temperament when heading out into the rain for a walk. Most breeds are not water-shy, but some individual dogs may be mild to extremely uncomfortable with a walk in the rain. Watch your dog's behavior carefully to assess whether they are showing any negative responses to the water falling from the sky. If they start pulling towards home or suddenly refuse to walk, these are definite signs that your dog does not enjoy dog walking in the rain.
While regular exercise is extremely important for a dog, it is not more important than their psychological and emotional wellbeing. Forcing a frightened or stressed dog to walk in the rain can have negative consequences in the long run such as the dog refusing to take many walks in the future. Rather explore some indoor playtime and fun for a dog that does not like the rain. On the other hand, some dogs may prefer rainy day dog walking.
No matter what people say, dog walking in the rain is not cruel or harmful. If you take the proper precautions and ensure that your pet is comfortable and happy with the experience, neither of you need to allow a little rain to spoil your walking routine. Make sure that you and your dog are visible, well-hydrated, paws protected and that you can look forward to a warm and dry homecoming. Dog ID Collar.com is here for all of your personalized dog collars and leashes needs! Happy walking!