How to Walk Your Dog on a Rainy Day
When it comes to walking your dog in the rain, the main thing is to use common sense — but you may also want to put your pet in water-proof clothing to protect him.
Usually you’ll need to find a way to take them on their daily walk. There are many reasons for it — one of which is so they can do their business, of course.
If your dog is used to going out, he’ll get anxious and restless if he can’t. In that case, the idea will be to take him out but make sure he’s protected at the same time.
General guidelines for enjoying walks on rainy days
You’ll need to make sure it’s a pleasant experience for your dog if you want to prevent unexpected bad behavior in bad weather. Dog trainers suggest not overprotecting the animal, yet on the other extreme not forcing him out in the rain if he doesn’t want to go out. Although the decision depends on your pet, there are things you can do to minimize potential discomfort.
- Choose the place carefully. If the dog doesn’t like getting wet, pick a place that will shield you two from the rain, like wooded areas or overhanging areas of buildings. It is also helpful to opt for areas that aren’t dirt, so your dog doesn’t get all muddy.
- Use positive reinforcement. Dogs love treats and tend to obey their masters’ commands if they think it means a treat. A good tactic may be to offer him his favorite treat as a reward for going out on a rainy day.
- Have a good attitude. You need to be calm so that you can spread that attitude to your pet, even in the midst of a heavy downpour. Learn to enjoy every minute.
- Don’t neglect him. Although it seems obvious, under no circumstances should you leave a pet alone in bad weather.
- Dry your dog after the walk. Once at home, have a towel ready to dry your dog off, especially if he has a lot of fur. Special attention should be paid to the pads of his paws since they they retain moisture and are often overlooked.
- Don’t bathe him as often: When it’s very humid and rainy, it’s not advisable to bathe your dog frequently. Some breeds take too long to dry and it can be bad for their health. In this case, opt for hypoallergenic dry shampoo.
Dog apparel for rainy days
There are now all kinds of clothing on the market meant to protect dogs from the rain. They include:
- Waterproof suit: It must be breathable, but most of all comfortable and not restrictive. It can prevent the infamous wet dog smell.
- Raincoat: Most use velcro and reflective strips to improve visibility and keep them safe.
- Waterproof booties: The booties prevent dampness from building up in the grooves of their paws, which can get irritated by cold and moisture. Many dogs don’t like booties and try to remove them, but they will get used to them. There are made of plastic or neoprene.
- Hats: Hats prevent water from getting into a dog’s eyes. They are very similar to those used by fishermen and are available in different colors. They are made of latex and plastic.
- Trailers: They attach to bicycles and often have rain guards.
- Umbrellas: Umbrellas don’t weigh much and are very practical, attaching to the dog’s harness.
Taking your dog for a walk on a rainy day shouldn’t cause any problems. If the dog is vaccinated, well-nourished, energetic and healthy, nothing will happen to him if he gets wets. However, older dogs and puppies could have problems. Possible health issues include:
- Pneumonia. When it’s too cold out, overexposure can cause severe inflammation of the lower airways and lungs.
- Damage to paw pads. Although they seem hardy and able to withstand any terrain, your dog’s pads are actually quite delicate. If they’re kept damp, they become the perfect breeding ground for fungi and irritation.
- Knots in the fur. If the animal has a lot of long hair, being out in the rain can get it all tangled up. The best thing to do in this situation is to brush your dog regularly.
- Skin conditions. Luckily dogs have a layer of natural protection on their skin. However, excessive exposure to rain can actually make their skin overly dry.