Whether your canine is energetic and young or slower and senior, regular walks form a fundamental part of every dog’s health and wellbeing. Dogs need a significant amount of activity and exercise every day. But should you be taking your dog for a walk when it is raining out? If yes, what are some essentials that you need to keep in mind?
It depends on the situation. Since rain differs from mere sprinkling to full-on intense downpours, there are some extra precautions that every pet parent should take into consideration before heading for a walk.
In this blog post, we will address some of the most common challenges pet owners can overcome by keeping a rainy-day essentials checklist for their canine companions.
Can Your Dog Walk in the Rain?
Depending on the breed of your pet, some dogs require more exercise than others. For most breeds, however, daily walks are a great way to meet their exercise goals while also keeping the animal mentally stimulated and happy.
Unfortunately, some seasons make way for wetter weather with rain showers at higher rates than is usual, making your plans for a daily walk seem bleak. During those times, extra steps can be taken to let your dog still enjoy a nice walk outside and experience some post-rain fresh air.
Can Dogs Get Sick from the Rain?
According to a survey conducted by ManyPets, 29% of dog owners say that their dogs don’t like the rain. But only 7% of them avoid walking their dogs in the rain. With so many dog parents heading for a walk in the rain, you may wonder whether the pups can get sick from being in the rain.
Overall, if you have a perfectly healthy and strong pooch, the rain does not inherently pose a danger for them. This is especially true for dogs with a thick coat that keeps them warm and protects them from getting soaked.
A dog with a thinner coat is more susceptible to getting wet quicker. Owing to this, you may want to consider investing in some essentials for walking your dog on a rainy day such as the ones mentioned in this article.
Where you live also is a matter of consideration before taking your dog for a rainy-day walk. Depending on your location, stagnant water in puddles sometimes host pathogens that have the potential of causing giardiasis and leptospirosis. Most dogs splash in puddles without getting sick later on. But if your dog exhibits signs of an illness, such as vomiting and diarrhea, shortly after walk, it could be worth looking into.
5 Top Essentials for Rainy Day Dog Walking
1. Invest in a Raincoat
A dog raincoat is an extremely useful – and adorable – rainy day essential to have. It may seem silly at a glance – after all, don’t all dogs love splashing around in the water and getting wet?
However, when fitted properly, a raincoat can be your dog’s best friend on a rainy day. It can keep them dry and comfortable while they walk freely in the wet and cold weather. It can also save pet parents significant drying-off time when they come back home from a walk. Be sure to pick out the appropriate size of raincoat for your particular dog so that they remain comfortable and cheerful on their walk.
2. Choose a Waterproof Dog Leash
While you are looking at dog raincoats, you should also consider buying a good-quality waterproof dog leash. There is nothing worse than grasping onto a dripping wet dog leash that begins to smell like a wet dog.
Purchasing a waterproof dog leash will ensure that you can comfortably go for a walk on a rainy day without worrying about a soggy leash. You can enjoy the crisp cool air while your dog prances around in the puddles, wagging its tail with joy. These leashes are also super easy and convenient to clean and keep the post-walk drying and washing to a minimum.
3. Wear a Bright and Reflective Leash and Collar
Visible and bright colors are always important for any animal’s safety, regardless of what the weather is like. But when it comes to the rainy weather, they can be downright essential.
Rain automatically reduces driver visibility to a great extent, which leaves a bigger room for error and, consequently, accidents. Therefore, when heading for a walk in the rain, take extra care in terms of what your dog should be wearing.
A reflective collar will make it easier for people – especially drivers – to spot your little friend as it is going to make them stand out more easily amongst the blue and gray tones of the weather. If possible, you should also be wearing bright and reflective clothing for that added bit of protection and safety.
4. Put on Some Paw Rain Boots
Just when you think your pup couldn’t get any cuter, put them in some rain boots and get ready to squeal with joy!
Doggy boots are a perfect rainy day essential to have on hand to keep your pup’s adorable paws nice and dry during a walk. The rain boots will also keep their feet mud-free if they happen to walk in the woods or on a surface where the cement has gotten wet due to the rain.
Providing even more protection, paw boots will also help your dog remain safe from sharp rocks and stones, thorns, and other similar objects that can potentially cause injury to their delicate paws.
5. Keep an Absorbent Towel on Hand
Probably one of the most important things to have on hand while taking your dog out on a wet day is an absorbent microfiber towel.
Microfiber towels are typically made of hundreds of fine strands which allows them to have a more porous and sponge-like surface. A good-quality, thick microfiber towel can dry even the soggiest of doggies.
These kinds of towels are a lot more absorbent than your regular old hand-me-downs that are made from cotton. Due to this, you will be spending less time drying your pup’s floppy ears and more time relaxing in the warmth of the fireplace. You also won’t have to suffer through the soggy doggy smell as a good microfiber towel dries incredibly fast.
How to Walk Your Dog in the Rain
While the light drizzling on a nice spring day may not pose many complications, it is important to take extra measures when walking your dog during the cold autumn or winter rain.
In addition to the essentials mentioned above, there are other ways you can improve the experience of your dog when heading out for a short walking trip.
Shorten the Duration of the Walk
Keeping your dog’s walk shorter on a rainy day is perfectly acceptable as it will help limit the amount of risks your pup can be exposed to. Decreasing the duration of the walk can also be beneficial for your dog since they could be drenched in the cold water in a matter of seconds.
This cold water can make them vulnerable to getting ill. Moreover, it can weigh them down, leaving them uncomfortable for the entirety of the walk.
It can be hard to work out the amount of time you should cut down from your walking trip. A good practice is to follow your pet’s lead and see what seems right to them based on how they react to the rain.
Pick an Alternate Route When Necessary
Along with shortening the rainy-day walk, a good tip is to stay in your local area for a streamlined stroll rather than going somewhere like a forest or a village for a lengthy walk.
Take some time to scope out a few alternate routes that might be safer for you and your dog in the rain. This could include steering clear of hilly areas or parks since dirt areas could be slippery and muddy.
Well-paved, flat streets are the best route to opt for when going for a walk on a drizzly day.
Keep a Distance from Puddles
During the days when it’s raining cats and dogs and your pooch is more likely to become wet, it is recommended to keep away from puddles as much as you possibly can.
While you should always keep an eye on what your doggy is getting up to while walking, it never hurts take some extra care in the rain as water from the puddles can carry bacteria and harm your pet if they ingest it in any way.
Warm Your Dog Immediately After Coming Home
As soon as you get home from a walk, you should turn on the heating, wrap a drying towel around your pup, and keep them warm immediately. You can also put a heating pad underneath your dog’s bed while drying them. This adds an extra layer of heat.
If they are due for a bath, you can give them a proper clean with warm water to bring their temperature down and avoid them from catching a cold.
Other Ways to Keep Your Pup Active on a Rainy Day
Exercising your dog can be a challenge when stuck indoors. While you may see this as a perfect opportunity for a cuddle marathon, your pup will likely get bored and need their daily exercise.
If the rain is especially bad and you have no choice but to stay indoors, there are other fun activities you can do to keep your dog physically active indoors. Here are a few:
- Play hide and seek games to practice their nose work.
- Work your pup’s brains with some puzzle toys.
- Play tug of war.
- Perform indoor agility training.
- Let your pooch chase bubbles.
- Exercise your dog by free shaping.
- Play indoor fetch.
- Do some trick training.
How to Treat Your Dog If They Get Rainwater Poisoning
While the chances are extremely low, your dog can end up getting exposed to harmful bacteria in rainwater and puddles that can lead to diseases. It is also possible for the puddles to have antifreeze in them which can be dangerous to your dog if they are busy splashing away.
As mentioned earlier, leptospirosis and giardiasis are two diseases that your dog can be exposed to in the rain. Both of these are caused by animal waste found in the puddles.
A few symptoms that your dog may be exhibit as a result of leptospirosis, giardia, and antifreeze are:
- Loss of appetite
Antifreeze and leptospirosis can also cause kidney failure and swallowing antifreeze can lead to a coma or seizures.
If your dog begins to show symptoms of an illness right after a walk on a rainy day, you should take them to see a veterinarian doctor as soon as possible. The vet will perform a series of blood tests along with acquiring the animal’s urine and stool samples to make a diagnosis.
If found positive for giardiasis or leptospirosis, your dog will be treated with the help of antibiotics and IV fluids.
Typically, your vet will immediately put your dog on IV fluids to help their body flush out the harmful organism or chemical responsible for the illness. They will then start a course of antibiotics to help your four-legged friend recover. With antifreeze ingestion, the treatment is usually a bit more aggressive.
If you seek timely treatment, there is a very high chance that your dog will recover from the sickness within a few days of appropriate treatment. But the best course of action is always prevention.
A little extra care in the rain can go a long way in saving your furry friend the pain and trouble of an illness.
Keeping Your Dog’s Safety a Priority No Matter the Weather
Safety for our dogs should be a priority, no matter what the weather is. If you have a highly reactive dog, it is a good idea to avoid going out for a walk during bad weather as it can exacerbate their mood even more. This can compromise their safety.
Furthermore, if the rainy weather is too bad to head outdoors, simply wait it out or indulge your dog in other fun activities that allow you to stay indoors while also getting the required exercise.
Rover’s Recess believes in going the extra mile when it comes to the safety of animals.
Offering nothing but the best care for your pets, our pet-safety-trained staff will make sure that your dog’s walk is nothing but a happy time for them. Whether it’s a rainy day or a sunny one, contact us today and we will make sure to give your pup their much-desired walk while taking all the precautions to keep them safe and sound.