6 Tips for Walking Your Dog on Rainy Days

Published: April 18, 2024
Home / Health / 6 Tips for Walking Your Dog on Rainy Days

Walks are necessary to keep your dog happy and healthy. On average, you should walk your dogs 30-60 minutes daily. You can break the time into shorter walks of moderate intensity, like 2-3 walks of 15-30 minutes each.

Most dog owners know the importance of daily walks but also understand that the weather can affect routine. Rain is the worst when it comes to walking your dog. Still, some days, you have no choice but to attach that lead and head out, especially if you want your pooch to get the exercise it needs. Thankfully, there are several ways to make a rainy walk safer and more bearable for you and your canine companion.

Check the Weather Before

You most likely have a routine for walking your dog, a scheduled time and duration. On gloomy days, it pays to check the weather forecast to ensure your scheduled walk does not coincide with an expected downpour or severe storm. If the predicted forecast is rainy all day, you can scan the hourly forecast to find hours during the day or evening that predict less rain, making a walk safer and more bearable, mainly for yourself.

While having a scheduled walk time is an excellent idea and likely works most days, you still have to allow for flexibility. Sure, spontaneity is the enemy of organization, but it is often more fun for your dog, so embrace it when you must.

Wear Reflective and Bright Colors

Rainy days are typically overcast and dark or gloomy. You and your dog should wear bright colors and reflective clothing or materials for safety. The Reflective Nylon Leash with Soft Grip Handle by Doggie Design is an option that can help ensure you and your dog are visible.

Some people may think that wearing or using reflectors is overkill because people are visible during the day, even on gloomy or rainy days. That is usually true, but you must consider that rainy weather conditions are more hazardous to drive in. Drivers have more concerns while driving in inclement weather than on a sunny, clear day. Also, they have the added distraction of windshield wipers and rain that can obscure their field of view. Anything you can do to make yourself and your pet more visible is worthwhile.

Invest in a Dog Raincoat

Many dogs dislike rain, so they might be reluctant to walk in it. As the owner, you know that daily walks are necessary. To encourage your dog and reduce anxiety, you can invest in a dog raincoat or rainsuit, such as:

      Worthy Dog London Dog Raincoat - Blue Chomp/Red Checkered

      Zippy Dynamics Rainy Full-Body Dog Rainsuit 

A raincoat can eliminate a dog's fear of walking in the rain and help protect and shield the dog from the weather. While walking in the rain is sometimes necessary, it can lead to soaked fur, discomfort, and chills. Smaller breeds of shorthair dogs are also at risk of hypothermia in extreme cases. A raincoat or suit keeps the dog dry, preventing discomfort and potential health risks.

Keep Paws Dry

A walk in the rain exposes your dog to puddles, wet pavement, and damp grass. A dog's paws can handle the wetness in most situations, but you might consider dog boots for several reasons. First, prolonged moisture on paw pads can soften them, leaving them vulnerable to cuts, cracking, and overall irritation. Second, dog paws usually harbor bacteria and yeast. Excess moisture can lead to bacterial and yeast build-up. Finally, because wet paws can increase the risk of cracking and cuts, they can also increase the risk of infection, providing a pathway for bacteria into the bloodstream.

If you plan on taking your dog on walks in the rain, all-weather boots are beneficial. Two options for your canine friend include Muttluks All-Weather Dog Boots - Black or Pet Life Helios Traverse High-Ankle Dog Boots - Blue. Each boot set can improve your dog's overall comfort on rainy walks — not to mention they help keep your floors clean and free of mud.

Stick to Shorter Walks or Alternative Routes When Necessary

If you usually take longer walks, aiming for a single walk with your dog daily, you may want to reconsider when it's raining. Some dogs don't care if they walk in the rain or sun, but many others get anxious. While walks are necessary for health and wellness, taking an anxious dog out for long periods often contradicts the goal.

Sometimes, rain can surprise you despite all the predictive weather models and tools. Consider taking an alternative route if you are out on your walk and get caught in a sudden downpour. Perhaps there is a path with more tree coverage that can keep you and your dog dry, or maybe there is a shortcut back home or to a shelter where you can wait out the weather.

Keep Your Dog From Drinking Rainwater

Rainwater is not pure or safe for dogs to drink. It often contains trace amounts of bacteria, parasites, chemicals, and even toxins. Do not permit your dog to drink from puddles or bowls left outdoors. It is better to bring a water bottle and travel pet bowl, something like the Snack-Duo with Companion Cup - Green, to keep your dog safely hydrated.

Daily walks are important for your dog, but they are not always convenient, especially in the rain. By taking the necessary precautions and investing in the right tools, you can ensure that even rainy walks are comfortable and safe.

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