Does your dog adore running around in the middle of a rainstorm, or shudder at the thought of stepping a paw out at the first sign of moisture? Whichever category your dog falls under, going for a walk in either of these cases can be a stressful experience. For starters, rain can make otherwise well behaved dogs extra skittish or overexcited. Then there’s the matter of mud and rainwater getting all over your dog, your car and house. And, of course, who could forget that distinct wet dog smell that seems to stick around for ages. This is why, when most people are faced with the prospect of taking their dog out for a walk in the rain, would rather do just about anything else.
But for many people, that simply isn’t an option. If, for example, you get caught out in a sudden downpour, or live in a particularly wet area that sees moisture for days on end, you don’t necessarily have a choice of whether or not to go out. After all, your dog needs and deserves daily exercise. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can prevent the rain from ruining your dog’s favorite time. Follow these tips to keep your dog dry and comfortable in the upcoming rainy season.
Have a Strategy
Let’s say you don’t mind a bit of rain – more power to you! If staying at home isn’t an option or even a though for you and your dog, you’ll still need a solid plan to prevent some common mishaps. Take these tips and you’ll be enjoying rainy strolls together in no time!
- Create a Positive Experience: For some dogs, rain is a fun addition to their daily walk; but for others, not so much. If you sense your dog has some anxiety about going out in the rain, don’t feed into it by mirroring their energy. Instead, try to set a positive vibe around your adventures in the rain and lead by example! That means getting out there and showing your dog just how much fun raindrops and puddles can be. Be sure to stay supportive and empathetic to your dog’s sensitivities to ease them into this new routine.
- Stay Away From Busy Streets: Even if your dog is otherwise perfectly behaved during walks, rainy weather – specifically splashing cars – can pose a new set of challenges. The last thing you want to risk is your dog possibly overreacting and jumping into traffic or getting soaked or startled by dirty rainwater. To prevent this, stick with smaller residential streets where there’s little to no traffic.
- Keep Your Dog On a Leash: Going along with the point mentioned above, you need to make sure your dog is secure on a leash each time you take them out in the rain. Even if you’re normally used to walking your dog off leash, rain can bring up sudden triggers for animals that wouldn’t necessarily be present otherwise. If, for instance, a sudden thunderclap or splash of water from a car takes your dog out of its secure mindset, you can end up having a dangerous chase. So take the extra precaution and security – it’s a small step that can make a world of difference for your and your dog’s safety.
- Teach Them To “Hurry”: Depending on your dog’s affinity for the rain, you can instill a sense of “hurry” during the rain to make your time outside quicker and relatively free of distractions. Make it apparent that you’re just outside to do the dog’s business and get home as quickly as possible. You would be surprised how intuitively your dog responds to your energy.
Now we’re getting to the most important aspect of your strategy: the proper rain gear for your dog (and yourself, of course). After all, dogs are family, and just like you wouldn’t send your children out to play in the rain without the right attire, you shouldn’t do it to your dog either.