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health, Learn, training

Walking in the Rain With Your Dog

Does Your Dog Like the Rain?

Man walking with Lab retriever in rain.

Some dogs love being outdoors, especially in the rain. They love exploring the world and the next street corner. You might be tired of the same scenery day after day, but your dog doesn’t care about that. Your canine might go through the same street over and over again and they won’t mind, because they focus on the smell.

Sniffing in the Rain

Little fat pug smelling and searching in grass after the rain.

Dog’s most powerful tool is their nose, and they use it to get familiar with space, people, and other animals. Thanks to their ability to sniff, they can find their way home. So, any walk – no matter how short it may be – is a real adventure to your canine. Plus, walks are mandatory to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Exercise

“It’s starting to RAIN!!”

On top of that, walks are a great way to give your dog the exercise they need. Some days are better for a calm stroll than others are.

There are dogs that really love water and won’t mind running in the rain, while there are those who can’t stand a single drop of water on their back.

Some Dogs Dislike the Rain

“Why does it have to be raining?”

They are so against walking in the rain, that they would hold on and miss potty time for hours.

Yet, this isn’t a healthy habit, and your dog should be taught to go out even on rainy days at least for a few minutes to do their business.

Here is how to make walking your dog in the rain a practical and fun experience.

Walking In The Rain Tips

Pet dog on New York City street, after a heavy rain shower in July.

Dog owners know that once you get a dog, you need to do whatever is in your power to keep them happy and healthy. That includes walking in the rain. Therefore, most dog owners will have no issues walking their dogs all year round.

You may love the rain or hate it, but you can’t avoid it as a dog owner. Here is how to stay dry, all year round.

Weather-appropriate Clothing

Happy young woman with umbrella walks a dog in a raincoat in city park in rainy autumn. Concept of outdoor activity in bad weather with a pet.

You shouldn’t avoid rainy days. Yes, rainy days are more challenging when you have a pet, especially if your pet has a white coat like a Pomeranian or White Swiss Shepherd.

Wet and Dirty A Havanese runs quickly through the mud at the photographer. In the background a green grass and a few trees.
“I already took a bath in that mud puddle!”

Although you should think about cleaning their paws and stomach, you shouldn’t forget about your own outfit first.

You shouldn’t get sick. Who would take care of your dog if you can’t leave your home?! Think about that and dress well. Make sure that you invest in weather-appropriate clothing for both you and your dog. There are many models to choose from raincoats and rain boots for your canine. These items are carefully designed to keep them dry and happy.

Plus, they really look adorable with a raincoat on.

Wet Chihuahua A wet dog wearing a colorful rain gear
“I need a better raincoat. My legs are still getting wet!”

Take Extra Care of Paws

pug puppy dog standing and wearing rain boots, isolated on white background cute pug puppy dog standing and wearing rain boots, isolated on white background dog rain shoes stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Dog boots are great gear when it’s snowing. Dogs’ paws are sensitive and industrial salt spread on the streets can harm their paws. They may become inflamed, and a strong feeling of irritation can occur, that must be treated with specific medications.

To avoid this, veterinarians recommend using winter/rainy boots when their is snow.

Black rubber boots for dogs with Velcro fastening on gray background.

Yet, some owners choose to put boots on their dogs even when it’s raining. Before you decide to do this, know that dogs prefer their paws free of extra clothing.

Coming In From the Rain

Guilty Muddy dog footprints with dog looking out window

Once you return from your walk, make sure that you clean the paws properly and dry them well. It’s best to use a soft cloth. For extra protection and healthier paws, you can shop paw protectors.

 A mug for cleaning the pet's paws with a gentle soft silicone brush on the inside, filled with soap and water.
For muddy paws, this is an easier alternative.

Think About Visibility

Woman Walking Dog on Misty Cold Day
It would be hard to see this woman with her dog!

Rain usually comes with bad weather. The lighting is often non-existing when it rains, plus it can be challenging to see clearly outside your car when heavy rain pours. With that in mind, you should think about visibility. In fact, visibility is one of the most important aspects of walking dogs in rain.

Woman have a lovely time with her dog at the waterfall Young woman with long hair and her small cute dog - pug breed in colorful raincoats enjoying the sunny fresh spring day at the waterfall in Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine dog and person raincoat stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

If you and your puppy are protected and easy to spot, you are in fact safe from a potentially unsafe situation. Have at least one cloth item with reflective strips on your gear, to make sure that you are visible in traffic.

For your dog, you can have a light up collar or a vest with reflective straps on.

Little sad black and tan dachshund wearing bright yellow raincoat on the pebble pavement at the middle of old town street.

Make The Walks Short and Sweet When There’s Rain

“I hate this crap!”

Long walks are usually reserved for warmer days of the year, so you don’t have to force them during the rainy ones.

Your dog’s safety and comfort come first, so if there is heavy rain, shorten the walk. It should be long enough until your dog wishes to go inside. It’s usually enough to let them go to the toilet. Then they will be ready to be a couch potato for the rest of the day.

Inside Games When it is Raining

Dog playing the shell game with her human. Concept of training pets, domestic dogs being smart and educated dog games
“You better not trick me!”

Since dogs love playing, on rainy days you should focus on indoor games. There are great ways to keep your dog entertained indoors as well.

Be Nice When it Rains

Girl and her dog enjoying rainy day, looking through window Girl and her dog enjoying rainy day, looking through window. person holding dog rain stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Human: “You just have to potty right there and come back in.” Dog: “I better not get wet!”

As a general rule, you should monitor your dog’s behavior and respect their wish and never force them to stay outside longer than needed.

If your dog is uncomfortable with the conditions, make enough place for their safety and health.

Go to the Dog Park (By Car)

“I love running around with friends in the rain.”

If you want to reduce exposure to the rain as much as possible, you should ride in a car. You can give your dog a ride to the dog park, have fun there, and head home to a dry and warm place.

While in the dog park, you can probably find a sheltered area. It tends to be muddy in the dog park, so bring enough towels to clean your canine before they jump back into the car.

dog in the rear seat of a car Posh Bulldog, passenger in the rear seat of a car.

Don’t forget to use a car seat covering when heading to a dog park on a rainy day. These seat covering should trap the hair of dogs that shed a lot, and save your time from washing your car. Coverings are washable and reusable, making them a must-have dog gear.

Beware of Puddles

Mid Adult Man Walking Dog A mid adult man takes his dog for a walk in the rain. dog drink from puddle stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Dogs love messy areas. In fact, the bigger the puddle, the more fun they will have. To you, drinking out of a muddy puddle can seem disgusting, but for them it’s perfect. To avoid a complete disaster, keep your dog on a short leash when walking past puddles.

Rain brings debris, dirt, and oils and they join the water and end up in stagnant puddles. This can make them very sick and will need to see a veterinarian immediately. In some cases, dogs can contract leptospirosis (an infectious bacteria disease) or other diseases. (There is a vaccine for leptospirosis.)

Keeping Your Car and Home Clean and Dry

Female dog owner drying her golden retreiver off in the back of her car after taking him for a walk

As mentioned earlier, always have a towel for paws and body cleaning. You need to dry those paws and legs, and probably the stomach area, properly. If your dog has long hair, you might think about blow-drying if your dog allows it. It’s important to dry your dog as soon as you come home.

Dog Chair A muddy dog sits on a ruined wingback chair. dog dirty feet in house stock illustrations

Think about house rules. Where can your dog can go when their fur is wet? You should train them not to jump on the couch until they are completely dry. Blocking other areas can be helpful as well, like blocking access to bedrooms.

The Bottom Line

 fawn french bulldog sitting and waiting to go for a walk with owner ,

Dogs are happy to spend time with their owners, regardless of the weather. As long as they feel loved and comfortable they won’t mind walking in bad weather.

Walking in the rain shouldn’t become a dramatic problem. It’s all about how well you train your dog.

Take it slow, step by step. Have the right rain gear that your dog is comfortable in. With all that, walking in a rain shouldn’t be an issue.

Walking a dog in rain is a mandatory part of being a responsible dog owner, and getting outdoors is beneficial both for you and your dog. Regular walks are mandatory if you want to have a healthy pet. Enjoy every rainy walk!

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