Walking your pooch is one of the most practical ways to give your dog the exercise they need, and whilst playtime can be substituted for daily walks (for certain, small breeds), most of our dogs will require the minimum of 30 minutes walking, each day. But what happens when it’s raining?
In this blog, we discuss if it’s actually a good idea to walk your canine friend in the rain, or if it’s best to skip the walk altogether in wet weather.
Can I walk my dog in the rain?
The benefits of walking your dog daily are far more beneficial than skipping your pooch’s walk due to the weather. The problem with walking your dog in the rain isn’t so much the rain itself, but the conditions the rain may leave to the environment. You may find skipping your dogs walk disrupts your dogs routine and they’re likely to feel unsettled. Most breeds require a certain level of exercise and your daily walks are a way of fulfilling these requirements, whilst keeping your pooch mentally, emotionally and physically stimulated.
If you’re concerned your pooch may become unwell with being walked in the rain, it’s unlikely a perfectly healthy pooch will fall ill due to the weather. Make sure you dry your dog with a towel when you return home from your walk, and the walk in the rain shouldn’t effect your dog’s health.
How to walk your dog in the rain
As the most common reason we don’t want to walk our dogs in the rain is due to protection - make sure your dog is properly dressed in the correct apparel. It’s best to invest in a good, showerproof jacket to keep them warm and dry whilst out in the heavy rainfall. It’s good to note the surfaces you’re walking on, you may not be able to see any harmful substance on the wet terrain or puddles of water.
Think about your dogs comfort when walking in the rain too, try not to dress them in clothing that will rub or be uncomfortable when wet, and take note if they’re uncomfortable walking in the rain - not all dogs like water! Try to make the walk as positive as possible, picking a route they normally love and provide treats throughout the journey for positive focused training.
Tips for walking your dog in the rain:
Shorten the duration of your walk - Depending on how bad the rain is, and how long it has been raining for, try to head out in spells where the rain isn’t as heavy, or head out for 15 minutes at a time throughout the day if the rain is torrential.
Stay away from puddles - Keep an eye on what your dog is getting up to, not only are puddles full of mud, they also may contain bacteria that could be harmful to your dog. Don’t let your dog drink from puddles if you’re unsure.
Dress them for the occasion - Make sure the coat of choice (if needed) is made for the wet weather and won’t make their coat heavier and make your pooch uncomfortable when wet.
Warm up immediately when you get home - As soon as you get home, dry yourself & your dog off so you’re both warm and dry.
Why is my dog scared of the rain?
If your dog is scared of the rain, try to reintroduce your dog to the rain so they can understand it’s not at all frightening and rain happens often. To train a fully grown dog to understand rain, spend time outside in your yard with them and try short walks to build up their confidence. Use treats and toys to enforce a positive relationship with the rain, and in time they should become completely happy with the weather they’re walking in!