In my daily life as a professional dog walker, a rainstorm or windy weather doesn’t put me off at all. Many dogs I walk each day love being outside in the rain; they have furry coats that repel the water, and how many dogs do you know that love splashing about in puddles given a chance.
However, as the weather forecast looks a bit challenging, especially as several days of heavy rain showers are expected, I thought it was the ideal opportunity to offer you a few tips for walking dogs when it’s wet outside.
Don’t worry about changing your plan
f it’s pelting down with rain, and you don’t want to end up with a dripping wet dog walking onto your carpets, change your plans. Missing one walk throughout the day won’t harm your pet, provided he gets outside for toilet breaks. Stay at home, play hide-and-seek games with your pup, or do game-based training. As a dog walker and trainer, I can provide a game-based package for such days. Just ask for details.
Head to the park
You can bet that you will probably be the only dog walker at the park if it’s raining heavily. Stand under a tree to shelter and let your puppy have a run around to burn off all that excess energy; he won’t mind if you cut the walk short by 20 minutes for once. Remember to take along plenty of old towels to wipe off all the excess mud and dirt before the dog gets into your car, or have them prepared in the hallway at home, so the first thing you do when you return home is wipe down the wet dog.
Wear the right gear
Yes, this applies to both you and your pet. A decent raincoat with a hood and a pair of waterproof boots or wellingtons is necessary for walking in the rain to keep you dry. Most dogs will tolerate wearing a lightweight coat to keep most of the rain off their fur. I find that an umbrella is useless when dog-walking – not enough hands.
Keep away from busy streets.
Traffic speeding past and spraying water onto both of you isn’t ideal. Your dog might get scared if he’s not expecting to get soaked. Pedestrians also tend to rush along faster in the rain, often with umbrellas held out in front of them, oblivious to anyone else walking along the pavement.
Keep away from contaminated floodwater.
When drains become blocked and floodwater builds up, it’s common sense to keep your dog out of the deep water. Not only for his and your safety but also because of the possible contamination from toxic pollutants in the water. Sewage and chemicals, such as anti-freeze and screen wash, can be very toxic to your dog, so avoiding deep puddles on your walk is best.
Smelly wet dog issues
There is no getting away from it. Every dog has a certain aroma when it is soaking wet, which is never pleasant. Your dog’s coat will soon dry, but the smell will linger around the house. You can use many spray air fresheners, or aromatic candles are an excellent option to eliminate the odour.
Deciding if you should walk your pup in the rain is, of course, a personal choice. If it’s tackled properly and you’re wearing the correct wet-weather gear, it can be enjoyable for both of you.
Splash through the puddles, take in the sweet smells that the rain unleashes on the earth and look forward to returning home to a hot bath, dry clothes and a steaming cup of tea.
Sometimes, when it is wet, your dog may refuse to walk. Why not take a look at our post on what to do when your dog refuses to walk