Tips for a Rainy Day Dog Walk
As a dog owner, taking your Fluffy Friend out for a walk is essential to their daily routine. However, when it's raining outside, it can be tempting to skip the walk altogether.
Still, don't let the weather stop you from giving your dog the necessary exercise and fresh air. With the proper preparation, a rainy day dog walk can still be an enjoyable experience for you and your pup.
In this blog post, we will share some helpful tips for a rainy day dog walk, including how to dress appropriately, keep your dog dry, and stay safe on wet and slippery surfaces.
So, grab your rainboots and umbrella, and let's get started!
Can You Walk Your Dog in the Rain?
Some dog breeds need daily activity—from dog walks to playtime.
One way to help your pooch get his exercise is to take him out for a long walk.
Daily walks keep your fur babies mentally, physically, and emotionally occupied.
You might worry that taking your dog for a walk in the rain will harm their health and welfare.
There's really no reason to fret as long as you're prepared. A healthy dog will rarely get sick from being exposed to wet weather.
A pup with a thicker coat is even less likely to be harmed because the rain will take longer to reach his skin than a breed with short hair.
Most veterinarians will tell you that walking your dog in the rain is perfectly okay. There may be no other choice when your canine needs to use the restroom.
Some dogs dislike walking in the rain, especially when it's pouring heavily. Most people won't find it appealing, either.
Then again, some furballs actually enjoy the rain, mainly breeds like the Retrievers, Newfoundland and Portuguese Water Dog, among others.
However, if your doggo is not fond of rain and you live in an apartment or house without a yard where you may let him out, make the stroll as comfortable as you can.
Dangers of Dog Walks in the Rain
Still, you must know the potential dangers of walking your Fluffy Friend in the rain. Let’s look at some of the common risks:
When your dog's temperature falls far below the average of 101-102.5°F (38.3-39.2°C), it might result in hypothermia.
There may be cause for concern if your dog's body temperature falls below 102.5° Fahrenheit (39.2° Celsius).
A slight decline may usually be corrected, but a significant drop below 99.5°F (37.5° C) can be fatal.
Hypothermia is more likely to occur in small breeds, puppies, old dogs, thin pups, canines with short hair coats, and dogs with chronic conditions like hypothyroidism.
Long-term exposure to rainy and cold conditions might cause respiratory tract inflammation.
Dogs are more vulnerable to pneumonia due to bacterial airway invasion because of this inflammation.
Small and/or senior dogs with other systemic illnesses and any immunocompromised dog are at a higher risk for pneumonia.
When you return from wet walks, it's crucial to dry your dog with a towel and provide them with a warm and dry area.
To protect your pooch from exposure to rainy weather, you might also need to dress him in a reflective raincoat.
Clinical indicators of canine pneumonia include:
- Nasal dripping
- Discharge in the eyes
- Coughing or wheezing
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty breathing
Get your pup to the vet immediately for an assessment if you see any of these symptoms. If pneumonia is not treated, it can be fatal.
Your canine is more prone to get dirty, wet, and untidy during rainy days. If the storm doesn't soak and stop them, a puddle might!
When taking your dog on a stroll, always be aware of their whereabouts and steer clear of muddy puddles because they might harbour bacteria, parasites or toxins.
Leptospirosis, which is spread by rat urine, is the most frequent bacteria identified in stagnant water.
Rodents frequently take baths in rain puddles, where the bacteria’s left behind.
Once inside a dog's (or human's) body through open wounds or ingestion, the germs cause kidney or liver failure.
This disorder is fatal if neglected.
Then again, the good news is that vaccinations like 5-in-1 shots provide protection against this infection.
If your dog often drinks from puddles or enjoys swimming in lakes, talk to your veterinarian about the required vaccination series.
Giardia is another typical puddle dweller. This parasite, if consumed, could lead to the following:
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea
- Stomach pain
- Weight Loss
This illness can be treated with drugs, but it can be challenging to get rid of in puppies or dogs with impaired immune systems.
It’s possible that pollutants, such as insecticides and ethylene glycol (antifreeze), are in puddles. Additionally, your pooch can suffer serious consequences that can lead to renal failure, digestive problems, and even death.
If there has been a recent downpour, keeping your dog away from leftover puddles would be better to reduce the risk of exposure to polluted water.
Once you reach home, wash their paws with a paw cleaner and dry them with a clean cloth.
Low Visibility and Thunder
It’s common during downpours to have low visibility and possibly even thunder and lightning.
Many dogs can be startled by loud thunderclaps, which makes them respond and flee. Because drivers in vehicles have trouble seeing through bad weather, this might result in accidents.
Therefore, it’s essential to keep your pup visible at all times. Consider adding a rechargeable high visibility collar when treading through a rainy day dog walk.
Additionally, dogs can become very anxious when thunder is present. Further, they may attempt to go in or out of rooms, which are typical responses to noise. Many solutions can assist in calming your fluffball in storms, like an anti-anxiety bed, music, or prescription medication.
However, before giving your pet any medication, discussing any potential storm phobias with your veterinarian is vital.
Fungi, which include mushrooms, thrive in moist settings.
Although many species of mushrooms can be very harmful, not all of them are hazardous when consumed.
Still, it can be challenging to distinguish between toxic and edible mushrooms.
Clinical indications of canine mushroom toxicity include:
- Lethargy or collapsing
- Upset stomach
- Seizures or tremors
- Ataxia (uncoordinated walking)
These symptoms might appear minutes to hours after consumption, depending on the kind and quantity of mushrooms consumed.
Although they can grow year-round in warmer climates, mushrooms often develop in wooded areas in the early fall or spring.
It's crucial to collect a sample of the mushroom and place it on a piece of paper or a Ziploc bag, and keep it cold until the veterinarian can examine the fungus.
Toads and Frogs
Rain tends to bring forth toads and frogs along with mushrooms. Although most toads release some sort of poison, most emit small quantities and may be non-toxic, and the majority are not dangerous if consumed by your pup.
However, the parotid glands of one species of toad, the Bufo toad, contain a poison harmful to dogs.
The following are the three most significant Bufo toad species harmful to your canine:
- Southern California, Southern Arizona, and Southern New Mexico are home to Bufo alvarius, sometimes known as the Colorado River toad or the Sonoran Desert toad.
- Hawaii, Florida, and Southern Texas are home to Bufo marinus, often known as the marine toad, cane toad, or huge toad.
- In the UK, the common toad and Natterjack toad are poisonous.
When a dog disturbs a toad, they emit a thick, white substance that can get to your pet’s eyes, nose, or mouth. This Bufo toxin is the toad's defence mechanism.
Clinical outcomes can range from localised inflammation in the toxin-affected areas to severe systemic illness and even death. Call your veterinarian immediately, no matter what kind of toad you think may have poisoned your dog.
Related: What to Look for in a Pet Sitter
Tips for a Rainy Day Dog Walk
To ensure that you have a safe rainy day dog walk, remember these crucial pieces of advice:
1. Take note of the weather
It's always a good idea to check the local forecast and the weather conditions outside before going out. After all, it ought to be obvious that it’s not a good idea to take your pup for a walk during a heavy downpour or other hazardous weather conditions.
Moreover, waiting things out is advisable if visibility is poor or the rain is too severe.
You should also think about the size and age of your dog. While some dogs might have no trouble sloshing through puddles and slick terrain, puppies and elderly canines might find it more difficult.
2. Keep rainy day dog walks short
There isn't a rule that says you must take your dog for a walk when it's rainy outside.
It's entirely acceptable to cut your standard walk time in half when it's raining because it will reduce the risks your Fluffy Friend is exposed to.
Try taking your dog on shorter walks with lots of time between them if it's pouring continuously and you're worried he'll be kept inside all day.
3. Prioritise safety!
One should generally always prioritise safety, especially in the rain.
Along with the abovementioned safety measures, keeping your dog safe entails having the proper gear, like a reflective leash, raincoat, and even boots.
It’s also best that your pooch can follow commands like “stop.” Very impulsive or quickly startled dogs shouldn't be walked in severe weather since they could become uncontrollably agitated and endanger themselves.
If done correctly and with the appropriate gear, having a rainy day dog walk may be painless and straightforward for both of you. Your dog may even come to love walking in the rain as much as he does on a sunny day.
For more tips on caring for your pets, go ahead and check out our blog!
Looking for some products that could help you out? Check out our Online Shop!
Here are some useful products in relation to this blog post: