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Home > Dogs > How to Walk Your Dog in the Rain – 10 Tips & Tricks

How to Walk Your Dog in the Rain – 10 Tips & Tricks

Man walking with labrador retriever in rain_

It’s the bane of dog owners everywhere: your pup wants to go out, but it’s raining. You don’t want to go, and you think your pet would probably change their mind, too. However, it’s not impossible to get your dog to do its business; it’s simply a matter of planning and a willingness to adapt to make the best of an unpleasant situation.

Our guide covers the things you should do before and after your wet walk. Remember that dogs can read your mood.1 Even though it probably won’t be fun, don’t let your reluctance show. Our canine companions look forward to going outside. Just grin and bear it.


The 10 Tips How to Walk Your Dog in the Rain

1. Check the Forecast Before Going Out

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s also a critical one, particularly if severe weather is headed your way. The closer the interval between the lightning and the thunder,2 the closer the storm—and the risk. According to the National Weather Service,3 90% of struck individuals suffer disabilities, with 10% of incidences being fatal.

Checking the forecast is also essential if your dog is afraid of thunder. After all, it’s one thing to hear the sound inside an insulated house, but it’s another thing when you’re close to the action. It will likely traumatize a fearful pup even more. We also recommend not showing your cards about a walk until you’re sure you’re going. That’s just as upsetting to your dog.

Little girl walking under rain with dog
Image By: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

2. Buy a Reflective Collar and Leash

You should use a reflective collar and leash on your pet. You must make both of you visible to vehicles and other pedestrians. We suggest making these items your go-to set. They’ll come in handy on cloudy days and late-night walks. We strongly urge you to stick to pet-friendly products. Unfortunately, glow jewelry is toxic if your pup chews them.4 Signs of poisoning include retching and drooling.

3. Get Your Pooch a Raincoat

Undoubtedly, you’re wearing a coat and maybe a hat when walking in the rain. You’re going to stay dry to avoid catching a chill. You can use the same logic when deciding to put a raincoat on your dog. It’ll keep them dry and warm. It also benefits you because it means less cleanup for your dog. They’ll smell better, too, instead of emitting that dreadful wet canine odor.

If you get one with a reflective coating, it’ll protect both of you by making you more visible to motorists. We recommend letting your dog sniff the raincoat before putting it on your pet. Remember that canines are all about smell. Of course, treats will make the experience of wearing it a piece of cake. It’s also helpful to get your pet used to it while your dog is still a puppy.

funny chihuahua dog posing in a raincoat outdoors by a puddle
Image By: otsphoto, Shutterstock

4. Consider Buying Boots for Your Dog

Likewise, boots are a smart idea for keeping your pet’s paws clean. They may also give it some added traction on slick sidewalks, streets, and trails. They’re a godsend when your neighborhood gets sleet. It can protect your pet’s paws from salt and ice chips. We recommend being patient if you want to give boots a shot. Many dogs might balk at wearing them the first time. Again, treats work wonders.

5. Make Sure You’re Visible With Bright Clothes

You should also make yourself more visible during walks when it rains. Wear bright clothes and save the earth tones and dark colors for other times when being seen isn’t imperative to your safety. You can also opt for products with reflective strips. They’ll offer the same benefits for you as they do on collars and leashes for your pet. Don’t forget this feature for gloves or hats.

However, we don’t recommend using glow sticks or jewelry. These items contain a toxic ingredient called dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Ingestion of even a small amount can cause vomiting and excessive drooling.

dog and owner in raincoats walking outdoors
Image By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

6. Try to Keep Your Dog From Drinking Water Puddles

We know it’s asking a lot, but try to keep your dog from getting a drink at the inevitable puddles of rainwater. They present several potential health hazards. They’ll contain whatever grit, salt, and chemicals are on the road. Don’t forget pesticides or fertilizers used on lawns. They can end up in the puddles, creating toxic soups of contaminants.

Other nasty things in puddles include parasites like giardia. It can cause abdominal pain, GI distress, and vomiting in dogs and people. While humans and canines can get it, you probably won’t get it from your pet. Nevertheless, it’s vital to protect your pet. Puddles can also cause bacterial diseases such as leptospirosis. We recommend ensuring your pet is vaccinated against it. Sadly, it is potentially fatal if left untreated.

7. Short Walks Are Fine

Don’t fret if the walks with your dog are short when it rains. As long as they get the necessary time outside, your pup won’t be adversely affected if you cut your time outdoors to the bare minimum. The chances are your pooch will want to get back inside just as quickly as you do. Once the weather has cleared, you can make it up to your pet with a long jaunt in the woods.

Jack Russell Terrier puppy in a yellow raincoat sits in the rain
Image By: woodHunt, Shutterstock

8. Keep a Towel by the Door

We strongly urge you to keep a towel by the door to wipe your dog’s paws as soon as you return home. A small, thin cloth will make the job easier and quicker. Don’t let your pet inside until you’ve gone over all four paws. You may find it helpful to dampen it before you go outside to make cleanup faster and less stressful. This tip goes hand-in-hand with our next one.

9. Have Treats Ready

We recommend using treats as training aids. It can help prevent obesity if you limit them to 10% of your dog’s total daily caloric intake. It also enables you to get the most out of them. We suggest giving your dog a reward when it doesn’t make a fuss when wiping its paws. You can use this tasty persuasion for wearing a raincoat or boots.

woman feeding her dog a treat seated in stone stairs
Image By: Lucia Romero, Shutterstock

10. Don’t Force a Reluctant Pet

Some dogs hate walking in the rain no matter what you do. Perhaps they had a bad experience as a puppy. Canines go through two fear-impact periods during their young lives. They include the span between 8–12 weeks and 7–14 months. Dogs can develop a negative association with some events, like being outside during a thunderstorm. Some of these fears last a lifetime.

divider-dog paw

Final Thoughts

Walking your dog in the rain is sometimes a necessary evil. Sometimes, you may not have any choice. Your dog must go outside at times even if the weather isn’t cooperating. However, you can make the chore easier with some planning. You can get the gear your dog needs to stay comfortable. You can also ensure your safety with bright-colored clothing and reflective strips on your pet’s collar and leash.

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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