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How to Walk a Dog in the Rain: 7 Expert Tips

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Little girl walking under rain with dog

It’s no secret that dogs love going for walks more than anything else. Of course, they love eating as well, but those walks allow them to not only exercise more but also get their daily dose of mental stimulation.

But what happens if it’s raining when it’s time to walk your pooch? Read on below for some expert tips.

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Should You Walk Your Dog in the Rain?

Yes, and no. In all honesty, it depends on the situation. If it’s a torrential downpour outside, it’s probably best to stay at home. However, if it’s a drizzle, why not? Regardless, you still have to be cautious while out there, seeing as rainy weather is often accompanied by elevated levels of risk.

Below are some of the tips that you could use, should you decide to take your dog for a walk in the rain.

Wet dog on leash. Man walking with labrador retriever in rain
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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How to Walk a Dog in the Rain

1. Purchase a Dog Raincoat

When it comes to the raincoat, some dog owners think it’s adorable and necessary, while others view it as unnecessary. We believe the latter group is not a huge fan of the raincoat because they know how much dogs love getting wet and splashing water around.

However, besides the rain, the temperatures will likely also be low, making your canine friend feel cold and uncomfortable. The other upside to wearing a rain coating is the reduction of the dry-off time once you go back inside.

If you’re going to buy a raincoat, pick a design that perfectly fits your pooch. It should not be too small or too big. Also, always remove the jacket the minute you get home.

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

2. Purchase a Pair of Rain Boots

While shopping for raincoats, look for a durable pair of rain boots as well. Some dogs don’t like putting on footgear before going out, but they are extremely helpful in wet weather.

Do not force the boots on the dog. The only thing that you’ll successfully do in that case, is ruin the whole experience for them. If they like them, go for a pair that fits well—nothing too tight. The bottom section has to be rubberized to prevent slipping.

3. Avoid Puddles

You are responsible for what your dog does while you’re out there walking them. Splashing is fun and all, but don’t encourage them. Especially if you come across a large, deep puddle with murky waters. There could be broken glass below the surface, which could potentially injure your fur baby’s paws.

Oh, and don’t forget about the snails and slugs. They are both members of the Phylum Mollusca, meaning they are mostly found in marine and freshwater. Snails and slugs usually have slimy coatings, which typically provide suitable environments for the growth and development of lungworm larvae.

This parasite grows inside dogs, and once it gets to the adult phase it permanently migrates from wherever it was to the heart. This can bring about a myriad of issues, such as pneumonia.

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

4. Don’t Allow Your Dog to Drink Rainwater

This tip applies to those who have dogs that aren’t picky eaters. If your dog eats anything you serve them, always keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t drink any rainwater. The water that gathers into the puddle will probably contain chemical and biological hazards that could have serious health repercussions.

5. Keep It Short

A 10-minute walk in the rain is better than no walk at all. So, we’re certain that your dog will appreciate the effort. Shortening the walk is always the right thing to do, as it limits the number of risks that you expose the dog to.

Even though larger breeds tend to be less prone to cold compared to smaller breeds, they all are at some risk.

6. Put On Some Reflective Gear

The prime reason why accidents happen too often during the rainy season is because the driver’s visibility is usually lower. You need to put on clothes that have bright colors, or reflective gear if you have. That way, you’ll ensure that your body frame stands out in the gray and blue tones that typically characterize gloomy weather.

You should also invest in a reflective collar and leash. You can never be too careful while walking your dog in the rain.

Jack Russell Terrier puppy in a yellow raincoat sits dog rain
Image Credit: woodHunt, Shutterstock

7 Avoid Parks & High Traffic Areas

Use alternative routes if you have options. Even if it means going up and down hilly areas. Avoid high-traffic areas as much as you can, even if there has never been an incident around that neighborhood in the past.

Parks are also no-go zones in our books, as they’ll likely be muddy. Stick to the concrete pavements that are well-drained.

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Many dog owners wonder whether walking their canine companions is okay when the rain’s pouring. Well, we hope this post answers all your questions. Just don’t forget that their safety should be your number one priority.

We feel obligated to remind you that these tips only apply to dogs that already understand basic commands. You shouldn’t walk any dog in bad weather without proper training.

Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

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