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Is Walking In The Rain Bad For Your Dog?

Dogs of any size and breed need exercise as well as time to bond with you as their pack leader. Walks are an excellent way to do this, and offer many benefits for you and your dog. But… what if it’s raining? You may worry about whether the rain has any harmful effects on your dog’s health, and whether you should change your routine during heavy rain.

A Little Rain Won’t Hurt

The good news is, a little rain never hurt anyone, including your dog! If it’s raining lightly and the temperature isn’t too cold, your dog will probably be perfectly content to trot alongside you. The only thing you’ll need to do is dry them off with a towel (and make sure paws are clean!) before coming back inside.

If the rain is moderate or heavy, you yourself may not be in the mood to go on a long walk; at this point, chances are your dog won’t appreciate it either.

When you do venture out in the rain, you probably put on a raincoat. And, good news for your furry friend, the Barkery offers raincoats made especially for dogs! These typically go over your dog’s back and have a Velcro strap to stay in place around your dog’s belly. Some dogs may even allow you to put rain boots on their feet, or even attach a dog umbrella to their collar. Many dogs, however, simply won’t tolerate wearing the extra baggage. Use what your dog will allow, and let that inform your decision. The goal is to keep them safe, happy and relatively comfortable.

Other changes you can make when the weather is wet include shortening your walk, walking in areas that have some covering such as trees or covered sidewalks, and avoiding puddles. Not only will puddles lead to an extra messy pooch, but they can also carry bacteria that could make your pup sick if they decide to drink from it. When you get your dog home, dry them off thoroughly and warm them up if it was cold outside.

Be Mindful of Your Breed

When walking your dog in the rain, it’s important to understand any specific considerations or tendencies your dog’s breed might have. For instance, a retriever might enjoy taking a long walk in the rain even when other breeds don’t, as they generally enjoy the water. Breeds with longer coats may not feel the effects of cold and rain as quickly as a dog with a short coat. However, long-haired dogs take longer to dry since you’ll need to make sure both the top coat and undercoat are dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed this process up if your dog will tolerate it.

Some dogs with floppy ears, such as a Cocker Spaniel, can be prone to ear infections, and wet ears can contribute to an infection. If your pooch loves to put their nose to the ground and sniff, their ears can easily get wet. So be sure to pay special attention to your dog’s ears when drying!

That Wet Dog Smell

Many of us have experienced the distinct smell a dog has after getting wet – and it’s usually not very pleasant! Another thing that’s not very fun: cleaning up a messy dog! If your furry friend had a little too much fun out in the rain and mud, let Barkery handle the mess with our full-service bathing and grooming options; we even accept walk ins!

Of course, there will also be days where the rain is just too much. For those times when you can’t get outside with your pet to exercise, consider purchasing a puzzle toy from the Barkery’s online store. It’s a great, constructive way to stimulate your pup’s mind and it may prevent them from using all that pent-up energy to to get into a little trouble!

For questions or pet wellness advice, just drop by the Barkery or contact us online! We can’t wait to help you make the best choices for you and your fluffy companion!