Unless your dog is well-trained to use Wee Wee Pads, chances are they need to do their business outside. Some dogs don't mind a little rain, others shy away from it. Obviously, daily walks are important for all dogs; it's the main way they get their exercise. However, whether it's just a little drizzly outside or pouring buckets is a whole other story--so proceed with caution and solid judgement.
"If your dog hates going outside in the rain, don't force it. Taking them out repeatedly gets annoying for everyone involved," says animal trainer, pet expert, and dog owner Emma Davis. "Wait it out until you know they definitely have to go, that way you increase your chance of success while also lessening the amount of times you both need to be out in the rain."
After all, she adds: "Your dog is smart, they know what they are doing!"
Whether you need to bring your pup outside to pee, for a quick walk, or if you get stuck in an unexpected rainstorm with Rex, here are some rainy day dog walking tips from the pros:
Check the weather ahead of time. I mean, the weather app is on your phone already, so no excuses, right? It goes without saying walking your dog in a thunderstorm probably isn't wise--phone wires can fall down on the road, plus heavy tree branches, you both can slip, or a car may not see either of you as clearly, for example. Plus, muddy puddles and trucks splashing both you and Rex isn't ideal. If the weather app calls for a 90 percent chance of rain at 4pm, for example, consider taking your dog out at 3pm instead. Or, if you think your dog can handle a mild daytime drizzle for 2 minutes...go for it. Just use good judgement with safety in mind for both you and your pooch.
Invest in a dog raincoat. These are so cute and there are so many on the market, such as this one. A doggie raincoat not only keeps your pup dry from the pounding rain, but as Trupanion's blog points out, a doggie raincoat can also save you from lengthy dry-off times after coming back inside. "To ensure the best fit (and comfort for your pup), be sure to choose an appropriate size that is meant for your dog’s breed." Also, be sure to remove your dog’s rain jacket right after you get home to prevent him from overheating inside.
Invest in rainboots. That goes for you and your dog! Neither of you wants to slip, and you both run the risk of slipping and sliding in rain and mud puddles. Experts from Trupanion pet insurance company recommend for pups rain boots that fit snugly but are not too tight, and are rubberized with non-slip bottoms. So your dog doesn't track mud and dirt into the house, dry your pal’s paws with a clean towel after every rainy walk. Leave that towel on the porch or at the front door so it's right there for you to grab before your doggie leaves mud prints everywhere. This pair of doggie rainboots-slash-leggings is available on Amazon.com.
Make sure cars can see you. When it's raining hard, visibility isn't great for drivers. It can be tricky to see out the front, rear, and side windows, even with windshield wipers. Make sure drivers can see both you and your pup as they head down the street--especially in a moderate or heavy rain. They sell reflective dog collars and vests online, and as for you, consider dressing in a bright color, such as yellow, or carrying a flashlight, to make it easier for cars to spot both you and Rex in inclement weather. Always better to be safe than sorry!