Looking for dog walking tips? As a responsible dog owner, you already know that your dog needs to be walked every day, regardless of the weather. No one enjoys walking when the weather is unpleasant, and many dogs prefer to minimize the length of the walk on such days, too.
Nonetheless, you can make the walk enjoyable and safe for both of you by adjusting how you walk your dog in the wet weather conditions.
Helpful Practices for Walking in Wet Weather
The first rule to follow when walking your dog in any weather is safety first. That means wearing clothing that will help oncoming traffic see you and your dog. During daylight hours, wear bright clothing. At night, staying safe means wearing reflective clothing and using reflective leashes, harnesses and collars on your dog. If possible, use sidewalks and minimize the number of street crossings you have to make.
Here are some additional dog walking tips:
Shorten the Length of Your Walks
When the rain is coming down, you no doubt will be happy to shorten your walks. When the temperature is cold, try to make the walk as short as you can, especially if the temperatures are low enough that the rain is freezing and the surfaces are slippery with ice.
Walking in a soft rain on warm spring or summer days can actually be refreshing. However, avoid walking in downpours or during thunder and lightning storms. We all know that lightning is dangerous. Moreover, some dogs are terrified of thunder and lightning. Know your dog. If your dog is afraid, you run the risk of a frightened dog slipping out of your grip in a frantic attempt to find a hiding place. If you must walk your dog in such conditions, do so in a safe area and keep it as short as possible.
Check the weather forecast in your area. For example, before a dog walk in Fairfax, look to find out if you can wait thirty minutes or so and perhaps walk when the weather improves a bit.
Rain makes puddles. Dogs often like to explore them and may pull you off of the sidewalk or trail to check one out. Your dog may be one that finds a puddle irresistible, and may want to play in it or drink from it. Drinking water from a puddle may be cute, but you need to discourage your dog from doing it. The water can easily contain toxins that are bad or even dangerous for your dog to ingest. Puddles often harbor bacteria like Leptospirosis, which can make your dog quite sick and can be transmitted to humans.
Properly Dry Your Dog after Walking in the Wet Weather
You can try keeping your dog dry during a walk by putting a rain jacket and boots on your dog. If your dog will tolerate wearing rain protective equipment, by all means use it. Make sure it fits the dog properly or you could end up with a wet dog that is entangled in its gear! If your dog will walk in boots, you can also use them to protect its paws from sharp, icy surfaces in winter and burning hot pavement in the summer. The boots can improve traction on slippery surfaces, too.
Be aware that not all dogs will accept rain coats or walking in boots. If your dog is one of those intolerant ones, you will need to properly dry them after the walk. In those cases, make it easier on yourself. Simply leave a clean, dry towel by your door. When you return from your walk, use it to dry your dog’s face, coat and paws.
Expect that your wet dog will want to shake itself off, sending water droplets everywhere. Give it a quick rub down with the towel before it shakes and you can at least minimize the amount of water spraying on you and your home’s interior surfaces. Dry each one of its paws to minimize wet paw prints on your clean floors.
Sometimes your dog will find a nice muddy place to trot through or even roll in. For that reason, you should have a supply of paw cleaning products and dog shampoo on hand. Include a dry shampoo or dog cleaning wipes for use in cold weather. Avoid using soap designed for humans as it can quickly dry the dog’s skin and paws out.
Only use shampoo products designed for a dog to clean off mud and debris. Once dry, consider using a good paw conditioning product to keep the dog’s paws healthy.
Contact the Dog Care Pros at Paw Pals
Your dog needs regular walking to keep it healthy and happy. For that reason, a walk in the rain is usually better than no walk at all. If you need help making sure your dog gets regularly and properly walked no matter the weather, contact the experts at Paw Pals. They provide first-rate dog walking and pet care services. Talk to them today about how they can help you with your dog.