Living in Seattle, we’re all familiar with the impact that rain can have on our dogs. But, rainy days shouldn't dampen your dog's spirits or keep you from giving them the exercise they need. With the right gear and preparation, you can enjoy a walk with your dog even when the weather is wet. Here are five rainy-day dog walking essentials that will ensure both you and your pup have a pleasant and comfortable experience when your dog isn’t at Good Dog:
1. Waterproof Jacket & Boots: Investing in a waterproof jacket and a pair of boots will help keep both you and your dog dry during rainy walks. Look for a jacket that is lightweight, breathable, and has a water-resistant or waterproof coating. Similarly, waterproof boots will protect your dog's paws from getting wet and muddy, preventing discomfort and potential infections. Make sure the boots are the right size and fit securely to avoid any discomfort or slipping while walking - keep in mind that it may take some getting used to for your dog. The adjustment period is adorably, awkwardly hilarious so you might wish to have your camera ready to capture it!
2. Reflective Gear & Leash: Visibility is crucial on rainy days, especially when it's dark or foggy. Opt for reflective gear such as a high-visibility vest or a raincoat with reflective strips to ensure you and your dog are easily seen by motorists and pedestrians. Additionally, a reflective leash will make it easier for you to keep track of your dog and prevent any accidents. These reflective accessories provide an extra layer of safety during low-visibility conditions. They are also useful even when the weather is nicer - think about that end-of-the-day walk when the sun starts going down, those reflective strips make you more visible and more safe.
3. Quick-Drying Towel: A quick-drying towel is a must-have accessory for rainy day dog walks. Keep a compact towel handy to wipe your dog's paws and body when you return home. Drying them thoroughly will help prevent them from getting cold and uncomfortable. Choose a towel made of microfiber or a material that absorbs water effectively and dries quickly. It will make the post-walk cleanup a breeze and keep your dog warm and cozy.
4. Treats & Toys: Rainy walks can sometimes be shorter than usual due to the weather. Keep your dog engaged and happy during these walks by bringing along some treats and toys. Treats can serve as positive reinforcement during training or to distract your dog from any anxiety caused by rain. Toys, such as a favorite squeaky toy or a treat-dispensing puzzle, can keep them mentally stimulated and entertained. While lugging toys around in the rain may seem a bit cumbersome, some dogs will respond well to this stimulus. For many though, treats will be reward enough - it’s okay for some walks to be strictly utilitarian in nature focusing on the dog doing their business.
5. Extra Time & Patience: Slower and more cautious walks are common when it’s raining. Allow extra time for your dog to explore and adjust to the wet surroundings. Be patient and understanding if your dog becomes reluctant or anxious. Offer encouragement, praise, and reassurance to help them feel more at ease. Remember, a rainy walk is also an opportunity to strengthen your bond.
We may be preaching to the choir here since most of us in Seattle adapt well to living with rain, but don't let rainy weather ruin your dog's daily routine. By keeping these five rainy-day dog walking essentials in mind, you can ensure both you and your pup have an enjoyable time outdoors, regardless of the weather. Stay dry with waterproof gear, enhance visibility with reflective accessories, keep your dog comfortable with a quick-drying towel, provide entertainment with treats and toys, and give your dog extra time and patience. Rainy days can be an adventure with the right preparation and once they’re comfortable going for a rainy walk, take them on a hike - or give them a break from the weather and let them come to Good Dog to play with their friends!