Walking a Dog in The Rain: Making it Fun and Safe

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Written By Berry Mathew

Ever gone to bed filled with good intentions to take the dog for a long walk the next day, only to be greeted by drizzle? Or even a steady downpour? When it comes to walking a dog in the rain, sun-loving Australians tend to worry whether it’s safe. Or whether we should just hit the snooze button and go back to bed. 

If you do decide to walk your dog on a rainy day, here’s how to make it a safe and pleasant experience for everyone. 

Three tips for walking a dog in the rain safely

  • Get your dog kitted out 

Having the right gear makes most jobs much easier. If you’re exercising, you want to be wearing appropriate shoes and clothes. If your dog is walking in the rain, make sure they’re appropriately kitted out. This means a waterproof dog jacket if it’s cold. 

Make doubly sure your leash is one you can easily keep hold of even if it’s wet. This is where beautiful leather leads, for instance, can sometimes come up short. No matter how beautiful they look, safety comes first! 

The other thing to kit them out with? A cheap dog insurance policy, so they’re covered for medical treatment if there’s an accident or some other medical mishap occurs while out walking. Even with the most alert and aware owners in the world, dogs can slip out of their harnesses, be attacked by another dog, or catch a virus.  

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  • Don’t take them by surprise

Sydney dog boarding kennel, Kip, states that walking a dog in the rain isn’t something that necessarily comes naturally. Plenty of our pampered pooches don’t even like getting their feet wet. But dogs do need exercise, and also need to go outside in the rain occasionally. Getting your dog used to going outside on a rainy day comes with practice. 

Start by taking them out to use the toilet or for a short stroll around the block in the drizzle, rewarding them along the way. As they start to realise the rain can actually be fun, they’ll enjoy going outside even if it’s wet. 

  • Prepare for your return

There’s one thing you can’t avoid when you walk a dog in the rain. Dirt. A wet dog is often a muddy dog. And it’s almost always a smelly dog!

Be prepared to get your pup clean(ish) and dry when you get back. A dry towel will get the worst of the rain off. In addition, have a damp cloth or a towel and a water bottle ready to wipe down their paws, legs, and noses if they’ve come home muddy.

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When you shouldn’t walk a dog in the rain

Should you always walk your dog on a rainy day? Though it’s usually safe and beneficial, there are some instances where skipping the walk is the best option:

  • If your dog is sick 
  • If it is very cold and you won’t be able to get or keep them warm afterwards
  • If there is a serious weather event (like a flood or thunderstorm)
  • If the visibility is poor enough that you won’t be able to see cars and other traffic

Having a good pet insurance policy will give you peace of mind that your dog is protected against the unforeseen. But if you think a walk might be dangerous, it’s best to go ahead and skip it. Instead, play inside or try to exercise your dog without walking.