For dog owners, walkers and sitters rainy days means wet walks with their favorite pooch accompanied by wet, smelly fur and muddy paws. This in turn can cause you to have a wet, dirty and smelly home. If you happen to have or take care of a dog with long or curly hair it can also mean fur mats, lots of them. But since we can’t keep them inside all the time (at a minimum they will need to go out to do their business), it’s time to share 5 rainy day dog walking tips to keep our beloved pups dry and our homes clean.
Here are 5 information packed tips on how to make rainy day walks with your dog a breeze.
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1. Check the weather
Wet weather often comes in cycles with either light rain or no rain in between. Check the weather forecast in the morning and plan your dog walks and bathroom breaks accordingly. Waiting for your normal walk time or when your dog is asking to go out may cause you to have to go out in a downpour.
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2. Before you leave prepare for your return
Having everything in place for your return will make drying your pup a breeze. Before leaving the house, make sure to spread out a super absorbent machine washable rug in your entryway to soak up the rain and mud you will both ultimately track inside. If one rug is not large enough to cover most of the floor, use more. Old towels will work too but you may find that you will need a lot more towels on the floor to soak up the mess.
Tip: Use two or more smaller rugs to cover the area instead of one large rug. Smaller rugs will fit into your washing machine easier and will cause less wear and tear.
Keep old towels within close reach of the door to drape over your dog as soon as you come in. The draped towel will help stop him from shaking all the rain and mud onto your walls and floors.
Have a low bucket of water with a mild dog shampoo mixed in waiting nearby so you can dunk your pup’s paws in and clean the mud off. Depending on how long your walk lasts you can leave out warmer water then you would normally use on your dog. By the time you come back the water should be the right temperature.
3. Get yourself and your dog ready for the rain
Umbrellas tend to be cumbersome when dog walking. We just don’t have enough hands to properly hold a leash and an umbrella. Not to mention what do you do with the umbrella while picking up after your pup? Laying the umbrella down would result in a wet and dirty handle. Instead, use a raincoat with a hood or a hooded poncho to keep dry. Wipe away your raining day blues with a pair of fun stylish rain boots to keep your feet warm and dry.
If you need to carry a lot of items and don’t have a lot of pockets consider a waterproof walking bag.
For your dog
Dog rain coats and boots will help keep them dry and mud free though many dogs may be unwilling to wear them.
If your pooch doesn’t mind wearing a raincoat go for one that covers their head, back legs and underside.
However, if they are not the type to wear a full body raincoat, try a less restrictive rain coat that covers their head, back and part of their stomach.
4. Plan your walk
Think about what areas on your walk may contain puddles or muddy areas and avoid them by picking another route. Also if you live in an urban environment stay away from busy streets where you may be splashed by a passing car.
5. When you get back
Once you get back inside before your dog is able to shake off the water, drape the towel you laid out early on their back. Dogs are less likely to shake with a towel on them. Quickly start drying off their back and legs. If they are wearing a full raincoat and boots the cleanup should be easy.
If they went out with no protection from the rain, towel dry them with a super absorbent towel as much as you can. For long or curly haired dogs you will want to use a slicker to brush out any tangles before they become full blown mats.
Clean their muddy paws by dipping them in the water mixture you set out before taking your walk. Remember to check the water temperature before placing your dog’s paws in.
If you have it, use a pet friendly hair dryer to completely dry their fur. Be careful not to hold the dryer to close to your pet or let it get too hot.
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