Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Rain

The highlight of your dog’s day is going for a regular walk each and every day. Not only is it an exciting opportunity for adventure for your dog, but a daily walk is also a way to get the necessary exercise that keeps your dog happy and healthy. Unfortunately, the weather may not always be perfect for walking your dog every day. Although spring does bring warmer temperatures to the Nashville area, strong storm systems with thunder, lightning, hail, and even tornadoes are common, which is why 5 Points Animal Hospital recommends that dog owners regularly check the daily and weekly weather forecast. While you should never go outside with your dog when a thunderstorm, tornado, flood, or other severe weather warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, you can still take your dog on shorter versions of his daily walk on rainy days. We would like to share with you a few tips to keep you and your dog safe when walking in the rain. 

Couple Wwalking their dog in the rain

Be aware of low visibility dangers.

Think about how hard it can be to see when you are driving in the pouring rain. To keep your dog safe around cars in low visibility, PetMD recommends avoiding going for walks during heavy rainstorms. If rain is in the forecast, try to take your dog on his daily walk before the storm arrives. If a rainy walk is unavoidable, keep it shorter than usual.

Seek shelter if you hear thunder or see lightning.

Many dogs can get spooked by thunderstorms, which is why you should always avoid walking your pet during a thunderstorm warning. However, these types of storms can pop up suddenly in this area, so if you ever see lightning or hear thunder, you should quickly seek shelter. Be sure to stay away from trees and high points to stay safe as you are on your way to the closest shelter.

Avoid puddles.

Although your dog may love to jump into puddles when you are on your daily walks, standing water can contain infectious bacteria or harmful chemicals that can make your dog very sick if he came into contact with it. To keep your dog from being tempted to drink from puddles, always offer him plenty of water before and during your walks. If your dog does step in a puddle during a walk, you should immediately clean his paws when you return home to keep him from ingesting any of the water when he licks his paws. Soak each paw for 30 seconds in antiseptic mouthwash that is diluted with water, and towel the paws dry. 

Stay alert to symptoms of pneumonia and other illnesses.

Just like humans, dogs can be more susceptible to developing respiratory illnesses when exposed to cold, rainy weather for too long. You can keep your dog from getting sick by drying him with a warm towel or blanket as soon as you come home from a rainy walk. If you notice him wheezing, coughing, or having any other type of difficulty with breathing, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital immediately. Pneumonia can be life-threatening, so you can count on us to provide the best veterinary medical care to your pet in our comprehensive full-service East Nashville clinic.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Rain

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