Is it Dangerous to Take Your Dog for a Walk in the Rain?

Posted by Justin Ramb

Typically, a little rain won't hurt your dog any more than it would hurt you. After all, nature did not form you or your dog out of sugar. You won't melt. 

Like humans, most dogs would prefer to avoid rain, especially if it makes them feel uncomfortable and cold. That's particularly true if thunder or high winds accompany a downpour. 

Risks of Taking Dogs Outside in the Rain 

A veterinarian interviewed by PetMD advised pet parents to limit venturing out in the rain to short, necessary bathroom breaks. Even before the first raindrops fall, dogs can sense changes in barometric pressure. Your pooch's behavior might change as he suddenly slinks under the bed or shivers anxiously against your leg. Very often, your dog will anticipate a rainstorm before you will, even if he doesn't react to it. 

If you and your pet need to venture out into more than a light sprinkle, keep some warnings in mind. 

  • Poor visibility: Hard rainfall can make it harder for you and your dog to see. Just as bad, it obstructs the vision of drivers. 
  • Thunder: The fear of thunderstorms, called astraphobia, affects as many as 30 percent of dogs. Some dogs act restless, but others may feel startled enough to bolt away. 
  • Lighting: Remove any metal, like the collar clasp. Metal can conduct electricity and increase the risk of a lightning strike. 
  • Cold weather: Particularly when the temperature drops, dogs can develop respiratory infections or even pneumonia when exposed to chilly, humid air. 

Also, some dogs don't let a little rain bother them at all, but they love to romp in puddles. Splashing around might appear harmless, but standing water can host many dangerous contaminants that might make your pup sick. For instance, leptospirosis can cause severe symptoms like vomiting, kidney failure, and pain. This bacteria can pose a serious risk to some dogs. If you plan to venture out on rainy days, you might speak to your dog's vet about a vaccine as a preventative measure. 

Do Thunderstorms Give Your Dog the Jitters?

Inside or outside, thunderstorms make many dogs anxious. Sometimes, they even begin to signal distress before their owner sees the first storm clouds. Some dogs grow so agitated that they misbehave by chewing on shoes or even breaking windows. 

Pet owners should try to acclimate dogs to storms by speaking calmly, offering treats, and enjoying bonding time. Still, after dogs develop a fear of thunderstorms, it can take time to teach them they don't need to be afraid. For faster results, calming supplements like Chillout Bites from Moe's Healthy Pets can help ease your dog’s weather woes. 

Dog-safe ingredients include hemp, chamomile, valerian root, and l-tryptophan. This mix of herbs and amino acids encourages a relaxed mental state. You can feel good about helping your pet feel more comfortable, and your dog will feel delighted with the tasty chicken flavor.

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