Jump to what you’re looking for quicker by clicking on the question below!
Should I walk dogs as normal even when it’s raining outside?
It is definitely encouraged that you still walk dogs even in rainy weather, but overall it’s best to gauge the dog’s comfort level first. Every dog is different when it comes to being outside in the rain. Some dogs want nothing to do with the rain (will shake, resist movement, etc.), while others don’t mind it at all. Clients may or may not specify this in their pet profile, so please be sure to check for any notes on that! Also, make sure that if a pup has rain gear mentioned in their profile that they are wearing it during your walk! Overall, and especially if nothing is mentioned about the topic, please use your best judgment to determine whether it’s appropriate to walk the dogs in your care in rainy weather.
Remember that clients have signed up for a service that’s going to provide their dog with an energy release, so it’s extremely important to keep the pet parent’s needs in mind as well (in making your decision). If you have to modify a service to give the dog an energy release in some other capacity than a walk, by all means GET CREATIVE!
How should I conduct a rainy day walk?
With rainy walks, safety and comfort are a big concern. If you have decided to take the dog for a walk during rainfall, there are a few extra precautions you can take:
- Before leaving, have a dry towel ready to go near the door you’ll be entering back in through upon returning to the client’s home
- Avoid mud and puddles as much as possible.
- Be extra careful when crossing or walking near busy streets – it’s much more difficult for cars to see pedestrians in rainy weather!
- Keep an eye out for shelter and allow dogs to take breaks there as needed.
- Upon returning, make sure to towel off the dog thoroughly, especially on their paws and underbellies, where they’re usually the most wet and muddy. We definitely want to avoid tracking rain or mud into the client’s home!
What if I’m not comfortable walking in rainy weather?
We understand! Walking in the rain isn’t usually fun. This is why it’s important that you’re well-equipped, as this can help the walk to be more enjoyable. We recommend having any or all of the following items with you on rainy-day walks:
- ☂️ Umbrella
- Rain boots
- Dry change of clothes
It’s also possible that you’re in a scenario where safety may be at risk. If the weather has progressed beyond light/medium rainfall into heavy rain and/or thunder and lightning, this becomes a safety concern. With thunder and lightning especially, it’s best to bring the dog back home and maximize time inside using tips in the section below.
What if the dog doesn’t wanna walk in the rain?
There are many ways you can try to make the walk happen, including making sure the dog is comfortable. If a dog seems resistant to going outside/walking in rainy weather, you can try encouraging them with some positive reinforcement: treats, toys, etc. But, bottom line, you always can modify a dog walk if absolutely necessary! Clients may or may not be clear about their dog’s comfort in inclement weather, and you’re encouraged to ask them directly, either in person or in journal reports! You are also encouraged to reach out via Slack to ask other team members about a pup’s rainy day behavior. If a dog is extremely resistant to walking in the rain, here are some ways you can maximize your time inside:
- Play with their toys or a ball inside, always being extra careful and aware of your surroundings!
- Hide treats around the home (in pet-friendly spaces) and encourage the pup to find them!
- Brush the dog’s fur, making sure to clean up anything they shed
- If a client has them available for their pup, towards the end of the service, you can give them a long-lasting treat to work on, like a rawhide bone, a Greenie/Dentastix, or a Kong filled with peanut butter to keep them stimulated.
- Get creative, try anything else you can think of to help the pup get their energy out!
For more tips/info, please click here!