Walking your dog in the rain: why puddles are dangerous

Mádi-Krezinger Cintia

2024. February 14 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

cute dachshund dog, black and tan, dressed in a yellow rain coat stands in a puddle on a city street

When it's cold and rainy outside, you don't feel like leaving the house and would rather spend your time curled up on the sofa. But as a pet owner, bad weather is no excuse: you need to take your pet out for walks in rain and frost to ensure it gets enough exercise and can do its business.


When you are preparing to walk your dog in the rain, it’s important to take extra precautions to keep your pet safe and healthy. Bad weather does not only inconvenience us humans; it isn’t always a pleasure for our four-legged friends either. To help make your walk as comfortable as possible despite the harsh conditions, we’ve put together a list of things to look out for before, during and after your walk.

Monitor the temperature

In the summer heat, a little rainfall can be good for your pet, but when temperatures drop to zero, your dog needs extra protection. Make sure your dog is dressed according to its breed.

If your dog is reluctant to wear coats, but it’s of a breed that requires to do so, try to teach him to dress appropriately with positive reinforcement and treats.

Choose the right leash, harness or collar

A soaked leash, collar or harness can be uncomfortable for your dog, so it’s a good idea to choose waterproof items in winter. In addition, as visibility is reduced in precipitation, it is recommended that accessories worn by the dog have reflective surfaces for better visibility.

Consider the breed

Just as the breed of dog is important when it comes to dog coats, it also determines how well the dog can withstand rain and snow. Cold-loving breeds with thick coats, such as the Siberian Husky, the Bernese mountain dog or the Alaskan malamute are better adapted to cold, wet weather.

Short-haired breeds such as the English greyhound or the Hungarian vizsla require more protection. In winter, waterproof, thick dog clothing is essential, but a raincoat is also recommended in milder seasons.

Some don’t mind the harsh weather.

Plan your route

Although dogs value routine and predictability, weather conditions may require a change in the usual walking route. It may even happen that the weather suddenly gets worse and you have to go home early, or seek shelter. Think carefully about which way to go, and don’t try to discover a new forest path when the rain is coming down.

Keep your dog away from puddles

Some dogs may find puddles very tempting for a dip, but but they can pose a number of dangers. A deeper, dirty puddle can hide sharp objects, broken glass and other things that can cause injury. In addition, stagnant water can be a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites that can lead to serious illnesses.

A thorough wipe down and your pet will be happier.

Dry their fur after the walk

When you get home, it’s important to wipe your pet’s fur thoroughly and wash its feet. Pay particular attention to the areas between the fingers, where moisture can easily settle and lead to fungal infections.

If your dog’s fur is very wet, you can use a hairdryer, but make sure you set it on a low setting so you don’t accidentally burn your pet.

In addition to avoiding disease, washing and drying the animal can also help eliminating the well-known wet dog smell smell as soon as possible.

dog in the rain dog walking walking your dog in winter

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