Five Great Tips for Walking your Dog in the Rain

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

One of my Facebook memories tells me we had significant flooding in Mirfield this very week in June 2016, and while it’s not been quite so bad this time, we certainly seem to be going backwards weatherwise. The scorching hazy days of the Easter Bank holiday seem to be a distant memory, but that’s no reason to keep you from taking your dog for its regular walk.

Obviously if the weather is atrocious, a quick run around the garden may be best, and your dog will probably thank you for that, but at this time of year it’s not going to be particularly cold and you should continue to walk your dog in moderate rainfall. After all, many people became dog owners so they themselves could get some exercise.

Planning ahead is the key…

It’s not too often that it rains non-stop for days on end, and even through the wettest of days there will often be a window of dry weather. A good tool to use is the Met Office website where you can see a timeline of each day’s anticipated rainfall, or precipitation as they like to call it. See below a screenshot of a Saturday in June where the morning appears to be the best time for being outdoors. As you are probably aware, this should only be used as a guideline as the weather experts have been known, on occasion, to get it wrong.

Saturday 14th June 2019

Find a sheltered route

Having established that we shouldn’t be put off walking our dogs in the rain, there are some things you can do to avoid the worst of the weather. Picking a route with lots of shelter is a good way to achieve this. In our very popular blog Three Great Places to Walk Your Dog around Mirfield, we covered the walk through Hagg Wood to Whitley; this would be an ideal walk in the rain with trees sheltering you on your way. As always, please don’t forget to take poo bags with you and more importantly take them home with you; the trees and bushes don’t need decorating in this way.

Hagg Wood on the way to Whitley

Head for the Park

This one is more for the owners to keep dry but going to a park or a country park means you can let them have a run around while you get shelter under a tree or near a wall; first check that you are allowed to let them run free in these areas. Oakwell Hall in Birstall is a firm favourite with dog walkers and the only outdoor area you have to keep your dog on a lead is within the walled garden, which only makes up a very small part of this fabulous country park. See our previous blog on Oakwell Hall. Another great benefit of using these areas is that you are situated away from roads and traffic. Apart from the increased noise that vehicles on wet surfaces make, you won’t be getting splashed by passing cars either.

Let your dog run free at Oakwell Hall

Above all enjoy the experience…

Try not to see a walk in the rain as a negative activity, rather embrace the full experience. In the summer months, rain often intensifies the smells of foliage and flowers so why not use this time to really feel alive. Get your wellies on and let your kids splash in puddles, in fact you should too. If you are alone use the time to live in the here and now by focusing on the present. I am considering writing a blog about ‘Mindfulness’ while dog walking. Let me know if this is something you would like to read more about in another blog.

Embrace the full experience of being alive

And when you get back home…

Wash or hose any mud off your dog and towel them down. Not only will this make your dog feel better, it will prevent that 'wet dog smell' from lingering: you may think the smell has gone when in fact you have become ‘nose blind’ and anyone else entering the house would instantly smell it.

Finally, we all feel relaxed warm and content following a good shower or bath and this is no different to how your dog will feel after a pampering bath and dry at Beauty Petz. What a joy after a fun walk splashing in the rain and mud to feel cosy and clean. Why not treat them to a well-deserved spruce up…