Walking Your Dog in the Rain

Dog care when taking your pup for a walk in the rain

It’s that time of day, and your faithful pup is nudging the newspaper out of your hand and handing you its leash. It is a rather clichéd situation, but every dog owner understands the importance of getting out and giving their dog plenty of opportunity to stretch all four of their legs.

But, what happens when weather isn’t too kind? You open up the door, and everything is getting wet. The rain can seem like a downer for your outdoor plans – still, there’s the need to potty that requires someone to get their paws wet.

Does your dog like to get wet? Some dogs do enjoy drizzle while others dread the fact that something keeps falling on them. Regardless of how they feel about the rain, the outcome always seems to be a stinky dog. Even the smallest amount of rain seems to bring out a rather pungent odor, and it’s even worse when they come back in and rub themselves on the carpet to dry off (or shake it off!).

So, in preparation for what is and what might be, always be sure to check what the weather is going to be like. What’s the temperature outside? Is there going to be a cold drizzle today? Dogs are like people. A cold drizzle could land them with an illness or make them feel a little under the weather. In order to keep your pup safe and happy, there are a few things to consider when it comes to walking your dog when it’s raining.

Picking a good location

The environment itself will play a part in the experience. While it might be raining, there will be places that provide a more secure area for walking than others. Avoid muddy locations. Some dogs actually like to get wet, but there are some that also enjoy rolling around in the mud. Avoid grassy areas. Grass has more surface area and that type of environment will actually get your dog wetter than a pathway or sidewalk.

Stick to pathways that aren’t immediately adjacent to roads. Passing cars can splash road-water on you and your dog, and in bad weather, visibility is decreased significantly. Accidents do happen, and it’s always best to take precautions and avoid any unnecessary situations altogether.

One thing to remember always – don’t walk your dog at night when it’s raining. It poses too many unnecessary dangers. If you do have to go out on a rainy night, (midnight potty time) carry a reliable flashlight and keep it on.

Wearing the right stuff

It is, therefore, important that you dress your pup to handle the outdoor experience. The main objective is to keep your pet covered. Pet rain coats are available through many companies; just make sure that the material and fitting is comfortable for your dog. Select one that covers their head but does not restrict their vision so that they aren’t wrestling with the attire.

There are rain boots available, but most dogs wouldn’t enjoy these (they’ll just try to take them off). Be sure that all clothes are bright and flashy so that others can spot your dog in the falling rain. If your choice outfit doesn’t seem bright enough, reflective tape can help vehicles and pedestrians to spot your dog more easily (especially if they’re a tiny breed).

Keep a few things on hand

There are a few things that you need for yourself, as well. While a rain coat and hat might suffice for you normally, an umbrella will help deal with the majority of the precipitation.  Plus, an umbrella will help improve your visibility, and says clearly: “Hey, I’m right here.”

Additionally, it’s good practice to carry a towel with you, especially for that moment right before you go back inside. With rain attire or not, your pup is bound to have some moisture on them. Dry them off before you set them loose in the home. This will help keep that pungent smell down and probably be more comfortable for your pup than air drying.

Going for a walk in the rain can be an adventure, and as long as you prepare for it properly, you can ensure the safety of both you and your pup. With the correct attire and a little cover, you can keep the falling precipitation from hindering your daily exercise activities.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Dogs and Old Age

Your Dog is getting older.

As this normal part of life occurs, many changes may be occurring as well. Its normal. It is one of those facts of life that happen to all of us, including our pets. Behavior changes may very well be part of the aging process. Dementia and aggression are common, as well as things like loss of bladder control, deafness and other physical signs. These problems may very well get worse as time goes on. It does not necessarily mean a trip to the vet to help your best friend go off into an endless peaceful sleep. There are other alternatives; other ways to help you and your pet both during this time of stress.

First, look at the changes in your pet’s behavior the same way you would if it were an elderly relative. After all, your dog is your loyal, loving best friend and companion.

Dementia, for example is a disorder that is as common in dogs as it is in people. It affects the ability to think clearly and one of the causes of forgetfulness. Eventually, your dog may even forget his own name and stop responding when you call. In dementia, the neurotransmitters in the brain are aging, slowing down and this leads to permanent damage of those transmitters. Just as in people. Your dog may be walking along without any sense of direction or purpose; it seems he just doesn’t know where he is going or why. He doesn’t.

Another sign is aggression.

Your normally happy, friendly dog will just as a puppy, jump up and wag its tail but its hackles will be raised and he will be baring his teeth. Hostility toward other dogs especially during play will be noticeable. Instead of playing, it becomes fighting, and the old guy is really out to take off his former playmate’s head.

Sometimes this aggression if directed toward you and your family. Your dog suddenly becomes a threat. As hard as that is to believe, it is a common occurrence among old dogs. Your dog becomes apprehensive, thinking something bad is about to happen and directs this aggression toward you or another family member. When your pet has reached this point, things are going to be tough for the both of you.

There are many courses of action available, mainly in the realm of medications. There are medicines out there, available from your vet that can and do help with these cognitive disorders. Using these medications can help improve overall mental abilities, improving memory and helping your dog be less confused and more aware of its surroundings.

Now is the time to talk to your vet. He or she can offer a load of advice, suggest treatment options as well as prescribe medications. Another alternative is a pet behavioralist. These professionals can also offer a wealth of insight, advise and expertise in changing the behavior of aging dogs.

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Care Tips for your Dog

Before you add a new pet to your family you need to make sure you are able to care for it. If you are accustomed to cats for example, a dog requires different care because it has different needs. Love, attention, feeding and vet care are pretty much the same, but cats are independent, and a dog requires exercise and running room.

You can find pet care information at your vet’s, at pet stores and even online. You can find out about how much and when to feed, how to keep them happy and healthy, what their specific breed requirements are – don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Your vet is the best place for information. You can find out anything and everything you need to know in order to ensure your dog is healthy. Diet, weight, exercise requirements, recommended toys are all available for the asking. And, most vets will give you the information you need whether you ask for it or not, they want to make sure your pet is kept healthy and happy.

Online, you can find articles about training, housing, housebreaking, health alerts, nutritional needs and just about anything else you can think of, including clothing and accessories.

Below are a few tips to get you started:

1) Overfeeding your dog is unhealthy, so is feeding dog food that is not nutritionally appropriate. Read labels, and follow your vet’s advice as to dietary needs. What is best for one dog may not be the best choice for another.

2) Physical punishment, such as hitting or even shouting, will only accomplish making your dog afraid of you. It will not change the unwanted behavior. Scolding is fine – just as with a child. If your dog needs to be trained or retrained, there are many sources of information available. After all, you want to change the behavior, not alienate your friend.

3) Make sure your dog has had all of his shots. These prevent disease and other illness that is uncomfortable for the both of you. Regular vet visits are also a part of the general care of your pet.

4) Never, ever give a pet as a gift, unless you know for a fact the person receiving the animal wants one and can take care of it properly. Including the additional time and expense a pet requires.

5) While your dog is not a human being, he or she has feelings, too. Don’t push them away when they are craving attention – especially if you have been gone all day at work. They missed you! Your animals convey their feelings, pay attention to what they are trying to tell you. If there are major changes going on in the household or in your life, talk to your dog about it. He may not understand the words, but he will understand your body language and tone of voice, and understand that things are really ok. Praise them when they do something good, and don’t forget a treat or two!

6) Make sure your dog has an area in which to do his or her business. And, make sure it is accessible. Imagine the confusion you dog will experience if you are gone longer than expected to be, and just can’t hold it any longer, and then gets scolded for soiling the carpet. Remember the discomfort you yourself feel when a toilet is not handy – your dog experiences the same discomfort, and sometimes really just can’t wait for you to get home to let him out.

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