I think it’s probably safe to say we’ve all had enough of this horrid, soggy, rainy weather by now, right?! Whenever I open the curtains to a rainy day, it’s true, my heart often sinks. Not only because those grey skies are soooo miserable to look at, but I know I live with at least one dog who detests the rain so much! The result? I know I’m going to need to bring my negotiating ‘A’ game on days like these (the UN has nothing on me!)
So whilst some dogs may not be phased by the ‘water falling from the sky’ how do you cope when your dog hates the rain? What happens if you share your life with a fair-weather hound?! Well I’m going to set out some ideas about how best to tackle this conundrum, especially given the weather forecast for this week, waaaaaahhhhh….
1. MAKE IT FUN!
As you may already know, dogs are extremely adept at picking up signals from us about certain situations. Whilst you may not like the rain, if you have a dog who also doesn’t care for it, try to make the rain an exciting and positive event, rather than negative. (You can be moaning on the inside but on the outside, it’s the most exciting thing everrrrrrrr!!) Try to go back in time as a child when many of us thought jumping in a puddle was a highlight of the week! Dogs can sense and reflect our moods, so if you’re jolly about the rain then hopefully, in time, this may well pass down to your pup too.
2. ENCOURAGE, REWARD, REPEAT
By being positive and encouraging (often, thankfully, from the comfort of the porch), I do tend to find Ted will eventually run out and do what he needs to do. If he refuses, we have a break and try again shortly afterwards. No shouting. Just keeping calm throughout. As soon as he does go out, I heap so much praise on him, I’m surprised his big head can even make it back through the door! Seriously though, a lot of encouragement can go a long way if your dog hates the rain.
As as well as verbal praise, rewarding with a truly scrumptious treat is also a great way to encourage them and show the rain can be good after all! Recently our treats of choice have been Harringtons Training Treats, which were kindly sent to us by Barbour. They go down very well indeed!! Yummy!
3. CAN’T BEAT THEM?JOIN THEM!
I often think I’d be pretty reluctant to go outside to the loo in the pouring rain too. I do feel for our pups! Sometimes just opening a door and rewarding a treat afterwards isn’t good enough. I know when Ted is going to need some extra ‘support’ on certain days. I’m convinced he’s thinking:
‘If I have to stand in the rain, then so does she”
It’s definitely some sort of payback for simply making him do what he needs to do! Cheeky monkey! But guess what? Sometimes, you may well need to don your welly boots, grab your rain mac and ‘escort’ your four-legged friend to the garden. Yes it’s not ideal, but as a dog parent sometimes we need to go the extra mile to help convince our dogs it’s the right thing to do (if you want to avoid an accident on your favourite rug that is!) Oh I’ve been there, my friend! At the moment I’m really loving the look of coats from Rockholly (they’d make being in the rain with Ted a better experience!)
4. TRY DIFFERENT FLOOR SURFACES
If your dog hates the rain and really won’t go to the loo (and you’ve used your arsenal of tricks above) try moving to a different underfoot texture. Your dog may not actually mind the rain itself but dislike the feel of the wet grass on their paws instead. I’ve found sometimes taking a quick walk down the road to find a different kind of surface might help. Plus a little walk may help get things moving! I had to do this a lot when Ted & I lived in London. It always had to be the exact ‘right’ spot for Ted to do his business! Sometimes you just have to present them with different options.
5. MAKE SURE THEY’RE WARM
Whilst Ted loves a good old bath and the feel of the warm water on his fur, the same can’t be said for the rain. Whether it’s the cold nature of it (or he just doesn’t want to be wet), either way he’s not a fan. You therefore may want to consider getting a coat for your dog. Coats may not be right for all dogs but certain breeds seem to rely on them more such as dachshunds, greyhounds and generally small dog breeds who are particularly sensitive to the cold.
Covering up a little means less of their fur is exposed to that horrid wet weather! Hopefully this should mean they’re a little less reluctant to venture outside knowing they won’t be drenched by the time they get inside. Particular favourites in our house are Country & Twee (as you can read in our previous post HERE) and Redhound for Dogs who create the most gorgeous fleece jumpers for all sizes (think Equafleece but with a personal touch!)
6. DRY, DRY, DRY…
Whether it’s a quick pit stop to the garden for a loo break or going on a walk, it’s always important to help your dog dry off afterwards. That’s right, it’s ‘dry dry, dry’ time (imagine it sung as ‘Bye Bye Bye’ in an N’Sync stylie – blast from the past!) Anyway, I digress! I’ve found a dog drying coat can be pawfect to get those soggy doggies dry again. On a serious note though, if your dog really detests the wet weather, it’s even more important to show them the rain can’t hurt them and they’ll be dry again in no time!
This is why I’ve found drying coats can be fab! They’re essentially mini-dressing gowns which help absorb a lot of the water. There are a lot of options out there but we personally use Dogrobes (in fact we have a special blog post about them coming up in the next month or so). They’re so simple to pop on and make drying a dog so much easier.
TIME TO KISS THE RAIN?
So what does your dog think of the rain? Do they love it or are they counting down the days to warm sunshine? We’d love to hear what your dog thinks and whether you have any tips of your own too! Pop us a comment below.
In the meantime, stay dry and let’s hope it won’t be long until we experience some sunnier days.
Sarah, Ted & Millie xxx