Rainy Day Risks for Dogs | PetPartners Pet Insurance

I burst out laughing when I read this haiku on an old friend of mine’s facebook page…

Reading: Can dogs get sick from rain

storm clouds drain water.

unable to urinate in the rain,

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she waits with envy.

Reading: Can dogs get sick from rain

but I guess my friend wasn’t laughing. You see, along with his creative poem was a photo of his German Shepherd puppy, looking longingly out the window.

When the land is swallowed by water, it’s frustrating for us humans. we can’t go anywhere without raindrops falling on us. we have to juggle an umbrella with all the other things we are used to. our backyards turn into puddles and we have to wipe our dog’s paws every time he goes outside. it gets in the way of our style and can often put us in a bad mood.

dangers of rainy weather

but the forecast of rain can also be a sign of danger for our canines. These threats come in the form of four risk factors: poor visibility, lightning, puddles, and disease. Let’s talk about these risks and how to avoid them.

poor visibility

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With rain comes poor visibility for drivers. drivers who cannot see out the windshield due to pouring rain are a risk to your dog. if your dog gets scared by the rain, he’s likely to run into oncoming traffic. If you have to go out in the rain with your dog, make sure you keep it on a leash. You may also consider wearing a reflective collar and/or leash. we like this ruffwear crag collar we just bought for our dog that has reflective straps.

lightning and thunder

Lightning and thunder often accompany rain and can also scare your dog into running away. when there is lightning and thunder, it is better to avoid taking long walks. umbrellas and straps have metal parts that can attract lightning. But, it is important to note that you should resist the urge to take the collar off your dog. Even though your collar may have metal parts, the risk of being struck by lightning is not as great as the risk of escaping without identification, yet another reason to invest in a microchip!


another risk that accompanies rainy days are puddles. stagnant water can harbor dangerous bacteria such as leptospirosis and giardia. dr sarah tauber, veterinary emergency vet & Specialty Hospital in Portland, Oregon recommends vaccinating your dog against leptospirosis if your dog tends to drink and/or walk on standing water. Even if your dog doesn’t actually drink infected water, if he walks through it and licks his paws, he can still ingest dangerous bacteria. Tauber also recommends making sure your dog is well hydrated, so he’s not tempted to drink from other water sources during a walk or when he’s out in the yard. Standing water can also contain residual motor oil or lawn chemicals, so it’s best to avoid puddles at all times.

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Now you know that standing water can make your dog sick, but did you know that cold, rainy weather can also cause pneumonia? Long-term exposure to cold, wet weather can lead to inflammation of your dog’s airways. and eventually pneumonia. pneumonia is especially dangerous for older dogs and puppies, as well as dogs with weakened immune systems. Be sure to wipe your dog down thoroughly with a towel, and consider putting a waterproof dog jacket on him if you must take him for a walk. This raincoat for dogs from Amazon, the Ellie Dog Adjustable Reflective Raincoat, received 4.5 stars and rave reviews.

get ready!

It’s important to be prepared for the rain so that when it comes you don’t lose your rhythm or get out of a routine with your four-legged friend. If he follows our advice, he’ll be well on his way to staying safe, healthy, and happy during a rain storm.

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