When you live in a rainforest, you learn a thing or two about how to deal with dogs and the rain.
I’m not talking about how to make your dogs happier walking in the rain or ways to have fun walking in the rain. No. Those are nice ideas, really, but the reality of the situation is that if you live in a place like, I don’t know, let’s say Vancouver where it’s going to rain from now until June, you don’t need cute ideas to make rain fun. You need ways to keep the rain from making your dog friendly home smell like it’s harbouring a pack of wet smelly street rats.
Like most responsible dog owners, I don’t just stop taking my dogs for walks because it’s the rainy season.
We live in an apartment, so I couldn’t even if I wanted to, but walks play an important part in your dog’s emotional well being, in keeping them active and in stimulating their brains. A good, quality dog coat (like our amazing ones made by Hurtta) can go a long way in keeping fur dry and free from wet dog smell, but it isn’t a miracle cure. Unless you find a giant dog-sized hamster ball to fully shield them from the rain, parts of your pooch are going to get wet. (And if you HAVE found giant dog-sized hamster ball WHY THE WOOF have you been keeping this from me? I want links.)
Good news for you: you can totally hack a few dog training commands your pup probably already knows to make rainy day walks so much easier.
1. Potty on Command
Usually used for: house breaking puppies
Rainy Day Hack: Cutting walk time in half
We have a ton of fun ways to keep your dog busy and to provide enrichment indoors, so sometimes all we need to do outside is a quick potty break. Teaching your dog to potty on command means you can dash out and right back inside in no time flat.
Usually used for: Preventing your dog from pulling on the leash
Rainy day hack: staying under an umbrella
Not all dogs love wearing a rain coat. I get it. Still, wet fur creates wet dog smell and I am having none of that. Teach your dog to heel and head out on walks with a generous sized gold umbrella that will keep you both dry.
Usually used for: cuteness?
Rainy day hack: shaking off any additional moisture OUTSIDE instead of in your nice clean house
Even with their coats on, my dogs (especially Felix) manage to get wet on a rainy walk. Luckily, they love to shake it off like T-Swift leaving as much moisture in our parkade instead of my entry way.
Usually used for: A million things. Seriously. What a great command.
Rainy Day Hack: Getting your pooch to wait on a rubber bottomed mat to protect floors
Can we be honest? Those rubber bottomed utility mats are ugly as all get out, but MAN are they great for dogs during the rainy season. My tip? Hide one under an area rug you aren’t embarrassed to let the company see and teach your wet dog to sit there until you give them the all clear.
5. Give a Paw
Usually used for: show boating
Rainy Day Hack: Wiping muddy paws
I almost didn’t teach my dogs this one because like, what is it for?! But then I realized it has so many practical uses like nail clipping and wiping down muddy paws.
6. Roll Over
Usually used for: spacial awareness
Rainy Day Hack: Towel drying bellies
Aside from being adorable when Felix wants attention this one is perfect for getting access to what is possible the soggiest part of my short dogs: their bellies.
7. Go to Your Mat
Usually used for: minimizing begging at dinner table/impulse control
Rainy Day Hack: Keeping a dog in one, washable spot while they dry
My wet dogs are drawn to my couch like a moth to a flame. UGH, JUST NO. I think something in me dies when I see a wet dog lean in to my throw pillows. Go to your mat means I can send my dogs to lay on their own super asy to wash beds until their tolerably dry. Bonus? You can make a blanket that wicks moisture from their fur while preventing the water from soaking into their bed.