Spring is a wonderful time to take your dog for a walk. You get to watch the world wake up with new life: leaves budding on the trees, hills turning green, and flowers blooming. The longer days mean opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with your pet. However, walking your dog in the spring isn’t all sunshine and rainbows; it can also be a wet, windy, and cold affair.
Spring weather isn’t always as nice as you would hope. The transition away from winter can be a rough one. Make sure you’re always prepared for walking your dog in spring weather with these tips and reminders.
Check the weather
Sudden showers are common in the spring. Temperatures can be deceptively cold, and there are large changes in temperature between night and day.
Always check the weather forecast before heading out for a walk or hike in the spring. Weather changes quickly in shoulder seasons, and a quick weather check can help you stay safe, comfortable, and dry.
- Make the most of good weather. Get outside when it is beautiful! Some dogs don’t like going out in the rain, so take advantage of clear skies.
- Consider going on frequent short walks (when there are gaps in the rain, or the rain lets up) instead of longer walks.
- Even if you and your dog don’t mind a little precipitation, be prepared to take a rain check. Walking in a light shower is fine, but it’s not safe to be exposed outdoors in thunder and lightning.
Be ready for the rain
The further away from your car, home, or shelter, the more prepared you need to be when walking your dog in the spring.
- Wear a rain jacket.
- Wear waterproof footwear or rain boots.
- Consider carrying an umbrella.
- Wear layers — base layer, middle insulating layer, and a waterproof outer layer.
- Wear high visibility clothing, such as bright colors or clothing with reflective trim.
- Keep a change of clothes in your vehicle.
Prepare your dog.
- Get your dog a reflective collar or leash to increase visibility in stormy weather.
- Clip your dogs nails and keep the fur between the pads of his feet trimmed short. Long nails and fur can collect dirt and grime, which can irritate your dog’s feet. Trimming and clipping also makes it easier to clean paws after walks or hikes in the rain.
- Keep dry towels in your vehicle to dry your dog’s fur and clean his paws.
- Keep a blanket or seat cover in your car to protect your vehicle’s interior.
- Dry your dog thoroughly and turn on the heat to prevent hypothermia.
Bring water when walking your dog in spring weather
You might think that you don’t need to bring water for your dog because of swollen streams or an abundance of rain puddles. However, it is not always safe to let your pet drink from puddles or natural bodies of water, especially standing water.
Puddles in urban areas can contain motor oil, chemicals, waste, or other types of contamination. Even natural rivers, streams, and ponds can be contaminated or polluted. It is safest to bring fresh, clean water for your dog.
Take extra caution while hiking
While it’s fun to watch the world wake up in spring, you also need to be careful of this new life, especially while hiking. Animals are more active in the spring, and poisonous plants can grow all across the United States.
Keep an eye out for snakes, predatory animals, and poisonous plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak. Treat your dog for fleas and ticks before heading out for a hike.
Start your dog young
Spring is an excellent season to take your dog for a walk or hike if you are prepared. It’s also a good idea to take your dog for walks in as many different settings as possible when he is a young puppy.
The more temperatures, weather conditions, and settings that your dog is introduced to, the better he will handle new and trying situations later in life. We have Doodle puppies for sale in Arkansas! Take a look at out available puppies, or contact us with any of your questions about our Doodle dogs!