It's Raining, It's Pouring, My Bulldog is Snoring
Our resident weather-sensitive Bulldog fills you in on being a dog in the rain.
Samantha Meyers |
Posted: December 11, 2014, 11 a.m. PST
For those of you who don't know, Mr. Huggs and I are located in Northern California which is currently under siege of mother nature. Rain and winds are flooding the streets (and our garage), downing power lines, closing shops and making it unsafe to leave the house. Yes I know that many of you on the other half of the country are probably shaking your heads wondering why we can't handle a little bit of water, but to us the rain is like a distant family member you've met once, showing up at your door unannounced expecting to stay for the week. It's awkward, inconvenient and simply not what you signed up for, especially when you have a dog in the house.
While many dogs enjoy changes of weather, many California dogs, or at least my California dog who was literally born into sun and sand, is displeased when he feels a chill. While I enjoy a nip in the air I am forced to keep the heat on for my shivering dog. You should have seen the face he gave me when he realized I replaced my car with one that did not have heated seats. But somehow we have managed to brave the rain storm (so far) and he is currently is napping in a coat.
To help those of you dealing with the rain and in some cases the more serious affects and damages of the rain, Mr. Huggs and I have put together a list of things you should prepare for, consider and have on hand in case of rain or a more serious emergency.
If the rain has not hit you yet (it's on it's way Southern California) you have a little bit of time to prepare. Head to the store and stock up on dog food, make sure you have necessary medications on hand and basic first aid supplies. It may not be safe to drive and in our area many businesses and vet offices are closing for the rain. You don't want to be stuck without necessary supplies. Pick up a doggy raincoat while you are out, it will help if your dog is not used to getting wet while doing their business.
Also make sure you are prepared in case you need to leave your home. Gather leashes, crates and dog medical records to have on hand should you need to evacuate.
It's Raining Cats and Dogs
For some dogs it might as well be raining animals for the amount of displeasure and anxiety the rain can bring. Everything from being inside to outside can be an ordeal if your dog is not a fan of the rain. The most common issues faced by dog owners in the rain are fear of rainstorms, going to the bathroom in the rain and having an energetic dog who can't get out for a much needed walk.
Fear of Rain
My family's Shih Tzu, Wally, used to pace the hallways in a rainstorm insisting that he get out of the house (although he didn't like getting wet either) and was happiest sitting in the car in the garage during inclement weather. I guess he wanted to be prepared should he need to make a quick getaway.
The car might not be the right answer for every dog, so here are a couple more ideas.
- Create a safe space with your dog's bed and or crate. A crate is a safe option if you feel that your dog may put himself in danger. Play music or put on the TV to help drown out the noise of the rain.
- Use a Thundershirt to help ease anxiety. If you don't have one on hand, putting your dog in a snug fitting jacket or shirt can help to achieve a similar affect.
- Some dogs require medication to take the edge off. Consult your vet on this one.
Pottying in the Rain
"He's peeing in the rain, just peeing in the rain..." that's how that song goes, right?
Whether it's fear, a dislike of being wet or safety concerns, finding an option for your dog's business can be difficult in severe weather conditions.
If the weather is dangerous (strong gusting winds, hail, lightning), keep your dog inside. You don’t want your dog to be swept away, hit by flying debris, hail or lightning or encounter a downed power line. Create an indoor potty solution weather it be a pee pad, the garage or even a shower/bathtub.
If it's safe to go out, but your dog doesn't like to get wet, wait for the lulls in the storm. If that's not an option consider using a rain coat or finding a covered place for him to get things done. One trick we use in our house is to raise the garage door - if you have an old school garage door like we do, that lifts up, it will create a small overhang that will keep your dog dry.
Most importantly, dry your dog off after being outside.
The Active Dog
If your dog requires an hour long walk to be somewhat less crazy, extreme weather will seem like a nightmare for you both. If it's just regular rain, brave the storm and get your dog the exercise he needs, but if it's severe keep yourself and your dog safe by staying indoors.
Consider clearing out a room to make a play space for you and your dog to get in some activity. The garage is another great and dry option for running around (make sure it's clean and safe.) Or take your dog for a walk up and down the hallway. This is also a great time to teach your dog a new trick or play a game. The mental stimulation can be as tiring as a good walk.
In Case of Emergency
Accidents happen and you may not be able to get to the vet. It's always good to know some basic first aid for your dog.
The Bright Side
While bad weather can cause some major concerns, there can be silver linings in every cloud. It's a great time to stay home and enjoy the company with your dog. Snuggle up with a good dog book or one of our favorite dog movies.
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