Walking through the Rain

Walking through the Rain

Exercise and regular walks are essential to keep your pet healthy and happy. It ensures that their energies are channelized in the right direction and prevents any kind of destructive tendencies, nibbling and chewing habits. Regular walks are often threatened by bad weather conditions especially during monsoon. The roads and parks are often muddy and clogged during this season. During heavy rainfall, one gets into a fix if it is worthwhile to take your pet for a walk. Researchers have identified that dog ownership contributes positively to dimensions ofhuman health, such as social, emotional, and psychological health and wellbeing.

Dog-walking is a dynamic activity and involves inter-actions between the human dog-walker, the dog as human-walker, and the environment. Once out for a walk, the “Healthy Interactions” (both social and environmental) experienced by both dog and human further contributed to the human sense of psychological wellbeing.

According to NCBI, ‘Domestic dogs interlink with every aspect of human society, from companions to those working and providing assistance. Many of these roles depend on physical activity. Dog walking and canine sport participation are important components of the human–canine bond for pet dogs, whilst guiding, searching and even combat comprise key elements of assistance and service dogs’ duties. Extreme environmental conditions, particularly heat stress, affect both the performance ability and overall health of dogs’.

Adhering to your regular walks is a good practice and following a few instruction to keep the ‘walks in the rain’ a pleasurable experience would be highly beneficial. Your pet’s health is of prime importance and it is essential that they do not fall sick or suffer in any manner.

The dog’s breed often governs his walk routines and exercise quotient. In order to keep your pet healthy and happy, daily walks offer the ideal solution and goes a long way in keeping both the pet and the human parent healthy and fit.

Rain might have an adverse impact on your pet and it is essential to dry them once they are back from their walk. Your dog must feel warm and cosy at home after a walk in the rain. Generally, furry dogs do not fall prey to the impacts of heavy rain and change in weather.

Under normal temperatures, walking in the rain does not cause much harm. However, one must be very cautious while exposing your pet to rainy weather during winters or autumn as the extremities in the temperature can play havoc on your pet’s health. Thick coats are available, which ensures that your dog is warm and unaffected by the rain. Some are also made with waterproof material that allows your pet to be dry and warm.

While you maintain a regular routine of walking your dog every day, it will not harm to shorten the duration during rainy weather. This will also keep pets confident even if they are scared of stepping into water during monsoon, as they will know that enduring this weather is for a short duration only. Such a habit should be inculcated at the earliest stages itself, when they are young. If youo have to train an adult dog to rain walking, then you could start in a phased manner by first taking them out in garden area, parks etc. gradually, increase the area and then train them to get accustomed to longer walking in the rainy weather. Hence, while being mindful of their health, it is essential to keep them happy as well. The walking area could be restricted to cemented roads instead of muddy parks or areas with rich foliage. There are also high chances of other insects brooding in green belts. Steer yourself clear from puddles as they are not only muddy but also drench your pet completely. Puddles can also tempt them to drink muddy water. Hence, it is best not to give a chance to your dog to become naught and play with your emotions.

Wearing bright colors also helps in walking during the rain.  Not only does it create a cheerful impact but also reflects from a distance. Other pedestrians and walkers become alert.

According to a study by NCBI, ‘With more seasonal weather variation predicted due to climate change, it is unclear if weather also impacts on the willingness of dogs to undertake exercise and thus the overall activity levels of pet dogs. An online survey recruited 3153 respondents to outline the impact of summer and winter weather conditions on daily canine activity levels. Owners reported their dogs were more impacted by cold (48.2% less likely to exercise their dog in the cold) and ice (64.0% less likely), than rain (25.3% less likely). In hot weather, 81.7% of owners reported reduced exercise duration and 87.0% reported less vigorous exercise by their dogs. As extreme weather events are likely to become more commonplace, it is likely this will negatively impact dog activity levels. Climate change mitigation strategies must therefore include considerations for dogs, if our canine companions are to retain their positions of service and companionship.’

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