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While it is totally safe to walk pet pooches in rainy weather, experts have given guidance to ensure dogs stay safe and happy.
With heavy rain forecast for much of the UK over the next few days, Pets at Home say owners should avoid their dogs from becoming "drenched".
Karen Heskin, Head of Pets at Pets at Home, explains: “It’s completely safe to walk dogs of all breeds and sizes in the rain. It’s actually important we make sure our pets are still getting their daily exercise, even in wet weather.
“But there are some things we should watch out for and extra steps we can take to help keep them happy and safe when it is raining outdoors.”
Large puddles can actually be dangerous on dog walks, even though they might be fun to splash in. It's almost impossible to avoid them completely, however and it's best to be wary of large, deep puddles because it's difficult to see what's under the surface and could lead to injured paws if there's anything sharp at the bottom.
Wet weather also bringing out slugs and snails, dog owners should be mindful of lungworm larvae which can sometimes be found in their slimy coating – it can be life-threatening to dogs if they eat it.
And it's not just puddles pet owners should be wary about; after a rainy day, also sure to bring any water bowls, food bowls and toys inside overnight. Slugs and snails love crawling over these items and could contaminate them with parasite larvae.
With 20,000 slugs and snails in the average UK garden, veterinary experts Vets4Pets, part of the Pets at Home family, recommend that regular worming treatments is the best way to protect your dog from lungworm.
Pets at Home says owners should consider buying a doggy raincoat to protect dogs from wet weather and to prevent them from getting soaked. However, some dogs may feel uncomfortable in them and its important to not force your dog into wearing one.
If the rain is particularly heavy, consider replacing a walk with indoor fun.
Once you return from a walk in the rain, make sure to dry your dog's fur thoroughly by patting their fur with a towel.
It's also important to ensure their paws are completely dry too. Pay special attention to the fur between their toes and paw pads as leaving these wet can actually lead to issues such as dermatitis.