Dog

Wet Weather Safety

Claire Dunling

With summer well and truly behind us and wet weather forecasts sticking around for the imminent future, keeping our pets dry, warm and safe is at the forefront of our minds. Most importantly, with flood warnings becoming the norm in the UK, it’s wise to be prepared and not left out battling the elements…

Wet Weather Safety

It isn’t unusual for dogs and cats to become frightened by thunder, lightning or the tense atmosphere brought on by worrying weather. So, it’s vital to make them feel secure during bad weather experiences. You can do this by creating a ‘safe’ space at home, making a den between sofas or creating a little hidey-hole somewhere high up and out of reach for cats. Also, putting the radio or TV on quietly will soften disturbing noises.

If you live in an area prone to flash floods, no doubt you’ll be well versed in what to do in a flooding emergency. Of course, there are times when things are out of your control and wet weather safety goes completely out the window. So, here are some tips to keep pets safe in a flood:

wet weather safety

During flooding

While we would always encourage you to walk your dog or make sure your pets get plenty of exercise, when the weather takes a turn for the worse, we’d advise you to keep them safe indoors until the worst has passed. Your typical walk through the fields or by the river could become hazardous at best and fatal at the very worst. Muddy fields or riverbanks could cause you to slip and fall. Or, with rising water levels and faster currents from a heavy downpour, a care-free swim could result in your dog struggling to swim back to the bank.

If you do need to venture out when it’s raining cats and dogs, here are some top tips for a safe walk:

If you live in a known flood zone, having a plan in place to protect your pets is pivotal. Flood water is sometimes contaminated, which if consumed by your pet, could cause health complications. Barricade doors and put pets upstairs away from any water contact. The bacterial infection, Leptospirosis is found in water and specifically floodwater, so make sure your dog has had the relevant vaccination. The human form of Leptospirosis is referred to as Weil’s disease and is easily transmitted from animals to humans.

When your back from your wet walk…

So, they’re home safe and sound but now you faced with the challenge of cleaning and ousting the wet dog smell. It’s important to make sure their paws and fur are cleaned and to remove anything that may be toxic to them if consumed, like slug pellets. Make sure they are dried off properly so they don’t get cold and become ill. While some dogs may like the hairdryer, many will not and caution should be taken with the temperature. A microfibre mitt or towel is the perfect solution to dry soaked to the bone pooches. Our rainy-day pack is completed with a delicious deodorising shampoo or dry shampoo from Pet Head.

Whether it’s the tail end of Hurricane Lorenzo, Maura or Nigel, our busy lifestyles rarely come to a complete standstill and when the dog is pining for a proper walk it is enough to send you out into the elements! But by planning, making sure you have the necessary resources and are well prepared, you’re sure to weather the storm with your undoubtedly muddy mate…

This article is for guidance only and if you have any concerns about your pet you should always seek the advice of a qualified vet.

If in doubt contact your veterinary practice

And always keep your vet's phone number handy - just in case!