Most dogs don’t like getting wet and many would rather just stay indoors when it rains.
With what may seem like a never-ending supply of fur, you still need to bathe them regularly as part of their routine grooming care.
However, some pet owners may be wondering if they can take bathe their pup outside in the rain without them catching a cold or getting sick.
So, is it safe to give your dog a bath in the rain? The answer lies within understanding how water affects our furry friends and their skin. Tap water can be harmful because of its chlorine content which kills bacteria but also dries out the skin and fur on dogs.
Rainwater, however, is naturally filtered with minerals and vitamins from the sun, and the ground below us provides clean, healthy hydration for them instead.
We keep ourselves clean by taking a bath regularly and cleaning the surrounding.
In the same manner, our environment is cleaned up and rejuvenated by the rains.
When outside dogs get dirty easily, and you might consider giving them a bath in the rain.
The cold weather that comes with the rain is what exposes them to the risk of contracting pneumonia and other fungal and bacterial infections.
In this blog, we shall take a wider look at the health risks that may affect your dog when you give them a bath on a cold rainy day.
Health Issues That Are Likely to Affect Dogs When They Bathe in The Rain
When dogs take a bath in the rain, it exposes them to cold and wet conditions, which can cause their respiratory tract to become inflamed.
With time, this can develop into pneumonia.
This is dangerous to dogs with weak immunity, those that have advanced in age, and the young ones.
Symptoms of pneumonia in dogs are coughing, wheezing or difficulty in breathing, and a running nose.
This illness is a serious health issue that needs immediate medical care.
The risk of pneumonia can be prevented by wiping your dog down with a towel after bathing and preparing for him a warm resting spot after bathing.
2. Fungus Dermatitis
This, too, is a health risk that is attacks dogs when they bathe in the rain.
This comes about when you do not dry your dog’s fur properly after bathing during rains.
The dump patches become a hotspot for the fungi.
In this case, dogs with long fur are the ones who are affected more compared to those with shorter fur.
Those with sensitive skin or a genetic predisposition of developing skin conditions are more likely to be affected.
Examples of these breeds that are likely to be affected by this are:
- Neapolitan Mastiffs
The fungal infection can be prevented by drying your dog well with a clean and dry towel after bathing.
Over the years, this disease was thought to be exclusive to puppies, but specialists have discovered a strain of this virus that affects adults, especially old dogs.
Bathing in the rain exposes dogs to cold, which makes them less resistant to the virus.
Senior dogs and puppies become more vulnerable to attack by the virus if you bathe them in the rain.
The symptoms include tremors, eyes, and clear nasal discharge.
At an advanced stage, it may cause tilting of the head and even seizures.
If you suspect your dog has contracted the virus after giving him a cold bath, you should visit a veterinarian for a clear diagnosis and medication.
4. Kennel Cough
If you’re dog bathes in the rain while having a low immunity and high-stress levels, it can cause the development of the disease known as kennel cough.
This is caused by bacteria found naturally in dogs, but when it’s combined with the factors mentioned before, it becomes pathogenic.
The symptoms of the infection are:
- Lack of appetite
- Transparent secretion from the nose
What To Do If Your Dog Is Exposed To The Rain?
Though there are some health risks when dogs are exposed to cold rainwater and turn a fun time in the rain to a sad time at the vet, all is not lost.
If your dog must take a bath in the rain, like he probably rolled in the mud, or you were taking a walk and it rained suddenly, you can still enjoy the rain with caution.
Here are some tips on how to go about it:
1. Keep the Bath Water At A Comfortable Temperature
A lukewarm bath for a dog is okay during summer when the weather is perfect.
When it’s raining, make it warmer.
Not only does this make the bath more comfortable for your dog, but it also warms him up, protecting him from the excess cold that’s brought about by the rains.
Your dog will give you trouble when it comes to bathing in the rain, but he’ll get used to it and won’t fear bathing in the rain.
2. Thoroughly Dry Your Dog with A Clean Towel
After bathing your dog in the rain, use a clean and towel to dry the water from his fur.
As mentioned earlier, the accumulation of moisture on the dog’s fur causes fungal infections.
If your dog has long furs, you can use a blow drier to dry off the water completely to keep the dog safe from fungal dermatitis.
3. Do Not Use an Umbrella, Wear A Rain Coat
Some people risk their lives by covering themselves with umbrellas while bathing their dogs outside in the rain.
Avoid this at all costs.
You’re risking your own life and your dog’s life.
Umbrellas have metallic parts which can attract lightning.
You can bathe your dogs while it’s raining if it’s necessary.
Additionally, it’s stressful to give long-haired dogs a bath when it’s raining.
It’s a hectic process which is quite uncomfortable for them.
Be a responsible dog owner and watch out for any discomfort and health issues.
In case there’s any, please consult your vet.