Contributed by Ella Christenson-Sullins, 9 to 5 Pets
Despite being coined as the Sunshine State, anybody who’s spent some time in Florida can tell you it should be known as the Stormy State. Hurricane season brings lots of rain, oftentimes suddenly and for long periods of time. Since Florida is the fifth rainiest state in the United States, according to World Atlas, it’s a good idea to prepare for rainy days with your pups. From keeping you and your fur baby dry to calming nerves and remedying boredom, this list of rainy day dog essentials has you covered!
Staying Dry & Visible
- Doggy Raincoats: If your pup is okay with wearing clothing, a doggy raincoat is a great item to keep in their wardrobe. There are a lot of options to cater to your walking needs– light-weight coats that slip on and off for fussy dogs, heavier coats with flaps that protect your dog’s belly, reflective coats, coats with built-in lights, etc. With so many different color and design options, a raincoat is not just a protective measure to keep your dog dry, clean, and visible, but also a cute fashion statement! I’ve purchased one of these raincoats in the rubber ducky pattern for my pup Nala, who used to be terrified of getting wet on a walk in the rain. This is the perfect raincoat for Florida since it’s lightweight; she doesn’t get too hot in the coat, which is great since we get such hot summer storms, and she’ll actually go out in the rain for me with it on! It doesn’t hurt that she gets lots of compliments on it, too.
- Light Up Leashes: If you’re facing a dark and stormy night, regular reflective wear might not be enough to keep your pup visible. A light up leash is a great option to increase visibility on your walks. This rechargeable LED leash comes in six different color options, as well as two different lengths to make sure you have the best fit for your dog’s size and walking needs. There are three different settings for the lights– slow blinking, fast blinking, and a steady light– so you can adjust your visibility needs with the push of a button. A light up leash is great to have on hand in general, especially if you live on a busier road or darker area, or simply want some more light on nighttime walks.
- Thunder Shirt: If your dog is prone to storm anxiety, a Thunder Shirt is a great soothing tool. These thick shirts wrap around your dog to create a soothing pressure, similar to swaddling, that could keep your fur baby’s anxiety levels at bay. They’re available in most pet retail stores and websites, as well as on the Thunder Shirt website, where you can choose from different color options and even get your pup’s shirt embroidered. The shirts work great for other anxieties as well, such as separation, traveling, and noise anxiety, so they’re a smart investment if you have a nervous pup. There are also cat Thunder Shirts if you have a fearful feline at home!
- Calming Supplements: There are many calming supplements on the market, all claiming to help soothe an anxious dog. With so many options, how do you know which will be a good fit? The blog K9 of Mine proves a great resource with this article that not only breaks down common calming ingredients and their efficacy, but also recommends 9 pup-approved supplements with a clear bulleted list of important details, such as key ingredients, pricing, and pros and cons. This informative read is a good place to begin your education about what makes these supplements work and which ones are a safe bet.
- Soothing Music and Videos: Youtube is a treasure trove of free videos with calming nature visuals and soothing music that could help calm your pup during a storm. With hundreds and thousands of videos to choose from by searching “soothing music for dogs during thunderstorms,” you’re bound to find at least a few videos that will work for your fur baby. During heavier storms, my dog Nala loves the music of this video in particular (and I don’t mind the soothing music either!). If you’re a softie like me, reading the comments on these videos about others’ anxiety reduction success stories with their pups is a heart-warming touch.
- Stimulating Toys: Since the rain can interfere with your pup’s outdoor playtime, be prepared to bust those rainy day blues with some stimulating toys! Daily Paws has compiled a list of the best puzzle toys that will keep your dog busy with tips on how to introduce your dog to puzzle toys and recommendations for the best puzzle toys based on difficulty level. If you want to take a DIY approach or don’t want to leave the comfort of your home during the rain, you could try your hand at making our DIY pet toys with some old t-shirts you have laying around.
- Entertaining Videos: Youtube contains not only videos to help soothe your dog, but also videos that can keep her entertained! There are many dog TV options, with some channels showcasing nature footage of animals like squirrels and birds chirping and running about, and some channels focusing on footage of dogs doing various activities, like playing, riding in a car, eating, or sniffing around. These free videos can pique your pup’s curiosity and keep them entertained while they try figuring out where those pups are at and what they’re up to. Simply search “entertaining videos for dogs” on Youtube to find even more options.