Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Small dogs and rainy days: A terrible combination

Boston terrier in her tiny raincoat with her umbrella
Living in Oregon means dealing with rain, particularly in the fall. And sadly, both Liam and Sinead simply cannot stand wet, cold weather. And they have to encounter that weather at least twice per day.

Every morning and every evening, I take both Liam and Sinead for walks in the neighborhood. Our walks are about a mile long, and they're far from strenuous. We stop for treat breaks, and Liam has an opportunity to read his pee-mail and draft his responses. We don't march along. We meander.

But when it's wet and cold, our walks often look a little like this: I'm the crazy woman walking quickly with her shoulders hunched forward, and a foot or two behind me are two dogs straining and pulling to go back home. Neither party is pulling very hard. But neither party wants to give up.

I've tried all sorts of tricks and tips in order to make Liam and Sinead see the benefit of a daily walk in the rain. This year, I even invested in a snazzy raincoat for Sinead, thinking that she might enjoy the strolls a little more if she didn't have a wet body when she returned home.

Boston terrier in her raincoat still does not like the rain

But even though she looks adorable in her coat, Sinead remains upset about the walk. And I suppose I don't blame her.

Very small dogs, like Sinead, kick up water onto their sensitive, hairless bellies when they walk. Every step makes them just a little bit wetter, and that wetness makes them a little colder, too. And most raincoats don't provide any belly protection. The coats I can find focus on keeping the back, head and ears dry. And that's just not good enough for Sinead.

And Liam simply boils in any kind of coat at all, so he struggles with any rain gear. 

Similarly, my use of an umbrella doesn't make the dogs any happier about a rain-splattered walk. That protection also comes from above, not below, so their bodies are still wet when we get home from an umbrella walk.

So until I can find a wraparound raincoat that provides full-belly protection (and/or one that Liam will wear), I'll have to use plenty of treats to keep Liam and Sinead on the move. The wet weather is likely to stay here for months, so maybe I should stock up now!


  1. Aw, I can sympathize with Liam and Sinead. I've never seen a raincoat for dogs that protects their bellies either. With the right design, that could be a great marketing idea.

    Haley's quite a bit bigger, but she still kicks up water on her belly and sometimes it's dirty water from the street, yuk!

    1. Hmmmm.... I may have to work up prototypes! I had no idea this was a big-dog issue, too!