Spring is upon us and as we celebrate its arrival, we must also prepare ourselves for the coming April showers. Before the May flowers sprout, you and your pups have to weather the rain, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
As the wet season approaches, your pups are eagerly waiting for you to let them outside to jump in a puddle or walk in the rain. On the other hand, some dog breeds prefer to stay dry, so we compiled some tips for you to best care for your pet this April.
Waterborne Dog Breeds
Most dogs love the water and are naturally good swimmers. Generally, dogs have incredible stamina, water-phobic fur, and powerful tails to steer them like a rudder. Some pups even have webbed paws, making them surprisingly mobile in the water.
This all makes sense given the extensive history of breeding dogs to retrieve waterfowl and game, haul fishing nets, and even water rescue services.
If you're looking for a water-friendly dog, check out some of the breeds below:
- English Setter
- Golden Retrievers
- Portuguese and Spanish Water Dogs
Dogs evolved alongside humans over thousands of generations to eventually become the first domesticated animal. The domestication process determined their morphology and behavior, based on our needs. When we needed them to haul nets or retrieve game, our canine friends were comfortable joining us in the water.
However, breeding and domestication also created pugs, and they are not suited for swimming at all. Dogs with short snouts, flattened faces, short legs, and barrel-shaped bodies are not suited for swimming.
Some dog breeds, like pugs and corgis, might enjoy shallow water, but they shouldn’t be left unsupervised near deep water. Even an athletic breed like the boxer shouldn't be left to swim alone, because its flattened face is a drowning risk.
April Showers Bring Hazardous Pet Conditions
We love April showers, but there are health issues associated with the rainy season. For example, still water can be particularly harmful because it fosters a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mold.
Exposure to these pathogens can be extremely dangerous for your dogs, and rather costly, so clear any still water from your property to ensure a safe environment for your pet. Doing this will also reduce the number of harmful bugs, like mosquitos, because they breed on still water.
Puddles of water can also be dangerous because pollutants and other chemicals can run off and leech into them. Pollutants like urine, feces, or parasites can turn your dog’s fun into a nightmare.
To mitigate these risks, keep fresh water on you when you walk your dog or go to the park, this will help keep them from drinking unsanitary water. Also, we know your pup loves jumping in puddles, but try steering your them away when you’re out in public.
Best Pet-Care Practices In April
April’s weeks of rain make keeping your dog clean rather difficult, but we compiled some tips to keep your dog’s fresh and healthy.
The first thing to watch out for when caring for your dog this month is their coats. Dogs with longer coats tend to get dirtier quicker, but between the rain and mud, your pup's fur will get messy. To clean them up consider shampoo bathing them once a month with dog-friendly shampoos and conditioners.
You'll want to follow that with a thorough grooming session to straighten their fur and remove any debris. Grooming your dog after a bath will keep your pup’s fur looking shiny, healthy, and clean.
Lastly, you need to tend to your pup’s grown-out nails. Chances are, your dog got a bit lazy during the winter months and didn't get enough exercise to wear down their nails. While they may be difficult to trim and require some anatomical knowledge, you should make an effort to trim yourself or with a professional groomer.
A Small Reminder
As you prepare yourself for the rains this April, we hope you’ll consider the best ways to keep your dogs happy and healthy throughout the Spring season. With these simple tips, your dog can still have fun in the April showers while avoiding the wet season’s hazardous conditions.
Most importantly, you can have peace knowing that you’re prepared to deal with the coming weather and have the ability to care for your pup’s needs. As you walk your dog this April while wearing matching raincoats, we wish you and your pet a safe, and fantastic spring season.