You don't mind walking your dog in the rain because you have a raincoat and umbrella. But Moochy shouldn't have to get raindrops in his ears and water on his head. Put a rain hat on him when you take a rainy stroll to protect him from the weather.
When it comes to rain hats, there are a couple of different styles you can choose from. The first is a miniature version of your own rain hat that will sit right on top of Moochy's head, but the canine variety has straps that you tie under your dog's chin to keep it in place. Some have slit-openings for doggie ears to poke through, but those won't keep water from dripping into the ears. The other option is called a "snood." It is tube-shaped and has a draw-string with a toggle to allow you to secure it around Moochy's head. Snoods completely cover your dog's head and will provide protection for his neck down to his shoulders, too.
Typically dog rain hats are made from vinyl backed with polyester to keep the weather off your dog's head. Some are made from microsuede or polar fleece for colder weather. The fleece hats are lined with tricot or tricot mesh to enhance the outdoor-wear fabric's inherent waterproof qualities. Rain hats for dogs come in a variety of solid colors, prints or a combination of both.
Good Fit is Essential
A rain hat that fits is a rain hat that your dog is more likely to wear. It has to be snug and secure without being tight, binding and uncomfortable. Try a few different sizes on Moochy before you buy one to ensure that you aren't wasting your money on a hat that he can't or won't wear. You can visually tell if the fit is good or not, and your dog will let you know if it's uncomfortable. Also make sure that the chin straps are long enough. Shorter straps might not give you enough length to tie them comfortably. Also, avoid hats that in any way interfere with his breathing or his line of sight.
Will Moochy Wear a Rain Hat?
Not all dogs immediately take to wearing rain hats. Just because Moochy shakes his head or swipes at his hat until it drops off doesn't mean that he can't get used to it. Getting him to associate the hat with his walk is an effective way of training him to wear it. When you first get him a rain hat, put it on immediately after strapping on his leash for your walk, whether it's raining or not. Once he gets used to wearing it, you can cut back to using the hat only when the weather calls for some canine cranial protection. If it turns out that Moochy is one of those obstinate pooches who just won't stand for wearing clothing, don't force the issue. If he doesn't see the rain hat as the convenience that you do -- or at least doesn't mind wearing it -- he won't enjoy his rainy day walks.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.