a Siberian Husky is canicrossing in the rain

Braving the Rain: What Do You Wear to Canicross When It Rains?

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By

Lara Jill, Lara Jill is a pet writer & advisor with a decade of experience. 22nd May 2024

Clear skies and a gentle breeze may be ideal for canicross, but let’s face it — sometimes, Mother Nature has other plans.

When the rain starts pouring, will you let it dampen your spirits or will you embrace the wet and tackle the muddy trail with your beastfriend? I’m here to tell you that you can canicross in the rain, and it can be an absolute blast!

In this article, we will talk about the essential equipment that will turn a rainy day canicross into a safe and exhilarating experience. So, let’s dive right in!

Can You Canicross in the Rain?

Yes, why not? Canicross in the rain can be a safe and enjoyable activity, as long as you take the proper precautions. In fact, it’s much more dangerous to walk and run with your dog in hot weather than in the rain!

The key is to prepare the right running gear for you and your dog. In addition, owners must use good judgment, know their individual dog’s tolerance, and cut the activity short if the dog shows any distress.

The one major exception is during heavy rains and thunderstorms. Running with your dog when there is lightning in the area would be extremely hazardous. When it’s raining cats and dogs, it’s best to postpone your canicross outing until the storm has passed.

What Should a Canicross Athlete Wear in the Rain?

Canicross can be enjoyed in the rain, but it’s important to be prepared with the right gear to ensure you and your dog are comfortable and safe.

running gear when canicrossing

Wear Form-Fitting Running Clothes in the Summer Rain

Generally, close-fitting clothes made of moisture-wicking materials are preferable when running in light rain. Loose clothing absorbs water, becomes heavy, and rubs against your skin which could lead to irritation.

For example, suppose you wear running tights or compression shorts instead of loose-fitting running shorts or running pants. In that case, the tighter fabric will adhere directly to your leg rather than absorb much water, causing it to flap around and irritate your opposite inner thigh.

Top Off with a Rain Jacket for Cold Rainy Days

If it’s cold outside and you don’t want to get wet, a high-quality windproof and waterproof jacket is a must-have gear as you canicross in the rain.

While the jacket should provide excellent protection from the elements, it should remain lightweight and breathable to prevent you from feeling clammy. For additional coverage, consider a jacket with a hood.

Wear Waterproof Pants

Waterproof pants for men/women keep your lower body dry without compromising your mobility during canicross.

Opt for pants with adjustable waistbands or drawstrings to ensure a secure and comfortable fit. The pants should feature an articulated knee design to allow an unrestricted range of motion.

If you warm up pretty quickly, look for pants that have venting zips on the thighs to promote increased airflow.

Put On Moisture-Wicking Socks

A good pair of moisture-wicking socks should keep your feet dry and fresher for longer, as well as protect your skin from chafing. It is important to choose socks that provide excellent compression to ensure a snug fit, stabilize the arch, and prevent any slipping or bunching.

Choose Trail Running Shoes Over Road Shoes

Trail running shoes are the best footwear for canicross. Compared to road shoes, these off-road footwear have longer lugs and more aggressive treads to cope with more difficult and unstable terrain.

Invest in trail running shoes made with robust and waterproof materials to keep your feet dry even after splashing through shallow streams and rain-filled potholes.

Thanks to advancements in footwear technology, it’s now possible to wear waterproof shoes that offer breathability. The Salomon Speedcross 5 Gore-Tex Men’s and Women’s Trail Running Shoes are an excellent example.

It Ain’t Canicross Without the Canicross Belt

Last but not least, put on your canicross belt to run hands-free. Canicross belts are designed to encourage proper running form by distributing your dog’s force over your hips and rear.

Choose a canicross belt made with lightweight, breathable, and robust materials, so you can wear it in all weather conditions.

What Equipment Does a Canicross Dog Need When It Rains?

Your canine companion also needs the proper gear to stay safe and comfortable as you canicross in the rain.

Canicross in the rain

Canicross Harness and Leash

Rain or shine, a well-fitted canicross harness is an essential piece of gear to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety during your runs. Couple the harness with a bungee leash attached to both your dog and your waist belt. 

This shock-absorbing setup will help manage sudden tugs or pulls, keeping you and your canine buddy steady on your feet, no matter the weather.

Dog Jacket for the Slender and Small

Huskies and other large dogs with thick, water-resistant double coats can often brave the rain without needing a jacket.

But leaner pups like Greyhounds, Whippets, and small canicross breeds that sit closer to the wet ground will benefit from an active-wear jacket to help retain body heat and stay comfortable in the rain

Dog Booties

Some dogs may not need booties if they have thick, hardy paws. However, bikejoring World Champion Viktor Sinding-Larsen recommends dog booties to prevent doggie paws from getting pricked by sharp objects that might be lying across rough terrain.

Do Dogs Like to Run in the Rain?

a Beagle is happily running in the rain with its owners

One of the most important considerations when deciding whether to canicross with dogs in the rain is their personal preference. 

Some dog breeds, like Labrador Retrievers and Springer Spaniels, absolutely thrive in wet weather conditions. These dogs will likely be eager and energetic companions for a canicross session, even when the skies open up.

On the other hand, other dogs may be more indifferent to the rain, neither loving nor hating it. And then some pups will flat-out refuse to step a paw outside when the rain starts falling.

There can be many reasons why a dog may dislike the rain — perhaps they had a negative experience, they don’t like the feeling of being wet, or they simply prefer to stay cozy and dry. 

The good news is that with proper training and positive reinforcement, you can often help acclimatize even the most rain-averse dog to enjoy canicross in wet weather.

Conclusion

With the proper preparation and vigilance, canicross in the rain can be a safe and fun activity that allows you and your canine buddy to enjoy the great outdoors together, no matter the weather. Use common sense, wear the appropriate gear, and keep a close eye on your four-legged partner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you canicross on pavement or tarmac roads?
Avoid canicrossing on pavement or tarmac roads. The hard surfaces place excessive stress on your dog’s joints. Opt for soft trails or gravel roads instead, as they’re gentler on your dog’s paws and joints, making for a safer, more comfortable canicross experience.
Why do some dogs hate going out in the rain?
Rain can overwhelm dogs with its unfamiliar sounds and strong smells. This sensitivity makes being outdoors challenging for some canines.

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