Picture this: you’re out for a walk with your dog, and it starts raining. That wasn’t in the forecast. What are you going to do? Your poor dog is looking up at you with a miserable expression. They know rain means towels when they get home. (Or worse, a BATH!) Running home won’t keep either of you dry, and you might injure yourself. What can you do? Well, for owners of umbrella dog leashes, the answer is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
An Umbrella Dog Leash?
Crazy as it sounds, this handy invention exists. Umbrella dog leashes consist of a long, rigid handle for you to hold, as well as a short leash that attaches to your dog’s collar or harness. Between the two is a collapsible umbrella you open to provide rain protection for your dog.
Sunny out? No problem. The umbrella stays folded up and out of the way. (Or you can use the canopy for sun protection)
This nifty contraption withstands most weather conditions. Your dog will stay nice and dry in rain or snow. (Most ads also promise protection from hail, but are you going to take your dog for a walk in a hailstorm?) The majority of the umbrellas are transparent, giving you an unobstructed view of your dog. You won’t miss any attempts to sneak inappropriate snacks from the ground. Plus, your dog maintains full views of where they’re going. Not to mention being able to check that you’re still walking with them.
Downsides to Umbrella Dog Leashes
While each brand comes with a list of cons, umbrella dog leashes themselves have a few downsides. This invention doesn’t work for large dogs. For once, small dogs get the upper hand. Your dog needs to be around 20 inches long or shorter. If the forecast calls for a chance of rain and you have a larger dog, you’ll need to invest in a raincoat.
Opening the umbrella is startling to a lot of dogs, especially in the beginning. After all, it’s attached to them! You’ll probably want to try it out inside (I know, some believe that’s bad luck) to desensitize your dog to the sound and presence of the umbrella. You can also invest in calming treats if you know umbrellas, in general, freak your dog out.
Why Use Umbrella Dog Leashes?
Why in the world would you need an umbrella dog leash? (Besides the cute factor)
- You keep your dog from getting soaked. How much fun is it – for either of you – to sit inside the door with a pile of towels? With the dog umbrella, the worst you’ll have to do is dry their toes. That’s not so bad.
- No more wet dog smell. No one likes that smell. We’re not even sure DOGS like that smell! Why else would they immediately try to roll all over the couch in a desperate attempt to get rid of it? (And you know that smell lingers – for WEEKS)
- You no longer have to limits walks to good weather. It’s so disappointing for everyone to cancel a walk due to sprinkles. Instead, the dog umbrella substitutes for a regular leash, and the scheduled walk takes place right on time. If you live in a rainy area, or it’s the wet part of the season, this is particularly important. You want the freedom to get your fresh air and step outside. With the umbrella dog leash, everyone stays happy and healthy.
Choosing an Umbrella Dog Leash
So umbrella dog leashes don’t vary much in design. In fact, they all pretty much look the same. (It’s hard to change that style) There are still construction variations, so there are things to consider before settling on the perfect one for your dog.
- Location: Where do you usually walk your dog? Dog umbrellas are best suited for open spaces and city walks. In wooded areas, the canopy can snag on branches and tear.
- Material: It sounds obvious, but you want an umbrella constructed from waterproof materials. There are dog umbrellas out there that are cute, but they aren’t waterproof. An umbrella that leaves your dog soaked isn’t helpful.
- Size: We know umbrella dog leashes won’t work for large dogs, but you still want to make sure the one you choose covers your dog. If their head stays dry, but their backend gets wet, then you still have a problem. Ideally, aim for a few extra inches – this way, you can move the canopy around while you’re walking. For an accurate measurement, go from nose to tail tip.
- Weight: You’re going to be holding that canopy up for the length of the walk. How heavy is it going to be, especially after you add water on top? You don’t want it to drag down on the ground (nor does your dog want it flattened on top of them).
- Safety: You need a transparent canopy. Not only can you see your dog, but they can also see everything around them. A metal leash attachment is durable and prevents possible escapes. Having reflective borders on the canopy doesn’t hurt, either, especially since rain and snow bring low light conditions.
Notes About Umbrella Dog Leashes
To work properly, umbrella dog leashes come with a short attachment tether that connects to your pup’s collar or harness. It’s NOT lengthy. If it stretched out, your dog wouldn’t stay under the protective canopy of the umbrella. You need to use the included tether if you want the umbrella to work.
As such, you have a much shorter lead. If you haven’t worked on leash training with your canine companion, this may cause problems. You’re NOT going to have much length. Dogs used to ranging ahead could start pulling. Practicing around the yard (or inside the house) before you go onto the sidewalks is a good idea.
And you need to figure out how to use the umbrella dog leash, too. When that freak rainstorm hits, you don’t want to scare your poor puppy while you fumble with buttons and levers. Remember, the umbrella works as a sunshade, too. So practice on a few nice days, FIRST.
Best Umbrella Dog Leashes
Those with umbrella dog leashes appear to be an eclectic group. Finding dog umbrellas with popular followings wasn’t easy. (Maybe even with this option, most people avoid walking in the rain?) Still, if you have a small dog and don’t mind braving the elements, these umbrella leashes will let you and your canine companion strut in style.
Enjoying Pet provides a handy umbrella dog leash that works for any dog 20 inches or shorter along the back. They recently upgraded their handle, making it more comfortable AND more durable. It’s 23 inches long, and you get a soft, angled grip. For your pup, the connecting chain comes out at 12.5 inches, giving them plenty of room to move. And if they don’t like the sound the chain makes? You can swap it out for nylon.
Downsides? Some people struggled with getting the canopy folded back into the handle. Others felt the chain came in too heavy for their dog, so you’ll want to consider making that swap to a nylon option.
If you want a little more freedom with your hands on a walk, K&L is the option for you. Their adjustable shaft has a C-shaped handle you can slide over your wrist or arm to free up both hands. The shaft is angled to help you keep the canopy directly over your dog at all times, helping them stay drier. The canopy is made from durable PVE plastic and has a modern black trim. Again, this canopy is designed for dogs with a back length of 19 inches.
The downsides? While adjustable, the handle of this leash is only about 20 inches long, which some people felt was on the short side. The connecting chain is also only 12 inches long, putting the canopy directly above your dog. The pivot point of the shaft proved weak for many people, coming unscrewed on walks (not something you want to happen near a busy street!).
LESYPET recently upgraded their leash, allowing you to adjust the handle length to suit your comfort (something people previously complained about). Designed for dogs with a back length of 19 inches, the heavy-duty plastic canopy protects them from rain and sun. The frame is made from durable stainless steel, promising to hold up for years to come.
So what’s the downside? The chain connecting the leash to the canopy is only 12 inches long, so your dog doesn’t have much space and might feel claustrophobic.
Maybe you have a dog just a touch over 19 inches long. Perfect Life has you (or, rather, them) covered. Their canopy is intended for dogs 20 inches long and shorter. Even better, the handle is a comfortable 26 inches in length – perfect for everyone. The waterproof transparent plastic protects your dog while still giving them the ability to see where they’re going.
Downside? The connecting chain is only 8 inches long. That means the canopy is DEFINITELY sitting on top of your dog. If you have a nervous canine, this isn’t the option for you.
Maybe you’d prefer a bit of style? Pet Life adds a touch of color to their umbrella dog leashes. You have three colors to choose from (pink, black, and blue). They also added reflective trim, so your dog will stay visible in those rainy (or snowy) conditions. The handle’s a comfortable 29 inches long, too, making this comfortable for almost anyone to walk with.
Downsides? While everyone loves color, the shade isn’t transparent, and you really want to see your dog during walks. Not to mention, THEY need to see around them to feel comfortable. The connecting chain’s also only 9 inches long, which doesn’t provide much room for your pup under the canopy.
Barking in the Rain
Not everyone likes the rain – human or canine. But missing out on a daily walk makes everyone miserable. The umbrella dog leash is the perfect solution. Your furry family member stays nice and dry, and you both get to enjoy the relaxation and companionship of your walk. It’s perfect!
Best of all, no one has to get a bath afterward!