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Discussion Starter #1
This morning, we had a very long thunderstorm. It lasted from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thunder, lightning, rain ... no let up.

Aidan enjoyed watching the storm from the dining room window. Naturally, he had to go outside. I was afraid to take him in case we got hit by lightning. So he went down to the basement and relieved himself. Under the circumstances, I didn't blame him for doing that.

Now I'm wondering if it is dangerous to walk a dog in a thunderstorm?

If so, what is a good way to handle this? Should I put down newspapers and try to paper train him on days like this?

Thanks for your advice,
RC
 

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Willow would wait it out, but she is anxious during storms and has always been able to hold urine for 12 hours or more (not that I had her do that often).
Aidan is young though, so he can't be expected to do that. I'd take him out just long enough to pee and then play indoor games.
 

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I take Bella out in storms when I see that it's not like an electrical storm above my head.
But if she decides to take longer than 2-3 minutes because it's raining or I hear a loud crack of thunder it's right back inside!!

If I know a storm is going to come I try and take her out right before the rain/storm gets here so I know that for the most part she'll be fine for a 6+ hour storm (should it happen).

As for walks - if you're deadset on walking I imagine if it's not in the middle of a storm and closer to/right at the beginning/end of one you'd be fine. I've been caught out walking a couple miles from home at the start of storms and gone out when I thought they were over when they weren't. I'm not toasty yet but it's not something I'd make a habit of.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
By "walk", I mean walking around in our 2-acre yard. The thunder and lightning were right here. We live in the country, where there are low hills and lots of trees, plus bare pastures (and our yard) that remind me of golf courses. I know someone whose father was struck by lightening and killed on a golf course.
 

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Golf courses usually imply holding a metal rod. Lightning conductor :(.

Anyway. I'm sure you'd be fine. Like I said. I have no real problem taking Bella out in a storm if she has to go but I refuse to go out if there are constant flashes of lightning above my head/electrical storm. (or if I hear an extremely loud thunderboom - then I'll run back inside lol)
 

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I'm scared to walk her in a storm....she could care less. Albeit very unlikely, I just picture lightning hitting me and going through her leash and zapping her (funny, I don't worry if I survive or not....hmmm). I would never tie her out during a storm...big tree, metal entwined runner hooked to big metal stake in the ground miiiiight not be a good idea.

But a quick peepee spin around the yard I will do.

I was REALLY scared last weekend that a tree would fall on us!

I'd be scared to "paper train" her inside - I think that would mess her little doggy brain up (and my floors) LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All right. I'll take him out next time. Thank you all for your advice.

Aidan loves going out in the rain. I couldn't believe he was having such a good time watching the lightning this morning. This is the first major rainstorm we've had all summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Golf courses usually imply holding a metal rod. Lightning conductor :(.
Good point. I thought that lightning struck golfers because they were standing in the middle of a golf course with no trees around. That they hold metal golf clubs never dawned on me. Thanks for enlightening me!
 

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I couldn't believe he was having such a good time watching the lightning this morning. This is the first major rainstorm we've had all summer.
Jubel does the same thing. If he hears thunder he wants to run to the couch in the living room so he can look out the window and watch the lightining. He's done that often, just enjoyed the 'show' as it storms.

All we got where I lived for the hurricane was lots of rain. I got him out to the dog park Saturday morning until the rain started for a good romp, leaving as soon as the rain was coming down hard enough. That was about 10:30am, we went out for ~20 minute walk in the rain (light drizzle) around 5pm. He understood it'd be a shorter walk because of the rain and promptly fully emptied his bladder (verses the numerous small pees that are usually on walks).

Jubel isn't a huge fan of water, not overly bothered by it but doesn't get excited about it either. When it's raining and I open the back door to let him out in the yard to pee he usually declines, if I offer a walk in the rain he's happy to go out. By his own choice Jubel has held is pee for about 19 hours before so I'm not worried about his 'declining' a chance to go potty in the yard. If he hadn't proved to me multiple times he's cappable of holding it for 10+ hours I'd kick him out in the rain and make him pee, but I trust him so he gets that choice.

I'd only worry about being out in a storm if the lightining was close, even then I'd probably still chance a quick trip out in the yard if my dog NEEDED to pee.
 

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I don't walk in thunderstorms if there is close lightning/thunder (closer than the horizon). If it is on the horizon I'll go out otherwise...nope. I'll walk in rain (light rain-not pouring/storming rain) though - in fact those are my favorite walks.
 

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Count the seconds between when you see a lightning strike and when you hear the thunder that accompanies it. Divide the number by 5 for how many miles away it is or divide by 3 for how many kilometers away it is. I wouldn't feel very comfortable letting a dog out to pee for lightning closer than 2 km or 1ish miles. (5-6 seconds between lightning and thunder). Anything less than that is too risky, in my opinion. The longer the distance the less risk to Aidan.

If you have trees in your yard, and you know Aidan will explore those during his pee break, go out with him on leash and make sure you stay away from trees and tall bushes (anything taller than you). Avoid standing water (although wet, earthy ground is fine) and conductive metal objects (like barbed wire fences). You are safer standing a ways away from your house than right next to your house (~ 50 feet away is the recommended guideline).

Golfers are the #1 group most at-risk from lightning.
 

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Wow.. There is a LOT of misinformation in this thread.

If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be hit by lightening! That's the truth. Here is another truth, You can be hit by lightening, even if there isn't a cloud in the sky! Why Because lightening can strike many MANY miles from the storm it's coming from.

I do not walk my dogs in a storm, just like I won't walk outside if it's lightening unless I have to. It's DANGEROUS to do so! I'll let my dogs out because they are less of a risk being hit then I am because they are not the tallest thing in my yard. DO NOT WALK IN THUNDERSTORMS! You can let your dogs out, but don't go out walking them unless you want to play chicken with Mother Nature.
 

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What Darkmoon said. Do not walk in a thunderstorm. They clear golf courses at the first sound of thunder because thunder and lightning go hand in hand (thunder = the crashing or booming sound produced by rapidly expanding air along the path of the electrical discharge of lightning).
 

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I just came back from a walk with the dog under a thunderstorm. The only thing which made me feel stupid about it was the fact I forgot I was wearing white shorts under the heavy rain. Both the dog and I love it. I also don't keep myself from playing outside under the sun in case a drunk driver would pass by, which carries a lot more risks. I also bring the dog with me everywhere in the car, even if accidents are always possible. I mean yeah, there's a extremely slim risk, but I'm not going to stop enjoying things because of this. I guess there's just as many chances as having a tree fall on your house during said storm (except here I guess....trees don't grow in my town).
 

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I'm with Zoopie, the odds of something horrible happening really aren't that high.

Could something happen? Yes.

Are the odds of something horrible happening significantly higher than the everyday life we live? I don't really think so. Kinda like the worrying about getting struck by lightining is simliar to not risking the dog park. Something bad COULD happen and it's a cost/benefit risk everyone has to decide for themselves if it's worth it. My worst experinces at the dog park are more about the people saying dumb things to me than any true risks of the dog to dog interactions ending in injury.

Life is full of risks, can't be afraid of them all and not live life.

I don't go out walking in lightining storms but if it's been raining for more than 5+ hours in the middle of the day and it isn't pooring down rain we're very likely to go out for a walk. I haven't heard any thunder or seen any lightining but it COULD still happen, a risk I'm willing to take.
 
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