With all the rain that's been battering the UK over the past few weeks, you can be fairly sure that most of the nation's dogs will have been more than happy splashing in puddles and rolling in the mud.

However, although canines do tend to enjoy rainy weather, they may also need some extra care in the winter when it's cold and wet outside and there are certain precautions that all responsible dog owners should take.

If your pooch has long hair, then the rain and mud means that their coat is more likely to get matted while out on walks, so make sure you groom them on a regular basis.

Most dogs love a good brush, but if they get restless or fidgety use plenty of praise and dry dog food treats to encourage them to relax and enjoy the experience.

It's not usually a good idea to bath your dog with soaps and shampoos more than once a year or so, but if they're very grubby, you may want to wash them down with warm water following their walks.

Even if your pup doesn't need a bath make sure you dry your pet thoroughly after they've been out in the rain, as this will not only prevent them from traipsing muck and rain through the house, put it will also prevent them from becoming unwell.

Although short haired dogs are less likely to suffer from matted fur, they are also more prone to getting chilly and they might need a waterproof coat to keep them warm when the temperature drops.

Finally, there are certain parasites such as lungworm that are more prevalent in wet weather, so it's always important to look out for any signs of ill health in your dog and that you call the vet immediately if you notice any unusual behaviour.

Written by: Hannah