Responsible owners know how vital dog walking is for their furry friends
By Guest Blogger, Gina
Everyone knows you’re supposed to walk your dog at least once a day, but many studies have shown that around 20% of owners don’t walk their dogs every day.
Dog walking should be bonding, relaxing experience for both you and your pet. It’s a crucial part of your pet’s well-being, but it’s also a chance for you to spend quality time with your best friend, do some exercise, and breathe some fresh air. Once you’ve mastered dog walking, it won’t feel like a chore anymore.
Here are ten tips for enjoyable walks with your dog:
Use the right leash
When it comes to choosing the right type of leash, the first rule to remember is that you should go with whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Each type of leash has its own pros and cons, and you should choose whatever fits your needs best.
Retractable leads are only good for walks in a park where there isn’t much traffic and where there aren’t many other dogs – especially off-leash.
Chain leashes look very cool, but they can be very harsh on your hands. Leather leashes, on the other hand, are very light on the hands, which is why they’re the most common choice.
Choose the right collar
Did you know that dog collars and harnesses that clip on the back encourage pulling? Once owners discovered front clip harnesses, numerous hard-core pullers have started walking calmly next to their owners. Try switching to a front clip harness if your dog keeps pulling during walks.
Never be one of those owners that use a choke chain, pinch or slip collars on their dogs. They aren’t teaching your dog anything, and they will hurt him in the long run.
Very often, we see people walking their dogs, and you can’t tell which one of them is pulling harder. If your dog starts pulling while on the leash, you should never pull them back. Instead, stop walking. Stand firmly until your pet figures out that pulling gets him nowhere. He must understand that there will be no walking unless he stops pulling on the leash. You will need to do this constantly and reward calm walking with treats.
Dedicate enough of your time to the walk
Many people walk their dogs only late at night, but dogs aren’t nocturnal beings. Just as us humans, they are diurnal, and their ideal time for talking long walks is in the morning. Professional dog walkers know this and they always express the importance of morning walks. You should dedicate at least half an hour every morning for a nice, satisfying walk with your dog. A refreshing morning walk will do both of you good, and you shouldn’t deny yourself or your pet the satisfaction of starting the day in the best possible way.
Always bring treats
During the walk, there will be distractions no matter where you go. It might be a bird, or it might be a squirrel – a dog may get excited about anything that moves or looks interesting to them. On these occasions, you need to be able to grab their attention right back. Nothing gets the dog’s attention better than a tasty bite of their favorite snack.
Snacks are also invaluable when it comes to any dog training, including teaching them to walk on a leash. When choosing the right snack for training, make sure it’s quick to chew and easy to swallow.
Bring fresh water and a water bowl
If you plan on walking your dog for more than an hour, or if you’re going out on a hot summer day, make sure you bring fresh water and a bowl for your pup. Dogs quickly overheat because they don’t regulate their body temperature as easily as us humans do. They cool off through panting, and they can quickly dehydrate, especially on hot days. You can check pet stores for collapsible water bowls, or you can bring your container, whatever works best for you.
Make sure your dog is wearing their ID tags
We can’t control everything that happens, and sometimes our pets get lost during a walk. The only thing you could do is prepare properly, and the best way to be prepared is to make sure your dog is easy to identify. Each time you leave your home with the dog, make sure they have their ID tags on them. No pet insurance method can help you if your dog doesn’t have an ID tag. Since collars can get lost, you should ask your vet about a microchip. Many lost, and stolen dogs have been reunited with their owners, thanks to microchips.
Avoid hot pavement during summer days
The pavement can sometimes be far too hot for your dog, but they might not have a way of telling you this. A hot pavement doesn’t just make the walk uncomfortable for your dog – it might burn their paws and cause injury. The best way to know if it’s too hot for your dog’s paws is to put your hand or your foot on the pavement and leave it there for more than 5 seconds. If it gets uncomfortable for you, you can be sure it’s painful for your dog too.
Be careful about approaching other dogs
Your dog might be super-friendly, but that doesn’t mean every other dog is the same. Not every pup is happy to meet another dog, and not all dogs are friendly. Your pet may get seriously injured if you let them approach every dog that grabs their attention. Always ask the owner first before approaching, no matter how cute their pet looks, and no matter how excited your furry buddy gets.
Wear the right shoes
While it may not seem like a dog walking tip, the following is just as important as choosing the right leash: wear the right shoes. No matter how fancy you look with the heels and designer shoes, make sure to ditch them if you’re off for a walk with your dog. The best walking tip for yourself is to wear something supportive, comfortable, and rainproof.
about the author
Hi, I’m Gina, the owner and founder of The Peaks Pet Nanny, and we’ve been caring for pets since 2004. Our Pet Nannies provide Professional Dog Walking, Dependable Pet Sitting and Overnight Pet Care, providing invaluable peace of mind. Our entire team of like-minded animal lovers is dedicated to the wellbeing of pets while their family travels for work or pleasure.