Say ‘Walk,’ and your pet is ready for zoomies, barely able to contain their excitement! Walking is one of the favorite dog activities, irrespective of age or breed.
It allows them to go out and explore. Like humans, dogs need a break from their routine life, and going out on walks helps them relieve stress and get fresh air. Walking has also proven to have increased the bond between the owner and the pet.
However, there are a few tips pet owners must keep in mind to master dog walking and keep their pooch safe while they go on their little adventures.
6 Dog Walking Tips Pet Owners Should Know
Dog walking can be fun for your pooch but a little hard for the pet parent. It is all about those small things that can make walking a little more convenient for you and enjoyable for your dog.
Make Walk Fun
A walk does not have to be a run-of-the-mill activity. Instead of just being an exercise, it can be a playtime session where your pet is mentally and physically stimulated.
You can change the routes every week, bring in some toys, and even make an occasional picnic out of it to mix things up. A little game of tug-of-war or fetch can add so much joy to the routine activity.
You can also bring treats and use them as a part of the obedience training, where they are rewarded for not pulling you along the walk.
Find the Right Kind of Harness
The harness you use to walk your dog is essential as it gives you control over the entire activity. Harness determines how comfortable both you and your dog will be while walking.
Many dog parents prefer using a harness over a collar as it does not strain their necks. Utilizing a collar renders a force at the back of the neck when the dog walks forward, causing Ocular Proptosis.
It also helps in breaking the pulling habit.
There are different types of the harness that pet parents can use:
- Front clip harness
- Back clip harness
- Head Collar harness
Carry Poop Bags
As a responsible pet owner, you need to ensure you pick up after your dog. Get a bag holder that you can attach to your dog’s leash or stuff a few covers in your pocket before going for a walk.
Pick up the poop and deposit the filled bags in the dustbin.
Carry Water for Your Pet
This is a must when you are walking your dog during summer. Dogs often get tired and dehydrated when they walk for a long time.
Make sure that you carry enough water, and in case you feel that your pooch is getting dehydrated, stop and make them drink the water immediately.
Here’s the Pet Leak-proof Water Bottle, which you can carry anywhere when your pooch accompanies you. The unique point of this leak-proof water bottle is you can restore the extra water after your pup licked.
Do Not Forget the Essentials
Depending on the season, the essentials to walk your dog will vary. When it is summer, it is best to walk your dog in the evenings. Check the heat outside before you start walking.
The best way to check that is to put your palm on the floor and see how hot it is. If it is hot for you, it is hot for your dog. Talk to your Vet and get cooling pads for your dog’s paws if you live in a high-temperature zone.
During winter, make sure that you fully clothe your dog with shoes and sweaters before taking them out.
Ask Before You Let Your Dog Make Friends
Do not assume that every dog you meet will be as friendly as your dog. Make sure that you ask the fellow pet owner the nature of their dog before you let yours make contact with them.
If either of the dogs shows signs that are not comfortable, retreat immediately.
How You Might be Harming Your Dog’s Walking Time
Walking a dog might seem like a straightforward activity, but there is more than meets the eye.
While there are a series of tips on excelling your dog’s walk, the DON’Ts also play a significant role in making your pooch’s daily activity more fun and beneficial.
Here are a few things you SHOULD NOT do when walking with your dog.
Tugging on the Leash All the Time
The leash is there for your pet’s security. However, it does not give the owner the power to tug on it all the time. From a dog’s perspective, a human’s walk is too slow, and their time outdoors is way too precious to slow down.
Dogs have an instinct to explore new smells and paths. Having caught a whiff, they are naturally excited to explore, which means they rush ahead. Instead of pulling them back from their natural behavior, try to complement it by speeding up or simply using a longer leash.
Pulling on their leash unnecessarily adds pressure on their throat and adversely affects their trachea. Let the leash loose and train them to catch up if you have been left behind. Reward them with treats and words of encouragement when they follow commands and turn around for you to catch up.
Your dog is a natural explorer. By allowing him to sniff out new scents and discover new paths, you empower him to be physically fit and mentally stimulated.
Not Allowing Ample Time for Bathroom Breaks
Nobody likes their peace being disturbed during bathroom breaks. The same applies to dogs when they are on their walks. Rushing through the bathroom breaks fractures their instincts of communication.
For dogs, the bathroom break is not only an act of relieving themselves but communicating to their fellow dogs in the neighborhood about themselves. The urine is used to mark territories and inform them about their presence to the other dogs.
The scent of the urine tells dogs about other members of the community. It is a broadcast message that helps all nearby dogs stay abreast of the latest developments and additions in the territory.
Dogs tend to sniff the area where they might pee because other canines have marked the area, and it is their way of authorizing their presence in the same spot. To ensure that the pee-mail continues to move forward, it is essential to let your dog decide where and how long they would like to stretch their bathroom break.
Walk Away with this Important Tip
While we have covered almost all dog walking tips, there is one critical thing dog owners must keep in mind – and that is identification.
Dog walks are great, but yet another way your dog can run away. Therefore, it is crucial to get them micro-chipped and have proper identification tags to find their way back home.
Before taking your pet for a walk, monitor the environment’s temperature beforehand using the Waggle Pet Temperature monitor–to avoid heatwave attacks and cold winds during the summer and winter. The sudden temperature/humidity changes are alerted instantly to your email/ SMS.
Are these tips helpful? Share them with your fellow dog owners and make these daily walks more engaging for them and their pooches!
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Should I walk my dog on the left or the right side?
Walking your dog on the left side of the trail conveys the message that you are the alpha of the pack.
How do I get my dog to stop pulling on a walk?
Allow your pet to explore the area and sniff around. Have a treat at hand for obedience training where your pet is rewarded for staying by your side during the walk.
Does your dog get bored walking the same route?
Not particularly, but it is good to switch up locations to keep them mentally stimulated.
Is it okay to let your dog walk in front of you?
To control their route, it works. However, walking in front cement your leader as the alpha, and your dog will understand the line of command more easily.
Can you overwalk your dog?
Yes. If you have a small dog, long distances can tire them out. While big and athletic breeds enjoy longer walks and rigorous activities. Talk to your vet or experienced trainers to understand a custom walking habit.