As pet owners, we all know that taking our dogs for a walk is essential for their health and happiness. It not only enhances their physical wellbeing, but it also stimulates them mentally, and it’s a great way to establish a healthy routine. However, sometimes dog walks can be more challenging than we expect. In such cases, there are a few things we can do instead of giving up. Here are some points to keep in mind when taking your dog for a walk…
1. Always Walk in Front of Your Dog
Walking in front of your dog is crucial in letting it know that you are the leader. Additionally, you can protect your dog from potential danger by walking in front of it. If your dog starts walking ahead of you, it’s only a matter of time before it takes control of the walk. When you are out walking with your dog, make sure it’s always walking beside you or behind you.
2. Be Mindful of the Collar You Choose
When selecting a collar for your dog, consider your pet’s character. Using a short leash will help you control your dog more effectively. Furthermore, a shorter leash would allow you to communicate and guide your dog with ease. If your dog has an active personality, choose a collar that covers its chest rather than one around its neck to prevent injuries.
3. Allocate Enough Time for Walking
Dogs enjoy day-time walks the most as they have the opportunity to leisurely observe their surroundings. Set aside at least half an hour of your day for walking with your dog, or perhaps an hour would be better. Bear in mind that each dog’s needs may differ from the others’, and you can always seek your vet’s advice on the ideal length of time.
4. Reward Your Dog During the Walk
Walking your dog is also an opportunity to train it. If your dog follows your instructions while walking, don’t forget to reward it. However, be cautious during such rewarding to avoid overindulgence. You wouldn’t want to let your dog consume too many calories during physical activity.
5. Allow Your Dog to Sniff Around
For dogs, walking is not just another form of exercise. It’s a chance to explore their environment. Let your dog sniff around, even if you may feel the area is unsuitable. If you think the smells are inappropriate, change the walking route or area instead of depriving your pet entirely. Smelling things around them is a mental stimulation that dogs enjoy.
6. Clean Up After Your Dog
Your dog may need to relieve itself while walking, so don’t forget to clean up after it. You can carry a bag with you to dispose of any waste properly. Keep in mind that dog waste contains various organisms that may be harmful to other animals and humans, so please be responsible for your pet.
7. Carry Water
If you plan to walk your dog beyond thirty minutes, especially during hot weather, bring enough water with you. Maintaining a stable body temperature is more complex for dogs than it is for humans. Make sure your pet drinks water regularly to prevent its body temperature from getting too high.
8. Watch Out for Hot Summer Surfaces
On hot summer days, the concrete or asphalt pavement can burn your dog’s paws. If you’re not sure of the warmth of the surface, put your hand on it for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin, your dog might hurt its paws. Walk your dog in shady areas, parks, and grassy places on such hot days.
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