Dog Walking Basics
Most dogs love going for walks! It’s a great way for them to burn off energy and interact with the world around them. There are tons of sights and smells for them to take in, and it provides opportunities to socialize with both their canine and human neighbors. If we’re not careful though, what was a pleasant stroll can turn into a catastrophe. Here are some precautions you can take to make sure everyone is safe and happy:
1. The Toolkit
All dogs need a leash, an identification tag, and a collar or harness. There are many types of leashes to consider, but we recommend a standard nylon or leather flat lead. Flex or expandable leashes should be avoided as they pose a serious threat to your dog’s health. A length of five to six feet is usually enough to give your dog space while allowing them to explore.
For collars and harnesses, the most important factor is fit. A collar should not be too snug or ride up on your dog’s neck. You should be able to put two fingers in between your dog’s neck and collar comfortably. We do not recommend chain-slip and prong collars. For many dogs, such as those who pull or have issues with their trachea or breathing, a harness is a better option. Don’t forget items such as poop bags, treats, and a water bottle!
2. Allow Some Freedom
Dogs should not be allowed to pull you around the neighborhood. That’s dangerous for everyone. You should also not be dragging them around. Compromise is ideal. Your furry friend wants to see the sights and smell the smells. Going for a walk is the most stimulating part of their day. Your dog will want to investigate who was on the path before them. It is important to let them enjoy it.
3. Know the Weather
Bad weather can ruin a good walk quickly. It is helpful to look up the forecast before heading out. Temperatures in the summer can be hazardous. The pavement heats up and can severely burn the pads on dog’s feet. Rain and snow can also bother your dog. In snow, be aware of any chemicals used to melt it and avoid them. If you must go out in bad weather, consider purchasing appropriate gear, such as a dog raincoat or sweater. It will help keep them warm and look quite cute.
4. Follow Proper Walking Etiquette
Knowing a few social rules will keep both you and your dog safe and happy. Before approaching another dog, ask for permission. Like humans, some dogs socialize better than other. If you have a reactive dog, warn people as they approach with another dog. Always pick up after your dog. If possible, find a spot that isn’t in someone’s yard and wait to throw waste away in either your own trash or a dog waste station.
5. Have Fun!
Walking with your dog successfully requires practice and training, but it’s important to remember to have fun! Once you get the basics down, both you and your pup can have a blast. Regular walks can be a great bonding experience between you and your dog.
We hope you have safe and enjoyable walks with your dog! Need any help walking your dog? We’re happy to give your dog a walk when you can’t be there.