Dog owners looking for ways to maximize both fun and fitness have the perfect excuse to extend outdoor time this January, which is Walk Your Pet Month! If you’ve recently adopted a furry friend and already visited a veterinarian for dog vaccinations, your next step will be establishing a safe walking routine. Here are a few steps to ensure your daily strolls go off without a hitch.
4 Tips for Walking Your Dog Safely
1. Practice Leash Safety
When walking a new pet whose behavior you’re unfamiliar with, hold the leash short and taut without pulling too tight. Keep your hand in the loop at the end so if they try to bolt or chase after something, you won’t lose your grip.
2. Invest in Pet ID Tags
Even dogs on leashes can sometimes get away from their owners. To ensure your pet can be found easily, invest in identification tags for their collar or harness. These ID tags should include your pet’s name as well as your name, phone number, and street address, so you can be reunited. Additionally, you may want to consider microchipping that will allow veterinarians and pet shelters to identify your dog in case they lose their tag.
3. Bring Proper Supplies
Before leaving the house, pack all of the essentials for a successful walk. Beyond a leash, bring plenty of poop bags, a travel bowl and a bottle of water if your dog gets thirsty, and a few bite-sized treats in case your four-legged friend needs a pick-me-up.
4. Know Your Route
The amount of exercise necessary for your pet can vary significantly based on their age, breed, size, and any pre-existing health conditions. To ensure they get sufficient exercise without overexerting themselves, talk to your veterinarian about what’s appropriate based on their history. Also, map out your route in a loop, so you don’t wander too far from home and have an exhausted pet on your hands that doesn’t want to walk all the way back.
When your new dog requires veterinary care, turn to Wahiawa Pet Hospital, a dedicated animal clinic serving dog and cat owners across Oahu. Led by veterinarians Kristen H. Crabtree, DVM, and Natalie Green DVM, this boutique pet hospital provides hands-on care with a focus on preventative medicine. Call today at (808) 621-7000 to schedule an appointment. For more information on their comprehensive services and commitment to making pet care affordable through monthly specials and military discounts, visit their website.