Daily walks are an important part of being a dog owner. Not only do they provide your pup with much-needed exercise, but they also make for valuable bonding time. Your veterinarian can help you figure out how much activity your particular breed of pooch needs. To make your dog’s walks safe and engaging, follow these simple tips.
The Most Important Dog Walking Tips
1. Use the Right Gear
Dogs have a natural instinct to pull against anything that holds them back, which can choke or injure them if you use a regular leash. By using a head leash or harness, you’ll help your canine resist the urge to fight the restraint. If you’re unsure about what size leash and harness is the best fit, your local veterinarian can help. Additionally, ensure your pup is wearing all of their tags and ID when you’re out and about and that they’re up to date.
2. Pick up the Poop
It’s pretty safe to assume no one likes stepping in dog poop, and any left behind can be hazardous not just to your canine’s health but to yours as well. Bring plenty of baggies to clean up after your pup, and throw it away in the nearest garbage can. It may not be the most fun thing to do with your dog, but it’s important for safe walks and proper etiquette.
3. Use Regular Commands
Having your dog sit before going outside, at intersections, and periodically throughout the walk keeps your canine’s attention on you and teaches them discipline. This way, if you come across a child or another dog while walking, you can command your pooch to wait for those things to pass without becoming overexcited. Good discipline leads to good behavior, so stay consistent and patient.
4. Bring Water & Treats
Make sure your pooch has plenty of water throughout the walk to keep him from getting dehydrated. A bottle of water and a small bowl work well and are easy to carry along. Don’t forget to bring plenty of treats to reward your dog for following your commands. Ask your veterinarian which treats are healthy for daily use with your canine.
5. Let Your Dog Have Fun
All of these guidelines don’t have to be strict and boring for your pooch. Always remember to let your dog have fun and release some energy while out on your walk. Let him sniff objects and the air in the spirit of exploration and, if safe and allowed by another pet owner, have him socialize with other dogs around the neighborhood.
Regular walks are just part of the scope of care your canine needs to lead a healthy life. The veterinarians at Carolina Veterinary Hospital offer comprehensive emergency pet care as well as pet grooming and other in-house services. Contact their experienced team by phone at (919) 258-3349 or learn more about the team online.