Every responsible dog owner needs to walk their dog every day. If you have already established a daily walking routine with your dog, your dog will show excitement and anticipation during walking hours. Dog walking needs to be a safe activity for both you and your dog.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to walking your dog:
- Choose the appropriate harness and leash. There are different types of harness and leash, each serving their own purpose. If your dog tends to pull in different directions, a harness is preferable instead of a collar because it puts the pressure on your dog’s torso instead of its neck. Big and strong dogs require a leash that is strong enough to withstand their force.
- Always bring water. Water is a must-have for all physical activities, not just for your dog but also for you. Bring plenty of water if you’re planning to go for a long walk and bring a portable bowl where your dog can drink from. Offer him water every 20 minutes and make it more frequent if the weather is hot.
- Wear a reflective vest. Having a reflective vest for you and your dog is important for visibility, especially if you’re walking your dog at night. It will help you avoid getting accidentally hit by a passing vehicle. Flashing collars are also a good idea for your dog.
- Choose a safe route. Avoid highways and choose an alternative, safer route. A quiet street will help your dog relax. If your dog is disciplined, you can even let it off-leash for a few minutes so it could run freely.
- Bring IDs. Carry an ID with you — you never know what could happen. Also, put your dog’s name, your name, and your contact number on your dog’s collar. It’ll make it easier to reunite with your dog in case it gets lost. Even better, have your dog microchipped so that it could easily be identified in case the collar gets snagged or lost.
- Keep your distance from other dogs. Dogs are adorable, but not all of them are well-behaved. There are stray dogs and pet dogs that seem friendly at first but can easily become aggressive. It is better to keep your distance from other dogs to avoid unexpected attacks.
- Consider the weather. If you are walking your dog in cold weather, it is advisable to provide a dog sweater for comfort and warmth. But if your dog’s breed is built for extreme cold, like Siberian Huskies and Chow chows, their double-coated fur would be enough to keep them warm. On the other hand, if the weather is too hot, the pavement could also be too hot for them to walk on. Consider walking your dog during dawn or dusk when the sun can’t do any damage.
- Walk at your dog’s pace. Consider your dog’s breed. If your dog is a non-sporting dog and doesn’t require much exercise, you can take it for a short walk twice a day. But if your dog is the athletic type and requires intense exercise, you need to have the time and energy to meet its needs. Most sporting dogs require 20–30 minutes of walk twice a day.
The outside world is an adventure for your dog. Daily walks are not only for its health but also for its mental stimulation. It needs to be a stress-free experience to make your dog feel more relaxed and sociable.