Walking your dog is an important experience for both you and your pet. Not only does it give your dog the exercise it needs, but it also helps to socialize your dog with new situations and other animals. When you walk your dog, you are bonding with your animal and proving to your dog that you care about their quality of life.
Tips for Walking Your Dog
• Remember that you should be walking in front of your dog. This signifies that you are the leader, and you are the one in control. Allowing your dog to walk beside you or in front of you gives them the advantage, and allows your pet the opportunity to take control.
• Keep your dog on a short leash. This also helps you to maintain control of your pet, and train them properly while you walk along the sidewalk.
• Choose the right time to walk your dog. Your dog will prefer a walk in the morning, as opposed to a late evening walk. Make sure you time the walk accordingly. Your dog should walk for an average of 30 minutes to 60 minutes every day. Remember, this is cardio exercise for you as well, so the benefits are twofold.
• Treat your dog after it behaves well while you are on your walk. This will show your dog that there are rewards for good behavior. You might give them a quick treat, or an ice cube. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that makes your dog feel special after a job well done. Of course, always hydrate your dog with plenty of water after the exercise session.
• Understand your dog and your dog’s personality before choosing a place to walk. If your dog does not like other dogs, try to find a more secluded and private place to walk. If your dog is frightened of small children or aggressive towards them, do not head to the local park and playground area.
• Remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. You will want to be calm and confident on your walk, as your dog will be able to tap into your feelings. Note if there are other dog walkers in the area who are not in control of their pets. You will want to avoid these situations so as to prevent confrontation or injury.
• If you have to change directions, be sure to do so discreetly and politely. If you notice a family coming with two large dogs and a few unruly kids, and you know that your dog will not handle the situation well, simply turn the corner as if that was your plan all along. You won’t offend the other dog walkers, who might want to stop and chat, and you’ll avoid putting your dog in a situation where it feels insecure or uncomfortable.
• Always ask another dog owner if your dog can introduce itself to their dog. Not every dog wants to be approached by an unknown animal, and it can lead to confrontation or injury. It’s polite to simply ask the other dog owner if your dog can say hello.
• Always pick up after your pet. Your dog might have to take a bathroom break along the way, so be prepared with a baggie and a scoop in order to clean up the mess. You don’t want to encounter another dog’s mess on the sidewalk, so make sure your dog doesn’t leave one behind either.
Benefits of Walking Your Dog
You’ll find that there are many benefits to walking your dog. It well help your dog maintain a healthy weight, as well as display better behavior habits as the regular exercise helps to burn off excess energy. However, you need to train your dog to walk well before you start these exercise sessions and also understand the rules of the sidewalk when it comes to dog walking.
Remember to utilize this time as special bonding time for you and your four-legged friend. Don’t spend the walk texting or talking on the phone. Avoid putting your MP3 player headphones into your ear. Instead, enjoy this special time with your pet and socialize with other dog owners who are doing the same.
Adding a nutritional supplement to your canine friend’s diet will also benefit their health and quality of life. Learn how the unique ingredients in the NuVet Plus immune system builder support optimal pet health by visiting the NuVet YouTube channel.
For more interesting articles about your canine and feline friend, check out the NuVet Labs blog.