Every pet parent should know essential dog walking tips that can help them make their dog’s walk enjoyable, safe, and hassle-free. Since walks are an important and perhaps the best part of your dog’s daily routine, knowing how to make them better could be a life skill for you. After all, both you and your pooch deserve a relaxing and fun stroll. So, today we are sharing our top seven tips on how to walk a dog.
1. Follow a Routine
In the initial days of taking your dog for walks, it’s important to follow a walking routine. Walk your dog at the same time daily in the same area. It will help your pet acclimate to walks and the outdoors. It will also learn to behave on walks even after you introduce it to new areas.
Dogs are creatures of habit and a routine allows them to know where they’re going, helping them stay calm.
2. Use a Martingale Collar or a Front-Clip Harness
If you want to learn how to train dogs to walk beside you, get a leash. But learning how to walk a dog on a leash can be tough in the beginning, especially if your pet pulls on the leash.
Besides ensuring regular training and practice, one of the best dog walking tips for leash pulling is to get the right type of leash. A front-clip harness is a fantastic option as it pulls a dog from the front. This prevents your dog from pulling more when you tug it backwards.
If your dog gets easily spooked on walks, especially in new environments, use a martingale collar. It prevents dogs prone to running away from wiggling out of their harness or flat collar. This type of collar tightens further when pulled, so dogs can’t back or slip out. This makes it a favorite among pet parents with rescue dogs.
This collar style also features a loop that you can attach to your dog’s leash. So, when your dog pulls on the collar, it evenly secures the rest of the collar around your pet’s neck, making it a gentler and safer alternative to choke collars.
3. Carry Treats
Teaching your dog good behavior on walks can be a difficult job. But rewarding it at the right times in the right ways surely helps. A dog usually listens better when you come bearing treats.
So, only give your dog treats on walks when it does something right. Don’t give treats to get your pet to settle down. If you reward it with a treat every time it behaves badly, this will only reinforce that kind of behavior.
4. Allow Your Dog to Sniff Around
Dogs explore and experience the world around them through smells. Their sharp noses help them soak in their surroundings much in the same way as we use our eyes. So, preventing your dog from sniffing on walks dilutes its walking experience and reduces its happiness quotient.
Sniffing also allows your dog to work its brain and sense of smell and stimulates it mentally. Dogs that sniff during walks are more likely to tire out quickly and burn excess energy.
Staci Lemke, Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), says:
“Dogs can get a whole lot of sniffing done in 20 to 30 minutes and be just as tired as an hour walk without sniffing.”
Just make sure that your pet doesn’t gobble down anything that it sniffs on a walk, even if it is a juicy persimmon, or a similar fruit. Is persimmon good for dogs? Yes, but only as an occasional treat.
5. Know Your Dog’s Exercise Needs
Your dog’s breed and age play an important role in determining the length of its walks and the type of exercise it needs. Certain canine breeds need only a few short walks daily. Meanwhile, high-energy breeds enjoy running and playing around for hours together.
If you have a pup, don’t walk it too far, irrespective of its breed. Initially, 20 minutes is all it needs to stay healthy and happy. Slowly increase the duration of its walks as it gets older.
6. Stay Prepared
Besides a leash, you must always carry poop bags, a water bottle, and a toy on walks with your dog. You must always clean up after your pet after its bathroom breaks on walks. The water bottle comes in handy to quench your pet’s thirst and prevents your dog from getting dehydrated. The toy allows it to run around, have fun, and even make friends!
7. Microchip Your Dog
One of the most essential dog walking tips is to microchip your pet. So, even if it wanders off or loses its way, you can easily find it. You can also make it wear a collar with its name and your contact details.
A walk with a dog can refresh you and your pet. But make sure that you follow the dog walking tips above to enjoy your walk together and prevent any mishaps.