Dogs have adapted to live on six of seven continents. Man’s best friend can be found on cold, snow-covered mountains, and in hot, sandy deserts. One habitat that dogs have not evolved for is the city, but where man goes, man’s best friend will follow. Neither you nor your dog will be happy if the dog does not get regular walks outside. This is a list of 10 dog walking tips that will get you out and out about with your favorite tailed companion.
Walking your dog should be one of the best parts of your day! It’s much needed exercise for yourself, and you favorite four-legged companion. Aim for at least 2 30-minute walks per day or more, your pup will love you for it.
10 Dog Walking Tips for a Successful Stroll
1. Have a collar with ID tags
First, and most important, a dog in the city needs to have tags with your contact information. Nobody plans to lose their dog, but sometimes things go wrong. Your dog is your friend and depends on you for safety. Make sure that when your lost dog is found, there will be a way to contact you. You can create a custom dog collar tag with your pets name, address and phone number at PetSmart!
2. Microchip your dog
It relevant to mention pet microchipping at this time. When a pet is microchipped, a small device about the size of a grain of rice is injected under the skin of the pet’s neck.
Microchipping is a fantastic idea. Microchipped dogs at shelters have twice the chance of being reunited with their owners compared to dogs without microchips. Dogs still need identification tags because sometimes vets can fail to find a microchip in a microchipped dog. If your dog has a microchip, have the vet check for it once a year.
Microchipping is a fantastic idea. Microchipped dogs at shelters have twice the chance of being reunited with their owners compared to dogs without microchips. Dogs still need identification tags because sometimes vets can fail to find a microchip in a microchipped dog. If your dog has a microchip, have the vet check for it once a year. Petlink is a popular option in the United States. You can read more on the subject of microchipping your dog on the AMVA website.
3. Pick up after your dog
Nobody in the city wants to step on dog poop. You need to be ready to dispose of your dog’s solid waste. It is not just a sanitation issue, it is often a law. When you take your dog for a walk, bring bags for disposing of solid waste. You could bring gloves and a pooper scooper, but that is a bit of a hassle. If you bring a few plastic shopping bags you will be fine. Use the bag to glove your hand, pick up the waste, and then turn the bag inside out and then tie the bag closed. Just remember to check the bag for holes first.
4. Use a leash
This may seem obvious, but many dog owners continue to go for walks in the city without a leash. Even if your dog is extremely obedient, you should still walk with a leash for his/her overall safety. There are a lot of things to distract your dog in the city. Your dog can get hit by a car. Your dog can get lost. Your dog can get in a fight with another dog. Your dog may become frightened and bite someone. Your dog depends on you for its safety, and one of the most basic things you can do to protect your dog when going for walks is to use a leash. A retractable lead like the one in the video below is a great option for dog owners wishing to give their pet a little more freedom during walks.
5. Use a harness
All dogs in the city should use a front buckling harness. The benefits of a harness with a large dog is that the dog walker will have greater control over the dog. The benefits of using a harness on small dogs is that the harness is not a choking hazard. I know there are safety collars that will release the dog if there is an unusual amount of pressure being placed on the clasp, but that can still lead to a dog getting loose and running away. Make sure to find a dog harness that fits properly, and keeps your pal secure. Ruffwear makes some incredible harnesses for all types of walking and hiking conditions.
6. Bring water
People get thirsty on long walks, and so do dogs. If you take your dog out for a longer walk, take the time to give your dog a drink. If you like to go hiking with your dog, bring a collapsible bowl that fits in your backpack. If you are just walking in the city, you could sit down with your dog in a park and let him drink from your hands. Hydration is important to your dog’s health, and should water should be available at all times. There are many varieties of collapsible bowls available, make sure to choose one that is lightweight and easy to carry.
7. Protect your dog from strange hands
Don’t let strangers pet your dog. This goes back to your dog’s safety. If your dog becomes frightened and bites a stranger your dog could be in trouble. It is not unheard of for people to insist that a dog be put down because the dog attacked somebody. It is best to avoid this situation. So, what do you say if somebody asks to pet your dog? “I am sorry, my dog is still being trained and that might confuse him/her.” Even if your dog is not being trained, that answer is an easy way out of that potentially dangerous situation.
8. Change it up, but know your limits
It is nice to do something different sometimes. If you usually take your dog for walks around the block or down the street, make time to take your dog to a park. If you have never taken your dog to a park, make sure you know the rules of that park, and if dogs are allowed in or not. It is a small thing, but overlooking this could cause you a major inconvenience.
Unfortunately, many dogs experience a time in there life where they actually become fearful of leaving the house. That’s right, even a dog that would normally love going on walks around the neighborhood will suddenly become disinterested in going for a walk. This can be very frustrating and even a little scary. Here is some advice from someone experienced this exact scenario with his Retriever/Hound Mix.
Your dog will need to go outside all year, and that is not just for potty breaks. Your dog needs exercise. Pay attention to how the current weather will affect your dog. In the summer, or on hot days in general, it is best to walk your dog in the morning or the evening. The reason is that it is hotter mid-day and dogs don’t get to sweat it out as easily as people do. In the winter it is going to be cold, just try not to go out in a blizzard. Unlike people, dogs are pretty good at self-regulating their body temperature, so they don’t usually need those super cute coats that are available. You can always read up about the origins of your dog’s breed. If it comes from a colder climate you know the dog will be fine. A rule of thumb, if your dog is not a puppy, is not old, is not skinny and has hair, then he does not need a coat.
10. Beware of ice melt
It is hard to get a dog to wear booties, so that is up to you, but winters in the city bring ice melt to the street. Ice melt and salt can injure your dog’s paws, so it is good to avoid. Also, ice melt is not just bad on your dog’s paws, but your dog may lick the substance off its paws and become sick. If your dog was not wearing booties, then wash off the paws after returning from a walk. Watch the video below explaining an inexpensive way to rinse your dog’s paws, with ingredients you have around the house.
In conclusion, these simple yet important dog walking tips can make the difference between a happy walk, and a disaster. Your dog is an important member of your family. By following these dog walking tips you are ensuring the safety and comfort of the animal that depends on you. When walks are a pleasure to go on, you and your dog will go on them more often. Now that is something worth wagging your tail about!