Not many know this, but dog walking is a skill. Master the art to optimize your dog’s exercise routine.
Have you ever had your dog tug at the leash too often when you are taking it for a walk? Is it too hard to keep up? Are you afraid that you might lose control and your dog will get into an accident on the road? These are all important considerations when you take your dog for a walk. However, none of it means that you can skip what is an essential activity in your pet’s dog walking routine.
The importance of a daily dog walking routine
Dog walking is so important that Germany recently announced that people will soon be mandated to walk their dogs every day for an hour. Dog specialists and dog lovers everywhere know just how important it is to take their dogs for a walk every day. A walk keeps a dog fit, sprightly, and nimble.
Buy an appropriate leash
Your dog, especially as a puppy, will always be SUPER excited to go for walks. This is their time to shine! They get to run around and pee on trees and mark their territories all over the place! Get a leash that’s comfortable for your dog. You should have enough control over your dog (until they are able to stay put without a leash), while also letting your dog be comfortable. Train your dog to walk by your side so that the leash is always relaxed and not getting strained (this will also hurt your poor dog’s neck!).
Actually, a harness might be better for dog walking
A lot of dogs are way more comfortable wearing a harness. Harnesses cover more surface area but manage to distribute pressure better than a leash. A leash is a lot of strain only on the neck area. You will also find it easier to control your dog if its the type to try and run for the bushes every chance it gets.
Train your dog to be close by
From the beginning, practice walking with your dog by your side. This will make it easier for you to help your dog in case there’s a lot of sudden traffic. Train your dog to heel and sit down before you cross a busy road. You might soon be able to walk your dog without a leash at all! (But always carry one just in case)
Socialize your dog
We’ve said this before, but make sure your dog is used to meeting other people and other dogs! Do you live in an area with lots of strays? Chances are you do. And if so, you will be so much more at peace if your dog is able to at least be used to their presence. Some strays might be more aggressive than others, but it’s possible to ensure that your dog is the mature one of the lot! Same with people. Many folks on the road, and many children, are afraid of dogs. Teach your dog to be calm when it sees people, even if it just wants to make friends.
Be extra wary on Indian roads
So many pet parents face the problem of bad roads in our country! Urban areas like Bangalore and Chennai have terrible roads. Sidewalks are a myth here as well! It is an unfortunate reality but this just means that you have to be extra vigilant when it comes to taking your dog for a walk. In Bangalore, for example, you might find actual holes in the sidewalk, and if it’s a rainy day, it will be hard to see these. This tip is important for your safety as well.
Make note of the season
Yes. The Indian subcontinent is infamous for its sweltering summers. Delhi and places in the North get deathly cold in winters. You’re uncomfortable and it might be hard to even leave the house but you have to. You dress accordingly. But you forgot that your dog is sensitive to weather changes too!
Buy dog sweaters and boots for your dog if you live through harsh winters, and reduce the time of your walks if it’s a very hot day. Dogs get dehydrated extremely easily. Make sure you don’t make it exert too much energy and succumb to exhaustion.
Always carry water
This is a general rule for everything in life: Always carry a bottle of water for you and your dog. Especially after a lot of hectic exercise, a dog might want water before you even reach home. If you can, carry a little backpack with an empty bowl and a water bottle. We thinkThe backpack will be useful for many things, especially…
Poop bags for dog walking
It is your civic responsibility to clean up after yourself and your dog! Dispose waste bags in bins, and dispose poop in waste bags. When dogs are young, especially, they might decide to use the loo bang in front of someone else’s gate. Trust us, people won’t be happy to see that. It could save you a lot of trouble and conflict if you pick up your dog’s poop every time it goes.
Treats always work
If your dog pops in the right place, give it a treat. If your dog is respectful during an interaction, give it a treat. Especially in the early days, if your dog is learning to walk on the roads, give it treats when it does something right. You can never have enough treats and your dog probably deserves the reward!