Did you know that Walk Your Dog Week officially starts today, October 1st? Walking isn’t just fun for Fido: it’s actually really good for him! Dogs need regular activity to stay healthy. While your pet’s exact exercise requirements will depend on his age, weight, health, and breed, most pups need at least a daily walk. Regular walks will also provide your canine pal with beneficial mental stimulation, and allow him to sniff new patches of grass, which, for Man’s Best Friend, is kind of like reading a newspaper. In this article from a Coon Rapids, MN veterinarian, you’ll learn some helpful doggy-walking tips.
Does Fido sometimes haul you along behind him? This bad habit isn’t just poor doggy manners: it can be very dangerous! When your canine friend pulls you, immediately stop, turn around, and start walking the other way. Training may get a bit tiresome, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Keep safety first and foremost! Always bring your phone with you, just in case. We also recommend keeping your canine buddy in front of or beside you. If he’s lagging behind, you won’t really be able to see what he’s doing. If you’re walking along the side of a street, keep Fido to the outside: he’s shorter, and will be harder for drivers to spot. Also, be careful where you take your pet. For instance, in winter, try to stay away from frozen bodies of water, deep snow, and sidewalks that are covered in salt, sand, or chemical de-icers. Learning to identify dangerous plants, such as foxtails, is also a good idea.
When walking Fido after dark, always bring a flashlight, and stick to well-lit, familiar routes. Use reflective gear, so you and your pup can be easily seen. (Tip: get a ‘night’ leash, and wrap LED lights around it.)
Designate a specific jacket and set of sneakers for dog-walking, and put waste baggies, spare keys, and flashlight in the jacket pockets. If you use earbuds, keep those there as well. Benefits Fido isn’t the only one who will benefit from regular walks. Exercise is good for you, too! Plus, taking a nice stroll with your furry friend is a great way to unwind after a long day.
Do you have questions about Fido’s health or care? Contact us, your local Coon Rapids, MN animal clinic!