Dog walking is one of, if not the most, popular pastimes among dog owners. There’s nothing better than having your furry buddy joining you for a walk. But for new owners, it’s something that takes a bit of practice to get used to. In fact, it might even be considered a skill.
Many dog owners see dog walking as a vital part of keeping their pets mentally stimulated and well-exercised. And it’s the best way to make sure your dogs relieve themselves properly, so as not to make a mess in the house.
To make sure you are prepared for the activity, here are what could be everything a new dog owner needs to know:
- Make sure you have a leash and harness or collar that suits your paw-buddy. Harnesses tend to work better for dogs that like to pull on the line.
- Prepare pet waste bags and some water in a container. Why? It’s important to clean up after your dog and make sure that you don’t leave anything for other dogs to accidentally eat or inhale.
- Ensure your dog is wearing reflective gear or light if you’re planning to walk at night. This helps prevent accidents in places where people and cars can’t see your pup.
- Have some sanitizer to clean your hands when you pick up after your dog. Bacteria can spread fast and it is best kept at bay with a little hygiene.
DURING THE WALK:
- Be aware of your furry friends at all times. Make sure they don’t go anywhere they aren’t supposed to be and aren’t smelling, licking, or ingesting anything they shouldn’t. Be aware of cars and other objects that your dog could hurt.
- Don’t drag your dog if they refuse to move. This will hurt their paws and cause injury. They might just be tired or just want to wait something out. Try to negotiate with them calmly, offer a treat as a bribe if you must. If not, best be picking them up.
- Be aware of other people. Not everyone is a fan of dogs. Some people are actually quite scared of even the nicest of pups. Be sure that anyone your dog approaches is comfortable with him.
- Observe other dogs before approaching them. Try to look for signs of aggression or hostility towards your dog. If they growl, scratch, or pull on the line aggressively, you should keep away.
- If the dog seems friendly and is approachable, allow your dog to have some fun! Dogs are just as social as humans and enjoy company just as much. Remember to keep your dog on the leash and under control. Pull away immediately when you see inappropriate behavior. Here’s a helpful training guide for un-training bad dog habits.
- Pick up after them and water away from their urine. No one likes accidentally stepping on a dookie. Keep your surroundings clean and dispose of your pup’s waste properly.
- Only take the leash and harness off once you’re inside and be sure you close the door behind you. You don’t want your dog to run out.
- Wipe your dog’s paws and keep them clean. Use pet-friendly wipes to get the dirt off, especially if you’ve been on grass. No one likes paw prints and dirt on the floor.
- Give your dog some fresh, clean water immediately after. You would want them rehydrated well.
- Let them rest. Dogs get tired, just like us. Let them recover, particularly if they’ve been running.
If you’re not able to walk your dog, check out dog walking apps such as:
- Wag! – Dog Walkers & Sitters
- Barkly Pets
- Fetch! Pet Care
Dog walking is something one learns by feel. Since every dog is different, we can’t guarantee that one technique will apply to all dogs. But the key principles are almost always the same. Just remember: let your dog explore freely while guiding it away from danger.
Keep all of these thoughts in mind on your next trip with Fido and you should be able to enjoy dog walking just as much as your pup.