Starting today, the first week of October is National Walk Your Dog Week! Although we think you should walk your dog at least once a day, here are a few great walking tips in honor of this week:
1. Get the right equipment.
Every time you go for a walk, your dog should always have proper identification-- ID tags or a personalized collar. Because collars can sometimes become undone, talk to your vet about also getting your dog a microchip.
You should make sure your dog's collar is comfortable and well fitting. A leather collar and leash, will most likely be the most comfortable for your dog and your hands.
We also recommend you avoid retractable leashes. They allow too much space between you and your pet, and can cause serious injury to your dog due to the sudden jerk that happens when they reach the end of the leash.
Lastly, we know how exhausting a walk is when your pet constantly pulls, so we recommend using a short leash and investing in a harness for better control.
2. Give yourself enough time for a good walk.
Not only should you set aside thirty minutes to an hour of time to walk, you should also create some regularity to make walking a permanent habit.
However, each dog differs, so consult with your vet and keep an eye on your pet's behavior to see if his/her exercise needs have been met.
Don't forget to choose a good location. This could be right outside your front door to the sidewalks of your neighborhood, or you could travel to a more serene location-- like a forest preserve or quiet park.
3. Reward your dog during and after the walk.
Allow your dog to sniff around for mental stimulation. Remember, this is probably your dog's only time to explore all day. That being said, you decide which areas are appropriate and safe to smell. And sniffing should always be less than the time spent focusing on walking.
To keep your dog focused during the walk, bring small treats along with you. If you're like my dog, any sign of a squirrel or rabbit is a major distraction.
After the walk, according to Caesar, provide a meal. This allows your dog to "work" for their food and water.
What other kinds of dog walking tips do you follow? Which tip is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!