Tips for Walking Your Dog
Nearly all dogs love going for walks. To the park, on a trail, by the river, to the post office (or just to the mail box) — it doesn’t really matter where. Dogs just love walks.
Let’s go over several of the most important reasons you should be walking your dog daily, plus some added tips for better walks.
Why Should You Walk Your Dog?
Dogs derive four main benefits from being walked regularly.
First, walks provide much-needed exercise for your dog, especially if you live in an apartment or a home without a fenced in yard.
Second, dogs who stay at home most of the day do not receive adequate mental stimulation. In other words, they need to get out in the world, smell new smells, see new things, and experience different locales — just like humans. Otherwise, they run the risk of boredom and depression — just like humans.
Next, walks are an excellent opportunity for you to bond with your dog. They’ll know they’re appreciated and loved when you take the time to go for a walk with them.
Finally, dog walking fulfills another important need, that of elimination.
Tips for Dog Walking
1. Be the leader.
Dogs see things in terms of the pack, and when they’re in the lead, they’re the leader of the pack. This isn’t what you want; you want to be the leader. So, walk ahead of your dog. Be the first one out the door and the first one back inside. Daily walks can be seen as a training activity to maintain this hierarchy.
2. Schedule walks.
If you’re liable to miss a few days (or weeks) of walking because of your busy schedule, try to make it more of a priority by scheduling it. Write it in your planner, and aim to be consistent — that way, your dog will begin to remind you when it’s time for your walk (and who can resist those eyes?).
3. Don’t use too long of a leash.
Short leashes are safer for walks. They allow you to have more control, and they keep your dog from cutting off other walkers, running into the street, getting into scrapes with other dogs, or being tangled in the bushes.
4. Give rewards for good walks.
When your dog has a good walk where you’re the leader and they don’t pull or jump on passersby, etc., reward them! Pack a few treats in your pocket and make a big deal of a job well done.
When’s the last time your dog had their annual check-up? Make your appointment today at Sunset Veterinary Clinic!