To a dog, the words “wanna go for a walk?” can be the most exciting part of their day. But what if it’s not so pleasant for you?
Pet owners everywhere struggle with at least one aspect of their daily walks including difficulty controlling their animal, motivation or worrying about dangers lurking around the neighbourhood. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of easy-to-follow tips and tricks to make your daily walk something you and your dog will look forward to.
Got an over-eager pet?
Younger pets tend to ‘tug’ on leashes due to over excitement. And, while this can be annoying and even embarrassing for their owners, it’s definitely a problem that can be helped. When dealing with ‘tuggers’, try investing in a front clip harness that actually teaches your pet not to tug. Retractable leashes cause many unnecessary hazards compared to traditional leashes, since the length of most retractable leashes makes it difficult for you to maintain control of your dog, especially in high traffic areas.
Is it dog-gone hot out?
During the summer months, or if you live in a warm climate, it’s important to take a few extra precautions before heading out for your walk. Firstly, bring plenty of water along for your dog. You can buy a collapsible water bottle (sold in pet stores) or use a container of your own. Worried about the pavement being too hot? Place your hand or barefoot on the pavement for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot (or uncomfortable) for your skin, then it’s too hot for your dog’s feet. Try walking on the grass instead- just make sure to steer clear of areas that have pesticides. It’s also best to keep them away from flowers, since many of them can be poisonous to your pet if ingested.
Let them sniff it out
Did you know dog walks are about more than just physical exercise? Your dog’s walk is (usually) the only time they are able to get out and explore on an average day. So, allowing them the freedom to sniff around can make walks more meaningful and enriching to your dog. Plus, it also allows you to take a step back and enjoy with the outdoors too!
Throw them a bone
For animals that aren’t so *ahem* enthusiastic about their walk, try giving positive reinforcement before, during and after your walk, which can include physical affection and a couple of treats. Bonus: keeping treats on hand can also help lure them away from squirrels! Don’t want to carry too much stuff with you on your walk? You can invest in a doggy backpack that keeps all of your pet’s essentials (like poop bags- lots of poop bags!) with them.
Get them “built-in” I.D.
Every time you leave the house with your dog, you should always make sure they’re wearing ID tags with your most up-to-date information on it. However, you can’t control everything that happens, collars can break or be wriggled out of, which leaves your four-legged friend in danger of being unidentified if lost. Luckily, a microchip is one form of identification that can never be lost (it is embedded in their skin), even if your pet is.