Walk Your Pet Month

national walk your dog dayThis month is walk your pet month, here are a few tips and common mistakes you will want to avoid so you and your dog both enjoy the stroll.

Tips

Always take your cellphone on walks. I know it may seem like the least relaxing thing you can do while out on a walk but it is best if you or your pooch get hurt or if your pet runs away. Put it in your bag or pocket so it will not distract you.

Look around and stay vigilant. You should always be aware of your surroundings so no strangers or strange dogs will approach you without you knowing. Though strange dogs may be nice, you should always be aware of how your dog behaves around them. This way you can always be prepared for what may come.

Pick the right leash. While you may think that all leashes are the same you do not want to pick one that will be uncomfortable for you or your pet. Retractable leashes may look nice but can break or quickly become tangled. Unless suggested differently by your veterinarian, go for the old school leash. If you have a large dog a harness may also work better than a regular collar because it will be less strain on you and their neck.

Common Mistakes

Don’t stop if your dog is stopping every few feet to sniff and explore. Small pups can tucker themselves up when exploring off the beaten path, which may lead to a surprise nap time or a ride home (by you, of course). Bring a few bits of kibble to keep them going. That way you can get the most out of your walk without excessive breaks or panting pooches.

You may think the walk was reward enough but not giving your dog a reward for a good walk may mean difficult walking behavior in the long run. Give them a bit of kibble or their favorite toy. Even a bit of fetch or tug of war can mean the difference between a nice walk in the park or being dragged through the rose bushes.

Don’t let your dog walk behind you. You should always make sure your pooch is next to you or in front of you at all times. Keeping your friend in front or beside you will keep them in your line of sight so if you or your pet is attacked you can pick up your pet and get out of there. If you have a larger dog you still want them by your side so they will not yank you on the ground if they see a squirrel or run off if they are distracted otherwise.

Sources:

http://www.bhg.com/pets/dogs/dog-training/dog-walking-mistakes/?sssdmh=dm17.731735&esrc=nwdi041414

http://www.onsuttonplace.com/2014/08/how-to-walk-your-dog-safely/