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Make Walking Your Dog Fun and Safe
Dogs are happier and healthier when they get the right amount of exercise, but not all dogs do well on walks. January is National Walk Your Dog Month, and to celebrate, we put together some of our expert tips and tricks to keep walks safe and fun.
Keep Your Dog on the Right Path There’s so much to see and smell during a walk that your dog will want to explore it all. Rein in his zigzag tendencies by teaching him to properly walk on a loose leash so he can have the opportunity to scope out the scenery without tangling you in his leash.
Be Hard to Miss When the daylight hours begin to dwindle, invest in some bright and/or reflective outdoor gear for your dog (and for yourself) to keep you both visible to passing traffic.
Train Your Dog Not to Chase A dog’s natural instinct when he sees a fellow canine, walker or even a cyclist is to play and chase. Make sure your dog is securely leashed to avoid any problems with runners or cyclists and other dogs while you’re out and about.
Winterize! To prepare for winter walks and ensure a proper exercise regimen, protect your dog with a moisture-repelling jacket or vest, along with either booties or gels to protect his paws. (And, come on — a dog in booties? That’s never not adorable!).
Help Your Dog Remain Calm In addition to chasing, your dog might be so excited to be out for a walk that he can’t help but bark. He might also just want attention or be anxious about something he sees or hears. A head halter or front-clip harness may help you maintain better control. Also, practicing basic commands like “sit,” “heel” and “stay” in a calm, quiet environment (such as your home or backyard) can prepare the dog to obey commands while out on a walk.
Muttly Multitasking Trying to navigate a panoply of pooches can be a challenge. When walking more than one dog, first be sure they’re not in the habit of chewing and tugging at their leashes. Work with each dog separately before trying to walk them together, and train them to walk with a loose leash. Finally, make sure your dog is leashed properly and that you’re holding the leash correctly as well.
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Our resources and articles originate from other sources such as VetStreet and PetMD, and are meant for general pet care information. Please contact our office directly for specific questions concerning your pets or any other animals you may come into contact with.