Tips For Walking Your Dog

Dogs, no matter how big or small they are in stature, need daily exercise. Ideally, this translates into several walks a day.

Exercise is good for canines for the same reasons it’s good for people: it boosts circulation, fights pet obesity and offers excellent mental stimulation. Besides, it’s a great way to spend quality time together and to meet up with both doggie and human friends.

Dogs that are well exercised sleep well, too. It’s a good idea to get a good walk in first thing in the morning before you go to work – don’t forget his trusted Sergeant’s collar and lead! This way, your dog will be literally “dog tired” on your return home and more likely to snooze and not be so anxious when you head out the door to work.

Walking the same route every day can get boring, even from your dog’s sniffing perspective. So change things up by varying your route. If necessary, drive to a new location and start out from there. Another way to vary things is to let your dog choose the direction and, for once, follow his lead!

The weather can offer challenges to daily exercise. In cold snowy weather be sure to suit up your pup accordingly in a nice fleecy jacket and boots. The latter will protect paws on sidewalks that have been strewn with salt to melt snow as well as from the cold pavement.

If the weather really proves difficult, consider walking inside a pet-friendly mall. It doesn’t matter how many times you go around and around. Besides, it’s a great excuse to window shop.

As dogs age, while still needing the benefits of exercise, are often not able to go the distance. Investing in a pet stroller is an excellent idea because your pooch can alternate between walking and riding on an outing.

Dog treadmills are becoming increasingly popular. Once again, they are an excellent alternative when the weather is bad outdoors. They are also a great idea for elderly owners who understand their dog’s exercise needs but are themselves physically unable to go for long walks.

A harness is a much more comfortable way for your dog to enjoy outings because there is no straining or pulling on the neck. If you like to walk at night, ensure your pet’s safety with a leash with a reflective strip and possibly even a light for his collar.

If you often meet up with neighbors on your walks, consider putting together a walking group and going out together. Make sure to vary the direction to keep things interesting for everyone.

-Photo Credit: From flickr by JustySinMD

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