The puparazzi are pretty excited today: It’s the first day of Walk Your Dog Week! While Fido needs and benefits from walks all year long, October’s cooler temps are a perfect time to grab your canine companion and get outside. A San Antonio, TX vet discusses walking your pup below.
Walks aren’t only important for sanitary reasons: they’re also crucial for dogs’ mental and emotional health. Dogs are naturally inclined to explore and investigate things. It’s good to just let Fido enjoy being a dog! The mental stimulation your canine pal gets from the scents and change of scenery are great for him. Plus, those daily walks are also a great doggy workout.
First and foremost, make sure you have good equipment. Most poochs are more comfortable in harnesses, but you can also use a collar. Get a sturdy leash, one that won’t snap if Fido spots a squirrel and tries to chase it. As for you, wear shoes, sneakers, or boots with good tread, so you don’t slip or fall. You may want to get a backpack or waist bag made just for walking dogs. These have slots for things like waste baggies, doggie water bottles, and leash clips.
Training is very important! A good petucation can help you keep your pup from bolting off if you drop the leash, or stop him from picking up that chicken wing someone dropped at the park. Your furry friend should also walk beside you, rather than hauling you along. If Fido has a habit of pulling, then you should be able to break that habit by changing direction every time he does it. (Yes, training will get tiresome for you both, but that’s why it works.)
Safety—both yours and your pet’s—should always be first and foremost. If you’re walking down the side of a road, keep your canine buddy on the outside, and don’t let him veer into the road. You’ll also want to watch the terrain. This is crucial in summer, when scorching-hot pavement can burn your pup’s furry feet. Also, keep an eye on Fido, and watch where he goes. Don’t let him sniff around things like debris piles and rotten logs that could be housing snakes or other critters.
Please contact us with any questions about dog care. As your San Antonio, TX animal clinic, we’re here for you!