Dog walking 101 is simple surely? Well, there are many things that new dog owners might not know when it comes to walking their pets. We’ve put together 10 of the top dog walking tips that we think everyone should know.
1. Get a Front Clip Harness
One of the main issues that new dog owners face is how to walk a dog that pulls on the leash. While training and practice are essential, the type of leash you have is also very important. Many dogs react poorly when they are tugged back, and their instinct is to pull even more. Therefore, a front clip harness and leash is recommended. It pulls your dog from the front and your dog won’t fight against it. Using this along with one of the many comfortable clip harnesses on the market is the best combo for dog walking.
2. Puppy Power
If you get a puppy, it’s important that you know how far to walk it. Puppies can’t be walked very far, no matter what the breed. This is something that many new owners don’t realize but should be kept in mind. Twenty minutes is the maximum they should be out for at first. This can gradually build up as your pup gets older and more mature.
3. Training Your Dog
During walks is the best time to start training your dog on basic good behavior. You will be able to meet new people, interact with other dogs, and get them used to the outside world. You will need to be firm with them at the start using positive reinforcement, but they’ll soon get the hang of it. Everyone loves a puppy, but make sure that children are careful with your new pet, as you don’t know how it will react to a lot of attention all at once!
4. Stick to a routine
While your dog gets used to walking with you, it’s a good idea to stick to a routine. This means, walking them at the same times of day, and to the same places. This will help them to learn how they are expected to behave and will behave the same way when they are introduced to new parks. It will also keep them much calmer when they know where they are going.
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5. Treat Time
Teaching your dog how to behave in public isn’t always the easiest thing, but it can be done. Knowing how and when to reward them is essential. A dog will listen to you when you have treats in your hand, so make sure that you only give them out when they’ve done something right, and not to get them to calm down. If you give them every time your dog demands them, this only reinforces bad behavior.
6. Dog Mix Matters
Once your dog gets older, its breeding will have an important part to play in how long you need to walk it for, and the type of exercise that it needs. This is one walking tip that requires you to do your research beforehand. Some breed and mixes will be perfectly happy with a couple of small walks every day, while others will need to go somewhere that they can run about and really let off some steam.
7. What to Bring on a Dog Walk?
Sometimes, it’s hard to know what you might need when you’re out at the park, but there are three items, apart from a leash, that you should never leave home without. The first one is, of course, poop bags. You need to make sure that you clean up after your pet. Not only is it common courtesy, if you don’t you could be faced with a hefty fine. You should also have a bottle of water with you. Even when the weather isn’t warm, your dog can get dehydrated quickly. Finally, a toy that you can throw for them means that they’ll be able to run around for a bit and enjoy themselves.
8. Hire a Dog Walker
You might want to walk your dog yourself, but at times, this simply isn’t possible. Most dogs need regular exercise and long walks, and if you can’t provide this, it’s best to look into hiring a professional dog walking company. Many dog walkers can also help you with dog training and have strict dog walking guidelines that they follow so that you know your pooch is in safe hands wherever they go.
9. Health and Safety
Making sure that you are aware of your surroundings and the dangers of the weather is one dog walking tip that is often overlooked. Both the heat and the cold can really affect our furry friends, with some breeds more susceptible than others. Having a jacket for them in the cold and watching their paws on hot tarmac in the sun is a must. It’s might be a good idea to have some form of pet insurance, just in case anything does ever happen when you’re out walking.
10. Wear a Dog ID Tag
One of the most important dog walking tips is to have your dog microchipped. This will ensure that if your pet wanders off or gets lost, their microchip information will bring them back to you. Having a collar with their name and your number on it is also advised, but the microchip is even more so. Make sure that the details on file for you are always kept up to date!