Dog Walking 101
With the weather warming up, it’s finally time to get outside with your canine companion for a long walk or to play in the park. While you may be an old pro at walking the dog, there is still a lot to keep in mind when taking your pup out and about.
Depending on your dog’s demeanor, it's important to consider everything from where you let your dog roam to what type of leash will work best. We’ve compiled our top tips for having a successful walk in the park with your pooch. It’s always best to know before you go, so follow this advice to make the best of the outdoor experience for both you and your pup.
What to Consider When Walking Your Dog
- Leashes. Pick the leash you feel most comfortable using, however, keep in mind that certain leashes will be more effective for different types of dogs. We recommend only using flexi-leads when your dog has lots of room to roam (such as in a park). Chain leashes are best for dogs that like to tug or chew on their leash. However, keep in mind that chain leashes are also heavier, and are best suited for larger dogs. Leather and nylon are lighter, stylish leash solutions that work well for pets of all sizes.
- Harness or Collar? Some dog breeds are better on a harness leash combos than on collars. If you have a dog that tends to tug walking them with a collar can cause them to have trouble breathing properly so the harness would provide a more comfortable alternative for them. Be sure to pick something that will give you control over your pet, otherwise you're letting your dog walk you!
- Location. Pick a location and time that works best for you and your dog’s demeanor. Dogs who are very easily excited or like to chase after wildlife should be walked at times when distractions are minimal, such as midday. If you are walking your dog through the country, make sure to stay out of flower beds and the neighbor’s yard. If you're taking your pet to a park, take a look at these tips for Dog Park Etiquette. Especially during spring and summer, many use fertilizers and insecticides that can be highly toxic to pets (take a look at our post about Safety for Outdoor Pets). Lastly, be careful walking excitable dogs through city streets. Look for a quieter, off the road location to go for a stroll.
- Be Prepared. Especially when walking dogs in the heat of summer, be prepared with extra water, for both you and your furry friend. If you are walking in direct sunlight make sure to give your dog a break to stop and take a drink. Bring along treats as well, they are a great way to reward your dog when he walks patiently along with you. And of course, don’t forget to bring along a plastic bag!
Think of all the benefits of walking your dog! Walking your dog can be a great way to get exercise as well as bond with your pup. Taking regular walks is a great way to keep your dogs happy and healthy, and is especially enjoyable during the summer months. When you can’t be available for a walk, let your dogs (or cats!) explore the outdoors with a pet door. Cat doors and dog doors are an easy way for your pets to be able to roam and experience the outdoors until your next walk! Just make sure that you're cleaning up after your pet.
Looking for the perfect leash or harness to walk the dog? Check out Xtreme Pet Products for a wide selection of pet leashes, collars, and pet walking accessories.