Taking your dog out for a walk seems like a pretty simple process. Clip on their leash, grab a few poop bags, and go. But there can be a lot of factors that affect your walk and how much you and your dog enjoy it. A few simple changes can make a big difference.
1. Skip the retractable leash.
Using a traditional leash will give you more control. Retractable leashes make it easier for your dog to pull away and get tangled up in their surroundings. The locking mechanism is not always very sturdy, and when they reach the end of the leash, it can give you a sudden jolt. Choose a leash that is four to six feet long to give your dog enough room to roam without getting too far ahead.
2. Consider a harness.
If your dog does have a tendency to pull, a front-clip harness or “no pull harness” can be a great option. It can be more comfortable, reduce pulling, and be easier on their neck. They are not straining against you trying to hold them back. They can still wear a collar, just hook their leash to a harness when you go out for walks.
3. Take your time.
You may let your dog out for a quick bathroom break a few times a day, but also leave time for a longer daily walk. Dogs gather a lot of information about their surroundings through scent. Let them have time to sniff out mailboxes, trees, bushes, and posts. Plan this time into your schedule so you’re not constantly rushing to get back home and pulling your dog away every time they want to stop. You can also use small treats to train them to respond to a command such as “leave it” and keep walking.
4. Switch things up.
Give your dog an opportunity to explore by changing up your walking path from time to time. Pick a new route that gives them different scents and sights. It also makes both of you pay more attention because it is not the same path you always take. Avoid the temptation to zone out on your phone or listening to music.
5. Stay safe.
Before you head out, check the weather. Plan longer walks during times when it is not too hot or cold. If it’s snowy or icy, consider putting booties on your dog to protect their paws. When it’s hot, choose a path where they can walk on the grass rather than hot pavement all the time. Be street smart and teach your dog to stop at corners before crossing, and make sure you always look both ways and stay on the sidewalk when possible.
A nice stroll through the neighborhood or trip to the park also gives your dog a much-needed change of scenery after being cooped up inside all day. They need the break as much as you. Consider signing your dog up for doggie daycare a few days a week, or boarding them if you are going to be away. They will be able to run, play, and relax throughout the day, socializing with other dogs and humans rather than being at home alone or having to keep quiet while you work. Reserve your dog’s spot today by contacting Lake Wylie Pet Resort.