According to your dog, there are few things better than going for a walk. Not only does a bit of exercise improve his physical health, but it also reduces any unwanted behaviors like boredom, aggression, or destruction. Getting those legs moving solves most potential problems, but establishing a pattern can be easier said than done. With our suggestions, walking your dog has never been more fun, safe, or valuable.
A Solid Foundation
Daily exercise fortifies your dog’s mental and physical health, but she largely depends on you to provide her with opportunities to experience new smells, sounds, and sights. Beyond the critical nature of getting outside to potty, dogs must get the ya-ya’s out before day’s end. Without access to vigorous exercise, most pups suffer from depression, weight gain, and a whole host of associated issues.
But Wait, There’s More!
There is another important layer of walking your dog that cannot be underestimated. When out and about, your dog gains confidence through exposure to other pets and people. Socialization is necessary for your dog’s emotional development, and provides them with tools to get through future encounters.
If they haven’t learned commands like “down,” “sit,” “heel,” and “come,” you could be headed for disaster. Walking your dog shouldn’t alter good relationships with your neighbors or negatively impact others (your dog included!).
Teach your dog life-saving commands. With time, patience, consistency, and determination, your dog will show mastery of basic obedience. Walking your dog is much more challenging without commands; however, you can begin to use commands during walks. Bring lots of high-value treats to bolster your approach to positive reinforcement training.
Walking Your Dog
The following might seem like no-brainers, but serve to boost fun and safety measures when walking your dog:
- Always use a leash, ideally 4-6 feet in length. Retractable leashes are often hazardous, especially when used before you establish full obedience training.
- Never forget the waste removal bags! Scooping dog poop is an absolute must. Not only is it unsightly to leave behind, but it can spread diseases or parasites to other animals and people.
- Never assume your dog’s attention will be welcomed by unfamiliar individuals. Always ask permission if your dog can visit with other people and their pets. Likewise, it’s acceptable to request a big space bubble for your dog, if applicable.
- Always follow the rules in public places and be mindful of boundaries. Trespassing is never a good idea when walking your dog.
- Mind the weather and plan accordingly. Do not allow your dog to stay outside in extreme temperatures.
- Don’t forget water. If they are thirsty enough, your dog might find themselves lapping up puddles with run-off chemicals in them.
- Stay safe with appropriate lighting if walking before dusk or after sunset. Outfit your dog with their own lights on the collar or leash.
- Try to keep up the same routine every day. If you cannot make it home by the time your dog anticipates a good walk outside, enlist the help of a friend or neighbor.
Remember, a tired dog is a happy one. Aim for at least one thirty-minute walk every day (sometimes two walks is better). Younger or herding breeds will benefit from additional exercise.
When my parents’ dog Kya died very suddenly a few years ago‚ their regular vet was not at work that day. But thankfully‚ Dr. Tullio was and treated my parents and their dog as if he was their doctor for the past 15 years—doing everything he could to try and revive Kya and by being so compassionate to my parents in the waiting room after having to deliver the sad news. We truly can’t say enough nice things about Dr. Tullio and can’t wait for him to open his new facility! Thank you.
—Lori Forrest & Bob Leahy
Doctor Tullio is a kind, caring gentleman who has cared for my cocker spaniels for many years now. He has always been helpful‚ honest‚ and understanding with my pets and me. He is a man I trust completely and have and do refer others to him. Any pet owner can feel safe and secure in trusting their beloved pets to his skilled hands.
—Margaret Rowe‚ Howell‚ NJ
Dr. Tullio has always treated our dogs with great knowledge‚ care‚ and compassion‚ and we have grown to know him quite well. We have been so completely impressed with Dr. Tullio’s consistent excellence in care and services that we wanted to share our experience with others. We are pleased to recommend as the place to go for both quality treatment and compassionate care for your furry family members.
Molly and Oscar have been patients of Dr. Tullio for several years. I have been very pleased with his care‚ his expertise‚ and his understanding with my two Wheatens. Dr. Tullio has been quick to diagnose any issues and remedy all of the problems we’ve had. I look forward to many more years working with Dr. Tullio. I wish him well in his venture.