Now that the warm weather is settling in, it is time to think about that one thing you know you should be doing with your dog—taking walks. Regularly. It might have been a New Year’s resolution way back when it was dark and freezing outside, but now that the sun is back, you can put it into action. Regularly. To help you along, here are a few simple tips to make your dog walking routine more…routine.
Take it easy
If it has been a while since you walked together regularly, give yourself some extra time for exploration and training. Things will go better if you are not in a rush.
Bring the right gear
Make sure your dog has his ID in case you somehow get separated. You also want to make sure you have a leash and collar that are appropriate for your dog. You can ask your veterinarian about any special needs your dog might have. Also remember to wear reflective clothing if you are going out when the sun is low.
Let your dog explore
It is great mental stimulation for your dog to be able to sniff around and explore her surroundings. Just make sure you respect other people’s property while you do.
Remember who is in charge
Taking the time to train your dog in the art of walking is important. You can teach him to heel and to walk at your side instead of marching out front pulling you along. Remember, you are walking your dog, not the other way around. You can ask your vet for recommendations if you feel you and your dog could use a training class or two.
Bring the bags
Always clean up after your dog. Keeping a small roll of bags with your dog’s leash really helps you remember to bring them along.
Walking is exercise. Make sure you and your dog both stay hydrated, especially as the weather gets warmer.
Check the forecast
Speaking of weather, take a quick look at what to expect while you are out. This will become especially important during the summer so you can avoid walking your dog on pavement or concrete that is too hot for her paws.
Make it a habit
Finally, make walking your dog an important part of your routine. It is great exercise for both of you, and it will give the two of you some special time that you can really enjoy together.
Get out there and enjoy some time and exercise outside with your dog. If your dog hasn’t exercised in a while, be sure to see your veterinarian for a checkup first.