Dog walking is a necessary part of being a responsible pet owner. Although sometimes it feels like a chore, dog walking is a wonderful way to bond with your pet and get some exercise together. We reached out to our pet program manager, J. Marmol, to get the dish on top ten dog walking tips when you’re on a doggy-dash out the door with your pup.
Top ten suggested dog walking tips
1. Good shoes
Ditch the heels and designer sneakers for your daily walk. Good shoes are one of the most important items to have on your dog walk. “By wearing shoes that are supportive and rainproof, you go a long way to eliminate the risk of your feet getting sopping wet,” chuckles on-site Trupanion pet program manager, J Marmol. Likewise, having proper footwear can ensure safety for you and your pup.
2. Great rain jacket
A rain jacket that is lightweight provides warmth, and keeps you dry in inclement weather is imperative for a successful walk. To make the best of any surprise rainstorm, Marmol suggests a top-quality raincoat with a hood that is 100 percent waterproof and windproof.
3. Comfortable walking belt
Comfort and security are key when walking a dog. Search out a walking belt that works best for you. Also, belts that fit securely and hands-free are particularly helpful if your dog tends to pull during the walk. It certainly comes in handy if you have to answer a phone call or pick up a doggy-bag.
4. Front clip harness for pups
A front clip harness will keep your pup secure on the walk. Plus, the front clip especially helps with dogs that pull. Our dog walking program has found it to be incredibly resourceful in the workplace. “We’ve found such great success with the front-clip harness that we keep an extra harness around the office – you never know when you might need it,” stressed Marmol.
Treats can serve a multitude of functions. A treat can provide motivation during a walk if a pup just isn’t into it. Essentially, a treat can also be a valuable training opportunity, especially if you are interacting with a reactive dog. Lastly, a treat at the end of the walk is a great way to celebrate a wonderful bonding interaction. Not that there needs to be an excuse to give our furry friends a treat, but a notable dog walk should be praised.
6. Double-handed leash
If you want the chance to navigate your dog walk with ease, try the double-handed leash. The double-handed leash provides an extra security measure, assists with shortening lead, and helps with blind corners. Also, if you are sharing the sidewalk in a busy cityscape it can be helpful.
7. Quality doggy bags
Having quality doggy bags may not seem worth the expense, but trust us, it leads to a better walking experience. You will have less mess to deal with, and as far as safety is concerned, a good bags minimalize risk as waste could carry illnesses or parasites.
8. Keep a safety plan in place
If you are walking in a city, it is always best to have some type of safety plan in place. You never know when you and your pup will have to get out of a tricky situation, avoid a potential dog attack, or having the pup get into something they shouldn’t.
9. Communication skills
It is important to demonstrate proper communication skills when walking dogs. Whether you are walking your own pup or have your furry companion walked around the neighborhood by a friend or walking service, communicating your thoughts on the walk is invaluable. Similarly, if you have a dog walking program in the workplace, Marmol notes the importance of being able to address any concerns you have to owners in the workplace about the dog walk.
10. Raincoats for pups
If you are impacted by the weather on your walk, chances are your pet is too. Raincoats for the pups provide safety, security and keeps them dry on those rainy days. Also, consider having appropriate apparel like shoes and reflective clothing options readily available. Often dogs will wear socks with their shoes to avoid any injury to the paw or paw pad.
And of course, the most important aspect of a dog walk is to have fun! Dog walking should be a fun bonding experience with your favorite furry companion. “Dog walkers have the ability to be the leader of the walk, and every dog walk is a training opportunity,” asserts Marmol.
Next time you get some free time, grab your gear and head out on the walking path with your best mate. That afternoon walk could be the highlight of your furry friend’s day!