A casual stroll with your dog may appear to be a straightforward task, but it’s astounding how often some essential aspects of a safe, productive, and enjoyable walk are overlooked. Taking your canine companion for a walk should be a delightful and enriching experience for both parties involved. Yet, certain mistakes that dog parents make can inadvertently diminish the joy and benefits gained from these outings. Let’s explore some common missteps and the right approaches to ensure a pleasurable walk with our four-legged friends.
Mistake 1: Disregarding Consistency
The Right Approach: Establishing and adhering to a consistent dog walking schedule provides your dog with a sense of routine and stability. Aim for walks around the same time each day to set clear expectations and help manage their energy levels and biological clock.
Mistake 2: Letting your Dog Take The Lead
The Right Approach: We need to question ourselves on whether you walking your dog or is your dog walking you? Letting your dog lead can make them think they’re in charge. This dynamic could pervade other parts of your relationship.
Mistake 3: Taking Too Short A Walk
The Right Approach: Based on the breed & age, the duration of the walk is important. Check out this guide to find out the duration of walks & playtime required for different dog breeds. Identify the right amount of exercise will help them maintain optimal health, prevent destructive behavior at home and provide them with the required mental stimulation.
Mistake 4: Take the Same Route Everyday
The Right Approach: The whole point of a walk is not just about pooping and peeing but about the mental stimulation & exercise. Taking a different route each day gives your dog a chance to explore more scents, sights & sounds. This helps them experience various points of stimulation which makes it fun and exciting.
Mistake 5: Sidestepping Focus and Engagement
The Right Approach: Engage with your dog during walks instead of being absorbed in your mobile phone or being distracted. Your attention towards your dog enhances the bond between you two and enables you to respond promptly to any unforeseen circumstances.
Mistake 6: Choosing the Incorrect Leash and Collar
The Right Approach: Select a leash and collar that suit your dog’s size and temperament. For instance, retractable leashes may give too much freedom to larger, more exuberant dogs, whereas a simple fixed-length leash might provide better control. Check out this guide which will help you choose the right type of leash and collar based on various parameters.
Mistake 7: Permitting Pulling Behavior
The Right Approach: Encourage a pleasant walking experience by training your dog to walk politely on a leash without pulling. Utilize positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to reward calm and controlled walking.
Mistake 8: Ignoring Weather Conditions
The Right Approach: Be mindful of the weather and adjust your dog’s walking routine accordingly. In extremely hot or cold weather, ensure your dog is protected with appropriate gear, such as booties or a cooling vest. Ensure you wake up early if the conditions are hot and walk them late if the conditions are cold which helps them get the required exercise they need.
Mistake 9: Neglecting Basic Training
The Right Approach: Before venturing outdoors, ensure your dog is well-versed with basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “leave it.” Training your dog provides not only control but also ensures their safety and the safety of others during walks.
Mistake 10: Allowing Unrestrained Sniffing and Marking
The Right Approach: While it’s crucial to allow your dog time to explore and sniff around (it’s their way of ‘reading’ the environment), establishing boundaries is equally important. Implement a signal or command, like “leave it,” to let them know when it’s time to move on.
Mistake 11: Overlooking Health and Fitness Levels
The Right Approach: Tailor the length and intensity of walks according to your dog’s age, breed, and health. For instance, older dogs or breeds with respiratory challenges may require shorter, more leisurely strolls, while active breeds might demand more vigorous exercise.
Mistake 12: Overlooking Socialization
The Right Approach: Exposing your dog to various environments, people, and other pets from a young age is pivotal. A well-socialized dog is usually more relaxed and less reactive to new experiences and beings they encounter on walks.
Mistake 13: Neglecting Cleanup
The Right Approach: Always be prepared with poop bags and ensure you clean up after your dog. It’s a basic etiquette that maintains cleanliness and shows respect for your community and the environment.
Mistake 14: Going Out Without Identification
The Right Approach: Although they have a microchip on them, it’s always a good idea to have an identification such as a pet tag on your pup, too. For some odd reason, if they wander off, it’s easy for people to contact you, thus, making it easier for your locate your pet.
Every walk is an adventure and a bonding opportunity with our canine companions. By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing the suggested approaches, dog parents can ensure that each outing is a safe, enjoyable, and enriching experience for all involved. In embracing these principles, we foster a harmonious community, considerate neighborly relations, and most importantly, we substantiate our commitment to the wellbeing and happiness of our beloved pets.
For dog parents who are frequent travelers, who like to sleep in a bit, attend social events frequently which run late into the night etc., can choose to opt for dog walking services offered by reputed Pet Sitting Companies. Professional walkers ensure that your furry one never misses their much awaited walks of the day. It’s a win-win for your dog and you as you get to keep your schedule flexible while their routine is never comprised.
Other Topics To Explore: Top Dog Walking Spots in Dubai