Dog ownership comes with many responsibilities. One of them is walking the dog every day. As a rule of thumb, your dog needs to walk every day for at least 30 minutes. But an organization called Guide Dogs Australia recommends two 30-minute walks. The first one should be done during the morning and the second one in the evening.
Going for a walk has many benefits. First, it’s a form of exercise. Walking every day will help your dog stay healthy. They’re also less likely to become obese, which is quite common among dogs in the U.S. And when your dog gets adequate exercise, they get less stressed and have better moods. In addition, your dog will become more sociable when they get to go out often.
As an owner, you can also reap some benefits when you walk your dog every day. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day is an excellent cardio activity. It can also improve your bond with your pet.
Dog walking sounds simple, but it’s not always like that. For example, your dog may get too excited that they’ll keep tugging on their leash. Or they might even just drag you around. To give your dog a quality walk outside every day, here are some things you can do:
Show Them You’re the Alpha
You need to show your dog that you’re the leader and that they’re the follower. When you go out for a walk, you should always be ahead of your dog. When your pet starts to get ahead, stop walking and change the direction of your walk.
As you go on, you can gradually let them walk beside you. But don’t let them surpass you. Otherwise, they’ll think they control the walk and may eventually drag you around.
Use a Short Leash, But Keep It Loose
A long leash may seem nice since it gives your dog a lot of wiggle room during walks. But it can be difficult to control. Your dog might even get tangled in the leash.
Use a short leash instead. It will give you better control. You also need to keep the leash as loose as possible. It should form a letter “J” while you and your dog walk. A loose leash will prevent your dog from hurting their neck and throat.
If your furry companion doesn’t cooperate, you may need to train them first. Consider attending a dog obedience course to learn loose-leash walking and many other things.
Let Them Explore
Dogs get very excited when they go outside. They’ll want to run and sniff around.
You may worry that they might touch something dirty and get sick. But if you don’t let your dog explore, they’ll feel sad. Or worse, they might rebel. So from time to time, allow them to sniff around. This way, the walk will be more enjoyable for them.
Keep an eye on them while you walk. When you notice that they seem fixated on a certain spot, lead them there and let them explore for a few minutes before resuming your walk.
Change the Route Sometimes
When you walk the same route, your dog will be able to memorize it. So if they somehow escape your home and roam around, they’ll know how to go back. But in time, your dog may get bored when they see the same things and same paths over and over. To fix this problem, change your route once in a while.
Always Bring a Poop Bag
It’s common for dogs to poop when they go for a walk. When they smell a different scent in a certain area, they will want to leave their own scent and “mark their territory” through pooping.
As a responsible dog owner, you should always clean after your dog’s mess. Before you leave the house for a walk, make sure that you have a poop bag and pet wipes. You’ll also need a hand sanitizer for yourself.
Reward Them After the Walk
Your dog will feel tired after a long walk and exploration. Recognize their effort by rewarding them. You can give them a portion of their favorite treats or let them eat a full meal. You can also give them a belly rub.
Going on a walk is a great bonding time for you and your fur friend. It’s also a productive activity because it doubles as an exercise. It can even help improve your mental and emotional well-being. That’s why it’s important to always make time for this activity.