Walking the dog is an essential part of dog care, seemingly as ordinary as providing it with nutritious food and fresh water. Walking a dog is more than just getting exercise, however, and many a pet owner can attest that not every strategy is as good as the next. Check out these best practices for walking a dog below!
Walking a Puppy
If you have a puppy, you might wonder when is the right time to begin walking your pet. Typically, you can start when it is about 16 weeks old, a couple of weeks after it has received all its vaccinations. It is best to start leash training and socialization between 8-12 weeks of age.
Using the Right Leash
There are many types of collars and leashes, but not all are right for the job of walking a dog. If you have a dog that pulls on its leash, try switching to a front clip harness. If you are worried about your dog running into the street or anywhere else out of bounds, avoid retractable leashes.
Stopping & Smelling
Walking a dog is more than just exercise for you and your pet. It is one of the few times per day your dog goes outside at all. It is a big event, and necessary for your pet’s overall wellbeing. Moreover, exploring the outside world with its nose is another part of the walking experience. A dog that has time to sniff here and there could end up more exhausted in a good way than a pet that had a no-stop jaunt.
Another best practice is to always pick up your dog’s poop on a walk. Canine feces can contain many harmful bacteria and worms that will contaminate the environment if left behind. Cleaning up isn’t just keeping up curb appeal; it will significantly keep the soil and watershed cleaner.
One of the worst possible dog walk scenarios would be if your pet ran off and got lost. Wearing an ID with your phone number and address is one option, while microchipping is another. With microchipping, a person can take your dog to a local vet and scan it to find its home. This method is more secure than using a collar.
Keeping Hydrated & Cool
Lastly, remember to take precautions on hot summer days. Check that the pavement is not too hot to the touch, and carry a water bottle with a lid for your pet’s hydration, especially if you plan to walk for more than half an hour.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!