Like humans, our four-legged friends need daily exercise to stay trim and healthy. Regular exercise helps your dog stay fit and happy, and there is nothing more exciting than a walk. Going for walks with your pooch can help to clear your head and theirs!
As great as walkies can be, if you aren’t careful, they can quickly become your worst nightmare. There are specific rules and guidelines that all dog walkers need to follow to ensure their adventurous experience is a safe and successful one.
Below are five common dog walk mistakes that dog owners make when taking their furry friend out for a stroll – be careful not to repeat these:
1. Ignoring winter weather
As winter touches down, remember that snowy and icy weather can mean that chemical agents or salt have been added to the streets and sidewalks of your neighborhood. These can lead to poisoning if you’re not careful. Some de-icing chemicals also can burn sensitive paws.
Avoid injuring your curious canine by quipping him with specially designed booties if you can’t avoid those sections along your route.
2. Approaching strange dogs
Many dog owners make the mistake of assuming that all dogs are as friendly as their pups – which isn’t always the case. Instead of risking it, keep a healthy distance between your playful pooch and a strange dog.
Letting your dog approach another dog is never safe unless you have checked with its owner that it is safe to do so.
3. Using a short leash
Your furry friend no doubt LOOOOVES going for walkies – but not if his movements are severely restricted. One of the biggest and worst mistakes a dog walker commonly makes is using a short leash.
If this sounds like your pooch, don’t stress – there is a better way. Try a large selection of the best harnesses for dogs who pull; that way, they won’t get hurt, and you won’t get frustrated.
Be patient with your pet. Teaching them good habits takes time.
4. Forgetting to reward good behavior
Dogs are simple creatures – they learn through training, and the best form of training has rewards. Teaching your dog to walk is as important as training them to sit or stay. Whenever your pup displays a good behavior, you must praise them immediately and reward them.
Positive reinforcement training is quick and simple – good dogs get good treats. Dogs learn quickly if they are excited to get rewarded, but they will only know they have done a great job if you tell them or show them.
5. Walking the same route
Exploration is the name of the game when it comes to walking. Instead of always taking the same boring route, mix things up for your little friend. Variety is the spice of life, and the same applies to dog walking routes.
Keep things fresh and exciting by changing things up every week and choosing the path less explored. Do research online to find the safest and happiest dog parks in your area and choose paths along that route.
Final thoughts on dog walk mistakes
Make the most of your daily walks and avoid making five dog walk mistakes:
- Don’t ignore winter weather
- Be cautious about approaching strange dogs
- Use a long leash
- Remember to reward good behavior
- Mix it up and take different routes
Keep your dog entertained, and you’ll enrich their sweet life for the better!