Walking your dog every day isn’t just about allowing them to take in the sights outdoors. It is a requirement for their overall health and well-being.Walks present an opportunity for physical exercise which your pet needs, and is pretty good for you too.
When walking Bella, here are some essential tips to note:
- Allow Sniffing!
Our human noses boast of five or six million receptors. But depending on the dog breed, some may have up to 300 million!This goes to show the stark difference and just how important sniffing is to them.It allows your pet to gather information and is necessary for mental stimulation as well. Depriving Bella of exploring an interesting scent is doing her a great disservice.Provided her actions are not disturbing anybody around, give some extra minutes for sniffing.
- Don’t Pull On the Leash
Dogs have a natural reflex called the ‘opposition reflex’ that causes them to go in the opposite direction of a force pulling them.From your pup’s perspective, you walk way too slow for her to spontaneously explore interesting sights and smells, so tugging might happen.To ensure a loose leash always, try changing directions when she’s getting ahead of you, and reward with treats when she catches up.This would encourage a constant loose J-shaped leash.
- Favor Alternative Walking Restraints
Traditional collars are great, but in the long run, they do more harm than good. Avoid using a slip or pinch collar or choke chain on your pup, these can be very dangerous.Instead, a great alternative could be a chest-clip harness or head halter. Your pet may be only acting up because she doesn’t like their collar.Switch things up and see her go from a monster puller to a calm walker on a leash.Also, you could train your pup to walk off-leash, and implement this in areas where it’s safe for her to do so.
- Pick Up After Them
Your dog would likely poop during the walk, and you’re supposed to pick up after her. It extends beyond just being a responsible pet owner.Dog poop can be a health hazard to both pets and humans. It may have potentially harmful microorganisms like E. coli, hookworms, roundworms, salmonella, and giardia.These microorganisms can infect other pets and humans and may also permeate the soil and contaminate water bodies.
- Arm Yourself With Lots of Water
For walks beyond half an hour or so, particularly in hot weather, your pet would likely get thirsty.Pups have a harder time regulating their body temperature, unlike us, so they can easily overheat. Although dogs sweat, the thick coat they have makes the cooling down process pretty inefficient.Hence, they do a lot of panting, making them dehydrated rapidly.The water you bring along goes a long way in helping Bella enjoy her walk more.