Walking your dog on a leash is a necessary but also an enjoyable experience for you and your pet. Consider these five tips before you set off, so you and your furry friend can maximize your time together.
1. Make sure your dog has an identification tag. It's such a basic thing, but unfortunately, there are many pet owners that don't have one on their dog, or it isn't current. Does the tag list your mobile phone number? Microchips are best, but if you don't have it, ensure you have a sturdy collar with an accurate ID attached. Fido can't speed dial you to get home, so make sure a good Samaritan can quickly reach you.
2. Pack water and a drinking bowl. Sure, you had your glass of water before you left the house, or you have a sports bottle along, but our four-legged friends get thirsty when they are out with you. Select a small, ultra-portable backpack and include a sports water bottle and a collapsible water bowl in it. If you or your pet gets thirsty, you have the resources available whenever you need it.
3. Bring protection for you and your pet. Many neighborhoods may have strays, or aggressive dogs that could run off leash and attack you or your pet. We've all read the news stories. It can and does happen. Carry dog mace, which contains a special organic compound that won't permanently injure a dog, and is much safer than trying to hurt another dog with an object like a stick. Dog mace provides enough protection so you and your pet can escape an aggressive dog situation safety. After purchasing dog mace, practice outside to ensure you can control the spray, and then carry this in your pocket (not a backpack), for easy access.
4. Be in the right frame of mind. Your dog loves you, and you love your pet too. Perhaps you've had a stressful day, or are tired. It's not fair to take out any frustrations from your day, out on your pet during your walk together. Take a deep breath before your dog walk, and focus on this time with your pet as a combination of these four items: Clearing your mind, good exercise for you, bonding and necessary for your dog's health. With these four things in mind, you'll start your dog walk with the right attitude.
5. Celebrate your dog walk with your pet. Feed your dog AFTER you get home. This rewards your pet, reinforcing the idea that a successful dog walk has a benefit when you get home. Your dog will certainly look forward to, and remember that this is part of the daily activity, and don't forget to include a doggie treat!
We hope these five tips will help make every moment between you and your dog even more enjoyable when going for on-leash walks together. Each day with our furry friends is precious.