Whether you made a resolution to shed extra pounds or you just want to get back into shape, January is the month of resolutions. Let your dog be the motivation you need! January is “Walk Your Dog Month”.
Benefits of Walking your Dog:
Physical and Mental stimulation – Walking lets them explore new and exciting smells, and lets them use all their senses, which is a great mental workout for them as well as a physical workout (for your pet and you).
Teaches Calm Behaviour – Since walking drains their energy they will be calmer at home and hopefully be less destructive.
Incorporate Training – While walking you can incorporate training and leash training. Be sure to bring lots of treats and keep his focus on you. Walking every day teaches him the proper way to walk on a leash without pulling. If your dog struggles with loose leash walking practice in your own back yard first. January is also Train Your Dog Month, so stay tuned for that upcoming blog.
Improves your Relationship – You and your dog may already have a great relationship, but it can be made stronger with daily walking. It is a great bonding experience for you and your canine companion.
Socialization – Walking also will teach your dog important social skills. During the walk, she will encounter other people and animals, which will help her build confidence and not be scared of new experiences/pets. It is especially great for young dogs.
Tips for Walking:
Set a Schedule – Dogs love routine, set a scheduled time everyday when you can go out for a few minutes to walk. This will help you commit to your walks and will make your dog get excited for its daily walks.
Cold Weather Safety – Especially for young puppies, senior dogs, small dogs, and short hair breeds, it is important for them to keep warm on their walks. Jackets or vests are a great way to keep them warm and happy while out for a walk. Remember to protect their paws! Cold temperatures and the salt can be very harsh on their delicate paws. You can get booties or there are also topical gels/wax that can be put on their paws to protect them.
Take the Necessities – Always remember to take treats with you. Giving him treats on his walk will reward him for good behaviour and will keep his focus on you. Bring a water bottle, especially if it is warm out or you are going for a long walk. Keep you and your pet hydrated. The most important of them all, REMEMBER POOP BAGS. Especially in town it is always good to be a responsible pet owner and pick up after your pet.
Mitchell Veterinary Services hopes these tips help you and your pet stick to and enjoy your daily walks.
Related article: 7 ways to turn Walking the Dog into a Workout.