Has anyone else felt as though movies and television shows made walking a dog look so much easier and enjoyable than when you are walking your dog? If so, find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone! There are countless people (and dogs) that struggle with the daily walks. As with everything, each dog is different, which means that their reasons that routine walks are rough (no pun intended) will vary. With that being said, the team at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital wants to help get your walks to a more enjoyable, smoother place. That is why we are going to go over a few tips that can help you with your dog walking. Let’s dive in.
Try a Harness
If you haven’t already invested in a harness for walking your dog, it’s absolutely time to do so! A harness can make the process of walking your dog so much easier. Aside from it being a bit more comfortable for your pet to be walked with a harness, it also makes it easier for you if your dog is someone that pulls on the leash while you’re walking them.
Create a Routine
If walks with your dog aren’t to the point of being enjoyable yet, chances are that you’re walking your dog every once in a while and not on a set schedule. We get it — when you’re struggling to make it through the walk, it can be difficult to want to do it day after day. With that in mind, creating a routine is actually one of the many ways that you can make your walks a bit smoother. Once your dog gets accustomed to the idea of walks with you, and they start to happen at a regular time (ie: when you get home for work, first thing in the morning, etc.) they get more comfortable with the process.
When first starting with a routine walk, it’s good to stick to the same spots too. New places can kick your pup’s excitement into high gear, making them a terror to walk.
Spend Time Training Them
There’s no doubt about it, training is one of the most beneficial things that you can spend time doing with your pup. Training will carry into so many different aspects of having a dog, so the earlier that you do so, the better. One of the many places where training will come in handy is on walks. By having the discipline to listen to commands and walk alongside you, you can ensure that walks with your dog go all the smoother.
Aside from training prior to taking your dog for walks, it’s good to note that walks will also help train your dog. As you walk, your pup will have the opportunity to see and smell new things, meet new people, and interact with dogs. All of this is a type of socialization that can help them to develop. With that being said, you want to make sure that you use walks as an opportunity to train your dog to behave by rewarding good behavior and correcting any bad behavior that you don’t want to turn into bad habits.
Recognize Their Needs
In the case that your dog is simply fussing during the walk or they just stop midway through, it may be time to consider their breed, size, and the exercise needs that they have. Just because walks are something commonly associated with dogs, it doesn’t mean that every dog is going to react the same when they’re taken on a walk. The reasoning behind this is that every breed is different. There are some breeds, like golden retrievers and blue heelers, that are notorious for having tons of energy, thus making walks (maybe even longer walks) a must. On the other hand, if you have a French bulldog or a teacup poodle, they aren’t going to be able to endure long walks or even need quite as regular walks. So, if your pup is being fussy, take a step back and think about how their breed and size could be affecting their behavior.
Trust West Ballantyne with Your Pet Care
Taking your dogs on walks regularly is one of the best things that you can do for their health, so naturally we want to ensure that it goes smoothly for you. Aside from that, we recommend routine visits to a vet to ensure your pup’s health is prioritized and in a good place. From the first appointments as a puppy to the checkups on joint pain later on, you can count on the team at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital in Charlotte.