Dog Walking: Safety Tips Every Pet Owner Should Know
Walking isn’t just great exercise for you and man’s best friend; it’s a critical part of dog care that has an impact on your dog’s well-being. If you’re going to head out walking together daily, New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham has a few safety tips for you to ensure you both stay safe and healthy.
Tip #1 – Get the Right Dog Walking Gear
You’ll need the right gear when you take your dog on a walk. If you’re choosing a dog leash, go with quality material like nylon, leather, or cotton. The leash should be around four to eight feet long. Skip a retractable dog leash, since they can give too much freedom and leave you without control. The ideal gear is a dog harness, which is more comfortable for your pooch while giving you more control.
Tip #2 – Begin Slowly
Don’t go long distances if you’re just getting used to walks with your dog. This is particularly important for small dog breeds, puppies, overweight dogs, senior dogs, and dogs who are recovering from an illness or surgery. Gradually increase the distance and pace over time.
Tip #3 – Keep Your Pooch Hydrated
Hydration is essential, especially if you’re walking in hot weather. Have water with you for your dog if you’re going for longer walks. Remember, small dog breeds may get dehydrated faster than large ones.
Tip #4 – Have Proper ID
Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and it’s always possible your dog could get away and get lost, no matter how well-prepared you are. Be sure your dog is wearing current dog tags or, even better, get your dog microchipped. Just make sure you register the information if you do get a microchip for your dog.
Tip #5 – Plan for the Weather
Dogs need extra protection for walks if it’s excessively cold or hot. Dog boots could be necessary for the winter in ice and snow. Dog shoes may also help in the summer if you’re walking on hot pavement.
Don’t Forget Routine Dog Care
Keep your pooch healthy by keeping up with routine dog care like regular visits to the vet. It’s always a good idea to get your dog cleared by the vet for new activities, especially in very young or older dogs. Contact New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham today at (919) 490-2000 to set up an appointment for your dog.