tips for walking dogs
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The Vet's Corner

5 Tips To Enhance Walks With Your Dog

by Danielle O'Neill

Written by: Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva, VMD, cVMA | Professional Services Veterinarian, Wild Earth
There are a few different ways that you can enhance the walking experience for your dog. Below are our favorite ways to make your daily walks more exciting, more fun, and also safer for your dog.

1. Let Your Pup Sniff Around For Mental Stimulation

Dog walks are not only for physical stimulation but for mental stimulation as well. This may seem like a bother if you are in a hurry, but remember smell is very important to a dog and sniffing while outdoors can provide loads of enrichment. Teaching commands such as “go sniff” and “walk” can be helpful.

2. Bring Healthy Treats

Reward your pup for walking by your side or not chasing that squirrel with low-calorie treats. They can also help when teaching those commands mentioned in tip one.

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3. Use A Harness Instead of A Collar

Collars may be the cuter and easier choice, but did you know that collars put a lot of unnecessary pressure on the fragile structures in your pup’s neck? Harnesses are especially important to use for dogs prone to collapsing trachea, intervertebral disc disease, or breathing issues. They also discourage pulling, which is always a plus! As a vet I recommend Ruffwear harnesses as they do not limit forelimb mobility, reducing the chance of musculoskeletal issues down the road.

4. Avoid Retractable Leashes

Although they seem appealing to give your dog more freedom, retractable leashes are very hazardous. They are known to disengage without enough pressure and allow for decreased control, making accidents more likely, such as your pup running into a busy street.

5. Bring Plenty of Water For Your Pup

Remember dogs don’t sweat as we do, they pant to release heat and regular their body temperature. This makes it easier for them to overheat and/or become dehydrated. Make sure to offer your dog water during your walk, especially during warmer months.

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