Any walk is better than no walk at all! Even if you only have a few minutes in the morning before work or in the evening before dinner, it’s better for both you and your furry friend to get in a few extra steps every day.
However, how you walk your dog matters almost as much as going for a walk in the first place. A professional dog walker from Wag Walking can help make sure your pet gets the most out of his walks, but we can also provide you with advice that will help you get the most out of your next trip on the trail!
Here are five tips that will ensure you get the most out of your dog’s next walk.
Choose the Right Route
The perfect walk starts before you step foot out the door. First, you have to think about where to walk your dog.
If convenience is important to you, heading out the front door and walking in the neighborhood is the obvious solution. That can be a great choice, but you should also consider your dog and his needs.
If you have an elderly canine, and you live in a hilly area, he’s likely to get tuckered out quickly. The opposite may also be true. You might have an overly energetic breed but live in a relatively flat area.
Does your dog have too much energy when you get home? Does your dog get tired early on his walk? Answering these questions will help you choose a better route for Rufus.
Be Mindful of Your Pace
In addition to being mindful of the route you take, you also have to be mindful of your pace. Elderly or small breeds require a more relaxed pace. If your dog acts like he didn’t have a walk at all when he gets home, you should pick up the pace.
Even if you have a breed that is traditionally active, don’t automatically assume he can go for a run. If you want to start jogging with your canine companion, it’s a good idea to know the do’s and don’ts before you get started.
Give Your Dog Something to Do
Believe it or not, but simply walking on the leash may not be enough for your dog. In order to get the most out of his time on the trail, you may want to consider giving him something to do.
A few ideas include:
- Making him wear a heavy backpack
- Teaching him a new trick
- Allowing him to stop and sniff
High-energy dogs can especially benefit from these ideas because a simple walk often isn’t enough to keep them stimulated.
Pay Attention to Your Dog
It’s extremely important to pay attention to your dog the entire time you’re on your walk. You should know how to recognize the signs that your dog needs a break or a drink of water.
You shouldn’t keep an eye on your dog just for his benefit! You should be more mindful in general when you’re on your walk. That’s because mindfulness has many benefits that include:
- Reduced rumination and worry
- Reduced stress levels
- Boost to working memory and focus
- Greater relationship satisfaction with your dog
While you’re on your walk, make it a point to stop intrusive thoughts about work or family and focus on the pavement in front of you. Admire the trees, listen to the birds, and notice how much fun your dog is having. His zest for life will likely rub off on you if you take the time to notice it!
Shake Things Up
There’s nothing wrong with taking a path that’s tried and true. Dogs love routine, so your canine companion will come to expect it, and he’ll get excited about heading out the door. However, there’s something to be said for the excitement of novelty.
Don’t be afraid to try something new with your pooch. Walk a trail you’ve never tried or take a different route through the neighborhood. If you really want to wow your pet, consider taking him to the dog park instead of heading out for your afternoon walk!
If you only have a few minutes, by all means, head out the door and go for a quick walk around the neighborhood, but don’t forget to plan a few more meaningful walks throughout the week too. By trying one or more of the tips on this list, you can ensure your dog is as content as possible by the time you return home.