If you are blessed with having a dog or two, then you probably get to wake up each morning to some great unconditional love. After all, dogs are just the kinds of pets that love lavish happy licks and excitement to owners each day. You want to be sure that you are being a responsible dog owner and taking great care of your pet in all areas- including dog walking. Dog walking tips and safety help you avoid situations where your pet or yourself get injured while out for a stroll and fresh air.
This is why learning some valuable tips for safe dog walking is important. Utilizing the following steps will help make your time outdoors with your pet enjoyable and safe.
Here are dog walking tips!
Last year the number of injuries caused to pets and owners due to incorrect walking techniques was quite high. Injuries such as strained joints, broken bones, and torn muscles led to a good deal of anxiety and a hefty dent in the pocketbook. Many of those pet owners will admit that if they had taken a few simple precautionary steps, they might have prevented financial and physical discomfort for themselves and their canine companions.
Tip # 1: Train Your Dog
A well-trained dog who responds to basic commands like “heel” and “stay” proves much easier to control. They listen to their owner’s voice, taking cues from their tone. A few weeks of professional training coupled with support at home will make every trip outdoors a pleasure and you won’t have to worry about your dog pulling your arm out of the socket when he/she sees a squirrel.
Tip # 2: Always Use a Leash
Regardless of a dog’s age or level of training, responsible owners need to use a leash attached to a color or safe harness every time they walk the dog. Too often, pet owners believe a short walk in the neighborhood or in the local park will not require confining their dog to a leash. These exceptions make it hard for the dog to understand what is expected of them. They need consistency which means using a leash every time. There have been plenty of occasions where that short stroll without a leash ends up with the dog taking off after another dog or chasing a big truck down the road. Better to be safe than sorry.
Tip # 3: Be Prepared
It can be difficult to anticipate every item pets may require on a walk, but prepare the best that you can. For walks over twenty minutes take some water for the dog to drink, as hydration is important. Most dogs, because of lack of endurance, need to take breaks regularly to cool off, as they are unable to sweat. Also, the breaks will allow you and your dog to enjoy more time out of the house. If temperatures are extreme, consider keeping walks to a shorter amount and walking in the shade if possible.
Tip # 4: Be Aware and Considerate of Your Surroundings
Keep in mind that some public places may not allow dogs due to poor walking conditions or other reasons. Signage may not be posted, but the pet owner is responsible to check local ordinances to verify their pet is permitted in an area. Additionally, you should always carry a bag and a scooper to clean up if your dog has a bowel movement. Specific dog parks may provide items to help keep the area clean. If the county or state does not have supplies on hand, you can go well prepared.
Tip # 5: Watch Out for Others
One of the hardest things for dog owners to predict is how an individual will respond to their dog or how their dog will react to another dog or person while out walking. Awkward scenarios happen all the time, such as when a dog wraps his leash around another person, tromps over their blanket as they read, or starts licking a little child happily. Remember, not everyone is a dog lover and some people are afraid of dogs, so be sensitive to this as you walk in public places.
Tip # 6: Get a dog ID
In addition to a collar with your dog’s name and your contact information, you ought to make sure the state-specified tags are displayed, as this prevents confusion about the dog’s shot record. Often law enforcement checks these items when patrolling public parks and other spaces where dogs and people congregate.
Tip # 7: Build Your Dogs Endurance
Make sure your dog is physically ready to walk. If you’re just beginning to get out there, start with short walks and then increase the time out incrementally. This helps them to get in shape over time and lessens their chance of becoming injured. Older dogs may not be able to walk for very long, so take this into consideration. If you’re not sure if your dog is healthy enough to walk, take him to the vet to get a professional opinion.
Tip # 8: Watch for Tender Paws
Dogs do not wear shoes and many pet owners forget how forgiving a pair of running or tennis shoes are when the terrain is rough or unstable. Pets do not possess the benefit of slipping something over their paws, so long walks on hard surfaces can generate bloody cracks, limping, and discomfort. Owners need to consider this and find soft areas which allow dogs to walk longer and with greater comfort. You can also check your dog’s paws regularly for possible injury.
Tip # 9: Make Safety a Priority
Be aware of the dangers facing you and your canine companion. If there is a dog running around off a leash, take steps to keep the dogs apart. If a patron states dogs frighten them, keep the dog a safe distance. Keep watch for wild animals as well. Make safety your number one priority.
Most owners go out of their way to make sure everyone is safe and having a good time. The greatest risk to safety is a momentary loss of concentration. Being consistent and aware will allow you to relish your time outside with your dog and make sure everyone arrives back home safe and sound.
Next up we have 7 health benefits of owning a dog!
Humans and dogs began their long association with one another tens of thousands of years ago – you might say our two species have ‘grown up together’. We and our dogs are in a symbiotic relationship called mutualism; one where two species interact to the benefit of both. To a great extent, the relationship between dogs and people is probably the most mutualistic on earth, even the close ties between humans and cats fall short when compared with humans and dogs.
Dog lovers will not hesitate to tell anyone who will listen how wonderful their own dogs are and how great dogs are in general, but as it turns out, there are actual health benefits that accrue from having a canine or two in your life. Whether you have a pure breed dog or a mixed breed, it doesn’t matter – dogs are just good for us, no matter their genetic background.
1. Dogs May Be the World’s Best Doctors
All of us who own dogs understand the love and devotion our dogs give to us unconditionally every day, which we should return to them, but interacting with dogs can provide health benefits for every member of the family. Dogs may be the best way to help prevent and treat some of the medical problems that can beset us.
Asthma is a nasty respiratory disease where the airways in the throat and lungs swell and narrow, making it hard to breathe. The number of people who have asthma is rising, and most of those afflicted are children. Allergies are often responsible for triggering an asthma attack. Fortunately, it’s been found that dogs may help to prevent asthma from developing, especially when dogs are present from the time of a child’s birth.
Dogs might be said to be a bit untidy, but it’s this untidiness that actually works to the benefit of children – being exposed to dogs ramps up a baby’s immune system so that it is better able to resist not only disease, but it also becomes ‘hardened’ to substances that might cause allergies and asthma. A child’s chances of staying free of asthma and allergies rises to over 30% when a dog is a household member.
Stress can cause a number of negative health conditions, such as high blood pressure, and just going through a difficult workday and dealing with a long commute can make your stress level skyrocket. Dogs have been found to be better at reducing stress than even your spouse or a close human friend. Whether it’s a dog’s unquestioning acceptance of you, or the comfort a dog senses you need; when you’re stressed and anxious, turn to your dog.
3. Heart Attack Prevention
Dogs are great at helping to prevent heart attacks. Science is unsure exactly why this may be so, but people who own pets do have a decreased chance of experiencing a heart attack in the first place. And, for those who do suffer a heart attack, owning a dog brings about a better chance of recovery and a lesser chance of experiencing another one. Dogs seem to be especially beneficial in preventing heart attacks in men, in part by lowering cholesterol.
Obesity is a major problem in Americans, with a quarter of the adult population being considered to be obese (when your weight is 20% more than it should be for your height and age). Being overweight brings with a myriad of health problems, but dogs can help to bring your weight down by encouraging you to exercise. Dogs need a certain amount of exercise every day to stay mentally and physically fit, and taking your dog on a long walk or jog, swimming with your dog, hunting, or simply playing in the yard with your dog can all help to keep you in better shape along with your companion. A brisk walk of an hour with your dog will help you to burn calories, lose weight, and strengthen your muscles. Exercise also helps to keep people mentally alert as they age.
5. Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can come from many sources, such as arthritis or nerve damage, and can adversely affect the quality of life. Dogs can reduce pain levels in part by reducing the stress that accompanies discomfort. Petting a dog will help to calm and soothe, and by doing so the body’s natural pain relievers, endorphins, will be released, reducing pain levels and also reducing the need for pain medication. Dogs often exhibit a natural empathy, too, that helps them to respond to their owner’s discomfort.
5. Mood Enhancer
You may find that your dog is a natural mood elevator. It’s hard to stay grumpy or down in the dumps when a dog is greeting you with love and enthusiasm. Even the longest, most irritating day at the office will be forgotten when your dog welcomes you back home – dogs are much better than tranquilizers or other prescription medications, and have no negative side effects, either.
Dogs can sense when something is going amiss with their owners and can provide an alert. This is especially valuable when the owner suffers from epilepsy – the dog can detect the subtle changes that occur prior to a seizure and the dog’s warning can help the owner prepare themselves safely. The same ‘early warning system’ seems to be in effect for diabetics. Dogs are able to tell when blood sugar levels are dropping precipitously, before their owner is aware of the problem, and the warning the dog provides lets the owner take steps to correct it.
People who live isolated lives, without much social interaction, tend to have shorter life spans than people who interact more. Dogs are actually a good way to increase the number of friends you have – others are more likely to come up to talk to you if you are walking a dog than they might otherwise have been. Dogs help to break the ice, and can actually help to improve your love life. Many a meaningful relationship between a man and a woman has started because of a puppy or dog.
It’s really nice to know that not only do our dogs provide companionship and friendship to us every day of their lives, but that they also help to keep us healthier. The benefits that dogs provide to their owners can measurably help to keep them out of the doctor’s office or hospital.
Finally 7 tips for exercising with your dog
Exercising with your dog can either be really great or really horrible. There are some right and wrong ways to do it, but, as with everything, it differs for each person and canine. Try to talk to your vet before you start working out with your dog just like you would talk to your physician. If you follow these 7 tips, man’s best friend could become man’s best trainer.
1. Allow your dog to warm up first
Just like you do stretches, your dog needs a pre-workout warm up as well. Now, this doesn’t mean that they will be next to you doing lunges, but you should try to play with them a little bit beforehand. Try playing fetch or another one of their favorite games prior to your workout this way they are properly warmed up. Not doing this could cause your dog to over-exert themselves initially and the workout won’t be as effective.
2. Strengthen their abilities gradually and create a routine
Any personal trainer will tell you that a routine is important whether you’re working out on the street or in the gym. By doing this not only will your dog be able to recognize when it’s workout time, but you’ll be obedience training them at the same time. Try to always start with stretches, then move on to sit-ups, take a nice run, and finish off with a walk for a good cool-down exercise. If you do this every time the two of you workout together, your dog will pick up on the habit and follow along with you. If you’re an intense trainer who works out different areas on the body on different days, create a routine for each area and have each routine start with a different exercise that way your dog will learn the cues. And if you’re busy you can also buy a dog treadmill and teach them how the treadmills works!
3. Research your dog’s breed
Just like each person’s ability level is different, each dog breed’s ability level is different. This doesn’t only mean the difference between a large and small dog, though. All breeds are different from greyhounds to pit bulls and rottweilers to dachshunds. For example, an Australian shepherd has an incredible level of stamina which means they are better for intense running in short spurts whereas a rottweiler is known for endurance meaning that they are better for long distance running. Its advisable that an Australian shepherd is run for five minutes at a time and while they’re taking a rest you can do another workout, like sit-ups or push-ups; for a rottweiler, a simple half hour or hour jog at a consistent pace is advisable. Gradually strengthen their abilities and build them up so that you will strengthen your abilities as well and grow together.
4. Keep your dog to one side at all times
This is mainly important for safety reasons. While running, for example, if you allow your dog to zig-zag back and forth in front of you then you are risking allowing yourself to trip over their leash which can injure the both of you. If you’re more comfortable holding them on your right side, always teach them to stay right beside you and vice versa.
5. Don’t tie their leash around your wrist
This is not only for the safety of your wrist, but for your dog as well. If you keep the leash tied around your wrist then the leash becomes taught as they pull on it. This can create a risk of not only twisting your wrist, but you may also be risking having the leash choke your dog. It may not seem like a huge deal, but by allowing the dog to choke itself on the leash it could damage their trachea and cause a long-term cough that is both uncomfortable and dangerous for their health.
6. Keep both of you hydrated
You may choose to leave the water bottle at home from time to time because you don’t want to hold it, but it is especially important to make sure you have one on hand while working out with your canine friend. While exerting energy, just like people, dogs need constant re-hydration to ensure that they don’t become dehydrated and risk health problems in the future. Also make sure that you get them water immediately after returning home so they can relax and cool down after their workout.
7. Check them over after each workout
This is especially important if you are taking them running on the road. Be it dirt or asphalt, there are numerous objects that could be on the road and potentially become stuck in their paws. Check each paw for debris and injuries after each workout to make sure that they are in tip-top shape and ready to go for next time.